Author Archive for: ‘Adrian Martin’

Turn the Page: From Mise en scène to Dispositif

The representational chamber is an energetic dispositif. To describe it and to follow its functioning, that’s what needs to be done. –      Jean-François Lyotard (1993: 3, translation amended) Graphics, Stacks and Materiality It is always fascinating and instructive to return to a moment in history when a change in the conditions of culture loomed on the horizon. In terms of …

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“It Has Come to My Ears”: Fritz Lang’s Sound Design

When Giorgio Moroder offered the world his music-enhanced version of Metropolis (Germany, 1926) in 1984, the publicity materials contained, as if in justification, this remark by the film’s director, Fritz Lang: “I was primarily a visual artist. I never had an ear, and I regret it”. Lang sometimes modestly presented himself in interviews as a director essentially formed in the visual aesthetic …

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Which Hollywood? Which Ophuls?

This text was first written in 1980, when I was 20 years old. I had already been published in magazines including Cinema Papers, Metro and Buff over the preceding year. My notes from the time inform me that I intended submitting this lengthy piece to the then-burgeoning Australian Journal of Screen Theory but, for some reason, I never bit that …

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A Skeleton Key to Histoire(s) du cinéma

I think the best way to look at these programs is to enter into the image without a single name or reference in your head. The less you know, the better. – Jean-Luc Godard (1) 1. What History? Images and sounds, frequently overlaid multiple times and set at odds with each other, flash up and flee from us. Some of …

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VOLA X (Introduction)

In 1983, a long way before Leos Carax fixed on Herman Melville’s novel Pierre ou les ambiguïtés (as he knew it) for a film and TV project, I considered writing an appreciation of Vikki Riley’s several short Super-8 films of the era, called ‘Vikki: or, The Ambiguities’. (1) Where I found the Melville title was in Andrew Britton’s text on …

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Sign your name across my heart, or: “I want to write about Delbert Mann”

Uploaded 1 March 2001 I am speaking of the auteur in a strict sense of the term: the auteur of literary or artistic works. Not the auteur of a crime, nor a theorem, nor even the Universe. – Marc Le Bot [1] E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire (US 2000) stages an elaborate conceit from an imaginary or speculative history of …

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The Undertaker: Gilberto Perez’s The Material Ghost: Films and their Medium

The Undertaker: Gilberto Perez’s The Material Ghost: Films and their Medium (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) ISBN 0 8018 5673 6 465 pp (Review copy supplied by John Hopkins University Press) Uploaded 12 November 1999 Obviously, there can be no criticism without theory, but it is equally the case that there can be no viable theory without a viable …

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Luminous blows and unforeseen encounters: an introduction to Petr Král

Tarkovsky, or the burning house by Petr Král Uploaded 1 March 2001 As part of a homage by the French magazine Positif to Marlene Dietrich, Petr Král contributed a page – somewhere between an essay, a short story and a reverie – called “The Visitor”. Like many of Král’s writings, it is about the strange, historic coincidence between a dream – one …

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Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film

John Gibbs & Douglas Pye (eds), Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film. Manchester University Press, 2005. ISBN: 0719065259 250 pp AUS$54.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by Manchester University Press) Recently, scouring books for a bibliographic reference, my eye fell upon the opening salvo in a 1981 Framework piece by Paul Willemen on Anthony Mann. He dryly dismissed (and …

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To Wax Zizekian: On Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible

A Review Essay on Chris Dumas, Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible (London: Intellect, 2012) [I]t’s not really a book about De Palma, it’s a book about Film Studies as an American institution that uses De Palma as a focal point or case study. I’m definitely not trying to say that De Palma is a Tarkovsky figure …

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Always a Window: Tag Gallagher’s Rossellini

Adrian Martin Uploaded 1 March 2000 Tag Gallagher, The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998. ISBN 030608730. 852pp. US$24.50 (paper) It is difficult to be “with” Rossellini but it is even harder to be “without” him. – Don Ranvaud [1] Human beings are always uneasy. – Roberto Rossellini [2] 1. Until the publication of this magnificent and …

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Sign your name across my heart, or:”I want to write about Delbert Mann”

Uploaded 1 March 2001 I am speaking of the auteur in a strict sense of the term: the auteur of literary or artistic works. Not the auteur of a crime, nor a theorem, nor even the Universe. – Marc Le Bot [1] E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire (US 2000) stages an elaborate conceit from an imaginary or speculative history of …

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An Abandoned Mine: Notes on Orson Welles’ Radio Work

During his interview sessions with Peter Bogdanovich between 1969 and 1972, director-writer-actor Orson Welles looked back on his work in radio and described the medium as “an abandoned mine”, akin to silent cinema as “a victim of technological restlessness”. He added: “For me, radio’s a personal loss, I miss it very much … “ [1] In large part, Welles’ own …

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Ticket to ride: Claire Denis and the cinema of the body

I. In our culture, man has always been thought of as the articulation and conjunction of a body and a soul, of a living thing and a logos, of a natural (or animal) element and a supernatural or social or divine element. We must learn instead to think of man as what results from the incongruity of these two elements … …

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Contemporary French Cinema: An Introduction

Guy Austin, Contemporary French Cinema: An Introduction. Manchester University Press, 1996 ISBN 0-7190-4610-6 Hb £35.00 / 0-7190-4611 Pb £9.99 Uploaded 15 September 1998 Generally speaking, one extends a certain, Platonic generosity towards accounts of national cinemas – just as one does to written cinema histories, various official “canonical” lists of the Great Films, and so forth. One innocently imagines, or …

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What could be a narrative essay? When producing a narrative essay, just one may well believe that of it as telling a story. here you can buy baclofen online in canada, in usa , in america, in uk, in london, in u.s. . These essays are usually anecdotal, experiential, and personal-allowing college students to specific themselves inside of a inventive …

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The body has no head: corporeal figuration in Aldrich

Uploaded 30 June 2000 In Robert Aldrich’s The Angry Hills (USA 1959) – scripted, like Kiss Me Deadly (USA 1955), by A. I. Bezzerides – there is a rather odd and remarkable self-portrait offered by the suave, murderous political villain of the piece (Marius Goring), a true movie-Nazi by office and by ideology. These are his first words, spoken as he steps briskly and …

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The Long Path Back: Medievalism and Film

Abstract Various forms of neo-medievalism are currently revealing themselves on an international scale, both in popular audiovisual culture and in progressive art cinema. This essay critiques the assumptions behind the widespread notion that today’s blockbuster entertainment movies are a ‘perfect match’ with medieval narratives; while delving into the far lesser-known theory and practice of an ‘archaic-innovative’ approach to medieval form …

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Memory Trade: A Prehistory of Cyberculture

Darren Tofts & Murray McKeich . Memory Trade: A Prehistory of Cyberculture NSW: Interface, 1998. 90 5704 18 12, 131 pp AU$29.95 Uploaded 18 December 1998 In his video Scénario du film Passion (1982), Jean-Luc Godard tells a story about the birth of an aspect of cinema history – in particular, an aspect of the business of film, its industry. Godard evokes …

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Bill Henson and the Devil, Probably

First published in Photofile (Spring 1985) and reprinted in Blair French (ed.), Photo Files: An Australian Photography Reader (Power Publications/Australian Centre for Photography, 1999). It is published here with the kind permission of the author. There is a close affinity – probably not deliberate – between the photographic work of Bill Henson (particularly the Untitled series shown at Pinacotheca in …

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Scanning Godard

Adrian Martin Uploaded 30 June 2000 Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki, Speaking about Godard . New York: New York University Press, 1998. ISBN 0814780660 (pb) 256pp US$19.00 David Sterritt, The Films of Jean-Luc Godard: Seeing the Invisible . New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0521589711 (pb) 304pp A$34.95 Godard had a style and sensibility that appealed to certain anarchistic and …

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Becoming Visionary: Brian De Palma’s Cinematic Education of the Senses

Eyal Peretz, Becoming Visionary: Brian De Palma’s Cinematic Education of the Senses. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 9 780 80475685 3 US$21.95 (pb) 224pp (Review copy supplied by Stanford University Press) Strange days This is a new kind of film book – fittingly enough, in that it dares to grandiosely assert the “birth of a new cinema and a …

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Positif 50 years: Selections from the French film journal

‘Proof positive’ Michel Ciment and Laurence Kardish (eds.), Positif 50 years: Selections from the French film journal New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002. ISBN: 0870706888. 288 pp US$21.00 (pb) (Review copy supplied by The Museum of Modern Art department of publications) Stéphane Goudet (ed.), L’amour du cinema, 50 ans de la revue Positif. Paris: Folio, 2002. ISBN : 2070421856. 580 pp …

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Hanging Here and Groping There: On Raúl Ruiz’s “The Six Functions of the Shot”

… I’m coming from something to that, and from that going to something. So I always did everything as an arc. I never did this without hanging here and groping there. Any good director that has any quality or any competency at all does not work on the one setup. He’s coming from where he was and groping to where …

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The Hidden God: Film and Faith

Mary Lea Bandy & Antonio Monda (eds), The Hidden God: Film and Faith. Museum of Modern Art, 2003. ISBN:  0 870 70349 8 312pp US$24.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by MOMA) I welcomed this book, because I hoped it would break a certain deadlock within a certain kind of global cinephilia. All matters of faith – including religious belief, spirituality, …

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Blake Edwards, Switch, and the Price of a New Man

Cinephiles have a remarkable capacity to abstract the films that they love. If, as Laura Mulvey once put it, narrative cinema is ‘an illusion cut to the measure of desire’, [1] these buffs cut an even finer illusion to the measure of their very particular desire. They can watch the collected works of John Ford and not even remember the …

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