The World is Watching

Video as Multinational Aesthetics 1967-1995
Written by Dennis Redmond.

Text of book is copyright Regents of Southern Illinois University 2003. All materials reproduced solely for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Summary: This book maps out three of the greatest documents of the video culture of all time, from Patrick McGoohan's spy thriller parody and counter-cultural fable The Prisoner (1967) to Krzysztof Kieslowski's magnificent Decalogue (1988), and concluding with Hideaki Anno's stupendous anime series, Neon Genesis: Evangelion (1995). For those of you who teach classes or would like an official copy, the text is being published by Southern Illinois University Press in Fall 2003.

Web-exclusive bonus: Kieslowki fans will be happy to note that you can access an additional essay on Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy right here (later, this essay will be integrated into a book project on the EU's media culture).

Reality Check: Never heard of video culture or the artists described above? Then check out this handy FAQ guide:

Video Culture FAQ. Why video is worth studying and what the stakes are in its interpretation.
Patrick McGoohan FAQ Links to the leading sites.
Krzysztof Kieslowski FAQ Pioneer of Eurovideo.
Hideaki Anno FAQ Some brief hints about Japanese anime.



Introduction Why we need a theory of video culture PDF format Text format
Chapter 1: Video and Interpretation Explains why we need a theory of video, and outlines some of the basic history and features of the genre, from its birth in the 1960s to its full-scale emergence in the Hong Kong, horror film and telejournalism genres of the 1970s, all the way to its complex debt to (and reciprocal influence upon) modernist and postmodernist theater and cinema. PDF format Text format
Chapter 2: Mapping the Global Village Explores how Patrick McGoohan's 17-part series The Prisoner (the greatest send-up of the James Bond spy thriller ever) created many of the basic categories of video in the fields of shot selection, scripting, sound-track, and editing etc.; also looks at the formative role of the Cold War media culture and the Anglo-American film industry, the influence of high modernist theater (especially Beckett), and the role of mapping strategies in video aesthetics. PDF format Text format
Chapter 3: The Information Uprising Continues analysis of The Prisoner, showing how the vocabulary of video forms introduces new types of multinational content, turning a subversive micropolitics against the categories of Cold War allegory, and thereby creating a politics of information capable of navigating the new social spaces of multinational capitalism. PDF format PDF format
Chapter 4: Krzysztof Kieslowski's Eurovideo Analyzes episodes 1-4 of Kieslowski's legendary ten-part TV series The Decalogue, produced for Polish television in 1987-88 and only recently released in the US. Focuses on the specific features of Eastern European and Polish media culture, Kieslowski's earlier works, Polish film in the 1970s, and the creation of the basic visual categories of Eurovideo, and then illustrates the series' specific innovations in scriptwriting, lighting and framing. PDF format Text format
Chapter 5: Velvet Television Analyzes episodes 5-10 of The Decalogue, looks at how Kieslowski constructs genuinely European characters and plot themes out of a broad assortment of national, international and Cold War materials, creating the mediatic equivalent of the Velvet Revolutions of Eastern Europe; pays especial attention to the micropolitics of gender. PDF format Text format
Chapter 6: Neon Genesis: Evangelion Shows how Hideaki Anno reappropriated the Japanese mecha, the Hong Kong action thriller, the Godzilla monster epics and the US sci-fi blockbuster to create genuinely East Asian narrative forms in episodes 1-14 of Evangelion. PDF format Text format
Chapter 7: Dawn of the East Asian Metropole Analyzes episodes 15-26 of Evangelion, and shows how Anno transforms the service-sector, gender and information revolutions sweeping across Japan and the core economies of East Asia into new types of multinational narrative content. PDF format Text format
Bibliography PDF format Text format



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