The constant bombardment of the super-enlarged, computer-enhanced faces of advertising, the endless 'talking heads' of television and the ever-changing array of film stars' faces have reduced the face to a banal image. The dream of early film theorists that the 'giant severed heads' of the screen could reveal 'the soul of man' to the masses is long since dead. And yet the death of this dream opens up the possibility for a different view of the face on the screen. The aim of the book is to seize this opportunity to rethink the facial close-up in terms other than those associated with the humanist view of the face as 'mirror of the soul'. In doing so, the book proposes a dialectical reversal or about-face. It suggests that we focus our attention on the places in contemporary media where faces become unrecognisable, for nothing indicates the significance of the face more than the failure to recognize faces. Using Walter Benjamin's theory of the dialectical image as a critical tool, the book provides detailed studies of a wide range of media spectacles of faces becoming unrecognisable.
It examines the mode of recognition enabled by these faces as a shock experience that can open our eye
Buy Face on the Screen book by Therese Davis from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(230mm x 174mm x 13mm)
Publisher: Intellect Books
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Author Biography - Therese Davis
Therese Davis is a lecturer of film and cultural studies at the University of Newcastle in Australia.