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Graduate work in progress: Screen Media seminar with Lauri Kitsnik and Alice Allen

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Hannah Mowat.

The final Screen Media Group seminar of term will showcase ongoing research by PhD students Lauri Kitsnik (Department of East Asian Studies) and Alice Allen (Department of Spanish and Portuguese).

Lauri will be presenting a paper entitled ‘Discursive functions of the screenplay in the pre-war Japanese cinema’.

ABSTRACT In various stages of the early history of Japanese film, debates centering on the screenplay have acted as a catalyst for how cinema has been positioned in the field of cultural production. In the 1910s, when the critics involved in the Pure Film Movement focused on making a distinction between stage and screen arts, film screenplay was seen to be instrumental for liberating film from the heavy influence of theatre, and from the tradition that left narrative continuity of the film dependent on the presence of benshi. The 1920s saw the establishment of new film studios such as Shochiku that concentrated its efforts on modernising production methods, including the founding of a separate screenwriting section in the company. With the coming of sound in the early 1930s, some contemporary critics initiated the Scenario-as-Literature Movement that argued for the literary qualities of the film script and forged a trend to analyse screenplays separately from the films. Unlike earlier critics who saw film as a medium in its own right, this movement sought to drag it back to the domain (and prestige) of literary arts.

Alice will be talking about ‘Sites of Transformation: Artful Waste and Recycling in Lixo Extraordinário’.

ABSTRACT Waste possesses a powerful symbolic charge that captured the imagination of many artists and intellectuals of the Modernist era. A symptom of all that falls outside of the boundaries of social acceptability, humankind’s endless generation of ‘useless’ material has continued to fascinate, shock and inspire artists, intellectuals and, with increasing urgency throughout the last century, environmentalists. In the light of such observations, this paper examines the documentary film Lixo Extraordinário (Waste Land, 2010), a UK/Brazil co-production featuring a ‘transformational’ encounter between renowned artist Vik Muniz and a group of rubbish collectors working on a landfill site in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As we contemplate the circuit of images and materials that shape our lives, questions surrounding media multiplicity, exchange and (artistic) reproduction inevitably assert themselves. It is within this framework that I explore motifs of visibility, fragmentation and redemption, asking how we can better understand the tension between ethics and aesthetics in a domain that lies all too uncomfortably close to home.

The session starts at 5 for 5.15 and will be followed by a Q&A.

All welcome, no registration required.

This talk is organised by the Cambridge Screen Media Group at CRASSH .

This talk is part of the Cambridge Screen Media Group series.

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