• The happiness illusion: how the media sold us a fairytale

      Hockley, Luke; Fadina, Nadi; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2015-06)
      The Happiness Illusion explores how the metaphorical insights of fairy-tales have been literalised and turned into commodities. In so doing, their ability to educate and entertain has largely been lost. Instead advertising and television sell us products that offer to magically transform the way we look, how we age, where we live –both in the city and the countryside, the possibility of new jobs, and so forth. All of these are supposed to make us happy. But despite the allure of ‘retail therapy’ modern magic has lost its spell.
    • A portrait of lives constrained: Zhang Yimou’s 'Ju Dou'

      Larrea, Carlota (Senses of Cinema Inc., 2015-05)
    • Jungian screen studies: ‘Everything is awesome’…?

      Hockley, Luke; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2015-02)
      Jungian film theory has reached a point where it has started to coalesce into a field. It is perhaps timely to take stock of what constitutes that field, and the extent to which a Jungian orientation to film and media is differentiated from Freudian and Lacanian approaches as well as those derived from traditional phenomenology and Deleuze.
    • The Alhondiga project: glocalising culture for the community

      Larrea, Carlota; University of Bedfordshire (2015)
      Positioned as a local, community alternative to the Guggenheim Museum, the Alhondiga cultural centre is one of the many projects of urban regeneration through culture in the city of Bilbao, Northern Spain. It is a multipurpose leisure and arts centre extending over 43,000 square meters, built in the early XXth century as a wine warehouse and redesigned recently by Philip Starck. While the Guggenheim Museum has maintained its international outlook and connotations, oriented towards cultural tourism and being filled primarily by tourists visiting the city, the Alhondiga project is a usable, open space used primarily by the local community, offering an experience that straddles the local and the global, the traditional and the contemporary, the everyday and the cutting edge achieved through a mix of material space design and cultural programming. The presentation will analyse how elements of material and immaterial culture blend in order to foster education, leisure and citizenship agendas in a community which in the past was culturally inward looking. It will evaluate the contrasting understandings of culture and its consumers that emerge from the venue and its programme and the attempt to combine the local and the global both in content and in terms of audience appeal and engagement. It will do so through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the different activities and events, both regular and occasional, over a period of two years, and what they reveal about how community inclusivity and engagement are targeted through cultural programming.
    • The suitcase

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (2015)
    • Forbidden love

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (2015)
    • Pina

      Larrea, Carlota (2014-10)
    • 'Zero Dark Thirty' – ‘war autism’ or a Lacanian ethical act?

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2014-05-09)
      The paper discusses Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty (2012) through the lens of Lacanian ethics as described in Seminar VII. I argue that Maya's single-minded determination is akin to that of Sophocles' Antigone as presented by Lacan. In particular in her decision to see through her commitment to a cause ‘beyond the limit’ as Lacan would put it, she echoes Antigone's ‘inflexibility’ and even her ‘monstrous’ unfeminine and ‘raw’ stubbornness to her mission. This stance, however, is different from a lack of empathy suggested by some critics and scholars. Instead, it constitutes an ethical act within the Lacanian paradigm. I argue that Maya's gender and her feminine beauty defiant in the world of patriarchal procedures also resonates with the position of Antigone. I claim further that psychoanalysis in its emphasis on the unknowingness of subjects and situations has still a lot to offer to film studies, beyond its post-1968 structuralist readings.
    • Mourning and melancholia at the Harare International Festival of the Arts

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Intellect, 2014-03-01)
      This article has a twofold purpose: first, I look at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) as a site of mourning and melancholia – to use the phrase that was first used by Sigmund Freud in his seminal paper and which was reformulated more recently by a postcolonial scholar Ranjana Khanna. I suggest that unconscious mechanisms, which are expressions of loss on the part of both black and white Zimbabweans, are acted out in the festival. In particular, on the part of white Zimbabweans it might be an expression of the so-called ‘white alienation’ experienced after the loss of domination. Second, I also look at assertions of a feminist academic, Sara Ahmed, who claims in her book Embodied Strangers that it is difficult, if at all possible, to circumvent the embodied and cultural context of an encounter between a representative of a western culture and the Other. I present a case study of the opening show at HIFA 2011, which seems to confirm this theory. However, I also suggest that it might be possible to subvert this expected narrative through a Winnicottian notion of a space for creativity and play. I look at two different examples of such encounters and cite the poem by Charmaine Mujeri in which she describes her hybrid identity.
    • Faithless

      Larrea, Carlota (Senses of Cinema Inc., 2014-01)
    • Duty over love: WWI nurses on film

      Randell, Karen; Southhampton Solent University (2014)
    • Buster Keaton and the sunshine players

      Randell, Karen; Southhampton Solent University (2014)
    • Photo filter apps: understanding analogue nostalgia in the new media ecology

      Caoduro, Elena; University of Southampton (2014)
      As digital media have become more pervasive and entrenched in our daily routines, a nostalgic countertrend has increasingly valued the physical and tactile nature of the analogue image. In the past few years, technologically obsolete devices, such as lo-fi cameras and vinyl records, have not faded out of sight completely but are instead experiencing a comeback. At the same time, digital media capitalise on the nostalgia for the analogue and fetishise the retro aesthetics of old technologies. This article explores the emergence of photo filter and effect applications which allow users to modify digital photos, adding signifiers of age such as washed-out colours, scratches and torn borders. It is argued that these new technologies, with programs such as Instagram, Hipstamatic and Camera 360, bring back the illusory physicality of picture-taking through digital skeuomorphism. Drawing on media archaeology practice, this article interrogates the limits of the retro sensibility and the fetishisation of the past in the context of digital media, in particular by focusing on the case study of the start-up Instagram. This photo filter application neither merely stresses the twilight nature of photography nor represents the straightforward digital evolution of previous analogue features. Rather, it responds to the necessity to feel connected to the past by clear and valued signs of age, mimicking a perceived sense of loss. Faced with the persistent hipster culture and the newness of digital media, photo filter apps create comfortable memories, ageing pictures and adding personal value. As such, it will be argued that this phenomenon of nostalgia for analogue photography can be linked to the concepts of ritual and totem. By providing a critical history of Instagram as a photo-sharing social network, this article aims to explain new directions in the rapidly changing system of connective media.