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'Exquisite Wonder': Colour Film, Realism, and the Yankee Voyage, 1936-38

Geiger, Jeffrey (2020) ''Exquisite Wonder': Colour Film, Realism, and the Yankee Voyage, 1936-38.' Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, 8 (1). pp. 57-79. ISSN 2050-4039

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Abstract

This article looks at rare Kodachrome film taken across Oceania, mostly shot by a skilled amateur filmmaker, Edmund Zacher, to document the circumnavigation of the famous clipper 'Yankee'. There are three intertwined lines of inquiry traced here. The first explores relations between U.S. imperialism, moving image media, and a popular imaginary, considering how experiences of virtual travel engage with cultural ideology. The second examines how we interpret this footage: how might critical frameworks brought to bear on amateur nonfiction differ from those commonly applied to professional and narrative fiction film? A key reference point is the theory of cinematic gesture developed by Giorgio Agamben, who expands on the work of Gilles Deleuze and his notion of the movement image. This stress on gesture and on the mediality of moving images leads towards a third key area under consideration: colour and the (then) new medium of Kodachrome. Homing in on relations between colour stock and motion picture realism, this study explores ways that Kodachrome colour might have affected broader perceptions of the world itself.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Oceania; U.S. imperialism; Kodachrome; colour film; cinematic gesture; travel and tourism; amateur film; realism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 09:25
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:06
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25655

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