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Core course - Strand 1: Theorising Moving Images

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Strand 1: Theorising Moving Images

Michaelmas term, Thursdays, 1-3pm, weeks 1-8 (unless otherwise stated)

1.   Ontology

John David Rhodes (jdr42@cam.ac.uk)

Reading

  • Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, Richard Howard, trans. (London: Vintage, 2000 [1980]). (If possible, students should acquire their own copies of Camera Obscura).
  • André Bazin, "The Ontology of the Photographic Image.” In What is Cinema?. Volume I. Hugh Gray, ed. and trans. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), pp. 9-16.
  • Jonathan Beller, ‘Camera Obscura After All: The Racist Writing with Light’, The Message is Murder: Substrates of Computational Capital (London: Pluto Press, 2018), 99-114.

Further Reading

  • Phil Rosen, Change Mummified: Cinema, Historicity, Theory (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2001).

Screening

  • Electrocuting an Elephant (Edison, 1903)
  • How It Feels to Be Run Over (Hepworth, 1900)
  • Mothlight (Stan Brakhage,1963)
  • Blow Job (Andy Warhol, 1963)
  • Dyketactics (Barbara Hammer, 1974)
  • The Girl Chewing Gum (John Smith, 1976)

 

2. The Aesthetic

John David Rhodes

Reading  

  • Immanuel KantThe Critique of the power of judgment, Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews, trans. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000 [1790]), pp. 89-127; 182-187.
  • Gilles Deleuze, 'Having an Idea in Cinema', G. Deleuze & F. Guattari,  New Mappings in Politics, Philosophy and Culture, Eleanor Kaufman and Kevin Jon Heller, eds. (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), pp. 14-19.
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini, “The ‘Cinema of Poetry’”, in Heretical Empiricism, Louise K. Barnett, ed., Ben Lawton and Louise K. Barnett, trans. (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988), pp. 167-186.

 Further Reading

  • Jacques Rancière, The Politics of Aesthetics, Gabriel Rockhill, trans. (London: Continuum, 2004), pp. 12-34 and 42-45.

Screening  

  • Bamako (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2006)

 

3. Form and Medium

John David Rhodes

Reading

  • G.W.F. Hegel, Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art, Vol. I T.M. Knox, trans. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975 [1835]), pp. 1-55.
  • Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Ben Fowkes, trans. (London: Penguin 1990), Chapter 7, Part 1 'The Labour Process', pp. 283-292.
  • Maya Deren, An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form, and Film, in Essential Deren, Bruce R. McPherson, ed. (Kingston, NY: Documentext, 2005), pp. 35-109.

Further Reading

  • Erwin Panofksy, Perspective as Symbolic Form, Christopher S. Wood, trans. (New York: Zone Books, 1997).
  • Peter Bürger, Theory of the Avant-Garde, Michael Shaw, trans. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), pp. 55-82.
  • David Bordwell, Narration in the Fiction Film (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), pp. 3-47; 48-62.
  • Bernard Siegert, ‘Doors: On the Materiality of the Symbolic’, John Durhan Peters, trans. Grey Room 47 (Spring 2012), pp. 6-23.
  • Lorenz Engell, ‘Ontogenetic machinery’, Radical Philosophy 169 (September-October 2011), pp. 10-12.

Screening

  • Ritual in Transfigured Time (Maya Deren, 1946)
  • Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)

 

4. Watching

John David Rhodes

Reading

Further Reading

Screening

  • Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
  • Quality Control (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2011)

 

5. Time

Laura McMahon (lcm31@cam.ac.uk)

Reading

  • Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time-Image, translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta (London and New York: Continuum, 2005) - Preface, Translators’ Introduction and Chapter 1.
  • Elena del Río, ‘Performing the narrative of seduction: Claire Denis’ Beau Travail (Good Work, 1999)’, Kinoeye, 3:7 (2003), https://www.kinoeye.org/03/07/delrio07.php

Further reading

  • Martine Beugnet, Claire Denis (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004); Cinema and Sensation: French Film and the Art of Transgression (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007)
  • Claire Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze (London: Routledge, 2002).
  • Mary Ann Doane, The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2002), pp. 1-32.
  • Douglas Morrey, ed., ‘Special Issue: Claire Denis and Jean-Luc Nancy’, Film-Philosophy, 12.1 (2008) <http://www.film-philosophy.com/index.php/f-p/issue/view/11>
  • Laura Mulvey, 'Passing Time', in Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (London: Reaktion, 2006), pp. 17-32.
  • Jean-Luc Nancy, ‘A-religion’, Journal of European Studies, 34:1/2 (2004), 14-18.
  • Elena del Río, Deleuze and the Cinemas of Performance: Powers of Affection (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008)
  • David Rodowick, Gilles Deleuze’s Time Machine (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997).

Screening 

  • Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)

 

6. Sensation

Emma Widdis (ekw1000@cam.ac.uk)

Reading

Screening

  • Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov,1929)

Further screening

  • Film Eye (Dziga Vertov, 1924)
  • Three Songs of Lenin (Dziga Vertov, 1934)
  • The New World (Terence Malick, 2005)

 

7. Exclusions

John David Rhodes

Reading

Further reading

  • Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014).
  • Colin DayanThe Law is a White Dog: how legal rituals make and unmake persons (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011)
  • Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (Routledge: 1993), pp. 121-140.
  • bell hooks, ‘Is Paris Burning?’. In Black Looks: Race and Representation, (Boston: South End Press, 1992) , pp. 145-156.
  • Eva CherniavskyIncorporations: Race, Nation, and the Body Politics of Capital (Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), pp. 71-99.
  • Meg Wesling, ‘Queer Value’glqA Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 18:1 (2012), pp. 107-125.
  • Susan Sontag, ‘Notes on Camp’. In Against Interpretation (New York: Dell Publishing, 1966), pp. 275-292.
  • Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (Oakland, CA; Brooklyn, NY: PM Press; Autonomedia, 2012).
  • Alyson Nadia Field, Jan-Christopher Horak, and Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015).
  • Cheryl Harris, 'Whiteness as Property'Harvard Law Review 106:8 (June 1993), pp. 1707-91.

Screening

  • Several Friends (Charles Burnett, 1969)
  • Sodom (Luther Price, 1989)
  • Atlantiques (Mati Diop, 2009)
  • Formation (Beyoncé Knowles, Melina Matsoukas, 2016)

Further Screening

  • Paris is Burning (Jenny Livingston, 1990)
  • Mariposas en el Andamio (Butterflies on the Scaffold,  Margaret Gilpin and Luis Felipe Bernaza; 1996)
  • Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)

 

8.  Post-

John David Rhodes

Reading

  • Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991), pp. 1-54.
  • Steven Shaviro, Post Cinematic Affect (London: Zero Books, 2010), pp. 11-34.
  • Rosi Braidotti, ‘Introduction’, The Posthuman (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013), pp. 1-12

Screening

  • Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
  • Corporate Cannibal (Grace Jones [performer] and Nick Hooker [director], 2008)

Further reading

  • Donna J. Haraway, When Species Meet (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2007)
  • Cary Wolfe, What is Posthumanism? (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), pp. xi-xxxiv.