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Posts from — October 2011

Mildred Pierce: The (Re) Making of an “Event”

By Ramna Walia

The current economic recession in the United States of America and world over has led to a literary resurgence of an odd kind as the writings of economic theorist Karl Marx started selling in record numbers. Marx has now been accorded the status of the “comeback kid” of the present financial crisis.[1] Such spacio-temporal travels of past forms testify to the retrospective view of historical narration, one that is recounted through the gap between the moment of first encounter and the moment of recounting. Revivals, adaptations, and remakes have often been seen as cultural symptoms of this echo of history. Released among a web of inter-textual as well as inter-historical articulations, Todd Haynes’s multiple Emmy award winning mini-series Mildred Pierce (2011) strategically places itself along the nodes of a faithful adaptation of James M. Cain’s 1941 depression era novel and a reflective remake of Michael Curtiz’s inventive noir adaptation (1945) of the same.  Riding on the success and cultural memory of Curtiz’s film and socio-economic resonance of Cain’s novel, Haynes builds his version of Mildred Pierce as a mega television event which uses historical memory as a means to explore and expand generic possibilities of a remake, while simultaneously foregrounding its travels through the mediums of literature, cinema and television. [Read more →]

October 11, 2011   No Comments  

CFP: WS Special Issue: Art and Music in Documentary




The art of the documentary has been explored at some length in documentary studies. John Grierson famously defined the documentary as the “creative treatment of actuality.” Less, however, has been written about the relationship between documentary and the arts, the impact of documentary on art and artists and vice-versa. The diversity of issues related to representation and interpretation, and the challenges involved in the representation of one medium by another, complicates the discursive spaces of production of art, music and documentary. From the early debates around fidelity and dynamism to the more contemporary ones around interactivity and performativity, the relationship between art, music and documentary is a rich terrain for exploration. [Read more →]

October 2, 2011   No Comments