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Cinema at the Edges

Cinema at the Edges: New Encounters with Julio Medem, Bigas Luna and Jose Luis Guerin

Abigail Loxham
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 202
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  • Book Info
    Cinema at the Edges
    Book Description:

    The works of popular Spanish film directors Julio Medem, Juan Jose Bigas Luna, and Jose Luis Guerin are newly appraised in relation to their engagement with alternative national and cinematic subjectivities. Their films examine the limitations of the cinematic gaze, as the author shows, highlighting the ways in which these directors make recourse to hybridity, contact, and interface to overcome the binary power dynamic previously thought to be a feature of cinema. This book explores their status as solely "Spanish" filmmakers while focusing on their diverse and immensely creative output, offering new readings that engage with current debates in visual culture surrounding psychoanalytic theory, phenomenology, and theories of documentary practice.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-305-5
    Subjects: Film Studies, Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vii)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. INTRODUCTION. Defining the Edge
    (pp. 1-19)

    In 2007 José Luis Guerín was invited to show his filmEn la ciudad de Sylviaat the Venice biennale, alongside an exhibition of photographs that were conceived as a separate project to the film but also in dialogue with it, expanding the mode of display, and cementing the intermediality of the work that this talented director is involved in. This journey to Venice and the cinematic journey that it initiated became the material for Guerín’s next film. Hiding behind his camera, in his own words, he decided to accept every invitation issued to him during a period of twelve...

  6. CHAPTER ONE (Re-)Defining Spanish Cinema?
    (pp. 20-52)

    This chapter serves as contextualisation for the chapters that follow, both mapping a critical terrain that guides my attempt to offer these new readings and peripheral perspectives, and examining a (sometimes complex) theoretical standpoint that enables these novel approaches to the works that I analyse. Films from Spain are firmly established as a legitimate critical object within both Hispanic Studies and Film Studies, and the critical attention lavished upon them surveys the political, ideological and aesthetic innovation that has been so fruitful on the peninsula (Besas 1985; Hopewell 1986; Higginbotham 1988; Kinder 1993; Smith 1996; D’Lugo 1997; Kinder 1997; Jordan...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Julio Medem: At the Margins of the Self
    (pp. 53-94)

    Underpinning the narrative of all of Medem’s visually sumptuous experiments in the fundamentals of cinematography is the enigma of the self in the process of creation. This process of subject creation in its performative dimension is expanded and interrogated through his cinematic investigation of individuality and cinematic identity that is looked at here through the lens of Lacan’s formulation of the gaze and language. I outline the ways in which this reading of his works exposes and engages with their creative approach to the construction of the subject before I move to a closer analysis of specific films.

    In all...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Bigas Luna: Physical Frontiers
    (pp. 95-135)

    If Medem’s challenge to perception lay in the psychological interrogation of separation that implicated us and his characters in the desire of the Other, then Bigas Luna’s testing of the border has a much more physical slant. It is my intention in this chapter to concentrate on some of his lesser-known works, bringing together and analysing the concentration on the somatic and corporal dimension of this flamboyant Catalan auteur. The emphasis on the body – depicted in frequently provocative ways – highlights its place within a wider tradition of artistic production. This ranges from the explicit citations of painters and filmmakers such...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR José Luis Guerín: Between Reality and Fiction
    (pp. 136-179)

    In a short dossier dedicated to the state of Spanish cinema at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century, a 2003 edition ofCineasteexamined a turning point for films made in Spain. Carlos Heredero noted, among other tendencies, an ‘obsession with the present’ in Spain’s recent moving image production (2003: 33). The filmmakers I have examined thus far have established dualities only to attempt to dissolve them, and Guerín is no exception. This time the indistinction is between past and present, fiction and reality. If, as Heredero claims, there is an insistent immediacy to the...

  10. CONCLUSION. Looking Forward to the Past
    (pp. 180-187)

    When Peter Besas closed his 1985 book with these words the nationality and national identity of Spanish cinema was if not the primary object of interest for scholars of Hispanic culture then at least an assumed unifying factor and untroubled point of departure for analysis. This book seeks to loosen these inexorable binds not only from the history of Spanish cinema but also from the theoretical trends that have enclosed this history within paradigms of nation and identity that left little space for emergent dissident visions. Of course there is a tradition of dissidence but this was located against a...

  11. Filmography
    (pp. 188-189)
  12. Index
    (pp. 190-193)