Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

Dimensions:
224 × 147 × 25 mm
288 pages
Format:
Hardback
ISBN:
9781789141221
Illustrations:
50 illustrations
Published:
14 Oct 2019

Afterimages On Cinema, Women and Changing Times Laura Mulvey

Marking a return for Laura Mulvey to questions of film theory and feminism, as well as a reconsideration of new and old film technologies, this urgent and compelling collection of essays is essential reading for anyone interested in the power and pleasures of moving images.

Its title, Afterimages, alludes to the dislocation of time that runs through many of the films and works it discusses as well as to the way we view them. Beginning with a section on the theme of woman as spectacle, a shift in focus leads to films from across the globe, directed by women and about women, all adopting radical cinematic strategies. Mulvey goes on to consider moving image works made for art galleries, arguing that the aesthetics of cinema have persisted into this environment.

Structured in three main parts, Afterimages also features an appendix of ten frequently asked questions on her classic feminist essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, in which Mulvey addresses questions of spectatorship, autonomy and identity that are crucial to our era today.

‘Mulvey has a voice that carries. In the wake of #MeToo, and in an age where being active on social media demands a constant ebb and flow of looking and self-presenting, her coinage has been taken up by a new vanguard . . . A wave of artists and audiences are actively adapting and expanding Mulvey’s thinking — and now, so is the critic herself . . . Mulvey’s new book is especially pertinent, given the widening rift between her second-wave feminist peers — who are predominantly white academics – and the current “fourth-wave”, known for its Twittersphere stomping ground and exacting inclusivity standards . . . Mulvey’s voice cuts through generational divides and Afterimages strikes a balance between consistency of thought and a willingness to adapt.’ — Financial Times

‘Tying together fourteen texts . . . is a concern for looking back, for thinking about the cinema as something past, fragile, perishable . . . As Mulvey puts it, “the cinema has moved from a technological straightjacket into a lived flexibility,” opening up new avenues of inquiry, new modes of engagement . . . Afterimages takes up themes and concepts long central to Mulvey’s thinking, particularly feminism and psychoanalysis . . . Her investments persist in altered form as they are rearticulated in relation to the demands of the present.’ — Erika Balsom, Frieze

‘Mulvey takes an analytic approach to filmmaking and new technology, focusing on the deterioration of the Hollywood studio system and the emergence of the female voice both in front of and behind the camera . . . Future filmmakers as well as art and media students will find this academic take on feminism and cinema a valuable resource.’ — Library Journal

‘Over forty years ago, Laura Mulvey’s searing polemic “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” brilliantly articulated why the movies we love also damage us by shoring up patriarchal power. Since that scorched earth moment, Mulvey’s analysis of the moving image has broadened and deepened, which makes this book absolutely necessary to today’s cultural struggles around gender, race, and class.’ — Amy Taubin, critic and contributing editor Film Comment and Artforum

‘As a female film-maker, I owe a debt of gratitude to Laura Mulvey, for her film-making and for her tireless theoretical explorations. She has secured the space in which women are permitted expression and may explore the virtues of silence, stillness and the maternal. It is always exciting when Laura Mulvey publishes new work.’ — Joanna Hogg, film-maker

‘At once a critical fascination with Hollywood’s images of women, a nuanced approach to modern women film-makers, and a consideration of cinema’s status in relation to contemporary art: the great skill of Laura Mulvey is to move between these multiple lines of enquiry, taking her reader with her as only a true writer can.’ — Raymond Bellour, Director of Research, Emeritus, CNRS, Paris, and author of The Analysis of Film and Between-the-Images


Show all

Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London and the author of Visual and Other Pleasures (1989), Fetishism and Curiosity (1996) and Death 24x a Second (Reaktion, 2005).