APCS 2019 Catalogue

Dossier in Moving-Image Media

Laura U. Marks

Welcome to this dossier of the best essays from this year’s New Approaches in Moving-Image Media course. I invite you to admire these students’ cross-cultural theoretical syntheses, original argumentation, sensitive attention to the works they study, and passion for their chosen subject.

Katie Hyeseung Yeo carries out thorough and fascinating research on clandestine media consumption by North Koreans in “Power of Empowering: The Prevalence of K-media in North Korea.” Yeo argues that media piracy in that country is fueling social change. Ashley Song’s “The Framing of Eco-cinema: Time and Decay” brings together Deleuze and Chinese landscape aesthetics to argue that an ecological cinema embraces aging and decay.  Focused on the act of framing, Song’s analyses of Rubén Guzman’s Images of Nowhere and Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I are strikingly perceptive. Sophia Biedka’s “Human Connectivity to the Screen” is a manifesto for observational documentary, focusing on the relationship between humans and landscape. Biedka integrates Western film theory and Chinese landscape theory to examine Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash’s Sweetgrass, Simone Rapisarda Casanova’s The Strawberry Tree, and Nettie Wild’s Koneline. Sevil Baghban Karimi, in “Revolutionary Potentials of ‘Strange’ Films, and of the Cinematic Medium: Pasolini’s Teorema,” sophisticatedly synthesizes Marx, Deleuze, and Sadra (partly inspired by an essay of mine) to argue that Pasolini’s seemingly alienated characters are undergoing a desire-sparked process of creative individuation, a necessary step for political action.

MA students present abstracts of papers intended for publication elsewhere, each of which celebrates a medium that has not received a lot of positive attention in cinema studies. Lea Hogan, analyzing the trans YouTuber ContraPoints, argues that YouTube is a more liberating platform than cinema for trans makers than other social media. Maria Filipina Palad proposes a well-grounded, non-paranoid aesthetics for virtual reality, based in theories of embodied perception, that will be useful for both theorists and practitioners as this medium returns to popularity. Mohammad Zaki Rezwan creates an original reception theory based on the concept of the associated milieu, in order to study how Bangladeshi painters adapt popular films to rickshaw paintings. And while it is common for film scholars to disparage small-screen media, Kwyn Aquino argues compellingly that watching movies on devices constitutes an intimate encounter with the world in microcosm, like the ancestor she proposes for device media: the cabinet of curiosities.