Drabness and Ethics
Friday, January 12th @ 2–4pm
Eugenie Brinkema is Professor of Contemporary Literature and Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and currently a fellow at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. Her research in film and media studies focuses on violence, affect, sexuality, aesthetics, and ethics.
This talk takes as a starting point an aesthetic evaluation that greets the arrival of brutal death squads in Wes Anderson’s 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel: “I find these black uniforms very drab.” Using the problem of drabness, and a reciprocal term that is yoked to it in the film—that of glimmer—Brinkema considers how problems of cinematic form (light, saturation, and quality) formally articulate an impersonal account of general historical violence and loss. The problem of color—and the aesthetic question of values—thus poses the broader question of the value of formalism as both a reading method and a speculative grappling with ethics and politics. To register your interest in attending, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org