Mind the Screen: Media Concepts According to Thomas by Jaap Kooijman

By Jaap Kooijman

Brain the monitor can pay tribute to the paintings of the pioneering eu movie student Thomas Elsaesser, writer of a number of volumes on media experiences and cinema tradition. overlaying an entire scope of concerns coming up from the author’s work—from melodrama and mediated reminiscence to avant-garde practices, media archaeology, and the audiovisual archive—this assortment elaborates and expands on Elsaesser’s unique rules alongside the topical traces of cinephilia, the historic imaginary, the modern ecu cinematic event, YouTube, and pictures of terrorism and double occupancy, between different themes. Contributions from famous artists and students comparable to Mieke Bal and Warren Buckland discover various media ideas and supply a replicate for the multi-faceted kinds of monitors lively in Elsaesser’s paintings, together with the tv set, video set up, the electronic interface, the cellphone demonstrate, and naturally, the hallowed silver monitor of our modern movie tradition.

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What more can be said about the relation between style and theme, or how the characters’ interior states of mind are expressed in film style? Elsaesser’s primary innovation is to graft the concept of the melodramatic imagination onto this traditional issue in film studies. Rather than abandon the study of style and theme in film, Elsaesser digs deeper: he begins by drawing parallels between the film melodrama and the history of the European novel and drama, in which individual heroes internalize class conflicts and turn them into personal struggles.

Perhaps, instead of accusing Deleuze of being an old-fashioned cinephile, who has merely taken his cue from the Cahiers du cinéma critics and pimped it with pseudo-philosophical jargon, as his detractors would have it, one should see him more as a contemporary cinephile whose work on cinema is, at least in some respects, a blog avant la lettre. His cinema works open up a dialogue with the canon of the first wave of cinephilia, but from a position where he was one of the first cinephiles to realize that there is no outside to cinema, no transcendental perspective, that there is only immanence.

Even if Odysseus is presented as a beggar in order to prevent his being recognized upon his return, Auerbach insists that, “the poor beggar Odysseus is only masquerading” (18). In clear contrast, the Bible’s protagonists are not noblemen in disguise; indeed, “Adam is really cast down, Jacob really a refugee, Joseph really in the pit and then a slave to be sold” (18). It would seem then that Homeric parataxis is the embodiment of classical elevated style and Biblical syntaxis as the epitome of “low” style.

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