Are You Watching Closely? is the first book to explore the recent spate of “misdirection films,” a previously unidentified Hollywood genre characterized by narratives that inspire viewers to reinterpret them retrospectively. Since 1990, Hollywood has backed more of these films than ever before, many of which, including The Sixth Sense (1999), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Inception (2010), were both commercial and critical successes. Seth Friedman examines this genre in its sociocultural, industrial, and technological contexts to explain why it has become more attractive to producers and audiences.
The recent popularity of misdirection films, Friedman argues, is linked to new technologies that enable repeat viewings and online discussion, which makes it enticing to an industry that depends increasingly on the aftermarket, as well as to historically specific cultural developments. That is, in addition to being well suited for shifting industrial and technological conditions, these films are appealing because they suggest that it remains possible to know what “actually” occurred and who was “really” responsible for events at a time when it is also becoming increasingly recognized that “truth” is relative. Are You Watching Closely? shows how Hollywood’s effective strategies for these changing circumstances put it at the forefront of a storytelling trend that has increasingly become important across media. Through close analyses of how misdirection films have been designed, marketed, and received in relation to their contexts, Friedman demonstrates the ways in which they epitomize a kind of narrative experimentation that has become a crucial facet of twenty-first-century audiovisual storytelling.
Dancing with the Tiger
When 30-year-old Anna Ramsey learns that a meth-addicted looter has dug up what might be the funerary mask of Montezuma, she books the next flight to Oaxaca. Determined to redeem her father, a discredited art collector, and to one-up her unfaithful fiancé, a museum curator, Anna hurls herself headlong into Mexico's underground art world. But others are chasing the treasure as well: the shape-shifting drug lord no one can really describe; the enigmatic American expat, who keeps his art collection locked in a chapel; the former museum director who traffics stolen works, and his housekeeper--deeply religious, a gay woman in a culture of machismo, dependent on a patron she loathes; the painter Salvador on his motorcycle, complex, sensual--but with secrets of his own. Anna soon realizes that everyone is masked--some literally, others metaphorically. Indeed, Dancing with the Tiger is a splendid reminder that throughout human history, cultures have revered masks: whether in the theater or in war, for religious purposes, or to conceal identity, masks are as universal as our desire to transform ourselves, to change. Anna, without an ounce of self-pity despite traumatic losses, stands out as a heroine for our times as, traveling alone, she finds the courage to show her true face.
Communist Study: Education for the Commons
Communist Study: Education for the Commons poses a series of educational questions pertinent to revolutionary movements: How can pedagogy bridge the gap between what is and what can be, while respecting the gap and its uncertainty and figurality? How can pedagogy accommodate ambiguity while remaining faithful to the communist project? In answering these questions, educational theorist Derek R. Ford develops a pedagogical constellation that radically opens up what education is and what it can mean for revolutionary struggle. To chart this constellation, Ford takes the reader on a journey that traverses disciplinary and ideological boundaries, innovatively reading theorists as diverse as Agamben, Marx, Lyotard, Butler, and Lenin. Demonstrating that learning is the educational logic that underpins capitalism and democracy, Ford articulates a theory of communist study as an alternative and oppositional logic. Poetic, performative, and provocative, this theory of study is oriented toward what Ford calls "the sublime feeling of being-in-common," which, as he insists, is always a commonness against.
Environmental practices among Mexican American woman have spurred a reconsideration of ecofeminism among Chicana feminists. Christina Holmes examines ecological themes across the arts, Chicana activism, and direct action groups to reveal how Chicanas can craft alternative models for ecofeminist processes. Holmes revisits key debates to analyze issues surrounding embodiment, women's connections to nature, and spirituality's role in ecofeminist philosophy and practice. By doing so, she challenges Chicanas to escape the narrow frameworks of the past in favor of an inclusive model of environmental feminism that alleviates Western biases. Holmes uses readings of theory, elaborations of ecological narratives in Chicana cultural productions, histories of human and environmental rights struggles in the Southwest, and a description of an activist exemplar to underscore the importance of living with decolonializing feminist commitment in body, nature, and spirit.
The biennial, five-day Gateways Music Festival, held in Rochester, NY, in collaboration with the Eastman School of Music, celebrates the participation and contributions of classical musicians of African descent. Dr. Foy's performance of Brahms's Symphony No. 2 in D Major can be heard during hour one of the August 24, 2017 episode.