Fabricating Almodóvar: Pain & Glory

169 SECONDS. This audiovisual essay approaches the intimate link between artistic invention and queer emotion in Pedro Almodóvar’s films Law of Desire (1987), Bad Education (2004) and Pain & Glory (2019). It combines visual and music excerpts from these three films to illustrate the dual role of memory as a creative tool and emotional support in navigating the undesirable present.

169 Seconds: 2008 – A Crisis Glossary

169 SECONDS. Alan O’Leary’s 169 Seconds: 2008 - A Crisis Glossary deals with two films on the 2008 financial crash, Too Big To Fail (2011) and The Big Short (2015). The video essay ambivalently foregrounds the pleasure that the films provide by granting access to a masculine world of jargon and capital. Financial terms are combined alphabetically for an absurd experience that perhaps makes a nonsense of its subject.

169 Seconds: In Bruges and What It Means to Be Human

169 SECONDS. What does it mean to human? Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges about two out-of-luck hitmen is a bleak and humorous genre film that seeks to answer that question. The film is essentially a tale of compassion and love in the face of absurdity and frailty. In this jubilee instalment of 169 Seconds Jesper Haarup Borchmann highlights the humanism of In Bruges.

169 Seconds: Causality in The Square

169 SECONDS. Film narratives often follow a logic of causality, with one incident naturally leading to another. In Ruben Östlund’s The Square (2017) we seem to witness such typical relations of cause and effect, yet the narrative gradually spirals out of control: actions do have consequences, but in the truly plural sense of one action leading to more than one outcome. In this jubilee installment of 169 Seconds, Mathias Bonde Korsgaard explores the film’s narrative mechanisms.

169 Seconds: What tree trunks really look like

169 SECONDS. What is it that filmmaking does to our relation to time and place? In this installment of the jubilee series of 169 seconds, Steffen Moestrup embarks on a small essayistic journey along with Margaret Tait to reflect on the question of cinematic - and worldly - time and place.

169 Seconds: Una mujer reflejada / A Reflected Woman

169 SECONDS. In this installment of our jubilee series of 169 Seconds, Catherine Grant collects mirror and reflection sequences from the 2017 Chilean film Una mujer fantástica and ponders their significance in this narrative of queer melancholia and mourning. The film stars Daniela Vega, a trans actress and mezzo-soprano, who, in the closing moments of the film, sings the song that accompanies the essay: “Ombra mai fu”, the opening aria from Händel’s 1738 opera Serse.

169 Seconds: The Wonder of Illusory Depth Cues – the use...

169 SECONDS. In Sebastian Lelios The Wonder from 2022 the initial camera movement quite literally takes us from the film studio where the film is shot and into the world of the English nurse Elizabeth Wright in 18th century Ireland. Do you wonder how?

Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory: The tavern scene viewed in a...

FEATURE. Paths of Glory (1957) is one of the best anti-war films ever made as well as Stanley Kubrick’s first masterpiece. It also contains one of the most highly praised film endings. Drawing on a particular form of complementarity, non-doing/doing, Richard Raskin sheds new light on this classic ending.

The Art of Discomfort: Cinematography and Visual Design in Succession and...

Did you know that Jesse Armstrong screened "Festen" for his entire crew before shooting the first season of "Succession" – or that the visual style was inspired by Annie Leibovitz and her famous photojournalism? And did you know that the visual style in "The White Lotus" was inspired by the Madonna Inn and local artworks featuring Hawaiian workers in the pineapple fields? Find out more in this interview-based article about the cinematography and visual design in two of the most interesting TV series from 2021? N.B.: The article contains spoilers.

The People’s Pleasure: Imaging Sex and Desire in Mainland China and...

FEATURE. Desire takes many forms on the silver screen - but how does the erotic manifest itself in a system of strict censorship? Amanda Curdt-Christiansen proposes an alternative appraisal of cinematic depictions of sex in mainland China and Hong Kong, with an appreciation for ongoing tensions beneath the gaze of the ever dominant Party.