While it is increasingly the case that the gesture is receiving critical attention in cinema studies, it is almost always configured as an actorial production: a movement or signal of the body in some way. We take “gesture” to mean roughly what we use the word for in everyday life, but transpose to the screen by watching and reading characterological gestures in images. This neglects ways in which forces of production and the medium itself gesture to the viewer, and especially ways in which production forces collaborate to structure the gestural moment onscreen. This talk will examine three cinematic gestures, one from the 1940s, one from the 1970s, and one from the 2000s, in order to help open to discussion and observation the tiny delicacies, carefully composed, that make for the screen moment. (The specific materials will not be pre-announced.)
Murray Pomerance is an independent scholar living in Toronto. He is author of, most recently, Cinema, If You Please: The Memory of Taste, the Taste of Memory (2018), A Dream of Hitchcock (2019), The Man Who Knew Too Much (2016), and Moment of Action: Riddles of Cinematic Performance. He has edited or co-edited a large number of volumes, most recently with R. Barton Palmer, The Many Cinemas of Michael Curtiz (2018). He is editor of “Horizons of Cinema” at SUNY Press and of “Techniques of the Moving Image” at Rutgers University Press.
Lecture will be held in the Earl Dolive Theater on the second floor of the Philip Weltner Library