A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA
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No. 47, winter 2005
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Mindful violence: the visibility of power and inner life in Kill Bill
by Aaron Anderson
An analysis of screen action and violence in Tarantino’s Kill Bill reveals the integral relation between screen fights, narrative structure, characterization, and moral themes.
“Woman” and “homeland” in Ritwik Ghatak’s films: constructing post-Independence Bengali cultural identity
by Erin O'Donnell
A close look at the works of one of India’s most important filmmakers, analyzing the relation between his aesthetics and lifelong evaluation of India’s 1947 Partition.
The Passion of the Christ: reflections on Mel’s monstrous messiah movie and the culture wars
by Robert Smart
Parallels between the film and the results of brutal childrearing are traced, as well as the film’s relation to both the culture wars, historically, and to the most lowly “body genres,” especially the splatter film.
Bibliography on class in film and media studies
by Terri Ginsberg, Dennis Broe, and Chuck Kleinhans
Useful bibliography of important readings dealing with Marxist theories of class, race, women, and media. Compiled by the Caucus on Class of the Society for Film and Media Studies
China, broadly conceived
by David Leiwei Li
Review of Sheldon H. Lu’s China, Transnational Visuality, Global Postmodernity (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001).
Documentary theory, new documentaries, and “contemporary events” fictions: a special section
Meditation on a freeway suicide: the sacrifice of autobiography
by James Tobias
Pathbreaking theoretical monograph on media and AIDs, AIDS and health care, AIDS activism, and the agency of people with AIDS.
Framing the unexpected
by Jean-Luc Lioult
A practicing photographer and film scholar explores the connections between carefully framing and anticipating images and capturing spontaneous occurrences.
Paradise Lost I & II: documentary, gothic, and the monster of justice
by Andy Opel
Social fear of working class “goth” boys and unequal justice for the rich and the poor lead to severe sentences for boys rushed to judgment in a murder case.
Death and contradiction: Errol Morris' tragic view of technokillers
by Laurie Calhoun
A close analysis of Morris' documentaries, Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. and The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara by an ethical philosopher explores the effect of human fallibility on social "institutions of killing" and also the belief structure of those involved in such institutions and why it is so hard to hold them accountable.
Gus Van Sant’s Elephant: an ordinary high school movie, except that it’s not
by John P. Garry III
A poetic version of a high school shooting like Columbine which addresses the challenge of how to represent a violent tragedy.
The relatable real: docudrama, ethics, and Saving Jessica Lynch
by Steve Lipkin
Analysis of a “snatched from the headlines” docudrama based on Jessica Lynch’s rescue from Iraq. Overview of docudrama construction in general.
Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11
by Nicole Laskowski
Analysis of Moore’s critical reputation and his editorial essay style in Farhenheit 9/11.
Abu Ghraib and images of abuse and torture
by Julia Lesage
The release of abusive photos taken by U.S. military at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison has occasioned the publication of a broad range of insightful essays and reportage on the Internet. This links page traces responses to the photos themselves, as well as the background of the situation, and broader political, moral, anti-imperialist, psychological, and photographic analyses.
The last word
Mel and Michael
by the Editors
On the contemporary political scene and two symptomatic films.
Remembering Bill Van Wert
by Chuck Kleinhans for the editors