This brief essay was published in 2013 in the third print issue of the great online film journal La Furia Umana.
In Oshima’s critical writings from the period around Night and Fog in Japan (1960), two related terms stand out, tension and instability. The ‘history of bad faith’ which, according to Harry Harootunian, constitutes the human material of the film saturates the physiognomy of the actors. But it is also, primarily even, borne by the camera, in sequence shots that linger on the wracked faces of the militant students, or their later, drained selves. Continue reading
A recent talk on one of the more pernicious manifestations of the “poor man’s cognitive mapping” in the political field.
“We have to decipher all the images that surround the country and the city and to understand the real contradictions and connections between them.”
These are the final lines, read by the Welsh Marxist theorist, of Mike Dibb’s excellent 1979 TV collaboration with Raymond Williams, rendering the latter’s book into a compact and poetic essay on the historical entanglement of urbanisation, property and agriculture in British culture and society, as it came to be articulated in verse, prose and painting.
A fascinating talk on the political and methodological challenges of visualising slavery by Vincent Brown:
See also his cartographic narrative of slave revolts in Jamaica, and this brief chronological visualisation of the Atlantic slave trade.