Tag Archive: cinema

The wound of eco-trauma

My article “The Wound of What Has Not Happened Yet: Cine-Semiotics of Eco-Trauma” appeared in the trilingual (English-German-Czech) arts journal Umelec late last year. (It kicked off the issue, followed by Mark Fisher’s wonderful “Terminator vs. Avatar: Notes on Accelerationism.”)

The editors illustrated it with photos from David Cronenberg’s Crash, which I found funny. The online version doesn’t quite capture the effect. The English version is now available open access here and here.

The article is a remixed outtake from the final chapter of my book Ecologies of the Moving Image, which is scheduled to come out in Spring 2013 in Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s Environmenal Humanities Series.



Illienko’s poetic cinema

The following is an article I originally wrote in 1989, or maybe 1988, after seeing three films by Ukrainian poetic cinema master Yuri Illienko (a.k.a.  Iurii/Yurij/Jurij Ilyenko/Ilienko/Illyenko/Il’yenko). Two of the films — A Well for the Thirsty and Eve of Kupalo Night, or St. John’s Eve — had languished unseen under Soviet censorship for some twenty years. They are screening this coming week at New York’s Lincoln Center.

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These are some of my favorite films of all time. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” was groundbreaking and the 3 Illienko films rarely get shown anywhere. (“Eve of Ivan Kupalo” is one of the wildest rides on celluloid.)

See them on the big screen — at the Lincoln Center this coming week — if you’re in the New York City area.

James Steffen has a useful write-up on the series. And see my obit for Illienko here, with a couple of clips. I promised there that I would try to make available an old article in which I analyze three of Illienko’s films — all of which are showing at the Lincoln Center. I will do that shortly.




My paper for this year’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, coming up next month in Boston, will focus on the two films that got a lot of side-by-side attention at last year’s Cannes festival, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Since a few of my favorite bloggers have also discussed them side by side, I thought I’d share my preliminary thoughts about them here.

The two films play a key role in the final chapter of my (forthcoming) Ecologies of the Moving Image, but as I’m still thinking these themes through, I will be interested in responses I get at the SCMS (or here).

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Last man

I’m catching up on the news that Theo Angelopoulos died last week. Hit by a motorcycle. Now that the “last of the European modernists” (as he’s often called) is dead, where does that leave us?

Like kids searching for a father we never knew?

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Shaviro responds

Steven Shaviro has posted his response to my and three other “curators’ notes” on his Post-Cinematic Affect.

The twists and turns of the discussions that have followed each of the daily commentaries have been fascinating. Somehow we’ve gone from a discussion of recent cinema to theorizing about affect and the limitations of recent affect theory (under the sign of Spinoza, Deleuze, and Silvan Tomkins), metabolism and panpsychism, magic (homeopathic and other kinds), fashion, “cinesensuality” and allure, Lady Gaga, YouTube and its “free labor,” and back again to capital and the possibilities for resistance, liberation, and alternative logics.

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Cinemas of the Not-Yet

Another remixed outtake/spinoff from my Ecologies of the Moving Image book project has come out, this time in the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, in a special theme issue on “Imagining Ecotopia.”

My piece is called “Cinema of the Not-Yet: The Utopian Promise of Film as Heterotopia.” Here’s the abstract:


Ruiz goes home…


At bottom I am speaking of nothing other than a cinema capable of inventing a new grammar each time it goes from one world to the next, capable of producing a unique emotion before every thing, every animal, every plant, simply by modifying the parameters of space and time. But this implies a constant practice of both attention and detachment, an ability to enter into the act of filming and return an instant afterward to passive contemplation. In short, a cinema capable of accounting, above all, for the varieties of experience in the sensible world. Easily said….

– Raúl Ruiz, Poetics of Cinema (Éditions Dis Voir, 2005), pp. 89-90


I just caught up with the news that Raúl Ruiz died this past week.

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Next week, the Media Commons project In Media Res will be hosting a theme week on Steven Shaviro’s Post-Cinematic Affect (which I wrote about here).

I’ll be guest curating the discussion on Wednesday, and Steven will be responding on Friday.

Here’s the full line up:

  • Monday August 29: Elena Del Rio (University of Alberta, Canada)
  • Tuesday August 30: Paul Bowman (Cardiff University, UK)
  • Wednesday August 31: Adrian Ivakhiv (University of Vermont, USA)
  • Thursday September 1: Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
  • Friday September 2: Steven Shaviro (Wayne State University, USA)

To participate you will need to take a moment to register here.

Film-Philosophy article

The new issue of Film-Philosophy is out, and it includes my article “The Anthrobiogeomorphic Machine: Stalking the Zone of Cinema.” The abstract is below.

The first half of the article is an early version of the paper I gave at the recent Moving Environments conference, which encompassed material from the first two chapters of my forthcoming book Ecologies of the Moving Image. While the Film-Philosophy version is several months old now, it is the best statement published to date of my film-philosophy, which is expanded on at great length in the book. The article’s second half features an extended treatment of Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker.

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