call: nachdemfilm internet journal
"cinema and tears"
Call for Papers Deadline:
Call for Papers: Cinema and Tears
After the film it often happens that you emerge from the darkness of the cinema into the well-lit world of everyday life and quickly wipe a tear or two from your eye. These are the tell-tale signs of your having been moved, signs not meant for the light of day. Nach dem Film hopes to conserve this moment in its 4th issue by placing it under the scrutiny of a flashbulb, producing a still image of sorts, in order to ask what tears have to do with cinema?
We encourage submissions that consider the role of tears in film and media, including both the production of, the techniques used to produce tears, a cultural history of tears, a theory of tears. We hope to include, but are by no means restricted to, the following areas:
Tears in film and other media are of course key and are divided into issues which touch on the historical, the formal and issues pertaining to reception.
Are there classics in the cinema of tears? What impact did the conversion to sound cinema have on the depiction of tears? The historical function of tears: did the melodramas of the 1940s displace the tensions of the Second World War onto the cinema in order to produce a release valve of sorts?
Stars known for their ability to cry in the theatre of the 19th century.
Are there media that preclude tears? (the hypertext, the computer, the white cube of the gallery)? Is the melodrama, as a tear-oriented genre, a form expressly for women?
The situation of the cinema: darkness and intimacy create an environment that allows for the production of tears. Representations of tears: how does one judge if it is sufficient to produce tears? Who does one actually cry for in the cinema? What is the relationship between intimacy and anonymity in the experience of shared catharsis provided by the cinema? The clouding of vision that occurs due to tears as an indication of the passive role of the eye in perception and the production of tears. Tears as a mark of a physical "dissolution" within the spectator (suggesting a liquid state) and the contrast between the muscular tension invoked by the action or suspense film (a solid) and the gaseous quality of laughter. Is the production of tears symptomatic of the "female gaze"? Crying is a passing experience, perceived as an event (following Gertrud Koch). How is it possible that one may cry repeatedly when one sees a given film many times? What is it that one relives?
A particularly important aspect of cinematic tears is the manner in which they are produced:
How do actors produce tears? How important is it that tears are authentically produced and not artificial? Are there acting methodologies that insist on authenticity? Which artificial substances aid the production of tears such as Belladonna, onions, etc.? How are tears included in the mise-en-scène. To what extent are they dependent on the close-up? Is there (following Deleuze) a technique of montage geared to tears? Is there a dramaturgical recipe for tears?
We are not restricted to film, however, and are as interested in a cultural history of tears:
Why are tears codified as feminine within the binary paradigm? What is the relationship between tears and individuals (following Luhmann or Barthes)? How is it that tears are per se authentic and signify emotion? The definition of public space in which tears may flow (e.g. the cinema, the church, the cemetery, the pop concert, the soccer field, the talk show). Tears are not cool: tears and social status. Crying is private, intimate, one is ashamed to cry in front of others. Why is crying not contagious, when laughing, yawning and coughing in public is? At which point may one cry: tears as a demonstration of control over affect. Tears in the history of other media beyond the cinema (eg. Within the domestic novel). The value of tears in cinema or in therapy: as a sign that one has gotten one's money's worth. The theology of tears: the purging function of tears, tears as catharsis.
And finally a theory of tears, which is still in its infancy, and therefore last but not least:
A topology of tears: where does one cry, how does one cry and on which occasion (tears of joy, tears of sadness). Somatic of tears: the economy of a bodily fluid. Are tears ideological in nature? Psychoanalysis and tears: crying in therapy, the consideration of tears by psychoanalytical theory
We invite all those interested in contributing to issue number 4 of Nach dem Film to forward material to us by April 15th 2002 at: No4en@nachdemfilm.de
Submissions may include images and other multimedia material.
Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen
tel. 0331 / 6202 214
fax 0331 / 6202 299
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