Cinema history, theory, criticism, and aesthetics as informed by international films and various scholarly approaches.
This essay analyzes two recent interactive documentary projects: Sharon Daniel’s Public Secrets (2006), an exploration of the prison industrial complex through the testimonies of female inmates in California, and Zohar Kfir’s Points of View (2014) which “maps” Palestinian video advocacy projects made for and/or disseminated by B’Tselem, a human r…[Read more]
This essay explores the historical and critical legacy of the Rodney King tape, namely, it’s transformation of the concerns of the field of documentary studies in the turn toward “visible evidence” in the 1990s. This turn privileged the power of visibility, particularly in radical and activist practices, but visibility is a fraught concept for m…[Read more]
Hi, Ryan! If you’re not familiar with it, you might be interested in my long-ago book chapter on the Rodney King videotape, which is accessible here on Humanities Commons: “‘I’ll See It When I Believe It’: Rodney King and the Prison-House of Video,” The Persistence of History: Cinema, Television, and the Modern Event, edited by Vivian Sobchack…[Read more]
Thanks, Frank! I’ll take a look.
Post Mortem by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín challenges traditional cinematic conventions of affect and spectacle through a narrative of spaces and bodies that is neither realist, comedic, nor melodramatic. This chapter draws upon affect theories that study the spectacle of cinematic spaces and political bodies in Latin American film. The…[Read more]
Women filled a number of roles in the American cinema music industry, particularly during
the Great War. In addition to serving as cultural barometers for cinematic music
and accompaniment, women were at the heart of innovations in cinema sound
Seung-Hui Cho, the mass murderer who called himself Question Mark, left a lot of questions behind him. One of them obviously speaks for itself: what motivated him to kill thirty-three strangers at Virginia Tech? Another question almost goes without saying: why do we seek refuge behind moral explanations? Like ‘the question mark kid’ the adult…[Read more]
This is the syllabus I’ve designed for my Fall 2019 undergraduate-level Introduction to Film course. I focused the course as a genre study of American horror films. I want my students to be able to consider the socio-political contexts of popular films and to detect and explain the arguments and worldviews produced by film.
From the 2007 remake of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games to Adam Robitel’s Escape Room (2019), the survival game has become a recurring sub-genre of American horror cinema in the last twenty years; however, its haunting presence has yet to be fully analyzed.
The American survival game horror film is uniquely able to render neoliberal con…[Read more]
This essay explores Michelangelo Antonioni’s “L’Avventura” from a Marxist perspective, including its depiction of the Italian bourgeoisie of “il boom” era of the 1950s and 1960s. Numerous frame enlargements are used to substantiate the claim that even the film’s style contributes to its representations of socioeconomic class.
Frank P. Tomasulo, Ph.D. deposited Italian Americans in the Hollywood Cinema: Filmmakers, Characters, Audiences Voices in Italian Americana 7.1 (Spring 1996): 65-77. Selected for reprinting in Voices in Italian Americana 26.1 (Spring 2015) as one of the most significant essays published in VIA in the group Film Studies on Humanities Commons 3 months ago
This article investigates the representation of Italian Americans in classical and contemporary Hollywood cinema, expanding the research originally conducted by noted scholar Mirella Affron.
Frank P. Tomasulo, Ph.D. deposited Japan through Others’ Lenses: “Hiroshima Mon Amour” (1959) and “Lost in Translation” Japan Studies Review 11 (2007): 143-155. Also available on the Internet at http://asianstudies.fiu.edu in the group Film Studies on Humanities Commons 3 months ago
This article compares and contrasts two films that take place in Japan but that were directed by French and American directors. Their “outsider perspective” is explored in terms of their respective films’ themes, characters, and cinematic styles.
This essay uses Joseph Campbell’s concept of the Monomyth to analyze both the mythic and contemporary implications of a “popcorn” movie that has numerous social and political subtexts for the Reaganite era.
This essay compares After Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW and Michelangelo Antonioni’s BLOW-UP in terms of their similarities in narrative, characters, and cinematic style.
This essay uses the work of Wilhelm Reich to analyze the “mass psychology of fascism” in Leni Riefenstahl’s infamous Nazi propaganda film, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL.
This article examines the parallels between the space alien in Spielberg’s “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and the New Testament account of the life of Jesus Christ.
This book chapter analyzes Steven Spielberg’s supposedly anti-war SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1992) as a pro-war, pro-military, and pro-America movie.
This book chapter analyzes the numerous responses to the famous videotape of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King at the hands of the L.A. Police Department.
This essay describes and analyzes the anthology film EROS (2004), which consists of three short films by major directors: Wong Kar-wei, Steven Soderbergh, and Michelangelo Antonioni. The focus is on the cinematic depiction of sexuality as it pertains to the national origins of the three shorts: Hong Kong, United States, and Italy.
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s EL TOPO set off a trend for midnight movies that brought numerous esoteric films to an insomniac audience. This essay analyzes the surreal movie and its position as an early exemplar of independent cinema exhibited outside the mainstream patterns.
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