Journal Articles


The Modern Political Cinema: From Third Cinema to Contemporary Networked Biopolitics

Citation:
Holtmeier, Matthew. "The Modern Political Cinema: From Third Cinema to Contemporary Networked Biopolitics." Film-Philosophy 20 (2016): 303–323.

Abstract:
This article looks at a qualitative shift in global political cinemas within the new era of globalization. Outside the Law reworks the earlier Battle of Algiers in order to situate the Algerian Revolution in an increasingly globalizing world. This acknowledgement has important ramifications for the production of political subjectivity, which is both fragmented and networked by global flows of information, economies, and people. The cinematic production of subjectivity offers an important critique of Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of the Civilizations, illustrating the unique potential of film to enter into contemporary debates surrounding international relations.

Open access.


The Wanderings of Jia Zhangke: Pre-Hodological Space and Aimless Youths in Xiao Wu and Unknown Pleasures

Citation:
Holtmeier, Matthew. "The Wanderings of Jia Zhangke: Pre-Hodological Space and Aimless Youths in Xiao Wu and Unknown Pleasures." Journal of Chinese Cinemas 8.2 (2014): 148-59.

Abstract:
This article examines the pre-hodological space Jia Zhangke creates in his films, such as Xiao Wu (1997) and Unknown Pleasures (2002), illustrating the connection between the formal construction of filmic space and economic reform in China. Gilles Deleuze defines pre-hodological space as the space before action, drawing from Kurt Lewin's Principles of Topological Psychology (1936) and Gilbert Simondon on the concept of individuation. Exploring Jia's films through these originary texts, the author elaborates a psychopolitics based on the connection between the production of subjects and the growth of globalized capitalist economies in China.

Library access.


An Exiled Filmmaker under House Arrest: Bahman Farmanar's Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine

Citation:
Holtmeier, Matthew. "An Exiled Filmmaker under House Arrest: Bahman Farmanara’s Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine." Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5.2 (2012): 135-48.

Abstract:
Bahman Farmanara's career as a filmmaker in Iran provides a unique example of the effects of the revolution on filmmaking, because he was an established filmmaker before the revolution, continued making films until his exile during the revolution, and returned to Iran years later and began making films again. As a result, Farmanara has experienced a variety of different stages in the evolution of Iran's filmmaking environment. Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine, Farmanara's first film made after the revolution, attests to Farmanara's experiences with his exile and return home. In doing so it establishes rhizomatic group affiliations, the potential for the construction of an extra-national community.

Library access.


Ethereal Impressions In Chambers: The Crystal Image as Semiotic Key

Citation:
Holtmeier, Matthew. "Ethereal Impressions In Chambers: The Crystal Image as Semiotic Key." Short Film Studies 2.2 (2012): 245-48.

Abstract:
In Chambers imagines a science-fictional experience for comatose patients. Working as a puzzle, this film does not reveal the reality of the comatose patients until its conclusion. By unlocking the coma experience through a circuit of images, In Chambers revises the potential of the what Gilles Deleuze refers to as the crystal image not only to collate past and present, but to articulate a concept as well.

Library access.


The Sunday Religious Revival, and a Horse Named Desire

Citation:
Holtmeier, Matthew. "The Sunday Religious Revival and a Horse Named Desire." Short Film Studies 1.2 (2011): 303-06.

Abstract:
Sunday juxtaposes curiosity, religion and desire amidst the clash of acute sounds vying for attention. These sounds - the banality of knives and forks scraping plates, the instruction of a sermon being delivered via the radio, and a horse's breath and steps - set and break boundaries, revealing the rupture desire presents in social and cultural norms.

Library access.


Post Pandoran Depression or Na'vi Sympathy: Avatar, Affect, and Audience reception

Citation:
Holtmeier, Matthew Alan. "Post-Pandoran Depression or Na'vi Sympathy: Avatar, Affect, and Audience Reception." Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 4.4 (2011).

Abstract:
Purporting to send an environmentally and spiritually healthy message, Avatar seems like an ideal candidate to positively impact audience members' positions towards the environment on a large scale. Indeed, director James Cameron said that “Avatar asks us all to be warriors for the Earth.” Since Avatar was released in theaters, however, there have been two overwhelming trends in response to the film: either, a seemingly immediate change in the spectators' worldview and relationship with the environment; or, the creation of an unachievable desire for the hyper-real techno-spiritual world of Pandora. These responses – environmentally proactive Na'vi sympathy and a debilitating post-Pandoran depression – offer examples of two, very different, relationships with the world. At the base of these relationships is the film's ability to provoke emotional response in audiences, which engenders positive or negative relationships with the environment.

Library access.


Scars, Cars, and Bodies without Organs: Techno-Colonialism in J.G. Ballard's Crash

Citation:
Matthew, Holtmeier. "Scars, Cars, and Bodies without Organs: Techno-colonialism in J.G. Ballard's Crash." Leonardo Electronic Almanac 16.4-5 (2009): 1-9.

Abstract:
The proliferation of technology combined with a synthesis between the artificial and the organic in J.G. Ballard's novel, Crash, creates an environment where technology acts as a surreptitious colonial force. As new subjectivities emerge from the interplay of technology and bodily organization, Crash explores the ethical dangers of psycho-social experimentation.

Online access.