By James Naremore
In 1895, Louis Lumière supposedly stated that cinema is "an invention with no future." James Naremore makes use of this mythical comment as a kick off point for a meditation at the so-called dying of cinema within the electronic age, and as a fashion of introducing a wide-ranging sequence of his essays on videos previous and current. those essays comprise discussions of authorship, version, and appearing; commentaries on Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Vincente Minnelli, John Huston, and Stanley Kubrick; and reports of more moderen paintings by means of non-Hollywood administrators Pedro Costa, Abbas Kiarostami, Raúl Ruiz, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. vital topics recur: the family members among modernity, modernism, and postmodernism; the altering mediascape and demise of older applied sciences; and the necessity for powerful serious writing in an period while print journalism is waning and the arts are devalued. The booklet concludes with essays on 4 significant American movie critics: James Agee, Manny Farber, Andrew Sarris, and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
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Extra resources for An Invention Without a Future: Essays on Cinema
In the parallel world versions we are all free to impose on our favourite novels, Crash as a fusion of Week-end and Made in USA, would wow the last embattled remnant of ICNNew Cinema Club sentimentalists. Godard mixing video and film. The pornographic conversation pieces from Week-end, newsreel footage from the Paris underpass, the crumpled Mercedes, the collapse of Detroit's one-crop economy, statistics, signs, numbers, a proper score: a savage deconstruction in which Ballard's novel would vanish like a footprint in the snow.
Deep throat, southern gothic sassiness punctuated by severe carcinogenic draws on an unaccustomed cigarette. ') Unger's eyes, rarely meeting those of her partners, drift across the silver-blue horizon, the flow of traffic. Traffic which has a life of its ~wn, co~ing and going like Hitchcock's birds, sometimes massing (on Ballard's first drive after his accident); sometimes, more ominously, vanishing from sight, leaving an empty highway. 'The traffic ... where is everyone? They've all gone away,' Ballard says to Catherine, shortly before he forces her off the road.
This snatched vision is mysteriously aphrodisiac. The James Ballard character is turned on by fugitive encounters of architecture and climate, not by his adulterous partner. Airports are defined as the preferred setting for a narrative of arousal. ' Language, struggling to alleviate the urgency of its testosterone imperatives, reaches out for the baroque euphemism of 'natal cleft', as for one of Nabokov's strategic ironies. Cronenberg's choice of set for the opening sequence is perceptive: disengaged film-maker James Ballard's projection of his wife's adultery with a flying instructor.
An Invention Without a Future: Essays on Cinema by James Naremore