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.
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.
cknowledgements Preface 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 End-notes References
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