Volume 12, Issue 9 / September 2008

From Paraguay to France

In this issue

For this issue Offscreen returns with a mixed essay of diverse subjects that range from the very well known (Hitchcock) to the fairly well known (Patrice Chéreau), to the arcane (Paraguayan cinema anyone?). As if to straddle this diversity, the one contemporary Hollywood film, The Fall, from the Indian-born director, Tarsem, is anything but mainstream Hollywood. Tarsem comes from the world of music video/commercials and has brought an operatic style to his two feature films, made six years apart (The Cell and The Fall), which has alienated many, spectators and critics included. In The Fall Tarsem complicates matters by having a film-within-a-film structure that dovetails into the filmic ‘reality’. David George Menard returns to the pages of Offscreen with an intricate, two-part essay on the great Alfred Hitchcock. Although much has been written about this gigantic figure of cinema, fans will find much to contemplate in Menard’s theoretical foray into Hitchcock’s ‘perversion’ of the traditional romantic genre which he often found himself working in. Menard’s approach, heavily indebted to Richard Allen’s recent book Hitchcock’s Romantic Irony, looks at the interaction of irony (in part 1) and suspense (in part 2) in several key films. In continuity with last month’s special issue on French cinema, writer Alessandra M. Pires follows with a Lacanian essay on the depiction of lust, desire, and love between a married couple during the turn of the century France, in Patrice Chéreau’s Gabrielle (2005). Totaro’s review of the unique Paragyuan feature film Paragyuan Hammock rounds out this month’s issue. (Donato Totaro, ed.).

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