Contemporary Film




This volume re-evaluates theories of genre and spectatorship in light of a critic-defined tendency in recent art cinema, coined ‘extreme cinema’. In Genre Trouble and Extreme Cinema, Bordun argues that the films of Mexican director Carlos Reygadas and French director Catherine Breillat expand generic classifications. Bordun contends that their films make it apparent that genre is not established prior to the viewing of a work but is recollected and assembled by spectators in ways that matter for them in both personal and experiential terms. The author deploys contemporary film theories on the senses, both phenomenological and affect theory, and partakes in close readings of the films’ forms and narratives. The book thus adds to the present literature on extreme cinema and film theory, yet sets itself apart by fully deploying genre theory alongside the methodological and stylistic approaches of Stanley Cavell, Vivian Sobchack, Laura U. Marks, and Eugenie Brinkema.

As I prepare my book chapter on Johansson (for an edited collection dedicated to the actress), I can’t help but swoon when I watch her various roles and hear her occasional semi-inspiring words (while knowingly getting mocked over them – see the comments in the below). Her recent interview also helps me fall deeper into my recurring daydream of bumping into her on the street and striking up conversation.
Perhaps I could somehow send her my essay? Nothing says “I’m into you” like an academic essay that only well-read folks in film theory could understand.
Indeed, what is the relationship between the study of a star and the author themselves? Christian Metz advised that film-philosophers should remove themselves from their love of cinema when penning their studies. Yet, Johansson’s interview doesn’t help this star-struck author.
I remember the star making similar comments about relationships a few years ago. Do I have a long-standing interest in Johansson because of her romantic views, or does my academic and cinephilic appreciation of her precede our (somewhat) shared approach to non-traditional relationships?