Translation, broadly conceived, has been an underlying theme for much of my own research and work recently, but it is a subject that Tessa Dwyer has obviously thought through on many levels, for many years. I must admit, when I first read this book, I expected it to be bounded by the discipline of translation studies. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Dwyer addresses so much more. From the outset of Speaking in Subtitles she asserts that translation in any media form entails risk. This gambit is an effective way to encourage readers to question their own positionalities vis-a-vis the subject and object of translation in film. What is at stake when shifting the hierarchies between sound, image, and words in a film? What is lost? What is gained? What might be a vestigial artifact or unexpected outcome?
There are many Flaherty Film Seminars. The one I first encountered was the image of a staid, cliquish institution, as shared by Jonas Mekas in his Lost Lost Lost (1976). In one extended sequence, recorded in 1963, Mekas, Ken Jacobs, and several of their friends try to crash the week-long gathering in rural Vermont with the hopes of screening Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures (1963) and Jacobs’s Blonde Cobra (1963). They’re turned away, but no bother: the group sleeps outside in their truck and film themselves rising with the sun.
It is not uncommon for me to pick up a book—any kind of book—and as I begin to read it, to make mental notes of elements of the story or facts that intersect with my own experiences. I am certain that I am not alone in this practice of suturing myself into these written realms. Film scholars have been developing multiple theories regarding notions of subject formation ever since Jacques Lacan first developed the concept in the 1950s–60s. From Daniel Dayan and Pierre Oudart to Jacques Alain-Miller to Christian Metz to Stephen Heath to Laura Mulvey to Kaja Silverman, despite this post-post–ad infinitum structural moment, debates on the logic of the signifier persist in film and media studies.
Michael Boyce Gillespie interviews Barry Jenkins on his Oscar winning film Moonlight, the process of adapting Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s stage play to the screen, the filmmakers that Jenkins most admires, and what it means to be a black American filmmaker today.
FQ Contributing Editor Megan Ratner interviews filmmaker Roy Andersson. Swedish writer-director Roy Andersson explores human behavior and its consequences. His Living Trilogy of films, begun in 2000, takes stock of what it means to be a human being. In each Living Trilogy installment, brief but complete scenes pose questions about awareness, responsibility, and the weight of history in contemporary life. Despite his dense material, Andersson’s touch is light, the occasionally farcical tone sympathetically mordant. Sharply lampooning society’s rules, expectations, and institutions, Andersson reserves his benevolence for flops and lost causes.
Rob White interviews Patricio Guzmán about, Nostalgia for the Light his latest film exploring the aftermath of Chile’s 1973 coup d’état
“My aim is to make images that are in love with the story and not with themselves.” Rob White sits down with cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro to discuss his work on Lars von Trier’s Melancholia.
Though it has nine main segments, one for each year recorded, The Black Power Mixtape can be described as a kind of three-act tragedy. The first phase is one of radical eloquence and increasingly bold, militant organization.
“The idea at the basis of the project can be summarized in this way: in 1989, a hundred cameras followed what was happening in Romania; history is no longer divided into theatrical scenes, nor into literary chapters—it is perceived as a sequence; and the sequence demands a film.”
FEATURES: The traveling films of Hiroshi Shimizu, Rosellini’s Pictorial Histories, an exploration of Inception, and a review of The Social Network.
READ: Homesickness, The Looking Class, Park City Remix, and an interview with Andrei Ujică