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Henry M. Taylor: Frames, Cons, and Double-Crosses: The Theatrical Cinema of David Mamet

"The first crucial concept is that characters are entirely defined by, and exist solely in and through their actions: 'The truth is, you never have to establish the character. In the first place, there is no such thing as character other than the habitual action, as Mr. Aristotle told us two thousand years ago. It just doesn't exist. Here or in Hollywood or otherwise. They always talk about the character out there in Hollywood, and the fact is, there is no such thing. It doesn't exist. The character is just habitual action. 'Character' is exactly what the person literally does in pursuit of the superobjective, the objective of the scene. The rest doesn't count.' " Read more...

Jochen Dubiel: „Sein ist Wahrgenommenwerden“: Spätmoderne Erzählstrategie und Epistemologie in Michelangelo Antonionis Blow-Up

"Peter Brunette stellt darüberhinaus eine bedeutsame inhaltliche Verschiebung fest: „it was completely different from his earlier films, because now he was examining the relationship between an individual and reality, rather than interpersonal relations.“ Die nachfolgende Betrachtung impliziert eine Revision dieser These, indem sie der Frage nachgeht, welche hermeneutischen Konsequenzen für das Verhältnis von Individuum, Realität und zwischenmenschlicher Beziehung tatsächlich aus Antonionis formaler Raffinesse der in Blow-Up verfolgten spätmodernen Erzählstrategie resultieren." Read more...

Jens Nepper: The Portrayal of Lucifer in Alan Parker’s Angel Heart

"In relation to Christian iconography, the portrayal and role of Lucifer in Alan Parker’s Angel Heart (1987) is quite interesting in a number of ways. The name, Louis Cyphre, has a phonetic and phonological similarity to the name Lucifer, which is a very intelligent and subtle way of handing the film’s protagonist, Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke), and the viewer a clue as to who he really is. " Read more...

Jerome Philipp Schäfer: Der gespaltene Blick: Rezeption und Psychologie des Horrorfilms in Nosferatu, Psycho und The Hills Have Eyes

"Was es in diesem Bereich nachzuholen gilt, lässt sich bündig zusammenfassen: es wird einerseits ein für den Film allgemein gültiges und als Verbindungsstück zwischen Bedeutung und Wirkung funktionierendes Identifikationsmodell benötigt, mit dem sich das Vorstrukturieren des Rezeptionsprozesses entziffern lässt, andererseits muss gezeigt werden, dass die Lust am Horror kein rein inhaltliches Phänomen ist, sondern in vielen Bereichen über die Vermittlungsebene hervorgerufen wird. " Read more...

Sarah Boslaugh: The opening montage in William Friedkin’s The Boys in the Band: an appreciation

"There may be two or three old ladies in Brixton who haven’t heard about it yet, but everyone else knows the story of Mart Crowley’s 1968 play The Boys in the Band. It was a groundbreaking theatrical work which focused on a group of gay friends in New York and ran for over a thousand performances." Read more...

Jens Nepper: Last-Minute-Revelation: The Postmodern Aspects of Angel Heart

"Angel Heart, which is based on William Hjortsberg's Faustian detective novel Falling Angel (1978), was written and directed by Alan Parker and released theatrically in 1987. Mickey Rourke puts up with a career-highlight performance as detective Harry Angel while Robert De Niro makes an everlasting impression as the noble, elusive and, ultimately, horrifying Louis Cyphre." Read more...

Jerome Philipp Schäfer: Dziga Vertov und das Kinoauge

"Bei der Betrachtung der Entwicklung des Dokumentarfilms bis hin zur heutigen Genre- und Fernsehformat-Dokumentation wird deutlich, dass Vertovs Kunstwerk am Anfang dieser Entwicklung steht. Denn in seinem Werk, d.h. in seinen Dokumentarfilmen und Schriften, finden sich allgemein gültige Theorien, die noch heute von Bedeutung sind, obwohl sie meist einem filmästhetische Kontext entspringen, der ganz seiner Zeit verhaftet ist." Read more...

Jens Nepper: The Ebb and Flow of the Erotic Thriller Genre in the US

"Mickey Rourke may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of softcore cinema, but a closer study of his appearances in erotic softcore films can be tied in with a rather interesting historical development of the aforementioned genre, its cultural impact and its rise to success within mainstream cinema, as well as its drift away from impressive sales figures at the box office." Read more...

Daniel Garrett: Shakespeare Behind Bars: On Crime and Punishment, Literature, and Film Technology

Shakespeare Behind Bars

"Visual art that is about more than one thing could be among the richest works to think upon: and yet often films and videos are reduced to only one of their elements, such as the story, a moral, or film form. With a video film documentary such as Shakespeare Behind Bars, a work about men in prison who put on a play, William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and how that play inspires them to face facts and feelings in their own lives, there is the opportunity not only to think about film—or film and video—and to think about film criticism, but also to think about the relationship of video to film, and the relationship of literature to film, and the uses of Shakespeare in film. " Read more...

Joerg Sternagel: Sensations of a Breakthrough Performance: Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line

Walk the Line (Fox, 2005)

"In Walk the Line, Reese Witherspoon draws to our attention from the beginning without losing it through the film. Excluding all technical and stylistic devices and circumstances, her performance alone gets us involved and leaves us fascinated, because it offers well-balanced and well-placed notions of sense of humour, charm, and self-reflection in all her appearances." Read more...

Joerg Sternagel: Weight Watching: Method Acting as a Label and Subtext in The Machinist

Walk the Line (Filmax/Castelao/Paramount, 2004)

"Christian Bale’s body can be »thought through«: The viewer is guided not to watch, but to scrutinize his body. Therefore, I suggest to work on a close analysis of the corporeality of the actor’s body, acknowledging the connection between actor and spectator in a system of energy transference seeking to optimize the effect of a direct, immediate experience. Within this system, the actor manages to refigurate the imaged body and simultaneously achieves the resensitization of the spectator’s body. " Read more...

Daniel Garrett: A Reading of Elizabethtown: Ruining plans; reconciling aesthetics and life

Elizabethtown (Paramount, 2005)

"What is beauty in language and thought? Beauty in language and thought is eloquence, fine feeling, insight, and wit; and it is language suffused with the imagination of the connections among the realities that do exist and imagination of connections that might come to exist. Cameron Crowe wrote the script for the film Elizabethtown, and I like the script more than I liked the completed film: it’s a beautiful screenplay; and it is the words on the page that incline me to think that the film might one day be rediscovered and acclaimed—even acclaimed a classic." Read more...

Daniel Garrett: The American Sublime, the Sublime American: The New World by Terrence Malick

The New World (New Line, 2005)

"Pocahontas might have brought all things together in her world, and something similar could be said of Terrence Malick: how many filmmakers get a viewer to think about the founding of America and transgressive love, dream and truth, Heidegger and Native American spirituality, pain and healing, Thoreau and film criticism? The sublime—the gorgeous presence of all things, and the shared energy in all living beings, and the choices involved in whether to go on living and how to live in knowledge of the facts of love, war, and death—is what Malick sees and shares, and what we, with varying efforts and success, come to perceive in The New World." Read more...

Stefan Schmidl: There’s something about Leonardo - From science of the enigmatic to puzzling cinema

The Last Supper

"Ron Howard’s screen adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code (2006) is likely to be considered as a temporary highlight of a long series of popular conspiracy and mystery movies dealing with art. However, the origins of this particular genre can be found partly in European turn of the century science." Read more...

Daniel Garrett: Akeelah and the Bee, and Popular Film Art. Also, Thank You for Smoking, L’Enfant, Three Times, and more

Akeelah and the Bee (Lionsgate 2006).

"Akeelah’s story is filled with new associates, new words, new tests, new places; and she is becoming a new person. The elements in her story can be compared and contrasted with some of the elements in the other films under consideration: Thank You for Smoking, L’Enfant, V for Vendetta, Lucky Number Slevin, Mission Impossible 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, Three Times, The Da Vinci Code, and Art School Confidential." Read more...

Daniel Garrett: I Like You but... Friends with Money

Friends with Money (Sony Classics 2006).

"Friends with Money, directed by Nicole Holofcener, is a film that presents a situation that is probably easy for many people to relate to: other people of your acquaintance have more money, more happiness, or more something than you do. How do you feel about that? How do they feel about you? What are the consequences for your relationships, and do those consequences signify anything more?" Read more...

Daniel Garrett: Reparation: Inside Man, a Film by Spike Lee. On knowledge and pleasure, right and wrong

Inside Man (Imagine/Universal 2006).

"Doesn’t human experience cost something, and not only to one person—such as a bank president, or rich man, who has made some of his money in very questionable ways? Doesn’t it cost something to the rest of us? Does accepting a crime, for whatever reason, have implications for our sense of morality? If a thief is stolen from, is the theft still a theft? Is injuring an immoral man an immoral act? Is reporting and gaining justice for one crime—an old crime—an acceptable substitute for the enactment and handling of a new crime?" Read more...

Daniel Garrett: The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (SGdF 1928).

"La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc), starring Renee Maria Falconetti as the inspired young peasant woman warrior, directed by Denmark's Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968), is a black-and-white silent film that has long been acclaimed a classic. Dreyer's film is based on the actual transcripts of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc, adapted by Dreyer and Joseph Delteil. It is often interesting to see a work considered a classic and to ask, Why? Are the values that established its worth still applicable today? Are the pleasures or profundities it offered yesterday still available today?" Read more...

Justin Vicari: My Own Private Casablanca

"To accept, to go down, to succumb — all of these hopeless gestures nonetheless register a protest against the nature and order of things. The exhaustion and disillusionment produced by the constant “dog-eat-dog” struggle of life is evinced in Fassbinder’s characters as a kind of chronic depression, and also as those desperate, impulsive acts of violence by which they try to break out of the futile, defeating cycles they find themselves trapped in." Read more...

Richard Stanwick: A History of Violence Film Analysis

A History of Violence (New Line, 2005)

"In HOV, the hero’s journey is reconstructed from the middle. His postmodern displacement remains entrenched in the quicksand of historical violence which he refuses to acknowledge. When confronted as to the origins of his violent past and his own misdeeds, Cronenberg depicts him as a lost child who repeats Jesus’ answer when confronted by the question of TRUTH. But unlike Jesus, Joey Stall Cain seems to have forgotten his past and feeds on self-deception." Read more...

Joachim Allgaier: Beschleunigte Untote: Über das Auftreten lebender Toter im Film und die Transitionen eines Genres

Dawn of the Dead (Laurel Group, 1978

"Diese Transformation vom ,Shambler' zum ‚Sprinter' in der Gestalt des Zombies hat etwa in unzähligen Diskussionsforen im Internet zu Empörung geführt. Gemeinhin, so wurde bislang angenommen, sollten die lebenden Toten als langsam und unkoordiniert vor sich hin schlurfende Wesen dargestellt werden. Die Langsamkeit und Begriffsstutzigkeit der lebenden Toten hat in unzähligen Filmen zudem oft ein komödiantisches Element beherbergt. Liebhaber des ‚klassischen' Zombiefilms lehnen eine Beschleunigung der lebenden Toten strikt ab und in der einen oder anderen halboffiziellen Verlautbarung wurde bereits darauf hingewiesen, dass auch George Romero dem schwankenden Gang und der begriffsstutzigen Natur der ‚Shambler' Zombies treu bleiben will." Read more...

Samara Allsop: More than This: Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation (American Zoetrope/Constantin/Universal, 2003)

"... Lost in Translation is making a statement about cultural identity and norms, namely that 'Otherness' does not only have to apply to the culturally marginalised (as is often argued about 'orientalism' and the idea of 'other') but rather that it is an ambiguous term and by it's very definition can be applied to any traveller anywhere. The 'Other' can "...include a battery of desires, repressions, investments and projections."[4] and Coppola has expressed this with all the character's within the film." Read more...

Robert Castle: Being There with The King of Comedy: Television Seen From the Other Direction

Being There (Lorimar/UA, 1979

"Nowhere does the other-directed type express himself better than through the characterization of Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy (1982). Being There embraces the moral and intellectual consequences of television’s presence, and in this regard does not mortally offend a movie audience weaned on television. While the character of Chance embodies something horrible, it’s horrible at a distance through the satiric mode. And that’s where Being There bags its audience, implicating us like those in the film dealing with Chance because we think we “understand” and can master him/television.
Read more...

Manuel Scheidegger: The Man Who Wasn't There: Quantenmechanik und Kafka. Intertextualität als narratives Programm

The Man Who Wasn't There (Good Maschine/Constantin/USA, 2001)

"Ed Crane wie Josef K., Kafkas Hauptperson im Roman Der Prozess, glauben an die Prinzipien des Rechtsstaats. Das Gericht ist für sie die von der Gesellschaft institutionalisierte Instanz, deren objektive Urteile eine Massgabe schaffen müssten, auf die man sich beziehen kann. Beide erfahren eine andere Realität. Wo für Josef K. nicht einmal der Gerichtsapparat an sich erkennbar wird, muss Crane ähnlich Schlimmes in Kauf nehmen: die Durchsichtigkeit des gerichtlichen Verfahrens ist nicht gewährleistet. Wahrheit spielt hier keine Rolle mehr. „Where is the judge?“ ist denn auch sinnigerweise die von Frank Raffo wiederholt beunruhigt gestellte Frage (Coen/Coen 2001)." Read more...

Adam Bingham: Cinema of Sadness: Hou Hsiao-hsien and 'New Taiwanese Film'

"If it is the case that China, and its ‘fifth generation’ of filmmakers have, arguably, come to exemplify the Asian cultural and cinematic renaissance of the past 20 years more than their neighbouring countries, then it should also be noted (again arguably) that the richest strain of this revival, and indeed of the latter directorial tendency outlined above, is to be found in Taiwan. And, further still, in the work of Hou Hsiao-hsien, a filmmaker who has undoubtedly done the most to cultivate a distinct and distinctive national and cinematic identity for his country, as well as developing one of the most idiosyncratic filmic styles in contemporary cinema."

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Matthew Sharpe: Repetition: The Ring and the Diabolical Imaginary

The Ring (Dreamworks, 2002)

"In Lacan’s view, that is, the repressed letters that have become associated with the prohibited drives want to be recognised in words. The letter wants to return to its destination. My point for a reading of The Ring (both versions) is that the video that the people see within it, seven days before their letter fatally arrives at its destination, seems to precisely match the description of the early Lacanian symbol-symptom."

Seyda Ozturk: Simulation Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded (Village Roadshow/Warner, 2003)

"When the makers of the Matrix movies signify the possibility of other simulations behind the VR in the sequel film, they overturn the very dichotomies of real/virtual, essence/appearance they represented in the first movie. They can be said to be replacing the Platonism of The Matrix with its very questioning and the brand mark motto of the first film “What is the Matrix?” with a new brand question “What is Real?”"

Crissa-Jean Chappell: Alain Resnais and Atom Egoyan

Calendar (Ego/Zeitgeist, 1993)

"In the hypnotic films of the Canadian auteur, Atom Egoyan, voyeurism lurks everywhere, cataloguing existence, replicating reality, reducing human beings to digital fragments. He fills his minimal scripts with visual metaphors and carries them from one work to the next, often using technology to create a cold, calculated ambiance. Egoyan, much like Resnais, forces viewers to approach his films like detectives, piecing the narrative from broken fragments. In certain ways, Egoyan takes Resnais’s concerns further — or brings them up to date. On the other hand, Egoyan’s work doesn’t seem to have the focus on literature, or on the relationship between cinema and literature. Instead, Egoyan focuses on television and other media."

Matthew M. Wylie: Avoiding the Masculine "Gaze": Frustrated Homosexual Desire and the Eroticized Role of the Camera In Hitchcock's Rear Window and Antonioni's Blow Up

"Rather than argue that Jefferies' voyeurism is an attempt to locate an "absence that will block his own homosexual desire," I will claim that Jefferies seeks, through rear window voyeurism, an identification and gratification that stems from fixating on the phallus, or body-totality of the male-in particular, Lars Thorwald. Moreover, by taking a brief comparative look at both Hitchcock's Rear Window and Antonioni's Blow up, I would like to point out that in these cinematic texts the male subject prefers to identify sexually with either another man or himself (masturbation) before he finds his desire stimulated or realized in the Other / Female."

Rear Window (Paramount, 1954)

Robert Blanchet: Ein Bond ist nicht genug

Dr. No (Eon/MGM, 1962)

"Zum 20. mal kehrte James Bond mit Die Another Day im November in die Kinos zurück. Seinen ersten Leinwand-Auftritt hatte der britische Nobelagent vor 40 Jahren. Anlass genug, um auf die Ursprünge des erfolgreichsten Filmfranchises der Kinogeschichte zurückzublicken."

Richard Stanwick: Magnolia Film Analysis

"Although Magnolia can be viewed through many prisms, including a religious realm where conflicted sinners are trapped by their history of transgressions in past relationships ("we are done with the past but the past is not done with us"), I will consider as well some of its existentialist, psychological and postmodern foundations. One of the film's evaluations results in the disconcerting realization that religious belief in typical postmodern fashion, is evaluated by the standards of pop culture as just another item to be considered, partially consumed and discarded, and replaced instead by an inversion of Kierkegaard's leap of faith from god into the laps of wayward and unreliable humans."

Magnolia (New Line, 1999)

Eckart Voigts-Virchow: "Goodbye suspense goodbye"? Postmodern TV Crime in The Singing Detective and Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

"In 1990, Dennis Potter wrote a draft version of a screenplay based on D.M. Thomas's novel The White Hotel for director David Lynch. Even if the screenplay was never produced (there seem to be current plans of an Emir Kusturica version), there is a professional connection between the two leading 1980s and 1990s postmodern TV 'authors' of audiovisual culture. Although there is much debate whether television is, or is not, a quintessentially postmodern medium, whether Lynch or Potter may justifiably be addressed as TV authors, and, in the case of Potter, to what extent he embraced the postmodernist aesthetic, there is a clear case for comparing their influential series as epitomes of the postmodernist revision of crime and detective formulae on the small screen."

Mattias Frey: Supermodernity, Capital, and Narcissus: The French Connection to Michael Haneke's Benny's Video

Benny#s Video

"The second installment in Haneke's "Vergletscherungs-Trilogie" begins with a scene that makes clear, in Haneke's words, "worum es geht":1 "what it's about" is placing the spectator in the voyeuristic perspective to view ritually and fetishistically the slaughter of a pig on home video in a teenager's room with drawn shades and outfitted with every imaginable piece of video, TV, stereo, and surveillance equipment. The spectator soon realizes that the truly disturbing aspect of what a Swiss newspaper called "the most disgusting film of the year"2 is not what's on the screen, but how what's on the screen is perceived and processed."

Anne Haeming: Film ist Wahrheit 24 mal in der Sekunde: Jim Jarmuschs Mystery Train als postmoderne Metapher

Mystery Train

"Die drei ineinander verwobenen Handlungsstränge legen bloß, was den Film im innersten zusammenhält: zufällig erscheinende Überlappungen einerseits und schwarze Löcher, deren Boden man nicht erblicken kann andererseits. Diese beiden Aspekte bilden den Grundstock einer theoretischen Verschränkung von Bhabhas time-lag und Kristevas Konzept der Intertextualität. Begibt man sich also von der filminherenten Ebene auf die übergeordnete postmoderner Theorien, so erscheint die Unbegreiflichkeit der "spaces between", wie Jarmusch es nennt, auch hier zentral - einmal als das Moment von Überschneidungen, einmal als ein obskurer Zwischenbereich."

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Evamaria Trischak: Gender und Technik im Cyborg-Film: The Terminator, Terminator 2, Blade Runner und I.K.U.

Blade Runner (Ladd Company/Warner, 1982)

"Cyborgs sind heute Pop-Ikonen, wie etwa der Terminator, der auch Menschen bekannt ist, die die Terminator-Filme nicht gesehen haben. Kulturelle Konflikte unserer Zeit, besonders in Bezug auf Technik und Gender, werden in den Darstellungen von Cyborgs sichtbar. Manchmal werden alternative Genderrollen erforscht, dann aber wird wieder auf konventionelle Stereotype der Vergangenheit zurückgegriffen. (Springer 1996: 10) Darstellungen von Cyborgs definieren die Bedeutung des Menschlichen und des Künstlichen."

Oliver Svec: Auswertung von Content-Universen am Beispiel der US-Filmindustrie

The Ultimate Matrix Collection (Warner)

"Große Zahlen, Erfolgsstories - die Presse zeigt uns anläßlich jedes Neustarts eines amerikanischen Blockbusters wie (scheinbar) unerschöpflich das Etragspotential dieser Filme ist und überschlägt sich mit Spitzenmeldungen und neuen Rekorden. Doch was ist der wirtschaftliche Wert von Content? Wie kann dieser Wert ermittelt werden? Welche Faktoren spielen in der Wertermittlung eine Rolle? Was sind die „Assets“ eines Content-Universums wie „Harry Potter“ oder „The Matrix“? Das sind die zentralen Fragen dieser Master-Thesis - die Arbeit soll anhand von Beispielen aus dem Bereich der amerikanischen Filmindustrie Anhaltspunkte zur Beantwortung dieser Fragen liefern."
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Oliver Kreft: Riskante Kalkulationen: Strategien der Produktion und Vermarktung von High-Concept-Actionfilmen.

Deep Impact (Paramount/DreamWorks, 1998)

Dieser Beitrag wurde auf Wunsch des Autors entfernt. Er wird demnächst auf http://www.hausarbeiten.de gegen Entgelt erhältlich sein.

Manuel Zauner: Filmmythen – Mythos Film: Zwei exemplarische Analysen des christlichen Mythos der Stigmata im Film

Stigmata (MGM/UA, 1999)

"Untersuchungsgegenstand der vorliegenden Arbeit ist die Verwendung des christlichen Stigmata-Mythos im Film, also jener mythischen Erzählung, die von den Wundmalen Christi und ihrer Wiederkehr bei besonderen, zumeist heiligen Personen handelt. Die Analysen sind damit aber nicht nur auf den Kontext der christlichen Mythologie eingeschränkt. Sie behandeln vielmehr die filmische Verwendung eines konkreten aus dem christlichen Raum stammenden Mythologems. [...] Untersucht werden Norman Jewisons oskarnominierter Film Agnes of God (1985) und der im Horrorgenre angesiedelte Hollywood-Blockbuster Stigmata (1999)."
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Michaela M. Kastinger-Haslinger: Der Film Andrej Rublëv von Andrej Tarkovskij

Andrej Rublëv

"Als ich vor Jahren das erste Mal einen Film des russischen Regisseurs ANDREJ TARKOVSKIJ sah, beeindruckte mich dessen eigenwilliger und komplexer Stil außerordentlich. Hier fand ich eine eigenständige, unverbrauchte Ausdrucksweise, deren Konnotationsfeld jenes der Mehrheit der Filme bei weitem übersteigt und nicht allzu schnell ein fragwürdig klares Spiegelbild der Wirklichkeit entstehen läßt. Mit dieser Arbeit soll nun der Versuch unternommen werden, anhand eines speziellen Films, nämlich Andrej Rublëv (UdSSR 1966 bzw. 1971), der Vieldimensionalität seiner "Filmsprache" und den darin implizierten Aussagen nachzuspüren."

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