Kristeva in Focus: From Theory to Film Analysis

Kristeva in Focus: From Theory to Film Analysis

by Katherine J. Goodnow


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Kristeva in Focus: From Theory to Film Analysis by Katherine J. Goodnow

Dealing with some of the major themes in film narratives, this book draws on the theories of French psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva. It looks at how narratives have changed over time, and considers the sources of our variable reactions to themes and representations of horror, strangers, and love.

In addition to a selection of contemporary mainstream films, the major films for analysis are New Zealand "New Wave" films such as Alison Maclean's Kitchen Sink and Crush ; Vincent Ward's Vigil ; and Jane Campion's Sweety, An Angel at My Table , and The Piano.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782385066
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/03/2014
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Katherine J. Goodnow is Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Media Studies, University of Bergen, and has published widely on museums and cultural diversity. She combines research with filmmaking and has produced television series and documentaries for Norwegian national broadcasters.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction to Kristeva

  • A first general concept: Order and disturbances of order
  • A second pervasive concern: The text of society and history
  • Proximal history

Chapter 2. Horror - Basic concepts: The abject and its varieties

  • Introducing Kitchen Sink
  • The abject, borders, and images of pollution
  • Varieties of the abject

Chapter 3. Horror - Specifiying the circumstances

  • The nature of rituals of defilement
  • The function of rituals of defilement
  • Questions about rituals
  • The knowledge that rituals imply
  • Differences among spectators

Chapter 4. Strangers - Basic concepts: Strangers without and within

  • Aspects of continuity and change
  • Introducing two films: Vigil and Crush
  • Who is the stranger?
  • What marks the stranger?
  • What creates the tension?
  • What is the narrative function of the stranger?
  • When are tensions and changes most likely to occur?

Chapter 5. Strangers – Expansions: The stranger's story

  • Introducing An Angel At My Table
  • The stranger's position
  • The stranger's feelings
  • The stranger's options
  • Angel's impact upon the spectator

Chapter 6. Love - Basic concepts

  • Aspects of continuity and change
  • Sweetie , Piano : An introduction
  • What are the forms of love?
  • The difficulties of love
  • Links to change: Steps towards love
  • Times of difficulty and change

Chapter 7. Love - Expansions: Old and new discourses

  • Aspects of continuity and change
  • Current discourses and their weaknesses
  • The shape of new tales of love
  • The special case of motherhood and material love

Chapter 8. The text of society and history

  • The paths for Vigil and Kitchen Sink
  • A rockier path: Crush
  • Campion's first feature: Sweetie
  • Campion's second feature: Angel
  • Campion's third feature: The Piano
  • Cross-cutting themes

Chapter 9. Some conceptual questions

  • Kristeva's "generations" of feminist theory
  • On "men" and "women"
  • Women's voice, women's writing, women's genius
  • Some reservations
  • A reminder of positives



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