Advertisement

Introduction

Cinematic Map-Making
  • Amy Lynn Corbin
Chapter
Part of the Screening Spaces book series (SCSP)

Abstract

Watching any film is a travel experience, one that psychically transports viewers into another place. From a sedentary position in the movie theatre or in one’s living room, film invites the spectator to imagine that she is in a different space. Giuliana Bruno describes the way that sensations of travel are built into the medium through its multiple types of motion—moving humans, moving camera, contrasting angles, and points of view that allow the spectator to occupy several different locations:

Film spectatorship is thus a practice of space that is dwelt in, as in the built environment. The itinerary of such a practice is similarly drawn by the visitor to a city or its resident, who goes to the highest point—a hill, a skyscraper, a tower—to project herself onto the cityscape, and who also engages the anatomy of the streets, the city’s underbelly, as she traverses different urban configurations. Such a multiplicity of perspectives, a montage of “traveling” shots with diverse viewpoints and rhythms, also guides the cinema and its way of site-seeing. Changes in the height, size, angle, and scale of the view, as well as the speed of the transport, are embedded in the very language of the filmic shots, editing, and camera movements. Travel culture is written on the techniques of filmic observation.1

Keywords

Cultural Landscape Movie Theatre Travel Experience White Middle Class Indian Country 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Giuliana Bruno, Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film (London; New York: Verso, 2002), 62; emphasis in the original.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Edward C. Relph, Place and Placelessness (London: Pion, 1976), 49.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    James Kneale, “Secondary Worlds: Reading Novels as Geographical Research,” in Cultural Geography in Practice, ed. Alison Blunt et al. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 46.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alexander Sesonske, “Cinema Space,” in Explorations of Phenomenology, ed. David Carr and Edward S. Casey (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), 399–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 6.
    Edward S. Casey, Getting Back into Place: Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 31.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    See Laura U. Marks, The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000); and Vivian Carol Sobchack, Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004). Alison Griffiths discusses immersive and interactive spectatorship in cinematic (IMAX) and noncinematic (museums) venues in Alison Griffiths, Shivers Down Your Spine: Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Anne Friedberg, Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    Ellen Strain, Public Places, Private Journeys: Ethnography, Entertainment, and the Tourist Gaze (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    David B. Clarke and Marcus A. Doel, “Engineering Space and Time: Moving Pictures and Motionless Trips,” Journal of Historical Geography 31 (2005): 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 11.
    This is reminiscent of Stephen Heath’s argument that narrative “tames” space, except that Bruno emphasizes films that present multiple trajectories, an interest that will be taken up later in the context of “nomadic” films. “Narrative Space” in Questions of Cinema (London and New York: MacMillan Press, 1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 12.
    Jeffrey Ruoff, “Introduction: The Filmic Fourth Dimension: Cinema as Audiovisual Vehicle,” in Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel, ed. Jeffrey Ruoff (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 13.
    Vivian Sobchack, The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), 10.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Tom Conley, Cartographic Cinema (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in Illuminations: Essays and Reflections, ed. Hannah Arendt and trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books, 1968), 236.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    I expand on this argument for cinema spectatorship as tourism in Amy Corbin, “Traveling through Cinema Space: The Film Spectator as Tourist,” Continuum: A Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 28, no. 3 (2014): 314–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 17.
    Ellen Strain, Public Places, Private Journeys: Ethnography, Entertainment and the Tourist Gaze (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003), 5.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    This contradiction is a more general version of what Lauren Rabinovitz identifies in ride films, in which viewers are buckled into fixed-position seats that simulate motion while watching a film about movement. Lauren Rabinovitz, “From Hale’s Tours to Star Tours: Virtual Voyages, Travel Ride Films, and the Delirium of the Hyper-Real,” in Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel, ed. Jeffrey Ruoff (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 42–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 19.
    John Urry, The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and Travel in Contemporary Societies (London and Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1990).Google Scholar
  19. 21.
    See essays in Ruoff, plus Jennifer Lynn Peterson, Education in the School of Dreams: Travelogues and Early Nonfiction Film (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013); Fatimah Tobing Rony, The Third Eye: Race, Cinema, and Ethnographic Spectacle (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996); Alison Griffiths, Wondrous Difference: Cinema, Anthropology, and Turn-of-the-Century Visual Culture (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002). Two articles about fictional representations of tourism are: Tara Kolton, “Representations of Western Tourism in Cinema: Fantasies, Expectations and Inequalities,” Cinephile 3, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2007): 19–27; Elisabetta Tesser, “The Representation of Travel and Identity in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky,” Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change 8, no. 3 (September 2010): 125–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 23.
    Tom Gunning, “‘The Whole World Within Reach’: Travel Images without Borders,” in Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel, ed. Jeffrey Ruoff (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 38.Google Scholar
  21. 25.
    Dana Benelli, “Hollywood and the Travelogue,” Visual Anthropology 15, no. 1 (2002): 7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 28.
    W. J. T. Mitchell, “Imperial Landscape,” in Landscape and Power, ed. W. J. T. Mitchell (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 5.Google Scholar
  23. 29.
    Charles Musser, “The Travel Genre in 1903–1904: Moving Towards Fictional Narrative,” in Early Cinema: Space, Frame, Narrative, ed. Thomas Elsaesser and Adam Barker (London: British Film Institute, 1990), 123–32.Google Scholar
  24. 30.
    Edward Branigan, Narrative Comprehension and Film (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), 36; emphasis mine. A similar concept—not usually linked to narratology—is Antonio Gramsci’s revelation that ideology disguises itself as “common sense”: cultural practices are also seen by their practitioners as common sense and natural, not contingent.Google Scholar
  25. 32.
    John Urry, The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and Travel in Contemporary Societies (London and Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1990), 3.Google Scholar
  26. 33.
    Dean MacCannell, The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 3.Google Scholar
  27. 36.
    David Seamon and Robert Mugerauer, “Introduction,” in Dwelling, Place and Environment: Towards a Phenomenology of Person and World, ed. David Seamon and Robert Mugerauer (Dordrecht [Netherlands] and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1985), 8.Google Scholar
  28. 39.
    Martin Lefebvre, “Between Setting and Landscape in the Cinema,” in Landscape and Film, ed. Martin Lefebvre (New York: Routledge, 2006), 19–59. Lefebvre’s definition of landscape is, however, more limited than the one I am using here: for him, landscape is an exterior view more akin to the genre in art, while I am using “cultural landscape” to designate something of a larger scale, composed of many locales, and dynamic. The principle of “calling it out” versus using it as a backdrop is still relevant, as are his distinction from the word “setting.”Google Scholar
  29. 40.
    Teshome Gabriel, “Thoughts on Nomadic Aesthetics and the Black Independent Cinema: Traces of a Journey,” in Blackframes: Critical Perspectives on Black Independent Cinema, ed. Mbye B. Cham and Claire Andrade-Watkins (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1988), 67.Google Scholar
  30. 41.
    Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, “1227: Treatise on Nomadology—The War Machine,” in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 351–423.Google Scholar
  31. 42.
    Yi-Fu Tuan, “Place and Culture: Analeptic for Individuality and the World’s Indifference,” in Mapping American Culture, ed. Wayne Franklin and Michael Steiner (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1992), 27–49.Google Scholar
  32. 43.
    See Tamar Y. Rothenberg, Presenting America’s World: Strategies of Innocence in National Geographic Magazine, 1888–1945 (Aldershot, England; and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007); and Catherine A. Lutz and Jane L. Collins, Reading National Geographic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  33. 44.
    See Leslie Fiedler, Love and Death in the American Novel (New York: Stein and Day, 1966); Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992); Edward W. Said, Orientalism (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978); Louis Owens, Mixedblood Messages Literature, Film, Family, Place (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998); Philip Joseph Deloria, Playing Indian (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998); Shari M. Huhndorf, Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  34. 46.
    See, among others, David Sibley, Geographies of Exclusion: Society and Difference in the West (London; New York: Routledge, 1995); Don Mitchell, Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction (Oxford; Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2000); Doreen B. Massey, Space, Place, and Gender (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994); Tim Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 47.
    The concept derives from the writings of influential cultural geographers, including Derek Gregory, Geographical Imaginations (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1994); Massey, Space, Place, and Gender; Linda McDowell, Gender, Identity, and Place: Understanding Feminist Geographies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  36. 48.
    I have opted out of the vaguer “city/rural or small town” binary, which has clear importance in American mental geographies, but many of the attributes of this binary are also associated with the North/South, although this of course belies the more complicated reality of small Northern towns and the urbanized South. For the rural or small town in American film, see Emanuel Levy, Small-Town America in Film: The Decline and Fall of Community (New York: Continuum, 1991); Thomas Halper, “It’s a Wonderful Life: Representations of the Small Town in American Movies,” European Journal of American Studies 1 (2011); Jerry A. Varsava, “Blue Velvet and the Revisioning of the Middle-American Idyll,” in Narrative Turns and Minor Genres in Postmodernism, ed. Theo D’haen and Hans Bertens, 317 pp. vols. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1995), 295–317; Ronald Kates, “New Urbanism Meets Cinematic Fantasyland: Seaside, The Truman Show, and New Utopias,” Studies in American Culture 23, no. 2 (2000): 93–98.Google Scholar
  37. 49.
    Stuart Hall, “Encoding/Decoding,” in Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies, 1972–79, ed. Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (London: Hutchinson, 1980), 128–38.Google Scholar
  38. 50.
    Judith Mayne, Cinema and Spectatorship (London; New York: Routledge, 1993).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 51.
    Francesco Casetti, Inside the Gaze: The Fiction Film and its Spectator (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988), 41.Google Scholar
  40. 52.
    Mayne, Cinema and Spectatorship. In literary studies, Walker Gibson offers the metaphor of readers putting on a “mask” offered by the text. Walker Gibson, “Authors, Speakers, Readers, and Mock Readers,” College English 11 (February 1950): 265–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 53.
    Linda Williams, “Something Else Besides a Mother: Stella Dallas and the Maternal Melodrama,” in Feminism and Film, ed. E. Ann Kaplan (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 479–504.Google Scholar
  42. 55.
    Jacqueline Bobo, Black Women as Cultural Readers (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995); and John Fiske and John Dawson, “Audiencing Violence: Watching Homeless Men Watch Die Hard,” in The Audience and Its Landscape, ed. James Hay, Lawrence Grossberg, and Ellen Wartella (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996), 297–316. See also Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, Migrating to the Mo-pies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005); Celeste A. Fisher, Black on Black: Urban Youth Films and the Multicultural Audience (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2006); JoEllen Shively, “Cowboys and Indians: Perceptions of Western Films among American Indians and Anglos,” American Sociological Review 57, no. 6 (December 1992): 725–34.Google Scholar
  43. 56.
    See examples in: Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. Charles Lam Markmann (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1968), 152–53; interview with Haile Gerima, quoted in Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), 348; Louis Owens, Mixedblood Messages: Literature, Film, Family, Place (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998), 100; Sherman Alexie, “I Hated Tonto (Still Do),” Los Angeles Times, June 28, 1998. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/jun/28/entertainment/ca-64216. Accessed August 2, 2012.Google Scholar
  44. 57.
    Carol Clover, Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  45. 58.
    Jane Gaines, Fire and Desire: Mixed Race Movies in the Silent Era (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 59.
    Kaja Silverman, The Threshold of the Visible World (New York: Routledge, 1996).Google Scholar
  47. 60.
    JoEllen Shively, “Cowboys and Indians: Perceptions of Western Films Among American Indians and Anglos,” American Sociological Review 57, no. 6 (December 1992): 725–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 61.
  49. 64.
    Paul DiMaggio, “The Myth of Culture War: The Disparity between Private Opinion and Public Politics,” in The Fractious Nation? Unity and Division in Contemporary American Life, ed. Jonathan Rieder and Stephen Steinlight (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 79–97.Google Scholar
  50. 65.
    Roger Hewitt, White Backlash and the Politics of Multiculturalism (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). While scholars debate the extent of working-class defection from liberal values (see Adolph Reed Jr., “The 2004 Election in Perspective: The Myth of ‘Cultural Divide’ and the Triumph of Neoliberal Ideology,” American Quarterly 57, no. 1 [March 2005]: 1–16), there was undoubtedly a perception of white alienation.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 66.
    Philip Jenkins, Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 5.Google Scholar
  52. 67.
    Ibid., 27.Google Scholar
  53. 68.
    In 1994, Peter McLaren (“White Terror and Oppositional Agency: Towards a Critical Multiculturalism,” in Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader, ed. David Theo Goldberg [Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1994], 45–74) was able to delineate four strains: conservative, liberal, left-liberal, and critical. Conservative multiculturalism keeps Euro-American culture at the center and arranges other cultures around it; Jiberal multiculturalism disguises Euro-American norms under a concept of “universalistic humanism,” which every group can potentially reach, given fair treatment; left-liberal multiculturalism prioritizes “cultural differences between races that are responsible for different behaviors, values, attitudes, cognitive styles, and social practices” (51) and sees them as essential, not historically or socially constructed; critical multiculturalism deconstructs the cultural labels themselves to uncover their interrelatedness and their hybrid composition. Scholars of multi-culturalism often focus on criticizing conservative multiculturalism and showing how liberal multiculturalism is just a disguised form of conservative multiculturalism, or they seek to theorize critical multiculturalism as a radical decentering of Euro-American culture and a method of uncovering the roots of identity construction.Google Scholar
  54. 69.
    For an analysis of one such festival, the Los Angeles Festival of the Arts, see Lisa Lowe, “Imagining Los Angeles in the Production of Multiculturalism,” in Mapping Multiculturalism, ed. Avery Gordon and Christopher Newfield (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 413–23.Google Scholar
  55. 70.
    Richard P. Horwitz, “Multiculturalism and University Lore,” in Multiculturalism and the Canon of American Culture, ed. Hans Bak (Amsterdam: Vu University Press, 1993), 16–26. It was in the late 1970s and 1980s that affirmative action admissions processes were first challenged, a fact that underscores the distinction between apolitical multiculturalism and a politicized multiculturalism that intervenes in institutional structures.Google Scholar
  56. 71.
    Christopher Newfield and Avery F. Gordon, “Multiculturalism’s Unfinished Business,” in Mapping Multiculturalism, ed. Avery F. Gordon and Christopher Newfield (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  57. 72.
    Nikhil Pal Singh, “Culture/Wars: Recoding Empire in an Age of Democracy,” American Quarterly 50, no. 3 (1998): 474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 73.
    On patterns of narrative and character identification in the post-World War II social problem film, see Thomas Cripps, Making Movies Black: The Hollywood Message Movie from World War II to the Civil Rights Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Cindy Patton Cinematic Identity: Anatomy of a Problem Film (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007); Peter Roffman and Jim Purdy, The Hollywood Social Problem Film: Madness, Despair, and Politics from the Depression to the Fifties (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981); John Nickel, “Disabling African American Men: Liberalism and Race Message Films,” Cinema Journal 44, no. 1 (Fall 2004): 25–48.Google Scholar
  59. 74.
    The most common leftist critiques of multiculturalism is that it overlooks economic and political inequality—see as examples, Avery F. Gordon and Christopher Newfield, “Introduction,” in Mapping Multiculturalism, ed. Avery F. Gordon and Christopher Newfield (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 1–16; Singh, “Culture/Wars”; Shohat and Stam, Unthinking Eurocentrism.Google Scholar
  60. 76.
    For basic definitions and the term’s usage in different contexts, see Joan Shelley Rubin, The Making of Middlebrow Culture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992); Shyon Baumann, Hollywood Highbrow: From Entertainment to Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007); Janice A. Radway, A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle-Class Desire (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). Dwight MacDonald defined the same phenomenon earlier than these critics, but used the term “Midcult” in his essay “Masscult and Midcult,” in Against the American Grain (New York: Random House, 1962), 3–75.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Amy Lynn Corbin 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Lynn Corbin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations