Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
De La Garza, Armida
Impure Cinema: Interdisciplinary and Multicultural Approaches to Cinema
Cinema has been widely acknowledged as a meeting point of all other arts. Joseph L. Anderson, for example, commenting on the 'commingling media' which participated in the genesis of Japanese cinema, reminds us of an old Buddhist saying, according to which 'all arts are one in essence'. In the same vein, Bazin even prophesied that the critic of the year 2050 would find 'not a novel out of which a play and a film had been "made," but rather a single work reflected through three art forms, an artistic pyramid with three sides, all equal in the eyes of the critic'. Bazin's statement responds to a tendency, prevalent in the 1950s among French new wave critics and future filmmakers, of locating and privileging cinema's specificity as a medium, through which they hoped to safeguard the director's status as an auteur. Truffaut, for example, provocatively contended that a literary adaptation was valid 'only when written by a man of the cinema'. A first question thus derives from this conundrum:
Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, UK
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
‘Translating’ Frida Kahlo: The Film-Paintings Abstract for the Impure Cinema Conference, Leeds, 2-5 December 2010 To account for the boundary-crossing media and art so prevalent today, in which ‘all specific artistic skills tend to leave their particular domain and swap places and powers’, Jacques Ranciére has proposed three different paradigms (The Emancipated Spectator, 2009 p. 21). First, Nietzsche—and then Wagner’s—idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk or total artwork, in which art would ultimately become life. Second, the view that hybridisation of artistic means is a logical outcome of the postmodern condition, characterised by eclecticism and the levelling off of hitherto entrenched hierarchies. And last, the idea that the various mixtures imply translations from one medium into another, as encountering the work(s) of art and making meaning is an active process: ‘an emancipated community is a community of narrators and translators’ (22). This paper brings these three paradigms to bear upon the making and reception of the films on the life and work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, namely Frida, Naturaleza Viva (Leduc, 1984) and Frida (Taymore, 2002), considering the different ways they set, as it were, her paintings in motion, and how the paintings in turn become hypertext devices, providing a commentary on the difference between the two media, while her iconic figure is made to transgress the boundaries of the ‘translating’ (as per Ranciére), (post) national communities.
University of Nottingham Ningbo