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The Forking Paths of Open Your Eyes and Vanilla Sky

Carolina Ferrer, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada

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Abstract

In March 1992, researchers from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean inaugurated in Paris the conference Épistémocritique et Cognition, thus giving official birth to epistemocriticism. This new branch of literary criticism incites us to make a re-appropriation of culture as a whole. Essentially, this perspective calls on us to explore the relations between literature and science. The purpose of my paper is to extend epistemocriticism to film studies. Thus, I analyse how bifurcation theory and Borges’s story “The Garden of Forking Paths” operate as main interdiscoursive artefacts in Alejandro Amenábar’s Open Your Eyes and in Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky. Accordingly, I believe that extending this perspective to film studies, we can achieve a better understanding of what happens in these forking-paths films.

Cooking as Performance: Negotiating Art and Authenticity in Ratatouille

Poushali Chakraborty, Rabindra Bharati University, India

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Abstract

 Be it quotidian or haute cuisine, ‘Caviar’ or ‘Quesadillas’, cooking has always been a performance, in its experimentation to create an “appetite appeal” (Carafoli 146). This paper, through an analysis of Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava’s directed, Disney animation Ratatouille, explores the engaging analogies and correlations between the processes in cooking and performance. The stage is being replaced by a single performative site – the kitchen, which becomes the theatre of action, producing the ultimate ‘orgy of olfaction’ (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 7). A direct communication is shown to be re-established between the spectator and the spectacle, between the actor and the spectator, from the fact that the spectator is invited to share the secret of the kitchen, and ultimately, is, not only affected by the sight, feel, taste, or smell of the final performative outcome – the food, but also impacted upon by the identity of the performer – Remy, the ‘tiny chef’ – nothing but a provincial rat.

“Popart”: the ‘Global’ Avatar of Bollywood

Prateek, Ramjas College, New Delhi, India

 Abstract

Since its inception, the concept of “popart” – the interaction of popular cinema and art cinema – has been heralded as one of the most important contributions to Indian film scholarship. Drawing upon insights from Dev Benegal’s English, August, which is supposedly the first and the best example of “popart” film, I shall try to track down the genesis of ‘popart’ cinema and show how and why “popart” has become India’s countershot to world cinema. The first part of the article addresses the rise of Indian cinema through the process of imitation of its western counterpart either in terms of themes borrowed from Western mainstream cinema or cinematic techniques imitated from the “auteurs” of New Wave cinema. The second part of the article argues how a new art form popularly known as “popart” could become an Indian success story.

Drama and the Politics of Climate Change in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone

Norbert Oyibo Eze, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka

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 Abstract

Johnny Igbonekwu observes that ‘an obvious primal instinctive human quest” is to “conquer the world” but he equally notes that man has not been able to achieve this goal, in spite of his “formidable intellectual assaults on the multifarious stupendous mysteries of the world” (Talk About Man 1). The quest for all manner of domination-economic, political, territorial, and spatial, etc, has driven man into invention and mindless application of technology which in choking nature, cause it to frequently retaliate through global warming, tsunami, landslide, erosion, and flooding of different dimensions. The constant decimation of human lives, businesses, buildings, and municipal services as well as the emergence of perturbing diseases owing to these palpable effects of natural disaster, force the issue of climate change to occupy a significant place in the world of environmental studies and research. This paper seeks to explain the place of drama in tackling the problem of climate change through a detailed analysis and interpretation of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone considered to be a giant impact assessment study and provocative wake-up call.

Re-narrating Globalization: Hybridity and Resistance in Amores Perros, Santitos and El Jardín del Edén

Brent Smith, University of New Mexico, USA

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Abstract

This paper explores the articulation of resistance to neoliberal globalization in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, Alejandro Springall’s Santitos and Maria Novaro’s El Jardín del Edén.  I argue that this resistance is enunciated within what Homi Bhabha terms ‘Third Space’, the in-between space of cultural translation and negotiation where notions of an essential national identity are destroyed and a contingent and indeterminate hybrid identity is constructed. Speaking from this hybrid space, these films employ Western cinematic conventions to construct narratives of the disjunctive experience of postcolonial time and space that disrupt the dominant temporality and imaginative geography of Western grand narratives of historical progress and global economic development, while at the same time deterritorializing the space and time of national imagining.

Rabindranath Tagore’s English Prose: “Some Qualities of Permanence”

Fakrul Alam, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Abstract

This paper explores the enduring qualities of Rabindranath Tagore’s English prose and puts forward the thesis that not only the Gitanjali poems but also many other of his English writings attained “some qualities of permanence” almost wholly because of his artistic skills. In addition to the strength of his ideas and the intensity of his feelings, the main reason why his prose works found an appreciative audience for a long time in the west can often be attributed to his adroit use of the English language in his letters, lectures, essays and speeches and his ability to adjust his style in accordance with the occasion, the audience, the genre and the subject matter. Without the impact the English prose writings have had, Tagore’s international reputation would not have survived thus far. Indeed, the enduring popularity of a work such as Nationalism tells us quite clearly that while as far as his argument is concerned there is a lot that is still relevant for the world in Tagore’s English writings, they should still appeal to us also because of his eloquence and writing skills.

The Essentials of Indianness: Tolerance and Sacrifice in Indian Partition Fiction in English and in English Translation

Basudeb Chakraborti, University of Kalyani

Abstract

Indian Partition fiction, on the one hand, records man’s bestiality and savagery and on the other, attests to the fact that man is essentially sincere, committed to upholding humanity to survive and sustain itself.  The paper contends to examine the fundamental goodness of some characters, which the Indian tradition underlines. By analyzing certain characters from Chaman Nahal’s Azadi, Khuswant Singh’s Train to Pakistan, Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice-Candy-Man, Bhisham Sahni’s Tamas, Saadat Hasan Manto’s short stories and two Indian films, Mr. and Mrs. Iyar, directed by Aparna Sen and Meghe Dhaka Tara by Ritwik Ghatak, the writer tries to bring home the truth that frenzy of insanity is not final and amidst the pall of darkness and threats of insanity, there is a ray of hope.

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