Simone de Beauvoir's work has not often been associated with film studies. This is paradoxical when it is recognized that she was the first feminist thinker to inaugurate the concept of the gendered "othering" gaze. Moreover, other concepts associated with Beauvoirian existentialism such as ambiguity, gendered alienation, situated freedom, and woman as absolute Other are highly suggestive for reading screen culture. This book is an attempt to redress this balance and reopen the dialogue between Beauvoir's writings and film studies. The authors analyze a range of films, from directors including Claire Denis, Michael Haneke, Lucille Hadzihalilovic, Sam Mendes, and Sally Potter, by drawing from Beauvoir's key works such as The Second Sex (1949),The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947),and Old Age (1970). The breadth of this book demonstrates the extent to which "existential" themes transcend space and time, continue to resonate with contemporary stars and film directors, and add value and meaning to the basic questions about human existence, and the quest for "authenticity."
At the heart of this volume is the assertion that Sartrean existentialism, most prominent in the 1940s, particularly in France, is still relevant as a way of interpreting the world today. Film, by reflecting philosophical concerns in the actions and choices of characters, continues and extends a tradition in which art exemplifies the understanding of existentialist philosophy. In a scholarly yet accessible style, the contributors exploit the rich interplay between Sartre’s philosophy, plays and novels, and a number of contemporary films including No Country for Old Men, Lost in Translation and The Truman Show, with film-makers including the Dardenne brothers, Michael Haneke, and Mike Leigh. This volume will be of interest to students who are coming to Sartre’s work for the first time and to those who would like to read films within an existentialist perspective.
Offering new critical approaches to Dada as quintessential part of the Avant-Garde, Dada and Existentialism: the Authenticity of Ambiguity reassesses the movement as a form of (proto-) Existentialist philosophy. Dada is often dismissed as an anti-art movement with a merely destructive theoretical impetus. French Existentialism is often condemned for its perceived quietist implications. However, closer analysis reveals a preoccupation with philosophy in the former and with art in the latter. Moreover, neither was nonsensical or meaningless; both reveal a rich individualist ethics aimed at the amelioration of the individual and society. The first major comparative study of Dada and Existentialism, this text contributes new perspectives on Dada as movement, historical legacy, and field of study. Analysing Dada works through Existentialist literature across the themes of choice, alienation, responsibility, freedom and truth, the text posits that Dada and Existentialism both advocate the creation of a self that aims for authenticity through ambiguity.
Jean-Paul Sartre: Mind and Body, Word and Deed celebrates Sartre’s polyvalence with an examination of Sartrean philosophy, literature, and politics. In four distinct yet related sections, twelve scholars from three continents examine Sartre’s thought, writing and action over his long career. “Sartre and the Body” reappraises Sartre’s work in dialogue with other philosophers past and present, including Maine de Biran, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Didier Anzieu. “Sartre and Time” offers a first-hand account by Michel Contat of Sartre and Beauvoir working together, and a “philosophy in practice” analysis by François Noudelmann. “Ideology and Politics” uses Sartrean notions of commitment and engagement to address modern and contemporary politics, including insights into Castro, De Gaulle, Sarkozy and Obama. Finally, an important but neglected episode of Sartre’s life—the visit that he and Beauvoir made to Japan in 1966—is narrated with verve and humour by Professor Suzuki Michihiko, who first met Sartre during that visit and remained in touch subsequently. Taken together, these twelve chapters make a strong case for the continued relevance of Sartre today.
Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua
Author: Jinhua Dai
Category: Performing Arts
Dai Jinhua is one of contemporary China's most influential theoreticians and cultural critics. A feminist Marxist, her literary, film, and TV commentary has, over the last decade, addressed an expanding audience in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Cinema and Desire presents Dai Jinhua's best work to date. In these pages she examines the Orientalism that made Zhang Yimou the darling of international film festivals, lays bare Euro-American fantasies about the Sixth Generation of Chinese cinema auteurs, establishes Huang Shuqin's Human, Woman, Demon as the People's Republic's first genuinely feminist film, comments on TV representations of the Chinese Diaspora in New York, speculates on the value of Mao Zedong as an icon of post-revolutionary consumerism, and analyzes the rise of shopping plazas in 1990s' urban China as a strange montage in which the political memories of Tiananmen Square and the logic of the global capitalist marketplace are intricately intertwined.
A Companion to Contemporary French Cinema presents a comprehensive collection of original essays addressing all aspects of French cinema from 1990 to the present day. Features original contributions from top film scholars relating to all aspects of contemporary French cinema Includes new research on matters relating to the political economy of contemporary French cinema, developments in cinema policy, audience attendance, and the types, building, and renovation of theaters Utilizes groundbreaking research on cinema beyond the fiction film and the cinema-theater such as documentary, amateur, and digital filmmaking Contains an unusually large range of methodological approaches and perspectives, including those of genre, gender, auteur, industry, economic, star, postcolonial and psychoanalytic studies Includes essays by important French cinema scholars from France, the U.S., and New Zealand, many of whose work is here presented in English for the first time
This volume deals with a number of topics that have not previously been specifically addressed before in a single text. A chapter on Sartre and religion talks about his thought in relation to Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, while one on Sartre and children discusses his work in relation to the issues of freedom, pregnancy and autism. Beyond this, there are an additional seven chapters covering a wide variety of topics by leading scholars in the fields of philosophy, literature psychology, history and political thought. While prior publications on Sartre have generally divided his work into two periods, pre-and post-Marxist, this volume deliberately stresses a middle and final period as well. As representative of the middle period, there is an emphasis on Notebooks for an Ethics, while Sartre's last work, Hope Now, is also treated as being philosophically significant in its own right. This approach helps to cast a new light on what Sartre has to say about authenticity, childhood and consciousness as embodied, among other subjects. The volume also addresses many and diverse issues of current interest, including those of freedom, Marxism and Sartre's relation to ethics. There are sections of the book that deal with history and the historical situations that helped to shape Sartre's thought, as well as articles that deal with Sartre as a specifically French thinker. A chapter deals with Sartre's relation to women, and here the issues of maternity as problematic, plus authentic, adult relationships are discussed. Finally, in addition to authors in philosophy and literature, there are articles by a child psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist to help to provide new insights on Sartre's work. Even as an academic philosopher Sartre always remained an iconoclast and the aim of this book is, at least partially to capture and provide the reader with insight into this spirit.
Michael Mann is one of the most important American filmmakers of the past forty years. His films exhibit the existential concerns of art cinema, articulated through a conspicuous and recognizable visual style and yet integrated within classical Hollywood narrative and genre frameworks. Since his beginnings as a screenwriter in the 1970s, Mann has become a key figure within contemporary American popular culture as writer, director, and producer for film and television. This volume offers a detailed study of Mann's feature films, from The Jericho Mile (1979) to Public Enemies (2009), with consideration also being given to parallels in the production, style, and characterization in his television work. It explores Mann's relationship with classical genres, his thematic concentration on issues of morality and masculinity, his film adaptations from literature, and the development and significance of his trademark visual style within modern American cinema.
Cinema has the capacity to enflame our passions, to arouse our pity, to inspire our love. Feeling Film is a book that examines the emotional encounters found in contemporary popular cinema cultures. Examining melodrama, film noir, comic book franchises, cult indie movies and romantic comedy within the context of a Jungian-informed psychology and contemporary movements in film-philosophy, this book considers the various kinds of feelings engendered by our everyday engagements with cinema. Greg Singh questions the popular idea of what cinema is, and considers what happens during the anticipation and act of watching a movie, through to the act of sharing our feelings about them, the reviewing process and repeat-viewing practices. Feeling Film does this through a critique of purely textual approaches, instead offering a model which emphasises lived, warm (embodied and inhabited) psychological relationships between the viewer and the viewed. It extends the narrative action of cinema beyond the duration of the screening into realms of anticipation and afterlife, in particular providing insight into the tertiary and participatory practices afforded through rich media engagement. In rethinking the everyday, co-productive relationship between viewer and viewed from this perspective, Feeling Film reinstates the importance of feelings as a central concern for film theory. What emerges from this study is a re-engagement of the place of emotion, affect and feeling in film theory and criticism. In reconsidering the duration of the cinematic encounter, Feeling Film makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the inter-subjective relationship between viewer and viewed. It takes post-Jungian criticism into the realms of post-cinema technologies and reignites the dialogue between depth psychology and the study of images as they appear to, and for, us. This book will make essential reading for those interested in the relationship between film and aspects of depth psychology, film and philosophy students at advanced undergraduate and postgraduate levels, film and cinema academics and cinephiles.
A unique study of four major post-war European films by four key 'auteurs', which argues that these films exemplify film modernism at the peak of its philosophical reflection and aesthetic experimentation.