rss_2.0Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies Feed’s Myth and Cultural Trauma in Alex Garland’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since its 2015 debut, Alex Garland’s <italic>Ex Machina</italic> has been conceptualized as a creation myth, as a succession myth, as the Pygmalion myth and as the Pandora myth, among others – each of these argumentations acknowledging the permeability between different interpretations. The author argues that <italic>Ex Machina</italic> recodes the myth of Pandora and creates a fertile ground to display cultural traumas that have been affecting women – such as female subordination and oppression caused by a patriarchal structure and stereotypical binary oppositions. Thus, Garland’s film also suggests that the old forms of female oppression might be reaffirmed in the context of the age of technological innovation.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Colours of the Past. Phenomenological Notes on Remediation and Colourization of Black-and-White Footage<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article analyses the problem of colouring black and white archival footage in <italic>Spain in Two Trenches: The Civil War in Colour</italic> (<italic>Espa</italic><italic>ñ</italic><italic>a en dos trincheras . La guerra civil en color</italic>, Francesc Ecribano and Luis Carrizo, 2016), which was made by digitizing and colouring more than 450 surviving films of the Spanish Civil War. The analysis focuses on the kind of affects and perceptual mechanisms which might ensue from the colourization of archival black and white footage, and on the justification of the use of colour to authenticate an event that has already happened. At the beginning of the paper, the author briefly reviews the approaches of the increasingly close relationship between mediatization and memory, then focuses on the justification of colourization in the light of the Spanish documentary and compares it with issues of perceptual realism. In the final part of the analysis, the author examines the historical consequences of the reconfiguration of the past in colour.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Uncanniness of Intermediality. Joanna Hogg’s Eerily Self-Reflexive Cinema<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article argues for the relevance of the concept of the uncanny for a nuanced approach of intermediality. It identifies specific areas where the uncanniness of intermediality appears and examines Joanna Hogg’s three autobiographically inspired films, <italic>The Souvenir</italic> (2019), <italic>The Souvenir Part II</italic> (2021), <italic>and The Eternal Daughter</italic> (2022) from this point of view. The analysis does not offer a psychoanalytic reading of these films but focuses on aesthetic configurations that enable the affective performativity of intermediality in conjunction with particular strategies of reflexivity, and unravels the ways in which, ultimately, all these films speak about the uncanny, mutually haunting relationship between art and life. Blurring the line between fiction and nonfiction, Hogg depicts the paradoxical nature of (post)trauma and the emotional turmoil of mourning feeding into artistic creativity. <italic>The Souvenir</italic> films revolve around the loss of a lover in her youth and weave together different styles and resonances across art history and many mediums. They reveal memory, imagination and palpable reality folding over in an uncanny and aestheticized construction of space and time. <italic>The Eternal Daughter</italic> presents a scenario of caring for her dying mother, and brings to the fore the tropes of the haunted house, ghosts and doubles, which were latent figures of the earlier films as well.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Austen and the Uncanny: The Colonial Past in Patricia Rozema’s Adaptation,<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Neither Jane Austen’s writing, nor film adaptations of her novels made in the heritage film tradition seem particularly uncanny. Linked in the viewers’ minds with the representation of the English countryside stability, the films promote traditional values and take the spectators away from the problems and anxieties of the contemporary status quo. However, Patricia Rozema’s <italic>Mansfield Park</italic> (1999) uses Austen’s plot to question the colonial past by creating uncanny effects. Understood in this paper as an eerie resurfacing of the hidden (following Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Sigmund Freud, John Hodgkins, Barbara Creed), the uncanny becomes a tool for inquiring into how contemporary filmmakers and their audiences revisit old stories. Rozema creates two subplots for the main narrative: a story about an artist’s growth (Fanny Price becomes a writer) and a colonial narrative, which foregrounds the Bertrams’ dependence on their property in Antigua and their use of slave labour. Both plot lines enrich the film with uncanny effects linked to the inherent intermediality of film adaptations. Grotesquely frightening verbal images from Fanny’s writing (extracts from Austen’s <italic>Juvenilia</italic>) and the uncanny visuality of Tom Bertram’s drawings frame the viewer’s revisitation of <italic>Mansfield Park</italic> while reminding him/her of a subversive potential – of the uncanny and film adaptations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Specific Uncanny in Contemporary Video Games<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The academic discourse on the uncanny in video games usually focuses on the phenomenon of the so-called “uncanny valley” (Mori 2012). The article explores the emergence of other, medium-specific occurrences of the effect, prioritizing interactivity as a key factor in its establishment. Two unique areas are particularly prominent in the increasingly photorealistic worlds of video games where uncanny moments associated with the wider, Freudian concept can be found. These are linked to necessary (structuring) and contingent (destructuring) components of the game: namely its heterogeneous ontology and the glitches that may appear in it. The author hypothesizes that these less conceptualized uncanny situations are regular features of the gaming experience and emerge when the immersion in an iconically realistic environment has been broken and eerie absences or ghostly presences pop up either through encounters with the game’s boundaries that result from the technological limitations of the software or the appearance of unintended errors in its processes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue (Inter)Mediality and Photo Futures<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article explores how uncanny feelings may derive from ways in which a medium operates, from its mediality. Consistent with the main source of uncanny feelings identified by Ernst Anton Jentsch and later elaborated on by Sigmund Freud, tensions between the inanimate and the animate are at the centre of the exploration. Such tensions, the article proposes, are implicitly or explicitly intermedial. The malleability of photographic imagery boosted by the computational revolution remaking photographic technology and practices allow for ever more forms of hybrid mediality in which intermedial tensions operate. The proliferation of such tensions suggests that we are likely to see more uncanny mediality in the time ahead. Our uncanny future may further be strengthened by the increasingly autonomous operations of machine learning algorithms that in part relocate agency from humans to machines.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Anxiety. Intermedial Techniques of the Uncanny<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article deals with techniques of the uncanny that are used in horror films, especially in movies that show frames within the image frame and particularly frames of television sets. The author situates the concrete device of framing in the context of medial technology and intermediality, not least the mediality of the television, its representation in movies and the resultant uncanny aspects. Distinctions are then made between the uncanny and anxiety with regard to the effects of framing, especially in relation to the specific status of a framed gaze. The author uses examples from Japanese and US-American horror films.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Landscapes and Affective Encounters in Radu Muntean’s Film,<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper discusses Radu Muntean 2021 film, <italic>Î</italic><italic>ntregalde</italic> focusing on the representation of rural landscapes and the encounter between different social classes. The film marks multiple displacements within the director’s oeuvre, epitomized as “the chronicler” of the middle class in contemporary Romanian cinema. The spatial displacement from middle class urban spaces towards mountain and rural areas and the shift from the distant picturesqueness of landscape to the experience of landscape as dwelling, as inhabited and sensed environment mediated through textural images enables unsettling embodied, affective encounters both with the natural environment and between different social classes. In this way, the film addresses the question of class differences and lays bare the socio-economic inequalities between the urban middle class and the countryside without reducing rural characters to clichéd figurants in a picturesque or sombre countryside decorum. The film’s critical reflection on a form of occasional humanitarian aid and middle class philanthropy does not relativize the concept of charity, altruism and help but rather points to the growing gap of social inequalities (and the crisis of care) in the context of contemporary capitalism.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Representation and Affective Intermediality in and<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This essay presents some results of the author’s current research about the intersections between intermediality and constructivist/constructionist branches of psychology (Kelly 1992; Mascolo and Mancuso 1990), which might prove productive for the study of the representation of emotions in literature. Although with some significant differences, these schools suggest that emotions are at least partly, cultural constructs that aggregate physiological and cultural elements. Some of these theoreticians also suggest that people can experience a discrepancy between what they feel and what they are culturally supposed to feel, and proceed to “work” on their emotions until they achieve the target state. The author’s hypothesis is that the insertion of media representation in prose texts might point to the existence of affective discrepancies and suggest that emotion work is needed in order to achieve a target emotional state. While sometimes “changing” the medium is a successful operation in this sense, in other instances it increases the indeterminacy of the target emotion, especially when we deal with morally ambiguous characters with whom the narrator must negotiate an affective relationship, and which might give rise to an uncanny feeling of ambivalence. The author illustrates this hypothesis while reading two family memoirs that deal with the inheritance of the Second World War, and the URSS, respectively, Martin Pollack’s <italic>Der Tote im Bunker</italic> (<italic>The Dead Man in the Bunker</italic>, 2004) and Katja Petrowskaja’s <italic>Vielleicht Esther</italic> (<italic>Maybe Esther</italic>, 2014), but also suggests that this mechanism is not limited to the use of photographs in memoirs.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Crisis of Care and Uncanny Intersensuality in Sally Potter’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In a world experiencing an ongoing crisis in healthcare, the value of caregiving has become marginalized, the work of carers undervalued and pushed into invisibility. Sally Potter’s film, <italic>The Roads Not Taken</italic> (2020) brings into the domain of the visible the toil of in-home care of the mentally ill, an instance of a “quiet crisis buried in individual lives” (Bunting 2020, 5). <italic>The Roads Not Taken</italic> as an illness narrative of a former writer, now suffering from dementia, being taken care of by his daughter, conveys a liminal case of despaired effort to reach for the Other, in an emotionally immersive manner. The paper explores the film’s uncanny sensations of in-betweenness, with special focus on the unhomeliness and heterotopia of the vulnerable male body, trapped between disconnection from the present and mental journeys into the past, traversing sites across geographic and spiritual borders, captured in intimate close-ups that invite “cinempathy.” The female figure of the caregiver emerges as a site of negotiating between self-sacrifice and self-care, between the deep-felt compassion of private caregiving and the objectifying impersonality of public care services, while just missing a work opportunity, thus experiencing the contradictions of capital and care (Fraser 2016). The film foregrounds unspeakable pains, entangled emotions and unbridgeable gaps, and subtly points at profound anxieties around the care crisis of our times (Dowling 2021).<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Care and Familial Postmemory. On the Uncanny and Affective Intermediality of Analogue Media Use in Recent European Documentaries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Found footage filmmaking, or “archiveology” (Russell, 2008), has become a contemporary mode of understanding the collective past. At the same time, in some recent European documentaries we have a more intimate, personal use of archival (and animated) images. They construct two-strand narrative structures showing both the trauma of losing a parent and the excavation of the unresolved traumas of those ailing and passing. In <italic>Us against Us</italic> (<italic>Noi î</italic><italic>mpotriva noastr</italic><italic>ă</italic>, Andra Tarara, 2021) the director/daughter initiates a highly reflexive video dialogue with her schizophrenic father. <italic>Fragile Memory</italic> (<italic>Крихка пам‘ять</italic>, Igor Ivanko, 2022) is a grandson’s story about a former cameraman affected by Alzheimer’s. Postmemory and post-generational trauma work is in the focus of Aliona van der Horst’s films like <italic>Love is Potatoes</italic> (2017), in which her own mother’s emigration story is recovered through intermediality, or <italic>Turn Your Body to the Sun</italic> (2021), in which the digitally manipulated archival footage accompanies a woman’s quest for her father’s repressed memories. These are all medially hybrid films, which rely on the affordances of intermediality, and which combine present day footage with images from personal or public archives. Archiveology becomes in these films an affective tool in caring for family, and a reflection on the precarity of life and memory in general.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as Intermedial Interjection in Ritwik Ghatak’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The experience of the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak (1925–1976), one of the most unusual filmmakers from South Asia, raises a significant issue, of how ritual can be considered a potent medium to have an intermedial effect within the complex mediality of cinema. The authors examine his film, <italic>The Cloud-Capped Star</italic> (<italic>Meghe Dhaka Tara</italic>, 1960), and show that in order to reach the “screaming point” of his “epic melodrama,” Ghatak borrowed form a forgotten ritual a fragment of a ritualistic song to become the experiential core for the experience of the film. The recurrent refrain of the song, at times the abstracted melody from the song creates a space of uncanny in-betweenness, contrasting positions of anthropological distance to a forgotten ritual with an imaginative yet guilt-ridden, painful projection of the secular self, being a part of that ritual itself.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Bodony: Visual Participatory Action Research and Tiny Publics<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Remake Bodony</italic> is a documentary film, which was collaboratively developed by the inhabitants of Siklósbodony, Hungary in 2017. The article presents an account of the film production process as an organic continuation of two prior participatory visual arts workshops using photovoice and community mural painting. The reconstruction adopts a methodological lens and interprets these participatory activities as three stages of a visual participatory action research project. Three analytic dimensions are introduced: methodological configuration, “tiny publics” (Fine 2012), and the participants’ emerging research questions – to produce an account of the collective thought process occurring in the course of filmmaking.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Camera as a Social Catalyst<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The methodology, practical aspects and social embeddedness of participatory filmmaking and specifically the catalyst method developed by the author are presented in this study through workshop processes in Hungary. While the catalyst method is based on participatory video methodology, it uses film primarily for interpersonal communication, and its main goal is the use of the camera as a group cohesion and intergroup catalyst. The method addresses the representation and self-representation of participants along social fault lines through filmmaking, it is based on the principle of dialogue and aims at community building and participation. The method is hopefully applicable in other countries, as the democratising potential of participatory filmmaking for at least partially redressing existing inequalities can be utilized in other locations as well.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and the Mediated Immersive Flux in Carlos Saura’s Musical Hybrids with Live Feed<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Carlos Saura’s “pure musicals,” as he calls them, are highly based on the formal properties of the image and the expressive use of light in a minimalist scenic space. Although, they have not been declared screendance pieces (as per Rosenberg 2012), which conjoin rhythmic body movements with screen-based, technologically mediated methods of rendering, they are full-fledged screendance examples, being hybrid, symbiotic, and integral (Richard James Allen, 2006). This article concentrates on Saura’s musicals from 2005 onwards – <italic>Flamenco</italic> (1995), <italic>Iberia</italic> (2005), <italic>Fados</italic> (2007), <italic>Flamenco Flamenco</italic> (2010), <italic>Argentina</italic> (<italic>Zonda, folclore argentino</italic>, 2015) and <italic>Jota de Saura</italic> (2016) – particularly the immersive mediation operated through the use of live video feed as an intermedial sensorial device. Saura’s silky, glossy, and lustrous images form an optical-haptic continuum. The twofold bodies, the digital doubles and the flesh-and-bone act as inducers of crystallization in Gilles Deleuze’s perception of modern cinema (1985), inasmuch as they interact and alternate in a cinematic flux, forming a circuit. Thus, an image of a recorded stage performance enters into a relationship with cinema, a medium already endowed with reflective features, producing the crystallization of these screendance films in all their Saurian immersivenness and sensoriality.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, Ethics and Dystopia in by Yorgos Lanthimos<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article discusses <italic>The Lobster</italic> (2015) by Yorgos Lanthimos in connection with the concepts of transcendence and immanence, morality and ethics. This film is a dystopia that critically reveals the relationship between modernity and morality and draws attention with its objections to transcendental moral values. Therefore, in this study, the film is the subject of a discussion mainly focusing on the loss of control of modern individuals over their own lives under the pressure of transcendent values and moral systems that produce hierarchy. The film is evaluated on the axis of Spinoza’s approach to immanence ethics. The distinction between morality and ethics, which stands out in Spinoza’s philosophy of immanence, and the association of morality with transcendence and ethics with immanence form the basis of the analysis of the film. Criticisms of transcendence and morality are hidden in the ironic style that is based on Cartesian oppositions such as nature–culture, good–evil, mind–body, woman–man, rule-illegal, similarity–difference in the film. In addition, the emphasis on the lack of emotion in the film is an important part of the critical style of the film in terms of the role that Spinoza assigns to the affects in the context of activating the conatus.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue MyStreet Movement and Participatory Video<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>What is the future vision of children in a Pupil Referral Unit in North London? How does Budapest’s skateboarding subculture create its own representation? What do Prague residents do on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution? These are a few of the wide-ranging topics explored by the filmmakers of MyStreet. Launched in the early 2010s, the MyStreet project, modelled on the UK’s Mass Observation movement, expanded traditional academic forms of knowledge production to include broad social groups, researching everyday experiences and publishing the videos on a map-based website. This article presents the history and connections between MyStreet and its historical predecessor, the British Mass Observation movement of the 1930s, and then analyses some videos from the collection to examine how MyStreet enables marginalized groups to represent themselves.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Contexts for a Participatory Media Project<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper presents a participatory film intervention focused on young people, which was held within the framework of a grant coordinated by the Minor Media/Culture Research Centre and took place in the form of a summer camp in 2021. After revisiting some historical examples and definitions of participatory film, the author focuses on the concept of displacement as used in film theory and psychology, which he attempts to redefine and thereby reverse its negative connotations. The author analyses the catalyst method, one of the various forms of implementing participatory video as a visual research method, which was the one used in the research described here. The participatory film methodology based on the camera-as-catalyst is meant to foster inter-group collaboration through camera use in order to achieve a free performance and interplay of identities and ultimately to strengthen social cohesion. Beyond the emancipatory intent, the diachronic and synchronic case studies are also linked by the fact that most of the projects were also collaborations with young people, as was the case in the Minor Media summer camp. In the final section, the author analyses the films made by the young people in terms of their relation to contemporary popular culture and the performance of adolescent identities defined by liminality.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Power of Close-ups and the Poetics of Silence: by Forough Farrokhzad<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>The House is Black</italic> is a lyrical documentary by a modernist Iranian poet and filmmaker, Forough Farrokhzad. It is a kind of symbolic visual poem about leper patients of a leprosarium in Iran made in 1962, which transcends time and place. This paper describes the ways in which the emphasis on the human body, references to historical and religious sources, and the use of the Biblical verses replace conventional interviews to create a narrative in the film. Utilizing Gilles Deleuze’s concept of affect, the paper analyses the camera’s focus on hands and feet, in contrast to absent facial expressions, which engages the audience.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Stakeholder Spectrum. The History and the Current State of Participatory Film in Hungary<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Research Centre for Minor Media/Culture (founded at the Department of Media and Communication, ELTE University, Hungary) includes a number of research areas and work processes. One of them is to reveal the history and to map the actual state of the participatory film in Hungary, concieved not just as a visual social research method, but as a wide spectrum on which there are many different examples according to the depth and nature of the involvement of the stakeholders. The academic activities in the Research Centre cover the historical and theoretical aspects of participatory film, its foreign and Hungarian antecedents, contemporary national and international examples. Following the definitions of the field and examples from abroad, the author attempts to delimit the possible sub-themes that belong or could belong to the scope of participatory film. The author also mentions some aspects that seem useful for the analysis of the research topics, specifically film examples. From these varied examples a broad repository of participatory-based film will hopefully emerge: the stakeholder spectrum.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue