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Cinema as Weather

Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change

By Kristi McKim

Routledge – 2013 – 218 pages

Series: Routledge Advances in Film Studies

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartHardback: $140.00
    978-0-415-89412-8
    February 25th 2013

Description

How do cinematic portrayals of the weather reflect and affect our experience of the world? While weatherly predictability and surprise can impact our daily experience, the history of cinema attests to the stylistic and narrative significance of snow, rain, wind, sunshine, clouds, and skies. Through analysis of films ranging from The Wizard of Oz to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, from Citizen Kane to In the Mood for Love, Kristi McKim calls our attention to the ways that we read our atmospheres both within and beyond the movies.

Building upon meteorological definitions of weather's dynamism and volatility, this book shows how film weather can reveal character interiority, accelerate plot development, inspire stylistic innovation, comprise a momentary attraction, convey the passage of time, and idealize the world at its greatest meaning-making capacity (unlike our weather, film weather always happens on time, whether for tumultuous, romantic, violent, suspenseful, or melodramatic ends).

Akin to cinema's structuring of ephemera, cinematic weather suggests aesthetic control over what is fleeting, contingent, wildly environmental, and beyond human capacity to tame. This first book-length study of such a meteorological and cinematic affinity casts film weather as a means of artfully and mechanically conquering contingency through contingency, of taming weather through a medium itself ephemeral and enduring.

Using film theory, history, formalist/phenomenological analysis, and eco-criticism, this book casts cinema as weather, insofar as our skies and screens become readable through our interpretation of changing phenomena.

Contents

Introduction 1. Revealing Skies and Screens: The Confluence of Weather and Cinema 2. The Cinematic History of Weather, and the History of Cinematic Weather 3. Interiority and Exteriority: Cinematic Weather as Plot and Effect 4. Cinematic Rain 5. Cinematic Snow 6. Cinematic Sunlight and Seasons 7. Conclusion

Author Bio

Kristi McKim is Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Film Studies Program at Hendrix College, US.

Name: Cinema as Weather: Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: By Kristi McKim. How do cinematic portrayals of the weather reflect and affect our experience of the world? While weatherly predictability and surprise can impact our daily experience, the history of cinema attests to the stylistic and narrative significance of snow,...
Categories: Film Theory, Film Production, Environment & Philosophy, Film History