My presentation was a part of the "Eco‑criticism and the Image: Visual Culture through a Green Lens, Part II" panel chaired by Mario Trono of Mount Royal University. While Part I of the Eco-Criticism panels earlier in the day dealt with both specific films and broad topics in the field of ecocinema, the presentations I was a part of dealt primarily with close-readings of films through an ecocritical lens.
Christopher Pavsek - Simon Fraser University
“John Smith’s The Kiss: Nature De‑Natured”
Pavsek's presentation focused on the short film "The Kiss," by filmmaker John Smith. Pavsek focused on the ways sound works in this teachable film, particularly the way an audience will try to place synchronous/asynchronous sound, questioning the relationship between sound and image.
Mario Trono - Mount Royal University
“The Ecological Blindspot in Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir”
Trono proposed a fascinating method of reading films in such a way that one might remove the dominant narrative thrust of a film in order to notice those "secondary" details, namely the relationship between people and the environments in which they find themselves, in order to observe the way people relate to the environment around them.
Michelle Yates - Columbia College Chicago
“‘Stay the Course’: Consumerism, Environmentalism, and WALL‑E’s Edenic Recovery Narrative”
Yate's reading of WALL-E considers the way in which labor is represented in the film, allowing one to determine if this futuristic animation offers a cautionary tale, or whether it endorses the current status-quo.
James Wicks - Point Loma Nazarene University
“Love in the Time of Industrialization: Nature in Li Hanxiang’s The Winter”
Preliminary conclusion of my paper include the following: Li Hanxiang's film provides a way to represent nature in such a way that, to put it loosely at this juncture, breaks down the urban/rural dichotomy by showing how people in can live in a harmonious relationship with nature even while living in a densely populated space within Taipei during the late 1960s. Li achieves this result through multiple means, including integrating iconography of The Buddha and visual imagery that might correspond to traditional Chinese landscape painting. At the same time, Li juxtaposes an urban fragmented space with natural viewpoints and vistas that interestingly confirms the differences between the two spaces.