Representation of the Revolt in Film
For its 16th issue, Cinemascope.it focuses on the ways in which films represent struggles, revolutions, rebellions and social disorders: events that have profound effects on societies. In relation to the images of ‘the revolt’ on screen this issue addresses the following questions: what does subversion of power structures mean and how is subversion represented in film? Does the image of the urban landscape play a role in the evolution of a revolt? How are citizens represented in film in the context of their reaction towards conflict and change? How is their attempt to reclaim the past and reconstruct the present depicted in different films? In addition, in the context of the recent political and social shifts in North Africa and Middle East, what role does the new media play; in other words, what kind of images circulate around us when we think about the images of ‘the revolt’?
In this issue Cinemascope.it seeks answers to these questions as the contributors offer a variety of fascinating and thought provoking responses on the images of the revolt; the concept of subversion as well as political and social change. In this Introduction as the editorial board of the journal, we would like to celebrate the variety of texts, contexts and ideas offered by the contributors of this issue.
On revolution. Tunisian cinema before and after by Gina Annunziata is an exhaustive follow shot on the actual situation of the movie Tunisian production. Annunziata focuses mainly on documentary films and examines the ways in which the images of the public and the private shift.
With (Un)Homely Revolt in Laurent Cantet’s Time Out, Dwayne Avery examines the ways in which the urban space function in films about subversion and revolt. He argues that often the domestic space is represented as locus of an individual revolt that mirrors collective humors.
The paper by Mariana A. C. da Cunha is focused on the iconography of revolt in Glauber Rocha’s Black God, White Devil, and particularly on the representation of the landscape in this masterpiece of Brazilian Cinema Novo. The movie by Rocha displays a tension between modes of narrating and space, and the article investigates the construction of the landscape as a stage of revolt.
Proshot Kalami examines a recent underground film by the iranian director Bahman Ghobadi’s No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009), a movie made in Tehran without any permission from the Ministry of Islamic Guidance or state support, that explores the underground music of Iran following bands of Indie-Rock, Jazz, New-metal and Rap in underground concerts escaping the hunting guards of the Islamic authorities. As Kalami points out in the paper, the movie explores “a liminal space between crime and freedom, where these young artists create their music. Their act of creation is their soundless revolt”.
Thoithoi ‘O Cottage offers an insight in the Indian State of Manipur analyzing how Ningthouja Lancha in Mami Sami manages a minimalist aesthetics – minimized dialogue and long pauses, avoidance in conversations of reference to the socio-political problems, etc. – in order to portray an ‘unquiet silence’ made necessary by the socio-political forces in the state of Manipur.
In Rebellious Affects in the Battle of Stokes Croft, paying attention to the emotional and embodied reactions, Steve Presence presents, the idea of ‘riot porn’, like the melodrama, as a work on the body to elicit affective responses. This, he argues, shows us the interconnectedness between the personal and the public (social).
Cecilia Mangini e Alina Marazzi: An Italian Story, by Francesca Marone e Valeria Napolitano, considers the work of the two directors who, in two different periods and discusses the ways in which their work relocated and shifted the stereotype of women as subjected to ‘male gaze’. The article focuses on the image of Woman (with a capital W) on the screen as well as at the level of production.
For the masterpiece of Gillo Pontecorvo, with The “urban theatre” in Gillo Pontecorvo’s Algiers Elisa Uffreduzzi analyzes the ways in which the Italian director finds in the masses’ emotions the system to express the dynamics that bring a country to independence. In particular, Uffreduzzi underlines the principal aims of Pontecorvo’s choices to narrate the Algerian destiny: the heredity of neorealism and the aspiration to the journalistic documentary.
In It Happened Elsewhere: Godard’s Last Revolt Christoph Hesse writes about the events linked to Jusqu’à la victoire by Jean-Luc Godard started in 1970 and then suspended, becoming a “film in pieces, just like Amman”, as Godard himself declared. The article discusses the idea of films as tools of plurality of thought and ideology.
Again, Cinemascope.it couldn’t choice an issue better than this to subverted its landscapes, presenting itself in a new graphic habit, friendly and responsive, to give more pleasure during the reading and more information about the authors and their interests of research.