Issue 19.2 Summer 2021


Gregory Brophy, “Untouchable: ‘Disabling’ Cinema’s Contract on Contact in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 

Excerpt: “The film’s essential intervention, then, lies in closing this ironic distance between the felt experiences of artist and audience. The book describes Bauby’s frustration, while the film dares to induce it. This shared experience is catalyzed by what has to be the most extraordinary use of literal first-person perspective in the history of cinema, a sustained experiment in intensive vision (persisting over one-third of the film’s duration) that conscripts the entire body of the viewer, inducing effects – not only psychological but physical – that extend beyond the strict register of the visual.” Read the full article here

Linda Ai-Yun Liu, “The Dubious Logic of Sacrifice: Motherhood, Crisis, and Social Reproduction in Advantageous (2015)”

Excerpt: “In exploring both the rewarding and oppressive aspects of this kind of future-oriented status work, Advantageous implicitly links the intimate realm of family reproduction with newer forms of social control at work in contemporary late capitalist societies. We might even say that the film illustrates how the labor of mothering – traditionally associated with an intimate private sphere set apart from impersonal market relations – can be a key locus for the workings of what Gilles Deleuze calls a ‘control society.’ In this post-industrial iteration of Foucault’s disciplinary society, power operates less through the physical enclosure of bodies (e.g. factories, schools) than via the kinds of ‘competitive economic positioning [that] opposes individuals against one another and divides each within.’ A mother’s drive to make sacrifices in order to safeguard her daughter’s status, as Advantageous shows, can be a remarkably efficacious avenue for social control.” Read the full article here

James Rendell, “‘I Am (Not) Major’: Anti-fan Memes of Paramount Pictures’ Ghost in the Shell Marketing Campaign”

Hannah Stark, University of Tasmania, & Timothy Laurie, University of Technology Sydney, “The End of Intimate Politics in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster” 

Excerpt: “Firstly, Lanthimos’ film registers a widespread exhaustion with political utopias and reveals the way that both normative and antinormative practices emerge as related social formations. The Lobster is both a satire of compulsory coupling and an equally damning critique of libertarian individualism as an alternative to domestic monogamy. As Annemarie Jagose has recently argued, a politics focused on antinormativity does not necessarily produce the social outcomes that many working in feminist and queer scholarship seek to achieve. Queer critical frameworks must be able to account for the ways that certain antinormative practices – and in particular, libertarian withdrawals from social relations of reciprocity – may curtail experimental conceptions of intimacy and, perhaps, love.” Read the full article here

Tory Jeffay, “’Flat Out Fucking Formalism’: Strong Island as Trans-of-Color Critique”

2020 Queer and Trans Caucus Chris Holmlund Graduate Student Writing Prize


Cold War Cosmopolitanism: Period Style in 1950s Korean Cinema by Christina Klein; review by Ervin Pavlekovic

Contemporary Cinema and the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch by Lucy Bolton, review by Geetha Ramanathan

Her Stories: Daytime Soap Opera & US Television History by Elana Levine, review by Lauren Wilks