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Abstract

This article examines the multiform appearance of elemental earth in the 1990s films of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, including Life and Nothing More, Through the Olive Trees, Taste of Cherry, and The Wind Will Carry Us. Its aim is to consider the elemental aspects of global art cinema, arguing that art cinema treats elements intermedially. Art cinema’s alliance with the elemental has been comparatively overlooked given its associations with the cosmopolitan sites of global modernity, but this essay asserts that modernism is as much geophysical as geopolitical. I read Kiarostami’s films as staging encounters between human action and elemental agency; they set their characters in agonistic relation to the seismic movements and obdurate resistance of the earth. Drawing on elemental philosophy, this article demonstrates that the existential questions regarding life and death in Kiarostami’s filmmaking are oriented toward the earth (as ground, stone, and dust).

In: Studies in World Cinema
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Abstract

The soundtrack for film Winter Sleep includes only five minutes of music: the opening passage of Schubert’s A-major Piano Sonata no. 20, Andantino, repeated in moments suggesting the main character’s Bildung and introspection. As the film progresses, this musical signal takes on increased narrative weight; its repetition adheres to a growing sense of the damage this character’s privilege enacts on his wife and on the families who owe him rent. Drawing on Irina Rajewsky’s recent work on transmedial movement, this paper argues for repetition and accumulation as narrative strategies across media, while pointing out the material associativity unique to music – in this case a Schubert passage that, in its broken-record replication, exposes the cost of traditional European bourgeois values in a Turkish household as patriarchal as it is ‘western’. Here music does not intensify an emotional-narrative arc but adds a critical dimension to dialogue and visual storytelling.

In: Music, Narrative and the Moving Image

Abstract

This paper starts out from the thesis that the use of music in ‘Quality TV’ series of today differs significantly from the use of music in earlier TV series, insofar as, in accordance with other structural experiments, the potentials of music in television are explored and enlarged to an extent hitherto unknown in the respective series. In order to support this thesis a close look is taken at the use of music in three of the most critically acclaimed and influential ‘Quality TV’ series so far, The Sopranos, The Wire, and Breaking Bad.

In: Music, Narrative and the Moving Image

Abstract

The answers below touch on three different meanings of world cinema. First, world cinema is the acknowledgement of an existing cinema originated in the diversity of geographical and cultural contexts from all over the globe and expresses the rise of multiple local cinemas on a common international scene. Second, world cinema denotes to the films that proved to be recognizable as artistically valuable through these channels (festivals, critics, niche distributors) and conveys the idea that only certain types of films would be accepted on the international scene. And third, world cinema relates to a more specific type of films, that are not so many but gives a particular visibility to an immensely vast phenomenon with films that are either “without borders”, or mixing various origins and references. By keeping these in mind, the research on world cinema should be issue based, acknowledging de vast rainbow of various ways to make cinema, related with socio-economical and cultural contexts, political environment, inscription in various aspects of history of cinema aesthetics and other artistic and cultural means of expressions, local, regional and global. The films of world cinema are, or at least should be objects of research, objects of thinking, but also if not primarily objects of love.

Free access
In: Studies in World Cinema
Free access
In: Studies in World Cinema
Free access
In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

In the middle of his second opera, Lulu, Alban Berg inserted a silent movie that is accompanied by film music. Although Berg gave precise instructions for the film scenario and its association with the music outlined in the Particell, many directors omit the film in stage performances. However, the film is essential to the opera dramaturgically because it fills the gap that Wedekind had left in between his two dramas, Erdgeist (‘Earth Spirit’) and Die Büchse der Pandora (‘Pandora’s Box’). Berg initially considered having a speaker narrate the intermediate story but decided on a silent film which depicts the events. In this article, the film and its music are analyzed to show how they together fulfill three functions: as a narration of the missing link; as a mirror axis for the opera’s symmetrical design; and as the pivot of the whole opera.

In: Music, Narrative and the Moving Image
Author:

Abstract

This article analyzes the work of Chloé Zhao and its reception in order to explore the role of female auteurs in 21st century world cinema. By comparing Zhao to Kelly Reichardt, another US director acclaimed internationally for distinctive works of US regional realism, the essay argues that US independent women directors critique American cultural hegemony and the global dominance of Hollywood both through the subject matter and formal structures of their films and through their positioning within the discourse of world cinema auteurism. After analyzing the authorial personae of both directors as constructed in their films and press reception, the essay offers close readings of Reichardt’s Certain Women and Zhao’s The Rider, both set in the US West, with specific attention to the perspectives of central Native American characters. The readings demonstrate how the filmmakers use realism to locate a singular, gendered authorial perspective on the world.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema
Contemporary Cinema centers upon screen productions since the turn of the millennium in order to chart the rapidly unfolding landscape of the moving image. The series tracks recent shifts in the world of cinema from a wide array of viewpoints: emerging movements, styles, and practices; new ways of thinking about cinema; as well as ongoing expansions of ‘the cinematic’ across the spheres of television, new media, and beyond. Titles devoted to such developments—in film culture, theory, reception, or industry—could cover a broad cross-section of cases or concentrate on a sole landmark film. Of special importance to the series are cinemas and phenomena that remain underseen and overlooked.

Proposals for single-authored monographs and edited volumes are equally welcome.

All submissions are subject to a double-anonymous peer-review process prior to publication.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals to the publisher at BRILL, Masja Horn.