Cinema as Weather: Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change by Kristi McKim

By Kristi McKim

How do cinematic portrayals of the elements mirror and have an effect on our event of the area? whereas weatherly predictability and shock can influence our day-by-day adventure, the historical past of cinema attests to the stylistic and narrative importance of snow, rain, wind, sunshine, clouds, and skies. via research of flicks starting from The Wizard of Oz to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, from Citizen Kane to In the temper for Love, Kristi McKim calls our awareness to the ways in which we learn our atmospheres either inside and past the movies.

Building upon meteorological definitions of weather's dynamism and volatility, this publication exhibits how movie climate can exhibit personality interiority, speed up plot improvement, motivate stylistic innovation, contain a temporary charm, show the passage of time, and idealize the area at its maximum meaning-making means (unlike our climate, movie climate continuously occurs on time, even if for tumultuous, romantic, violent, suspenseful, or melodramatic ends).

Akin to cinema's structuring of ephemera, cinematic climate indicates aesthetic keep watch over over what's fleeting, contingent, wildly environmental, and past human potential to tame. this primary book-length examine of this type of meteorological and cinematic affinity casts movie climate as a way of artfully and robotically conquering contingency via contingency, of taming climate via a medium itself ephemeral and enduring.

Using movie thought, background, formalist/phenomenological research, and eco-criticism, this ebook casts cinema as climate, insofar as our skies and displays develop into readable via our interpretation of adjusting phenomena.

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Extra resources for Cinema as Weather: Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change

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Screening a olm, I can rewind the rain shower, pause the snow, skip forward through the tumultuous storm, frame advance the lens-qared facial close-up. Just as olmmakers can craft weather to be perfectly orchestrated, I can gain authority over cinematic atmosphere through my spectatorial vigilance. 49 Cinematic weather as a subject, then, doubly establishes cinematic permanence and volatility. The Wizard of Oz’s cyclone in 1939 remains unchanged in 2013—and olm scholars, meteorologists, and environmentalists alike might delight in the certainty with which the storm can exactly match predictions: now the wind will blow through the window; now the dust will dervishly skit over the ground.

An experience of atmospheric identiocation allows us to imagine, for example, rain on our hands, sun on our face, snow sifting through the air before us; the olm inspires us to privilege a dynamic landscape as a dominant and overwhelming—even if momentary—source of meaning and attention. 67 I conceive of atmospheric identiocation as a weather-specioc version of Brereton’s “ecological meta-narrative” that nonetheless bears greater phenomenological reciprocity if not blurriness among olm, environment, and human.

I want to expand this phrase, “the wind in the trees,” to include additional otherwise invisible atmospheric movements— similar to though far less explicit than Ivens’s Rain—through attention to cinematic weather. One way of attending to cinematic weather involves writing weather into existing olm scholarship to consider how perception and experience might shift with sensitivity to the dynamism of landscape and atmosphere. Early olm writing, for example, addresses landscape and nature without considering the atmospheric movement inherent within these landscapes; attention to the weather might alter these ways of reading cinema.

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