Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New Cinema 16.2 is now available

Intellect is pleased to announce that New Cinema 16.2 is now available! For more information about the issue, click here >>

Special Issue: Latin American Cinema

New Cinemas is a double-blind, peer-reviewed journal aiming to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.  

16.2 content


Global ghosts: Latin American directors’ transnational histories
Authors: Jane Hanley 

This article examines nineteenth-century travel routes and transcultural encounters as imagined in recent films by Latin American directors working abroad and on transnational productions. The examples discussed are Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja (Into the Unknown) (2014), Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant (2015), Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak (2015), Raúl Ruiz’s Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, 2010) and Valeria Sarmiento’s Linhas de Wellington (Lines of Wellington, 2012). The diverse settings and genres of these films frame stories of the cultural, political and economic change wrought by the nineteenth century’s networks of human mobility and global power. The films have been selected not only because they examine the past through a globalized, intercultural lens, but also because they were explicitly made for transnational audiences and represent the contemporary conditions of transnational production, distribution and consumption. From the networked meta-narratives of Mysteries of Lisbon to the neo-western colonial frontier of The Revenant, the nineteenth century is represented through visual design and in both realist and non-realist modes, but consistently evoking transnational interconnectedness and its relationship to political and economic change, even where that change is not the explicit focus of the story. The invocation of the emergence of global modernity, its visual recreation from the present day, suggests a kind of spectrality, in which the hauntings of both past and future confront and define us now, and inform the ethics and aesthetics of contemporary globalized encounters. Our consumption of these imagined pasts, with their implicit and their explicit ghosts, has the capacity to provoke an ethical reflection on the present. The past is not a space of pure fantasy or escape, but irrevocably present in our lives. The nineteenth century is no simple exotic object of desire nor canvas for fantasy when it is read through the process of imperialism and emergent global capitalism.

Bargaining with globalization: The cinema of Juan José Campanella
Authors: Daniel A. Verdú Schumann 

Having built his reputation largely on films that seem to embody the very quintessence of Argentinianness, it might be surprising at first to see the name of Juan José Campanella (Buenos Aires, b. 1959) in a volume dedicated to cinema without borders. While other well-known Latin American directors such as three amigos Alfonso Cuarón (b. 1961), Alejandro González-Iñárritu (b. 1963) and Guillermo del Toro (b. 1964) moved to Hollywood after a successful debut in their home countries, Campanella took his first professional steps in the United States only to later return to Argentina and make his international breakthrough there. Yet there is no paradox in his presence here – quite the opposite in fact. First, because his work indeed knows no borders: he has also filmed in Spain and many of his movies are co-productions. But second, and more importantly, because his Argentinian-made films establish a complex and fruitful dialogue between the specific history and character of his home country and a wide range of foreign inspirations and influences, mostly but not only from US cinema, in terms of themes, genres, narrative and aesthetics. This article traces that local/global dialogue throughout Campanella’s career and complete filmography. From this perspective, it is a paradigmatic example of how Latin American cinema can nowadays only be understood within the frame of that global circulation of works, people and ideas that make borders increasingly irrelevant – malgré quelqu’un.

Constellated gatekeepers: Distribution as metaculture and distributors as a ‘real’ audience
Authors: Jonathan Risner 

While social media potentially changes which films attract public attention, film distributors retain a crucial role as gatekeepers in shaping prevailing conceptions of cinema from Latin American countries. I focus on three distributors outside Latin America to illustrate the evolving conditions of film distribution and how distributors serve a metacultural function to facilitate the circulation of particular films. Distributors act as curators of Latin American cinema and provide a means through which Latin American films acquire a generic or other categorization to pique the interests of transnational consumers.

The unveiling of Pelo malo: The naked truth of co-producing poverty-porn
Authors: Antonio Isea 

Film festivals are important for the survival of world cinema, art cinema and independent cinema. One can also add that the awards and media exposure that a film receives at a film festival act as paratextual layers that condition the reading of the core of that particular work of cinematography. Most research on the cultural phenomena of film festivals shows that filmmakers/producers internalize and integrate an understanding of festival expectations in the very inception and development of their projects. Mariana Rondón’s Pelo malo (Bad Hair), recipient of the 2013 Golden Shell at the San Sebastián Film Festival, is a film that represents art/independent/world cinema and was boosted financially by its success at the abovementioned film festival. In this article, I explore how the construction of masculinity, race, poverty porn and affects in Pelo malo is a byproduct of the cultural imperative of a global film festival circuit that sees Venezuela as the most potent signifier of misery and violence in today’s Latin America.

Co-production as co-option: Repackaging the national for the global market in Rio, I Love You and The 33
Authors: Daniel O’Brien 

This article explores two Latin American-US co-productions, Rio, Eu Te Amo (Rio, I Love You) (2014) and Los 33 (The 33) (2015). I examine the extent to which these films, otherwise disparate in form and content, provide a space for addressing issues of national identity and history within a context of international filmmaking practices. Simultaneously, the films present universalized and homogenized facets that subsume rather than promote their cultural specificity in the interests of wider accessibility and marketability. This attribute is refracted in, and arguably a product of, the multinational financing, casts and crews, and local distribution through major US companies. I also look at the films’ reception, global and local, with regard to their being perceived as distinctly, and distinctively ‘Brazilian’ or ‘Chilean’.

Developing a national cinema through co-productions: The Uruguayan case
Authors: Carolina Rocha 

Since its creation in 2008, the Film and Audiovisual Institute of Uruguay (ICAU) has developed strategies to support, fund and exhibit Uruguayan film productions. These policies have paid particular attention to private and public partners and co-production agreements with both Latin American and European countries. To a huge extent, the contemporary Uruguayan film industry is viable thanks to globalization and the larger markets of Argentina and Brazil. Using data from the annual reports of the ICAU, interviews and media clippings, in this article I trace the development of three co-produced films: Norberto apenas tarde (Norberto’s Deadline) (Hendler, 2010), Solo (Rocamora, 2013) and Mr. Kaplan (Brechner, 2014) to show the process and impact of these co-productions and their consumption in Uruguay and the other countries that participated in their financing.