Sleutelteksten Film en Mediatheorie, deel 2

Het tweede deel van de serie Sleutelteksten in film- en media-theorie is gewijd aan de klassieke en moderne filmtheorie, vanaf 1945 tot aan 1976. In deze periode ging de aandacht allereerst uit naar de aard en status van de film, gevolgd door interesse in de taal en vertelwijze van de film. Zo bevat dit deel beschouwingen over enkele doorslaggevende ontwikkelingen in de naoorlogse film, waaronder het Italiaanse neorealisme en de Franse Nouvelle Vague, de bloei van Hollywood, en de ‘auteurtheorie’. Vanaf de jaren zestig wordt de film voorwerp van academische studie, en bieden disciplines als linguïstiek, semiotiek en psychoanalyse nieuwe gereedschappen voor de analyse van de film. De in deze periode ontwikkelde theorieën hebben een blijvend stempel gedrukt op de moderne filmwetenschap.

De hier verzamelde teksten bieden een overzicht van de belangrijkste theorieën van de klassieke en moderne film: van pioniers als Maya Deren, Alexandre Astruc, François Truffaut en Pier Paolo Pasolini tot invloedrijke auteurs als André Bazin, Andrew Sarris, Christian Metz en Laura Mulvey. Sommige van deze essays waren niet eerder in het Nederlands beschikbaar. Alle teksten worden ingeleid en in hun historische context geplaatst om hun blijvend belang voor het denken over film en media te onderstrepen.

Samenstelling en redactie: Annie van den Oever (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen),Frank Kessler (Universiteit Utrecht),Philippe Meers (Universiteit van Antwerpen), Patricia Pisters (Universiteit van Amsterdam) en Steven Willemsen (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen); met medewerking van Tom Paulus (Universiteit van Antwerpen) en Giovanna Fossati (Eye Filminstituut Nederland, Amsterdam). Nijmegen: Uitgeverij In de walvis, 2016.

Sleutelteksten Film- en Mediatheorie, deel 1

Is film kunst of verstrooiing? Een nieuwe manier van tonen of een nieuwe manier van zien? Waarin schuilt de magische aantrekkingskracht van de close-up? En waarom gaan we naar de cinema? Als nieuw medium en jonge kunstvorm sprak film sterk tot de verbeelding van vele denkers, schrijvers en kunstenaars.  De in deze bundel verzamelde teksten registreren met een intense nieuwsgierigheid de effecten van de opkomst van de film, tussen circa 1895 en 1930: de ervaringen van de eerste toeschouwers, de nieuwe esthetische vormen, de reacties van de avant-gardes en de invloed van film op de bestaande cultuur. 

De nieuwe boekenserie Sleutelteksten in Film- en Mediatheorie is een uniek project voor Nederland en Vlaanderen. De serie heeft tot doel om de invloedrijkste teksten uit de geschiedenis van het denken over film en audiovisuele media voor het eerst in het Nederlands bijeen te brengen. Naast gereviseerde vertalingen van sleutelteksten die lang niet beschikbaar waren, onder andere van denkers en filmmakers als Menno ter Braak, Sergej Eisenstein, Maxim Gorki, Georges Méliès en Dziga Vertov, bevat dit eerste deel ook nieuwe vertalingen van internationale sleutelteksten die nooit eerder in het Nederlands verschenen, zoals van Béla Balázs, Germaine Dulac, Louis Delluc, Jean Epstein, Siegfried Kracauer, F.T. Marinetti, Hugo Münsterberg, Paul Valéry en Virginia Woolf. Alle teksten zijn ingeleid en in hun historische context geplaatst om hun blijvend belang voor het denken over film en media te onderstrepen. 

Samenstelling en redactie: Frank Kessler (Universiteit Utrecht), Annie van den Oever (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), Patricia Pisters (Universiteit van Amsterdam) en Steven Willemsen (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen). Nijmegen: Uitgeverij In De Walvis, 2016

 

Filming for the Future

Patricia Pisters, Filming for the Future: The Work of Louis van Gasteren (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015)

Book on the work of Grand Old Master of Dutch cinema Louis van Gasteren; illustrated and including 3 DVDs containing 7 films (with English subtitels). Published by Amsterdam University Press. The film titles are A New Village on New Land (1960), The House (1961), Hans Life Before Death (1983), A Matter of Level (1990), The Price of Survival (2003), Changing Tack (2009) and Nema Aviona Za Zagreb (2012).

Louis van Gasteren (1922-2016) was one of the Netherlands’s most prolific filmmakers. He has made about eighty documentaries as well as two feature films, art works, and several publications. His film Now Do you get it Why I am Crying? (1969) played an important role in the recognition of the enduring psychological effects of war trauma. Hans Life Before Death (1983) presents a deeply empathic portrait of the post war generation of youth rebels in Amsterdam in the 1960s that addresses major existential questions. In his autobiographical film, Nema Aviona Za Zagreb (2012), Van Gasteren declares his passion for filming and his desire to register everything from both the outer world as well as from inner life. This book presents a journey through the rich audio-visual and artistic sources of the world of a filmmaker who, over the last sixty years, and long before we all became accustomed to carrying mobile cameras in our pockets, always had his camera on standby.

Van Gasteren has been relentless in filming a range of topics, phenomena, and events of national and international scope and universal value. His camera eye was visionary, documenting not only the tumultuous happenings of the different presents that he witnessed, but also the return of the past and anticipation of the future. His work demonstrates a fascination for technology, a deep interest in politics, and a continuous concern for the traumatic effects of war and the passage of time itself; always looking for new doors of perception, always returning to his home in Amsterdam, always departing again to new or recurring points of interest. Filming for the Future explores the most salient features of a wide-ranging and vital oeuvre that becomes ever more amazing and important as time goes by. Van Gasteren’s work is an invaluable source of historical documentation and percipient cultural analysis made by an adventurous ‘participating observer’ of the twentieth century that is worthwhile (re)discovering in and for the twenty-first century.

On the occasion of the passing away of Louis van Gasteren on 10 May 2016, the EYE film institute organized a special screening of Nema Aviona za Zagreb. The introduction (in Dutch) to this film can be read on my blog entree here.

Filming for the Future was awarded the Louis Hartlooper Prize for Best Film Publication 2016. 

Revisiting Normativity with Deleuze

Rosi Braidotti and Patricia Pisters (eds.), Revisiting Normativity with Deleuze (Continuum, 2012 forthcoming)

This volume assembles some of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Deleuze studies in order to provide both an accessible introduction to key concepts in Deleuze’s thought and to test them in view of the issue of normativity. This includes not only the law, but also the question of norms and values in the broader ethical, political and methodological sense. The volume argues that Deleuze’s philosophy rejects the unitary vision of the subject as a self-regulating rationalist entity and replaces it with a process-oriented relational vision of the subject. But what can we do exactly with this alternative nomadic vision? What modes of normativity are available outside the parameters of liberal, self-reflexive individualism on the one hand and the communitarian model on the other? This interdisciplinary volume explores these issues in three directions that mirror Deleuze and Guattari’s defense of the parallelism between philosophy, science, and the arts. The volume therefore covers socio-political and legal theory; the epistemological critique of scientific discourse and the cultural, artistic and aesthetic interventions emerging from Deleuze’s philosophy.

The Smooth and The Striated

Deleuze Studies Vol. 6.1 (2012)

A Thousand Plateaus’ ‘1440: The Smooth and the Striated’ introduces smoothness and striation as a conceptual pair to rethink space as a complex mixture between nomadic forces and sedentary captures. Among the models Deleuze and Guattari describe for explicating where we encounter smooth and striated spaces, the maritime model presents the special problem of the sea. The sea is a smooth space par excellence: open water always moved by the wind, the sun and the stars, nomadically traversable by noise, colour and celestial bearings. Increased navigation of the open water resulted in demands for its striation. Although Deleuze and Guattari note that this took hold progressively, the year 1440, when Portuguese discoverers introduced the first nautical charts, marked a turning point in the striation of the sea. Maps with meridians, parallels, longitudes, latitudes and territories gridded the oceans, making distances calculable and measurable. It meant the beginning of the great explorations –and of the transatlantic slave trade and the expansion of the European State apparatus. The smooth and the striated concern the political and politics. The authors in this volume think with art to shed new and interdisciplinary light upon the concepts of smoothness and striation, and, conversely, upon the way the smooth and the striated can give important insights into artistic practices. Contributions by Eric Alliez, Jay Hetrick, Colin Gardner, Tod Satter, Guy Keulemans, Charlotte Knox-Williams, Asli Özgen Tuncer, Zach Horton and Jean Hillier.

Download Introduction PDF

Edinburgh University Press for complete issue online  

The Neuro-Image

Patricia Pisters, The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Filmphilosophy of Digital Screen Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012) 370 pp.

This book approaches 21st-century globalized cinema through the new concept of the “neuro-image.” Pisters begins with the premise that today’s viewers no longer look through a character's eyes; instead, they move through his or her brain or mental landscape. Her book elaborates the threefold nature of the neuro-image by drawing on research from three domains—Deleuzian (schizoanalytic) philosophy, digital networked screen culture, and neuroscientific research—and is accordingly divided into three parts. The first reads the brain as screen, or “neuroscreen,” thereby grounding contemporary cinema in our bodily materiality. It investigates clinical and critical aspects of schizophrenia alongside contemporary films that deal with the same disease, elaborates connections between film theory and cognitive neuroscience, and reflects on the omnipresence of surveillance. Next, the book explores neuro-images from a philosophical point of view, paying less attention to science and more to their ontological, epistemological, and aesthetic dimensions. Individual chapters deal with Bergson, Deleuze and questions of time, Hume’s skeptical epistemology and the increasing blurring of the false and the real, and the affective powers of what has come to be called the neo- or digital baroque. The final section of the book is dedicated to the political and ethical aspects of the neuro-image, including the production of historical memory, the ways in which the neuro-image can impact politics, and the multiplication of screens in the context of war and war films. Pisters leaves us with an understanding of why it is that the neuro-image has emerged in our present moment.

Link to Stanford University Press

Read the Introduction in PDF

David Sterritt's review of the book in New Review of Film and Television

Claire Colebrook's review of the book in Deleuze Studies 

Maria Walsh's review of the book in Film-Philosophy