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June 1998, Week 1

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From:
Ina Bertrand <[log in to unmask]>
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Date:
Tue, 2 Jun 1998 12:33:53 +1000
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Screening the past: An international electronic journal of media and
history
 
Issue 3 has just been uploaded, containing the following major articles:
 
Contemporary film theory in China, by Hu Ke (introduced by Chris
Berry):
        Western film theory is generally subdivided into  classical
theory and contemporary theory. Contemporary theory  originated in the
mid-sixties and flourished in the 1970s. It was introduced to China in
the early 1980s and brought in as a complete theoretical system a few
years later. This article offers a general account of how contemporary
Western film theory came to China, along with brief comments on relevant
theoretical issues.
 
The ahistoricism of medieval film, by Arthur Lindley    
        This paper argues that medieval films -- from "The seventh seal"
to "Braveheart" and "First knight" -- are characteristically
ahistorical. Where films dealing with the more recent past, such as "The
age of innocence", customarily place the period as sequentially and
causatively linked to the present, the medieval past is usually
presented as analogous to the present but not linked to it by
evolutionary sequence. The otherness of the past is sacrificed to its
role as mirror or inversion of the contemporary world. Even more than
other period films,  medieval movies are always about the present.
    
The experimental practice of history in the filmwork of Jeni Thornley,
by Felicity Collins
        Jeni Thornley's personal films, ("Maidens" and "To the other
shore"), and her social action documentaries, ("A Film for discussion"
and "For love or money"), are landmark  films in the history of
Australian feminist cinema over the last  three decades. Although these
genres of activist cinema fell out  of favour in the 1980s, Meaghan
Morris's recent articulation of feminism as an "experimental practice of
history" has opened up a space for re-reading Thornley's films, as this
article does, using some of the theoretical perspectives of Walter
Benjamin.
 
Writing on the wall: films by Bridget Sutherland, by Harriet Margolis
        Combining words with images for narrative purposes dominates
work by some of New Zealandís most important contemporary painters. This
short paper examines two films by Bridget Sutherland within their
context of New Zealand art and culture as well as their relation to
other arts.
 
Selected poems of Vachel Lindsay (introduced by Laurence Goldstein)
        Lindsay wrote a series of poems on film, and particularly film
stars. These are reproduced, together with an edited chapter from
Laurence Goldsteinís 1994 book, `The American poet at the movies: a
critical historyí.
 
Book and film reviews are regularly added, and the Trailers section
(jobs, conferences, new publications) is updated monthly. Contributions
and comment are invited.
 
Ina Bertrand (editor)
 
 
--  
(Dr) Ina Bertrand
Media Studies, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia 3083
[log in to unmask]
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/www/screeningthepast/
 
----
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.

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