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01 SEPTEMBER 2014

Bulgarians repeatedly vandalise Soviet monuments in protest

"The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet–era ally clean up the monument in Sofia's Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take 'exhaustive measures' to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.

The monument was spray–painted on the eve of the Bulgarian Socialist Party's celebration of its 123rd anniversary, the Sofia–based Novinite news agency reported.

The vandalism was the latest in a series of similar recent incidents in Bulgaria – each drawing angry criticism from Moscow.

Early this year, unknown artists painted another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

In August last year, a Soviet army monument in Sofia was painted pink in an 'artistic apology' for Bulgaria's support of Soviet troops who suppressed Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring revolt against Moscow–based communist rulers."

(Anna Dolgov, 19 August 2014, The Moscow Times)

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2013anniversaryappropriationBulgaria • Bulgarian Socialist Party • critical commentarycriticismcritiquecultural critiquecultural insensitivityculture jammingCzechoslovakiadisrespectgraffiti art • Lozenets • monumentpolitical art • political criticism • political protest • Prague Springprotest artprotest worksPussy Riotre-purposeRed Armyreimaginedreinscribe • reinscription • revision • revolt • Robin (Batman) • Ronald McDonald • Russian embassy • Santa Claus • Sofia (Bulgaria) • Soviet armySoviet eraSoviet monuments • Soviet troops • Soviet Unionspray paintingstreet artsupermanUkraine • Ukrainian flag • unknown artist • vandalism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 MARCH 2014

Laurie Anderson: O Superman

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1981 • Ab major chord • alternating chords • answering machine message • aria • avant-garde music • C minor chord • cooldrone musicelectronic musician • Eventide Harmonizer • experimental performance artist • ha • half-sung half-spoken • Jules Massenet • Laurie Anderson • looping sound • minimalist electronica • minimalist piece • musician • O Superman (1981) • phone conversation • repeated spoken syllable • saxophone • sparse background • superman • technology and communication • tweeting birds • vocoder • women in music

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 MARCH 2011

The Art of the Title Sequence: a compendium

"A compendium and leading web resource of film and television title design from around the world. We honor the artists who design excellent title sequences. We discuss and display their work with a desire to foster more of it, via stills and video links, interviews, creator notes, and user comments."

(Ian Albinson)

Fig.1 Ian Albinson, David Horridge, M. Keegan Uhl, Bill Simmon (2011). 'A Brief History of Title Design', Music: RJD2 "Ghostwriter"

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Alien (film) • Anatomy of a Murder • animation • Barbarella • Brazil (1985) • Bullitt • Buried (film) • Cape Fear • Carnivale (film) • Casino Royale • Catch Me If You Can • cinemaCitizen Kane • compendium • compilationcredit sequence • Dawn of the Dead • Delicatessen (film) • design formalism • Dexter • Do The Right Thing • Donnie BrascoDr Strangelove (1964) • Dr. No • Enter the Void (2009) • Fallen Angel • Fight Club (1999) • film • Forrest Gump • Freaked • Goldfinger • Grand Prix • Gun CrazyHollywood • Intolerance (film) • Iron Man (film) • Juno • King KongLady in the Lake (1947) • Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events • Machete • Mad Men • Make Way For Tomorrow • Mean Streets • Mimic (film) • Mission Impossible • Modern Times (1936) • motion designmotion graphicsmotion graphics timeline • My Man Godfrey • Natural Born Killers • North by Northwest • Phantom of the Opera • Psycho • Raging Bull • Reservoir Dogs (1992) • RJD2 • Robin Hood • Saturday Night Fever • Scott Pilgrim vs the World • Se7ensequence design • Sherlock Holmes • Singing in the Rain • Six Feet Under • Soylent Green • Star WarssupermanTexas • The Fall (film) • The Island of Dr. Moreau • The Kingdom • The Maltese Falcon • The Man With the Golden Arm • The Naked Gun • The Pink Panther • The Social Network • The Terminator • The Thing • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre • The Untouchables • title sequenceTo Kill a Mockingbird • Up In The Air • Vertigo (1958)visual communicationvisual designvisual identityvisual spectacle • Wall-E • Zombieland

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2009

Remaking Film: Hollywood seeks to duplicate past successes and minimise risk by emphasising the familiar

"As in some approaches to film genre, remakes can be located in 'the material conditions of commercial film–making, where plots are copied and formulas forever reiterated'.(14) For film producers, remakes are consistently thought to provide suitable models, and something of a financial guarantee, for the development of studio based projects. In a commercial context, remakes are 'pre–sold' to their audience because viewers are assumed to have some prior experience, or at least possess a 'narrative image',(15) of the original story–an earlier film or literary property–before engaging in its particular re–telling.(16) In the case of cross–cultural remakings, such as The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002)/Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998) or Vanilla Sky (Cameron Crowe, 2001)/Abre Los Ojos (Alejandro Amenábar, 1997) foreign films are dispossessed of local detail to exploit new (English–language) markets. A number of commentators(17) have observed that the remake, along with the sequel and series, has become typical of the defensive production and marketing strategies of a 'post–Jaws'(18) Hollywood. For instance, Jim Hoberman says that 'the trickle of remakes that began . . . with Farewell, My Lovely in 1975 became a flood of recycled Jazz Singing Scarfaced King Kong 'landmarks,' Roman numeral'd replays of old and recent mega–hits, and retired mixed media figures [Flash Gordon, Popeye, Superman, and the like] pressed back into service '.(19)

This 'great downpour' of sequels and remakes, perhaps more perceived than real,(20) is often taken as a sign of Hollywood film having exhausted its creative potential, leading into 'conservative plot structures'(21) and 'automatic self–cannibalisation'.(22) Equally, film remaking is seen as a trend that is encouraged by the commercial orientation of the conglomerate ownership of Hollywood, one which seeks to duplicate past successes and minimise risk by emphasising the familiar–'recreating with slight changes films that have proved successful in the past'–even if this leads to 'aesthetically inferior films'.(23) As instantly recognisable properties, remakes (along with sequels and series) satisfy the requirement that Hollywood deliver reliability (repetition) and novelty (innovation) in the same production package.(24) Understood in this way, the remake becomes a particular instance not only of the 'repetition effects'(25) which characterise the narrative structure of Hollywood film but also of a more general repetition–of exclusive stars, proprietary characters, patented processes, narrative patterns, and generic elements–through which Hollywood develops its 'pre–sold' audience.(26)"

(Constantine Verevis, p.88)

[14] Altman, Film/Genre: 86.

[15] John Ellis, Visible Fictions: Cinema, Television, Video, rev. ed., Routledge, 1992: 30.

[16] Altman, Film/Genre:112.

[17] Tino Balio, 'Introduction to Part II', in Tino Balio, ed, Hollywood in the Age of Television, Unwin Hyman, 1990; J. Hoberman, 'Ten Years That Shook the World', American Film, June 1985: 34–59; Stephen M. Silverman, 'Hollywood Cloning: Sequels, Prequels, Remakes, and Spin–Offs', American Film, July–August, 1978: 24–30.

[18] Thomas Schatz, 'The New Hollywood', in Jim Collins, Hilary Radner and Ava Preacher Collins, eds., Film Theory Goes to the Movies, Routledge: 1993.

[19] J. Hoberman, 'Facing the Nineties', in Vulgar Modernism: Writing on Movies and Other Media, Temple, 1991: 1–2.

[20] Reviewing a sample of 3,490 films from between 1940 and 1979 Thomas Simonet argues that far more 'recycled script' films appeared before the conglomerate takeovers, and perceptions that remaking has increased in the 'new Hollywood' may be governed by comparisons with the previous decade only. See 'Conglomerates and Content: Remakes, Sequels, and Series in The New Hollywood', in Bruce A. Austin, ed, Current Research in Film: Audiences, Economics, and Law, Vol. 3, Ablex, 1987.

[21] Stephen Harvey, 'Can't Stop the Remakes', Film Comment, September–October 1980: 50–53.

[22] Mark Crispin Miller, 'Hollywood: The Ad', Atlantic Monthly, April 1990: 59–62.

[23] Simonet, 'Conglomerates and Content':154.

[24] Ibid., p. 155.

[25] Raymond Bellour, The Analysis of Film, ed. Constance Penley, Indiana University Press, 2000.

[26] See Robert P. Kolker, 'Algebraic Figures: Recalculating the Hitchcock Formula', in Horton and McDougal: 36; Steve Neale, 'Questions of Genre', Screen vol. 31, no. 1, 1990: 56; Altman, Film/Genre: 115.

Constantine Verevis, 2004. 'Remaking Film', Film Studies, Issue 4, Summer 2004

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2004 • Abre Los Ojos • audiencecinema • Constantine Verevis • cross-cultural • downpour • familiar • Farewell • filmfilm genrefilm-making • Flash Gordon • Hollywoodinnovation • Jaws • Jazz Singer • King Kong • My Lovely • narrative image • noveltypatternplot structures • Popeye • pre-sold • re-telling • reliabilityremakeremakesremaking filmrepetition • Ringu • risk • Scarface • self-cannibalisation • sequel • sequels • supermantelevision series • The Ring • Vanilla Sky (2001)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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