Marshall, Kingsley. 2024. 'The New Weird: Independent Cinema as an Ecosophical Response to Climate Change' In Cottle, Simon. 2004. Communicating a World-in-Crisis (Peter Lang)

Marshall, Kingsley ORCID logoORCID: (2024) Marshall, Kingsley. 2024. 'The New Weird: Independent Cinema as an Ecosophical Response to Climate Change' In Cottle, Simon. 2004. Communicating a World-in-Crisis (Peter Lang). In: Communicating a World-in-Crisis. Peter Lang, Oxford. ISBN N/A (Submitted)

[thumbnail of v6 Chapter 10- Kingsley Marshall FURR.pdf] Text
v6 Chapter 10- Kingsley Marshall FURR.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 January 2099.

Download (352kB) | Request a copy

Abstract / Summary

Screen media has held a mirror toward world events since its inception, with filmmakers occupying a unique position to directly represent, infer, and speculate on all aspects of human life. In a world that Simon Cottle describes as ‘increasingly defined by global crises’ (2009: 473), and where these disasters are themselves epistemologically constituted through media (2014: 1-2), film and television production presents a powerful and compelling interpretation of complex events. Recent cinema has mediated everything from the challenges to democracy and economics of late capitalism to conflict, acts of terrorism, asymmetrical warfare, the global impact of climate change, COVID-19 and its preceding pandemics, and the displacement of people around the world as a consequence of these events. Nothing is outside of the scope of the screen, and the impact of this work is amplified through digital distribution, reaching global audiences quickly through emergent internet technologies, in addition to the longer established streaming services, cinema releases, and broadcasters. Common themes within the telling of stories of the world-in-crisis include reimagined representations of the future and the past, and the manner with which the recent pace of political and technological change has disrupted identity within gender and sexuality and in relation to race, mental health, class, and local, regional, national, and international senses of belonging.

This chapter borrows terms defined by Argentine filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino to consider the changing nature of socio-political commentary beyond what they described as the ‘first’ and ‘second cinema’, where they distinguished mainstream entertainment driven by profit from a more political-engaged filmmaking (1970). Through their filmed work and their writing Solanas and Getino argued in the 1970s for a ‘third cinema’ that motivated its viewers to not just receive film passively, but to incite their audiences to be active in their response. Their work has been followed by the conventions of a ‘fourth cinema’ of activism, made by and concerning indigenous peoples (Barclay 2003). More recently, a ‘fifth cinema’ has emerged – born of the stories of refugees and displaced peoples, a hybrid cinema orientated around the movement of people and made distinctive in its unstable and fragmented form often shot on the move on mobile phones and other handheld devices (Kaur and Grassilli 2019: 1-3).

Each of these frameworks offers tools that describe how film’s narrative storytelling has reflected, mediated, and served as a critique of global crises, in addition to engendering awareness, and sparking debate and political action in its audiences. This chapter focuses on the contemporary moment, and specifically on the representation of just one of these crises - climate change. This result of human action and industrialisation has been the catalyst for conflict, disease, starvation, draught, and the displacement of people globally, in addition to fuelling the fires of destablisation of political and economic power globally.

Through defining and distinguishing the terms ecocritical, ecocinema, ecological cinema, and the ecosophical, the chapter articulates the manner with which these different positions demonstrate an alienation and unease of humans and their relation to the natural world, and solutions to that. Selected case studies illustrate how screen media production can synthesise these ideas to represent the impact of human activity on the world’s environment and as stories that can stimulate discourse, and ultimately political action and response.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: ecosophical, ecocinema, climate change, enys men, film studies, ecology, folk, horror
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > British Film
Geography & Environment > Climate Change
Geography & Environment > Cornwall > Cornish Studies
Geography & Environment > Cornwall
Film & TV > Film > Hollywood Film
Film & TV > Film > International Film
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Depositing User: Kingsley Marshall
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2024 12:27
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 12:27


View Item View Item (login required)