Synopses & Reviews
Tracing the rise and development of the Ghanaian video film industry between 1985 and 2010, Sensational Movies
examines video movies as seismographic devices recording a culture and society in turmoil. This book captures the dynamic process of popular filmmaking in Ghana as a new medium for the imagination and tracks the interlacing of the mediumand#8217;s technological, economic, social, cultural, and religious aspects. Stepping into the void left by the defunct state film industry, video movies negotiate the imaginaries deployed by state cinema on the one hand and Christianity on the other.
Birgit Meyer analyzes Ghanaian video as a powerful, sensational form. Colliding with the state film industryand#8217;s representations of culture, these movies are indebted to religious notions of divination and revelation. Exploring the format of and#147;film as revelation,and#8221; Meyer unpacks the affinity between cinematic and popular Christian modes of looking and showcases the transgressive potential haunting figurations of the occult. In this brilliant study, Meyer offers a deep, conceptually innovative analysis of the role of visual culture within the politics and aesthetics of religious world making.
and#147;Combining extensive ethnographic work with careful description of the videos and their circulation and reception, Meyer offers readers a magisterial account of how market, state, industry, religion, and visual media intermingle. The result is an embodied, socially situated phenomenology of cinematic experience that builds on years of Meyerand#8217;s work and will shape the conversation among scholars for years to come.and#8221;and#151;David Morgan, Professor of Religious Studies, Duke University
and#147;Drawing together research on religion and media in a strikingly original way, Meyer argues that the image repertoire of Pentecostalism is central to the emergence of Ghanaian film.and#160; But more than this, she shows how popular cinema is key to how Pentecostalism goes public and becomes part of the everyday lives of religious subjects. This is a groundbreaking book that opens up fundamentally new questions about film, aesthetics, and the sensational life of images in contemporary Africa.and#8221;and#151;Brian Larkin, Barnard College, Columbia University
About the Author
is a cultural anthropologist and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. She is Vice-Chair of the International African Institute and a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Table of Contents
List of IllustrationsPrefaceAbbreviationsand#160;Introduction and#160;and#160;and#160;1 and#160; andbull; and#160; and#160; The Video Film Industryand#160;2 and#160; andbull; and#160; and#160; Accra, Visions of the City and#160;3 and#160; andbull; and#160; and#160; Moving Pictures and Lived Experience4 and#160; andbull; and#160; and#160; Film as Revelationand#160;5 and#160; andbull; and#160; and#160; Picturing the Occult6 and#160; andbull; and#160; and#160; Animationand#160;7 and#160; andbull; and#160; and#160; Mediating Traditional Cultureand#160;Epilogueand#160;and#160;Notesand#160;ReferencesFilmographyIndexand#160;