Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Film Studies Related Abstracts

5 The United States Film Industry and Its Impact on Latin American Identity Rationalizations

Authors: Alfonso J. García Osuna

Abstract:

Background and Significance: The objective of this paper is to analyze the inception and development of identity archetypes in early XX century Latin America, to explore their roots in United States culture, to discuss the influences that came to bear upon Latin Americans as the United States began to export images of standard identity paradigms through its film industry, and to survey how these images evolved and impacted Latin Americans’ ideas of national distinctiveness from the early 1900s to the present. Therefore, the general hypothesis of this work is that United States film in many ways influenced national identity patterning in its neighbors, especially in those nations closest to its borders, Cuba and Mexico. Very little research has been done on the social impact of the United States film industry on the country’s southern neighbors. From a historical perspective, the US’s influence has been examined as the projection of political and economic power, that is to say, that American influence is seen as a catalyst to align the forces that the US wants to see wield the power of the State. But the subtle yet powerful cultural influence exercised by film, the eminent medium for exporting ideas and ideals in the XX century, has not been significantly explored. Basic Methodologies and Description: Gramscian Marxist theory underpins the study, where it is argued that film, as an exceptional vehicle for culture, is an important site of political and social struggle; in this context, it aims to show how United States capitalist structures of power not only use brute force to generate and maintain control of overseas markets, but also promote their ideas through artistic products such as film in order to infiltrate the popular culture of subordinated peoples. In this same vein, the work of neo-Marxist theoreticians of popular culture is employed in order to contextualize the agency of subordinated peoples in the process of cultural assimilations. Indication of the Major Findings of the Study: The study has yielded much data of interest. The salient finding is that each particular nation receives United States film according to its own particular social and political context, regardless of the amount of pressure exerted upon it. An example of this is the unmistakable dissimilarity between Cuban and Mexican reception of US films. The positive reception given in Cuba to American film has to do with the seamless acceptance of identity paradigms that, for historical reasons discussed herein, were incorporated into the national identity grid quite unproblematically. Such is not the case with Mexico, whose express rejection of identity paradigms offered by the United States reflects not only past conflicts with the northern neighbor, but an enduring recognition of the country’s indigenous roots, one that precluded such paradigms. Concluding Statement: This paper is an endeavor to elucidate the ways in which US film contributed to the outlining of Latin American identity blueprints, offering archetypes that would be accepted or rejected according to each nation’s particular social requirements, constraints and ethnic makeup.

Keywords: Film Studies, Latin America, United States, identity studies

Procedia PDF Downloads 191
4 The Significance of Urban Space in Death Trilogy of Alejandro González Iñárritu

Authors: Marta Kaprzyk

Abstract:

The cinema of Alejandro González Iñárritu hasn’t been subjected to a lot of detailed analysis yet, what makes it an exceptionally interesting research material. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the significance of urban space in three films of this Mexican director, that forms Death Trilogy: ‘Amores Perros’ (2000), ‘21 Grams’ (2003) and ‘Babel’ (2006). The fact that in the aforementioned movies the urban space itself becomes an additional protagonist with its own identity, psychology and the ability to transform and affect other characters, in itself warrants for independent research and analysis. Independently, such mode of presenting urban space has another function; it enables the director to complement the rest of characters. The basis for methodology of this description of cinematographic space is to treat its visual layer as a point of departure for a detailed analysis. At the same time, the analysis itself will be supported by recognised academic theories concerning special issues, which are transformed here into essential tools necessary to describe the world (mise-en-scène) created by González Iñárritu. In ‘Amores perros’ the Mexico City serves as a scenery – a place full of contradictions- in the movie depicted as a modern conglomerate and an urban jungle, as well as a labyrinth of poverty and violence. In this work stylistic tropes can be found in an intertextual dialogue of the director with photographies of Nan Goldin and Mary Ellen Mark. The story recounted in ‘21 Grams’, the most tragic piece in the trilogy, is characterised by almost hyperrealistic sadism. It takes place in Memphis, which on the screen turns into an impersonal formation full of heterotopias described by Michel Foucault and non-places, as defined by Marc Augé in his essay. By contrast, the main urban space in ‘Babel’ is Tokio, which seems to perfectly correspond with the image of places discussed by Juhani Pallasmaa in his works concerning the reception of the architecture by ‘pathological senses’ in the modern (or, even more adequately, postmodern) world. It’s portrayed as a city full of buildings that look so surreal, that they seem to be completely unsuitable for the humans to move between them. Ultimately, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate the coherence of the manner in which González Iñárritu designs urban spaces in his Death Trilogy. In particular, the author attempts to examine the imperative role of the cities that form three specific microcosms in which the protagonists of the Mexican director live their overwhelming tragedies.

Keywords: Film Studies, Urban Space, cinematographic space, Death Trilogy, González Iñárritu Alejandro

Procedia PDF Downloads 150
3 Using Two-Mode Network to Access the Connections of Film Festivals

Authors: Qiankun Zhong

Abstract:

In a global cultural context, film festival awards become authorities to define the aesthetic value of films. To study which genres and producing countries are valued by different film festivals and how those evaluations interact with each other, this research explored the interactions between the film festivals through their selection of movies and the factors that lead to the tendency of film festivals to nominate the same movies. To do this, the author employed a two-mode network on the movies that won the highest awards at five international film festivals with the highest attendance in the past ten years (the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival) and the film festivals that nominated those movies. The title, genre, producing country and language of 50 movies, and the range (regional, national or international) and organizing country or area of 129 film festivals were collected. These created networks connected by nominating the same films and awarding the same movies. The author then assessed the density and centrality of these networks to answer the question: What are the film festivals that tend to have more shared values with other festivals? Based on the Eigenvector centrality of the two-mode network, Palm Springs, Robert Festival, Toronto, Chicago, and San Sebastian are the festivals that tend to nominate commonly appreciated movies. In contrast, Black Movie Film Festival has the unique value of generally not sharing nominations with other film festivals. A homophily test was applied to access the clustering effects of film and film festivals. The result showed that movie genres (E-I index=0.55) and geographic location (E-I index=0.35) are possible indicators of film festival clustering. A blockmodel was also created to examine the structural roles of the film festivals and their meaning in real-world context. By analyzing the same blocks with film festival attributes, it was identified that film festivals either organized in the same area, with the same history, or with the same attitude on independent films would occupy the same structural roles in the network. Through the interpretation of the blocks, language was identified as an indicator that contributes to the role position of a film festival. Comparing the result of blockmodeling in the different periods, it is seen that international film festivals contrast with the Hollywood industry’s dominant value. The structural role dynamics provide evidence for a multi-value film festival network.

Keywords: Film Studies, Network Analysis, Media Industry Studies, film festivals

Procedia PDF Downloads 168
2 An Exploration of Early Cinematic Technology (1890s-1920s) and Shifting Cinematic Styles

Authors: Adam L. Miller

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to look back to the very beginning of cinematic history and explore the connection between the differing technology used, and the varying styles adopted by early filmmakers. The paper will be structured chronologically, first looking at the advances that predated Thomas Edison and his Kinetograph and Kinetogram. This paper will then explore how Edison’s technology and films varied from the Lumiere brothers and their Cinematograph. Finally, the paper will go on to draw parallels and differences between French filmmakers such as Alice Guy and George Melies, and American filmmakers like Edwin S. Porter and D. W. Griffith.

Keywords: Film Studies, early cinema, silent cinema, early cinematic technology, Thomas Edison, Alice Guy, George Melies, Edwin S. Porter, Lumiere brothers, D. W. Griffith

Procedia PDF Downloads 4
1 Cinema Reception in a Digital World: A Study of Cinema Audiences in India

Authors: Sanjay Ranade

Abstract:

Traditional film theory assumes the cinema audience in a darkened room where cinema is projected on to a white screen, and the audience suspends their sense of reality. Shifts in audiences due to changes in cultural tastes or trends have been studied for decades. In the past two decades, however, the audience, especially the youth, has shifted to digital media for the consumption of cinema. As a result, not only are audiences watching cinema on different devices, they are also consuming cinema in places and ways never imagined before. Public transport often crowded to the brim with a lot of ambient content, and a variety of workplaces have become sites for cinema viewing. Cinema is watched piecemeal and at different times of the day. Audiences use devices such as mobile phones and tablets to watch cinema. The cinema viewing experience is getting redesigned by the user. The emerging design allows the spectator to not only consume images and narratives but also produce, reproduce, and manipulate existing images and narratives, thereby participating in the process and influencing it. Spectatorship studies stress on the importance of subjectivity when dealing with the structure of the film text and the cultural and psychological implications in the engagement between the spectator and the film text. Indian cinema has been booming and contributing to global movie production significantly. In 2005 film production was 1000 films a year and doubled to 2000 by 2016. Digital technology helped push this growth in 2012. Film studies in India have had a decided Euro-American bias. The studies have chiefly analysed the content for ideological leanings or myth or as reflections of society, societal changes, or articulation of identity or presented retrospectives of directors, actors, music directors, etc. The one factor relegated to the background has been the spectator. If they have been addressed, they are treated as a collective of class or gender. India has a performative tradition going back several centuries. How Indians receive cinema is an important aspect to study with respect to film studies. This exploratory and descriptive study looked at 162 young media students studying cinema at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The students, speaking as many as 20 languages amongst them, were drawn from across the country’s media schools. The study looked at nine film societies registered with the Federation of Film Societies of India. A structured questionnaire was made and distributed online through media teachers for the students. The film societies were approached through the regional office of the FFSI in Mumbai. Lastly, group discussions were held in Mumbai with students and teachers of media. A group consisted of between five and twelve student participants, along with one or two teachers. All the respondents looked at themselves as spectators and shared their experiences of spectators of cinema, providing a very rich insight into Indian conditions of viewing cinema and challenges for cinema ahead.

Keywords: Film Studies, Digital, audience, reception, reception spectatorship

Procedia PDF Downloads 1