Category: Film Criticism and Theory


Ethno-cinematographic Rhizomes: Examples From the Independent Cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Anocha Suwichakornpong

We propose a conceptual framework of filmic analysis, the “ethno-cinematographic rhizome”, as a parallel and convergent vehicle of audiovisual artistic creation and para-ethnographic observation of non-Western societies in today’s global era. It is based on the concept of “rhizome” by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, an “image of thought” that understands knowledge in a non-hierarchical


The Debt of Roy Anderson’s Dark Humor to Samuel Beckett and the New Objectivity

One of the main characteristics of Roy Anderson’s movies is the dark humor and tragicomedy. Various art sources influence his dark humor, such as Samuel Beckett’s oeuvres and New Objectivity paintings. Beckett’s approach towards tragicomedy can be discerned in Andersson’s world and his comic figures. Andersson emphasizes on human being’s dark side to create comic


Ghost and Desolate Place in Yao Feng-Pan’s ‘All in the Dim Cold Night’ and ‘Ghost Under the Cold Moonlight’

Known as the master of horror in Taiwan, Yao Feng-Pan directed over 30 movies of different genres, and more than half of which were horrors in the 1970s. Since the success of his blockbuster All in the Dim Cold Night, Yao had devoted his efforts to the creation of horrors and led a boom in


Turning the Exorcist’s Heteropatriarchal Order ‘Upside Down’ in Stranger Things

The popular Netflix series Stranger Things is often-noted for critiquing homophobia and conservative gender norms (Joseph 2018; Roach 2018; Berns, Fontaine and Zárate 2018). This paper expands upon Tracey Mollet’s (2019) passing observation that a scene in Stranger Things 2 references William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. I argue that the sequel, in its entirety, actively dialogues


Bollywood Representations of Kashmir and Kashmiris: Between Orientalist Melodrama and Post-colonial Representation

This paper starts from the ideas that Indian cinema seeks to describe Indian culture (Nandy, 1995) and that filmmakers’ use of intertextuality makes them the discernible conscience of the Indian nation (Thomas, 1995) in order to explore the depiction of Kashmir and Kashmiris in Bollywood films. It argues that these films portray a kind of


“Model Minority” – Embarrassing Difference or Proud Identity?

For over a century, Asians have been represented as “the other” on the American screen, which is very different from “I”. Nowadays, as the immigration situation and mainstream ideology are changing in the US, Asians have gradually become the socalled “model minority” on the recent American screen. But what are the new images, compared to


In the Claws of Tondo: The Convergence of Hero and Place as Depicted in Selected Fernando Poe, Jr. Films

This paper analyzes Tondo as setting, motif, and metaphor in selected films by Filipino actor Fernando Poe, Jr (FPJ). Using discourses on space and film iconicity, this study performs a close analysis of how place conversely constructs an iconic hero. This study aims to (a) use treatise discourses of space and film iconicity, especially how


Fellini in Memoriam – Auteurship and Absurdism as Keys to Understand a 2020’s Society Where Normality is Anything but Normal

We live in global times where, at once, we enable the world to grow closer and become more unified, and are still separated through our ingrained fear of The Other; of movements and people different from ourselves. The current COVID-19 pandemic forces us to open our eyes to the potential and capacity of citizens of


Cultural Diversity in Film Festivals – A Case Study: Glocal in Progress, San Sebastián International Film Festival

The Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001) and the subsequent Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (UNESCO, 2005) have addressed the term cultural diversity. Within this frame, there are several studies about cultural diversity on the audiovisual field since 2011 to our days (Benhamou & Peltier, 2011; Albornoz,


A Comparative Study of Chinese and Japanese Female Characters Portrayed in Hirokazu Koreeda’s and Ang Lee’s Family Films

China and Japan are both in the circle of Confucian culture. Under the influence of Confucian culture, the basic unit of Chinese and Japanese society was the family rather than the individual. At the same time, the patriarchal-dominated social structure was derived. With the modernization process and the influx of western thoughts, the tolerant image


Breaking the Shackles: Toward a Taxonomy of Interactive Cinema

Drawing on Eric Zimmerman’s four types of interactivity, this paper proposes a taxonomy of interactive cinema by defining four modes of interactive movies: the cognitive mode; physical mode; collective mode; and selective mode. The above cinematic modes are not distinct or mutually exclusive, and their emergence follows a generally chronological order. More importantly, the rise


Wild and Worldly: Redefining the ‘Forest’ in Thai Independent Cinema from Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Blissfully Yours to Anucha Boonyawattana’s Malila

The forest is a familiar symbol in Buddhist and Thai folktales. It also appears in various art forms, especially in recent Thai independent cinema. Since Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Blissfully Yours (2002) and Tropical Malady (2004), the forest in Thai cinema has changed its meaning. It was often portrayed as either a fragile space that needed to


Ingmar Bergman’s Portrayal of Death and Dreams in His Autobiographically Influenced Films Leading to a New Film Language

This paper argues that the films of the Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman has been inspired from his early life. This autobiographical element in his art forms lead to the creation of unique masterpieces with stylistic techniques which are unprecedented thus giving rise to a completely new language of film. By analyzing four of his films:“Fanny


The Spectator Facing the Cut: A Neurocinematics Review

The cut, conceptualized as articulator of the filmic fact and as a sense-generating agent, constitutes the nuclear occupation of the most incipient film theory. From the texts and experiences of Eisenstein, Vertov or Kuleshov, to the theoretical debate focused on the construction of the film discourse and its structuring through the cut in the work


Global Cinema as Environmental Ambassador

This argument connects several international cinematic shooting locations to ecological states of affairs that reside there in order to imagine how viewing audiences worldwide might better connect to environmental issues through film. Drawing on theories of agency that inform the environmental humanities, I suggest that the material particulars of life in the biosphere have a


From Censorship to Rating System: Negotiations of Power in the Thai Film Industry

This is a conceptual paper to analyze the transformation of Thai film censorship in Thailand. The study reviews literature on the history of Thai film industry and film censorship in Thailand. A brief discussion on film censorship is reviewed in the earlier part of this paper. Censorship has been perceived as an obstacle to Thai


Who is Afraid of Gays and Lesbians? : Power and Politics of Queer Visibility in Kingsley Iruoegbu’s Law58

While most countries in Europe, America and Asia are taking a more critical look at their homophobic positions and granting recognition and acceptance to homosexuals, most African countries are clamping down more aggressively on the rights of gay, lesbian and bisexual peoples. Nigeria is reputed to be one of the most homophobic countries in Africa.


Wartime Colonial Paradise and Postwar Doom: The Uses of Place, Time, and Memory in Mikio Naruse’s ‘Floating Clouds’

Japanese director Mikio Naruse made over 89 films over the course of his career and many of them are considered classics. However, his best-known film is probably the 1995 film Floating Clouds. It is based on a novel by Showa-era novelist and prose writer Fumiko Hayashi, a writer’s whose work he frequently adapted for the


Left Behind: The Rural Children of Chinas Alternative Cinema

Against the narrative of success propagated by the Chinese government, China’s independent filmmakers have committed themselves towards articulating an alternative vision of her phenomenal transformation in recent years. One important subject is that of rural children being left behind by parents who go in search of better job prospects and lives in the city. Using


Communication of Anti-Violence and Anti-Vengeance Themes in Revenge Films

Narrative film is potentially a powerful means to reflect, reinforce or alter attitudes within society. In Asia, popular martial arts films frequently depict acts of violent vengeance as arising from a sense of duty, honour, or justice. As for the West, Simkin (2006) points out that while many revenge films of the 1970s and of


Deconstructing Gender: Laurence Anyways and the Mise-En-Scene of a Transition

Can the cinema, in 2015, contain the rejection and ostracism that suppose the non-representation of the difference? Basing the analysis on Xavier Dolan’s third full-length film Laurence Anyways, and its mise en scene of the main character’s odyssey to become a woman and the struggles she had to overcome in order to find his true


The Analysis on the Documentary, “The Big Picture”: The Moment of Sympathetic Connection as a Rupture

A recently released documentary, “The Big Picture”, portrays the moment of a cross-cultural dialogue between the Japanese and Koreans regarding the comfort women issue. Through approaching the documentary from a Deleuzian perspective, I contend that such moment of connection through sympathy may induce both Koreans and the Japanese to perceive circumstantial vulnerability comfort women faced


Stray Dog, A Gun, The Individual and Society in Shinji Aoyama’s “An Obsession”

Shinji Aoyama’s film An Obsession (1997) is a loose adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s film Stray Dog (1949). Aoyama has borrowed the main plot of a cop losing his gun to a criminal, whom the detective relates to but must hunt down and bring to justice. A discussion of similarities and differences is followed by an


Artificial Consciousness: Where Does Science Fact Break from Science Fiction, and How Do We Know?

This paper explores what has been termed artificial consciousness (AC) (a.k.a., synthetic consciousness or artificial sentience). Like its companion, artificial intelligence (AI), the subject might sound more like science fiction or fantasy than possibility. Though humans have been speculating about nonhuman consciousness for centuries, it was in the 1960s when computer science promised the rise


Film Theory, Subject and Community: How Does Film Theory Relate to the Idea of Community Building?

In my paper I will discuss the relation between film theory, subject and the idea of community building. I will give a detailed understanding of how both theoretical perspectives in film studies as well as artistic practice of film making try to rethink new ways of possibility of being together. I will argue that the


Seeing like a Feminist: Representations of Societal Realities in Women-Centric Bollywood Films

One of the most notable contemporary trends in Indian cinema, the genre of women oriented films seen through a feminist lens, has gained both critical acclaim and sensitive audience reception for its experimentations with form and cinematic representations of societal realities, especially women�s realities in its subject matter. The proposed paper is based on readings


Indian Woman’s Search for Identity Vis-A-Vis Mainstream Bollywood Cinema

Bollywood cinema, while entertaining India�s millions, plays an important role in reinforcing cultural stereotypes. The Indian Woman�s �drama of self-formation� (John Storey) is best understood through a deconstruction of the representation of the hero, both male and female, in Bollywood cinema. This research proposes to problematize the continuing abstract identities of Indian women who are