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12 JANUARY 2013

The Last Picture Show: stark black and white cinematography

"Bogdanovich's coming of age story, set in 1950s rural Texas, is an achingly accurate portrayal of small–town life and the compromises and disappointments that mark the passage from adolescence to adulthood. In contrast to his contemporaries, who experimented with style and new filmmaking techniques inspired by the French New Wave, Bogdanovich looked back to classical Hollywood, utilizing stark black and white cinematography, deep focus and a traditional narrative structure. The film is striking in its lack of nostalgia for the past, focusing instead on the desperation of a dying community and way of life, embodied by the shuttering of the lonely movie house."

(Harvard Film Archive)

"The Last Picture Show", Directed by Peter Bogdanovich. With Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd. US 1971, 35mm, b/w, 118 min.

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TAGS

1950sadolescenceadulthoodblack and whitecinematography • classical Hollywood • compromises • Cybill Shepherddeep focusdesperation • disappointment • dying community • French New Wave • Harvard Film Archive • Jeff Bridges • John Schlesinger • lack of nostalgia for the past • loneliness • mark the passage • Mel Brooks • movie house • movie theatre • new filmmaking techniques • Peter Bogdanovichrural • rural Texas • shuttering • small town • small town life • stark • stark black and white cinematography • Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) • TexasTimothy Bottoms • traditional narrative structure • way of life

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 APRIL 2011

Niebla: short film about a village forgotten amid the fog

"As in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magic–realist novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, Niebla's precise setting is uncertain–somewhere in rural Latin America–and the story's narrator is El Pep, an old man being interviewed in his living room by a documentary film crew about the mysterious fog of the title and the resulting visitation by a strange flock of flying sheep. 'The character is strongly based on my grandmother,' Ramos says. 'She was a very complex person, with many frustrations in life. She was born during the Mexican Revolution, so she experienced a lack of material possessions all her life. But she was also very kind and loving with her family (well..., most of the time). She was a combination of marked strenghs and weaknesses. At the end of her life, she suffered from dementia. 'My mind is leaving me,' she used to say, distressed, when she noticed. The only moments we could communicate with her were when we asked her about her past life. Those memories were the last to vanish.'"

(Emilio Ramos)

Fig.1 Emilio Ramos (2006). 'Niebla (Fog)', Short Film | México–Spain | 8 min. | 2d/3d digital

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TAGS

20062D3DAfter EffectsanimationBarcelonacharactercompositingdementia • El Pep • Emilio Ramos • film crew • flying sheep • fog • Gabriel Garcia Marquez • illustrationillustrative styleinterview • Jordi Codina • Latin America • Leo Heiblum • living room • Maria del Mar Hernandez • material possessions • memory • Mexican Revolution • Mexicomysteriousmystery • Niebla • old man • One Hundred Years of Solitude • ruralshort filmvillagevisual design

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 AUGUST 2010

Pioneering colour photography showing everyday Russian life

"Three young women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River, near the town of Kirillov."

(Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA)

[The photograph was created by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin–Gorskii in 1909 as part of his survey of the Russian Empire. The image was created using an early 3–colour technique and was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II.]

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TAGS

1909 • 3-colour • berries • clothingcolour • colour photography • colour processdesign formalismdevicedocumentary photographyempiregirlsinnovation • izba • Kirillov • lantern • Library of CongresspeasantphotographypioneeringportraitruralRussia • Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii • Sheksna River • social documentarysocial realitysocietyspectacletechniqueTsar Nicholas IIvisual depiction • Volga-Baltic Waterway • wooden house

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2003

Urban Theory: World Systems

"The idea of the world system arises out of neo–Marxist scholarship, particularly the work of Wallerstein [1,2,3]. For Wallerstein, the present world system emerged in the sixteenth century with the discovery by Europeans of the new world. This allowed the population of the European world to expand beyond its carrying capacity through importing resources to supplement those within the existing nations. This set in train a system of dependency and exploitation that led to the colonial expansion and the system of markets and dependencies shaping the world into 'core', semi–peripheral and peripheral nations. The core nations initially dominant were the maritime and later industrial powers of Europe; Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and France. The system was initally built around trade, within which the European powers explored and obtained commodities for sale in Europe. These included spices, silks, and new foods. The dominance of the core was secured through their wealth and their military and naval capacities. With the discovery of new worlds, migration then settlement occurred, firstly, of the Americas and later of Southern Africa and Australia and New Zealand. One of the consequences of this migration was to create what some have called dominion capitalist societies [4]. What characterised this group of countries was their dependency on land–based production. The beef ranches of Argentina and the sheep farms of Australia and New Zealand played a significant role in the chain of food production for the industrialising populations of Europe. A consequence of this particular pattern of production and its orientation to exporting has been a different pattern of urbanisation with cities being built on the coast and serving as entrepôt, transportation and service centres rather than bases for industrial production and attractors of rural domestic populations [5,6,7,8]. In New Zealand, for example, it was not until the post–second–world–war period that the indigenous population shifted from being rural to urban based. In 1945, the distribution was 74 per cent rural and 26 per cent urban. By 1971, this had reversed to 71 per cent urban and 29 per cent rural [9]."

(David C. Thorns, 2002, p. 81)

David C. Thorns (2002). "The Transformation of Cities", Palgrave Macmillan.

[1] Wallerstein, I.M. 1974. The Modern World–System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century. New York: Academic Press.
[2] Wallerstein, I.M. 1979. The Capitalist World Economy: Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[3] Wallerstein, I.M. 2000. 'Globalisation or the Age of Transition? A Long–Term View of the Trajectory of the World System'. International Sociology 15, 249–65.
[4] Armstrong, W. 1980. 'Land, Class, Colonialism: The Origins of Dominion Capitalism'. In New Zealand and the World (ed.) W.E. Willmott. Christchurch: University of Canterbury
[5] Mullins, P. 1981. 'Theoretical Perspectives on Australian Urbanisation: Material Components in the Reproduction of Australian Labour Power: Australian and New Zealand journal of Sociology 17, 56–76.
[6] Berry, M. 1983, 'The Australian City in History: Critique and Renewal'. Urban Political Economy: The Australian Case (eds) L. Sandercock and M. Berry. Sydney: George Allen and Unwin.
[7] Berry, M. 1984. 'Urbanisation and Accumulation: Australia's First Long Bom Revisited'. Conflict and Development (ed.) P. Williams. Sydney: George Allen and Unwin.
[8] Denoon, D. 1983. Settler Capitalism: The Dynamics of Dependent Development in the Southern Hemisphere. Oxford: Pergamon.
[9] Thorns, D. and C. Sedgwick. 1997. Understanding Aotearoa. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

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TAGS

Aotearoa New ZealandArgentinaAustraliacapitalismcolonialismcommodityCommonwealthDavid C. Thornsdominion • entrepot • EuropeanexploitationFranceglobalisationIndigenousMaorimarketmigrationnationneo-MarxistNetherlands • peripheral • powerproductionruralsettlementSouth AfricaSpaintradetrajectorytransportationurbanisation • Wallerstein
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