A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA
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48, winter 2006
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Fictions and their viewers
Making women warriors: a transnational reading of Asian female action heroes in
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
by L.S. Kim
Asian women warriors offer an alternative to the stereotype of passive Asian femininity, yet Orientalism remains a framework for their spectatorial reception, since these powerful Asian action heroes are simultaneously exoticized and fetishized.
The Kryptonite closet: silence and queer secrecy in Smallville
by Jes Battis
This article explores the network of queer secrets and closets within the hit tv show Smallville, as well as the relationship between Clark Kent and Lex Luthor.
Twenty-first century Superman: Smallville and New Media mythmaking
by Cary M. Jones
This article explores the new media texts surrounding Smallville, addressing how the myth of Superman has evolved over time to take advantage of new technologies and maintained its cultural relevancy.
DVD marketing in U.S. of Working Title's British romantic comedies: framing reception and strategies of cultural appropriation
by Pavel Skopal
Marco Bechis’ Garage Olimpo: Cinema of witness
by Amy Kaminsky
Bechis uses a popular feature fiction form to try to engage Argentine audiences with the realities of the Dirty War, which had occured over a ten year span thirty years before but was never emotionally absorbed into the national consciousness.
What would Buffy do? Feminist ethics and epistemic violence
by Shannon Craigo-Snell
The show Buffy the Vampire Slayer provides a landscape and language to analyze the complexites of ethics, violence, and sex. It also acknowledges the ways in which feminism, which aims to destroy traditional ways of viewing the world, is violent.
The Woodsman: saying the unsayable
by Jamie Bennett
The Woodsman provides a challenge to popular views on managing sex offenders in the community, providing criticism of current policy, and suggesting more positive alternatives.
The Woodsman: full disclosure
by Julia Lesage and Chuck Kleinhans
The Woodsman is a controversial film in which Kevin Bacon gives a powerful, empathetic performance as a child molester attempting to resettle in the community after being released from prison.The script effectively utilizes narrative tension to evoke or work with the contradictory emotions and perspectives viewers bring to the film.
Collateral Damage: terrorism, melodrama, and the action film on the eve of 9/11
by Russell Meeuf
Showing how popular images and narratives of terrorism support fundamental U.S. myths about violence and morality, this essay traces in Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage, one of the last action films made in pre-9/11 Hollywood, relations between spectacular violence, rhetoric of terrorism, and logic of melodrama.
Films of Michael Haneke: the utopia of fear
by Justin Vicari
Deeply pessimistic, and preoccupied with the idea of "everyday" apocalypse, the films of Michael Haneke share philosophical ground with the writings of Theodor W. Adorno.
New worlds of documentary
Introduction: new worlds of documentary
by Julia Lesage
Terri Schiavo and the media
Emergency analysis, Terri Schiavo: introduction
The cutting edge: emergencies in visual culture
by Janet Staiger
In public controversies there is an on-going need to provide possible discourses and stories so that those holding progressive opinions remain unshaken in their opinions and those not yet decided have a reason to adopt progressive interpretations.
Schiavo videos' context and reception: timely triage
by Diane Waldman
An analysis of the legal, medical, and political context of the widely-seen Schiavo video excerpts, the preferred reading offered by the Schindler family and their supporters on their website, and responses on the 'blogosphere' and elsewhere.
Emergency analysis: the academic traffic in images
by Catherine L. Preston
Certain still images of Terri Schiavo became cultural icons as they circulated across media and social arenas. Preston does a cultural biography of the Schiavo images taken together as a "media event.
The videographic persistence of Terri Schiavo
by Janet Walker
Walker explores the ways that photography and video are evidence of the simultaneous presence of life and death and how this is particularly poignant in the case of the Schiavo videos.
Television and audio documentary
A walk on the wild side: the changing face of TV wildlife documentary
by Richard Kilborn
"Adapting to survive": reflections on changes occurring in TV wildlife programming as broadcasting becomes ever more competitive.
Strange Justice: sounding out the Right: Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill, and
constructing spin in the name of justice
by Steve Lipkin
In its cinematic construction, Strange Justice sutures real and recreated materials in a way that models the very processes the film exposes — that is, the way politicians shape public perception and opinion.
Giving voice: performance and authenticity in the documentary musical
by Derek Paget and Jane Roscoe
The term 'documentary musical' ought to be an oxymoron, but British film director Brian Hill has made a specialty of them - Derek Paget and Jane Roscoe explore a new hybrid.
Video Vigilantes and the work of shame
by Gareth Palmer
Shame is seen here in documentary forms as a productive force creating many and varied subject positions.
Audio documentary: a polemical introduction for the visual studies crowd
by Chuck Kleinhans
An overview of what's happening in audio and radio documentary today, including extensive Internet links.
TV news titles: picturing the planet
by Sean Cubitt
The globe seen in TV news logos is produced by computer graphics technology and implies a globalized, networked subjectivity that is mainly an omnivoyant observer, produced by news gatherers and producers.
Les Archives de la Planète: a cinematographic atlas
by Teresa Castro
An early Frrench photographic inventory of the " known world" uses the model of the atlas, a book of maps, to assemble, organize, and transmit images; it thus constitutes a way of symbolically dominating and grasping the world through vision.
Cinephilia and the travel film: Gambling, Gods and LSD
by Catherine Russell
Peter Mettler’s experimental travel film Gambling, Gods and LSD (2001) is examined as an experiment in transcending the limitations of image culture. This article looks at the film as an epistemological treatise on trans-cultural knowledge that points to the role of cinephilia in global industrial modernity.
Dark Days: a narrative of environmental adaptation
by Joseph Heumann and Robin L. Murray
In this presentation of homeless people living below ground in Amtrak tunnels, director Marc Singer provides a romantic narrative of adaptation.
Feminist history making and Video Remains
by Alexandra Juhasz
Video scholar and maker, Alex Juhasz, engages in dialogue with women’s historian, Antoinette Burton, about Juhasz’s latest work, Video Remains, a piece that they propose evidences a feminist history making: a practice that helps align the poetry, evidence, passion, and politics of AIDS.
AIDS activism today
by Danica Amstadt
As Video Remains deals with a history of AIDS video activism, the Internet ties together AIDS activists today.
Revolting women: the role of gender in Sergei Eisenstein’s Que Viva Mexico! and U.S. Depression-era Left film criticism
by Chris Robé
This essay explores how Que Viva Mexico! might have become one of Eisenstein’s most sophisticated works to investigate gender’s relation to radical political transformation while also elucidating the ways in which 1930s U.S. Left film critics marginalized gender issues within their own columns on Eisenstein’s film.
Kinesthesia in martial arts films: action in motion
by Aaron Anderson
Anderson draws on theories of kinesthetics, fight choregraphy, and bodily memory to develop an aesthetic analysis of the role of movement per se in the martial arts film, with particular attention to films of Stephen Seagal. Reprinted here with color stills and shot analysis of sequences from Seagal's Out for Justice.
"This ain’t no junk." Recuperating black television in the “post civil rights” era
by Devorah Heitner
Review of Christine Acham, Revolution Televised: Prime Time and the Struggle for Black Power.
White gay male identity and Warhol
by Margo Miller
Review of Roy Grundmann, Andy Warhol’s "Blow Job."
The last word
Education under attack
by the editors