Skip to content

Two New Eco-Film Essays

2013 July 29
by Shared by Steve Rust

The recently published Spring 2013 issue of ISLE includes two new essays adding to the field of ecocinema studies.

In “Regarding Things in Nashville and The Exterminating Angel: Another Path for Eco-Film Criticism” Adam O’Brien integrates the work of materialist scholars like Jane Bennett with classical film scholars like Sigfried Kracauer to imagine a new offer materialist film criticism. Here’s a short excerpt:

“What I intend to argue here is not only that there exist significant correlations between the ideas of Jane Bennett and early film theorists such as Kracauer, but also that ecocritical film studies may benefit from building upon those links, more specifically by according ‘things’ a greater degree of importance in interpretations and analyses of film fiction. This development would manifest itself in two, different but closely related ways: attention to the ways in which things in film can resist allegorical or symbolic extrapolation, and in the interpretation of dramatic action as materially driven” (260).

In “Patrick Keiller’s Ambient Narratives: Screen Ecologies of the Built Environment” Jon Hegglund builds on the work of Scott MacDonald to explore both the visual and acoustic aspects of Keiller’s feature-length films London (1994), Robinson in Space (1997), The Dilapidated Dwelling (2000), and Robinson in Ruins (2010). Here’s a short excerpt:

“Keiller’s stylized use of ambient sound accords well with MacDonald’s call for a ‘retrained perception’ of eco-cinema. But the ambient sound of the film must still co-exist on the soundtrack with the film’s [Robinson in Space] only narrative element: the voiceover narration. This narrative dimension, as attenuated and uneventful as it is, still includes enough material to activate the viewer’s narrative drive. Because we are cued to read the film as a narrative, however, weak those narrative elements are, we empathize with its characters and try to project some sort of narrative development and resolution. In the case of Keiller’s film, and other ambient narratives, the hyperformalism of the visual dimension and the attenuated flatness of the characters directs us toward an interpretation of the relationship between characters and space” (290-291).

One Response leave one →
  1. borneo eco film fest permalink
    August 22, 2013

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable
    knowledge about unexpected emotions.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS