Mediamorphosis: Kafka and the Moving Image

Mediamorphosis: Kafka and the Moving Image


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The idea of a visual manifestation of the work of Franz Kafka was denied by many—first and foremost by Kafka himself, who famously urged his publisher to avoid an image of an insect on the cover of Metamorphosis. Be that as it may, it is unlikely that such a central progenitor of twentieth-century art and thought as Kafka can be fully understood without reference to the revolutionary artistic medium of his century: cinema.

Mediamorphosis compiles articles by some of today's leading forces in the scholarship of Kafka as well as film studies to provide a thorough investigation of the reciprocal relations between Kafka's work and the cinematic medium. The volume approaches the theoretical integration of Kafka and cinema via such issues as the cinematic qualities in Kafka's prose and the possibility of a visual manifestation of the Kafkaesque. Alongside these debates, the book investigates the capacity of cinema to incorporate and express the unique qualities of a Kafkaesque world through an analysis of cinematic adaptations of Kafka's prose, such as Michael Haneke's The Castle (1997) and Straub-Huillet's Class Relations (1984), as well as films that carry a more subtle relation to Kafka's oeuvre, such as the cinematic works of David Cronenberg, the films of the Coen brothers, Chris Marker's "film-essay," Charlie Chaplin's tramp, and others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231176453
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 02/26/2016
Pages: 286
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Shai Biderman is professor of philosophy at Tel Aviv University. He teaches film and philosophy at TAU and at Beit-Berl College, Israel. He is the coeditor of The Philosophy of David Lynch.

Ido Lewit is a PhD candidate in the Department of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Introduction, by Ido Lewit and Shai Biderman
Part I. The Cinematic Kafka
Kafka, Rumour, Early Cinema: Archaic Moving Pictures, by Paul North
Sebald Goes to the Movies: Reading Kafka as Cinematography, by Nimrod Matan
The Ghost Is Clear: The POV of the Daydreamer, by Laurence A. Rickels
Moving Pictures—Visual Pleasures: Kafka's Cinematic Writing, by Peter Beicken
To Move as the Image Moves: The Rule of Rhythmic Presence and Absence in Kafka's The Man Who Disappeared, by Tobias Kuehne
Noises Off: Cinematic Sound in Kafka's 'The Burrow', by Kata Gellen
Gesture, Wardrobe, Backdrop and Prop in Franz Kafka's The Man Who Disappeared and Peter Weir's The Truman Show, by Idit Alphandary
The Possibility of the Cinematic in 'The Metamorphosis' and 'The Burrow', by Kevin W. Sweeney
Part II. The Kafkaesque Cinema
'The Essential Is Sufficient': The Kafka Adaptations of Orson Welles, Straub-Huillet and Michael Haneke, by Martin Brady and Helen Hughes
K., the Tramp, and the Cinematic Vision: The Kafkaesque Chaplin, by Shai Biderman
'The Medium Is the Message': Cronenberg 'Outkafkas' Kafka, by Iris Bruce
The Absurdity of Human Existence: 'The Metamorphosis' and The Fly, by William J. Devlin and Angel M. Cooper
'This Is Not Nothing': Viewing the Coen Brothers Through the Lens of Kafka, by Ido Lewit
The Face: K. and Keaton, by Omri Ben-Yehuda
Translating Kafka into Italian: Kafkaesque Themes in Eilo Petri's Films, by Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns and Leonardo Acosta Lando
Epilogue: A Personal Quest Into the Cinematic Kafkaesque
Magic, Mystery and Miracle: Re-spiralling Marker and Kafka, by Dan Geva
Transcribing Kafka Into Film: A Tortuous Love-Story, by Henry Sussman

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