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Eye candy for the blind: re-introducing Lyotard's Acinema into discourses on excess, motion and spectacle in contemporary Hollywood

Knox, S. (2013) Eye candy for the blind: re-introducing Lyotard's Acinema into discourses on excess, motion and spectacle in contemporary Hollywood. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 11 (3). pp. 374-389. ISSN 1740-7923

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17400309.2013.803906

Abstract/Summary

Jean-François Lyotard's 1973 essay ‘Acinema’ is explicitly concerned with the cinematic medium, but has received scant critical attention. Lyotard's acinema conceives of an experimental, excessive form of film-making that uses stillness and movement to shift away from the orderly process of meaning-making within mainstream cinema. What motivates this present paper is a striking link between Lyotard's writing and contemporary Hollywood production; both are concerned with a sense of excess, especially within moments of motion. Using Charlie's Angels (McG, 2000) as a case study – a film that has been critically dismissed as ‘eye candy for the blind’ – my methodology brings together two different discourses, high culture theory and mainstream film-making, to test out and propose the value of Lyotard's ideas for the study of contemporary film. Combining close textual analysis and engagement with key scholarship on film spectacle, I reflexively engage with the process of film analysis and re-direct attention to a neglected essay by a major theorist, in order to stimulate further engagement with his work.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:33046
Uncontrolled Keywords:Jean-François Lyotard, acinema, spectacle, excess, contemporary Hollywood, Charlie's Angels , movement and stillness.
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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