Cinema and Language

Cinema and Language

Cinema and Language

Cinema and Language

Excerpt

The papers collected in this volume constitute one record of a conference on 'Cinema and Language' held from March 27 to 30, 1979 by the Center for Twentieth Century Studies of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The conference could not have taken place without the support, from inside the University, of the College of Letters and Science nor without that, from outside, of the National Endowment for the Arts (through the constantly encouraging Don Druker and Perrin Ireland) and of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy (through Hugues de Kerret). The organization was done by the staff of the Center and coordinated by Carol Tennessen, whose work was largely responsible for the success of the conference.

One record . . . During the conference, much took place: many papers were given and lengthy discussions occupied a large part of the time. Only a little of all this could be included here and we have simply brought together some of the papers that, though diverse in topic and different in approach, lend themselves to a coherent presentation of current aspects of the question of 'cinema and language'. The book thus moves from initial discussions of theories and problems (Heath, de Lauretis) to specific consideration of the place of the spectator in the meaning of film (Doane, Le Grice), and then to three particular 'case-study' areas: Marx Brothers' films (Mellencamp), Japanese cinema (Burch, Kirihara, Bordwell) and Surrealist film (Oswald, Williams), coming back via the matter of 'figures' in film (raised by Oswald and Williams, taken up by Andrew and then by Willemen) to the more general treatment of theories and problems (Willemen and Rosen).

A central feature of the conference was discussion, with the participation of the makers, of a number of films: Chantal Akerman Jeanne Dielman, 23 rue de Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles and Les Rendez-Vous d'Anna; James Benning's Grand Opera: An Historical Romance; Bette Gordon Exchanges; Malcolm Le Grice Emily; Babette Mangolte The Camera: Je/Le Caméra:I. The key participation of a number of other speakers and discussants should also be acknowledged: Raymond Bellour, Janet Bergstrom, Dick Blau, Keith . . .

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