The Utopia of Film: Cinema and Its Futures in Godard, Kluge, and Tahimik

The Utopia of Film: Cinema and Its Futures in Godard, Kluge, and Tahimik

by Christopher Pavsek
     
 

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The German filmmaker Alexander Kluge has long promoted cinema's relationship with the goals of human emancipation. Jean-Luc Godard and Filipino director Kidlat Tahimik also believe in cinema's ability to bring about what Theodor W. Adorno once called a "redeemed world." Situating the films of Godard, Tahimik, and Kluge within debates over social revolution, utopian

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Overview

The German filmmaker Alexander Kluge has long promoted cinema's relationship with the goals of human emancipation. Jean-Luc Godard and Filipino director Kidlat Tahimik also believe in cinema's ability to bring about what Theodor W. Adorno once called a "redeemed world." Situating the films of Godard, Tahimik, and Kluge within debates over social revolution, utopian ideals, and the unrealized potential of utopian thought and action, Christopher Pavsek showcases the strengths, weaknesses, and undeniable impact of their utopian visions on film's political evolution. He discusses Godard's Alphaville (1965) against Germany Year 90 Nine-Zero (1991) and JLG/JLG: Self-portrait in December (1994), and he conducts the first scholarly reading of Film Socialisme (2010). He considers Tahimik's virtually unknown masterpiece, I Am Furious Yellow (1981–1991), along with Perfumed Nightmare (1977) and Turumba (1983); and he constructs a dialogue between Kluge's Brutality in Stone (1961) and Yesterday Girl (1965) and his later The Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time (1985) and Fruits of Trust (2009).

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Editorial Reviews

Screening the Past - Patrick Reagan
... Pavsek renews our faith in the utopian possibilities of truly political art.

Richard Dienst
An impressive book people will read for all kinds of reasons, academic and otherwise, not least of which is its bold proposal that the future is unthinkable without cinema.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231160988
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
01/29/2013
Series:
Film and Culture Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Nora M. Alter
Based on significant research and archival work, Pavsek presents new material and theories out of which he draws original insights and conclusions. He handles opaque and theoretically dense material with an ease and familiarity that renders it accessible and fascinating.

Timothy Corrigan
The Utopia of Film creates ingenious bridges among three remarkably different filmmakers, vividly and convincingly arguing formal and spectatorial strategies aimed at transforming not just cinema but contemporary culture.

Fredric Jameson
At a time when older conceptions of political film have become outmoded, if not forgotten altogether, Christopher Pavsek unexpectedly reinvents this form through his pathbreaking examination of three neglected but extraordinary filmmakers. The Utopia of Film is a revelation and a resource.

Meet the Author

Christopher Pavsek is associate professor of film in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His films include The One and All (2002) and To Those Born After (2005), and he is the translator of Alexander Kluge's Learning Processes with a Deadly Outcome.

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