31 Aug jezibaba:

Sally Chivers and Nicole Markotić maintain that, unlike other marginalised groups, films rarely ignore disability (think of all those Academy Awards for “worthy” performances). Rather, reviewers fail to recognise the sociocultural aspects of disability – instead, they continually locate it in the body – and audiences in general are assumed to be able-bodied.
“Problem bodies” are broadly defined as – but not confined to – representations of disability, illness, ageing, obesity, etc. Through a focus on the filmic projection of problem bodies, Chivers and Markotić seek to contribute to a post-Mulvey mode of film analysis that redirects “the gaze” towards contemporary social issues such as disability. Their definition of disability is much broader than other critical investigations of disability influenced by a social model (which argues disability is exclusively located in social practices, having nothing to do with the body). As a result, The Problem Body broadens the scope of disability cultural analysis. By focusing on the way narrative and mise en scène create the problem body, rather than identifying “damaging” stereotypes, this collection of essays offers new frameworks and modes of analysis.
The Problem Body seeks to distinguish itself from other investigations of disability in cinema by questioning why some bodies invite that “problem” label while others do not. David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder’s work is an obvious influence in this collection, with the first three chapters including the same quote from their book, Narrative Prosthesis: “disability has been used throughout history as a crutch on which literary narratives lean for their representational power, disruptive potentiality, and social critique” (2). This idea is an important concept in the cultural investigation of disability and in understanding how disability is used so frequently in cinema as an image or, as I have previously suggested, a narrative shortcut (3). The contributors to The Problem Body go on to show how disability, and the images it conjures in the minds of audiences, structures many film genres, from the obvious (although neglected in disability studies) illness narratives, to film noir, to classic Hollywood, and Korean and European film. The collection also includes a fictional coda which reassesses the value of disabled people on screen and in the audience. Beyond simple statements about what disability means, however, the contributors also interrogate the way disability is shaped, the way it is treated by the camera and the ways in which a normative gaze is established.- Katie Ellis

jezibaba:

Sally Chivers and Nicole Markotić maintain that, unlike other marginalised groups, films rarely ignore disability (think of all those Academy Awards for “worthy” performances). Rather, reviewers fail to recognise the sociocultural aspects of disability – instead, they continually locate it in the body – and audiences in general are assumed to be able-bodied.

“Problem bodies” are broadly defined as – but not confined to – representations of disability, illness, ageing, obesity, etc. Through a focus on the filmic projection of problem bodies, Chivers and Markotić seek to contribute to a post-Mulvey mode of film analysis that redirects “the gaze” towards contemporary social issues such as disability. Their definition of disability is much broader than other critical investigations of disability influenced by a social model (which argues disability is exclusively located in social practices, having nothing to do with the body). As a result, The Problem Body broadens the scope of disability cultural analysis. By focusing on the way narrative and mise en scène create the problem body, rather than identifying “damaging” stereotypes, this collection of essays offers new frameworks and modes of analysis.

The Problem Body seeks to distinguish itself from other investigations of disability in cinema by questioning why some bodies invite that “problem” label while others do not. David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder’s work is an obvious influence in this collection, with the first three chapters including the same quote from their book, Narrative Prosthesis: “disability has been used throughout history as a crutch on which literary narratives lean for their representational power, disruptive potentiality, and social critique” (2). This idea is an important concept in the cultural investigation of disability and in understanding how disability is used so frequently in cinema as an image or, as I have previously suggested, a narrative shortcut (3). The contributors to The Problem Body go on to show how disability, and the images it conjures in the minds of audiences, structures many film genres, from the obvious (although neglected in disability studies) illness narratives, to film noir, to classic Hollywood, and Korean and European film. The collection also includes a fictional coda which reassesses the value of disabled people on screen and in the audience. Beyond simple statements about what disability means, however, the contributors also interrogate the way disability is shaped, the way it is treated by the camera and the ways in which a normative gaze is established.

- Katie Ellis

(Source: shapexshifting, via mizoguchi)

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