Colloquium | Kartik Nair

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 12:00pm


Kartik Nair

Cinemateriality

A chudail (witch) hunts and kills a man in a lumber mill in the 1988 Hindi horror film Veerana (Deserted). As she moves through the space, however, stranger things happen around her: sudden cuts cause the action to jump nonsensically; noisy static buzzes in and out, distorting color and sound; abrupt continuity errors become visible, botching a special effect. These are sensory rem(a)inders of other places, far away from the derelict sawmill. How do we sense and make sense of cinema’s materiality when its traces appear onscreen? Paying attention to our experience of these traces---what I call cinemateriality---allows us a critical mode of perception through which we can dis-embed the infrastructures of film production, regulation, and circulation embedded inside fictional spaces.

Kartik Nair is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University, Philadelphia. His research interests include realist film theory, film practices in their historical contexts, affective genres and the horror film. Kartik is currently working on his first book, Cinemateriality, which explores how we sense and make sense of cinema’s materiality by examining low-budget horror films of the 1980s.

Cinema Studies Program
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