Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

February 13: Jonathan Crylen and Dimitrios Latsis On Histories of the Moving Image at the Intersection of Place and Style

Please join the Chicago Film Seminar at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 13 to welcome Jonathan Crylen (Ph.D. Candidate at UIowa) for his talk "Expanding Oceans, Expanded Screens: Deep-Sea Exploration and the IMAX Experience" and Dimitrios Latsis (Ph.D. Candidate at UIowa) for his talk "Canaletto, Promio, Greenaway:  An Eternal Landscape Braid"  Matt Hauske (Ph.D. Candidate at UChicago) will provide the response. The CFS will be held at DePaul's Loop Campus in the Daley Building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room LL 102, using the State St. entrance located at 247 S. State.

Thursday, February 13 at 6:30pm
Jonathan Crylen, Ph.D Candidate, UIowa
"Expanding Oceans, Expanded Screens: Deep-Sea Exploration and the IMAX Experience"
Dimitrios Latsis, Ph.D. Candidate, UIowa
"Canaletto, Promio, Greenaway: An Eternal Landscape Braid"
Respondent: Matt Hauske, Ph.D. Candidate, UChicago

Crylen describes his talk as follows:

This paper explores the question of scale as regards the deep-sea, the technologies that explore it, and immersive, large-format cinematic experience (IMAX).  Though much of the ocean remains unexplored, submersible technologies have in the past few decades greatly expanded the scale of the known ocean for researchers.  Similarly, IMAX movies of the deep ocean--such as Volcanoes of the Deep (2003) and Aliens of the Deep (2005), this paper's two key examples--have put these new discoveries on display for a curious public on a visual scale that mirrors the scope of "inner space."  First, this paper examines scale on an aesthetic register, drawing on classic/contemporary ideas of the sublime.  It considers the relationship between the technological sublime and the nature-oriented Romantic sublime, arguing that large-format images of the abyss inextricably fuse nature and technology--so that the natural and technological sublimes become mutually constituting.  In these films, spectacular nature always testifies to the advanced technologies (cinematic and oceanographic) that reveal it.  Secondly, my paper addresses scale on a rationalist register, drawing on Bruno Latour's arguments about scientific inscriptions.  For Latour, science aims to produce combinable and superimposable figures and diagrams that render a great many things "presentable all at once."  I argue that IMAX deep-sea documentaries function as Latourian inscriptions in motion, bringing together a diverse range of phenomena--macroscopic and microscopic, oceanic and cosmic, human and nonhuman--in one enormous frame, asking viewers to engage rationally with what also overwhelms them--to redefine disparate and opposed phenomena in relation to one another.

Latsis describes his talk as follows:

What moves cinema? What moves in cinema?  How has movement, its spatial, geographical and aesthetic articulations influenced the development of the medium's artistic vocabulary and catalyzed its cross-pollination with the visual arts?  The great eighteenth-century Venetian landscapist Canaletto first developed the vocabulary of the urban veduta in the 1720s, by 'freezing' the desired view and 'projecting' it onto his canvas, while retaining--in his gestural, architectural and atmospheric renderings--an implicit dynamism that preserves while transforming natural movement.  In 1896 the cameraman Alexandre Promio, working for the Lumières brothers, addressed the need for spatial and temporal compression in out-of-door actualitès, by inventing the technique of the travelling shot to record his views of Venice.  Three quarters of a century later, Peter Greenaway conducted some of his early structuralist experiments in the same locales, honing an analytical style that would inform his later oeuvre.  Using first-hand accounts from these three artists and close analysis of their work derived from and inspired by the very same Venice landscapes (Grand Canal, alleyways and palazzi), my paper surveys the ways that movement, its conceptualization and artistic rendering has shaped the elaboration of filmic style throughout cinema's history.  Through interdisciplinary and transhistorical comparisons, the locus of location is revealed to be just as crucial for cinema as it has been for fine art at large for centuries.

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