Film, "Lost in Translation" analyzed by ASC special guest speaker

(08-18-2009)

The Adams State College English Theater and Communications Department is hosting a talk by Brian L. Ott, professor of media studies at Colorado State University. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the ES Building room 103. The event is free and open to the public.

The title of Ott's talk, "Cinema and Choric Connection: Environ and Experience in 'Lost in Translation'", investigates the unique character of cinema, analyzes Sophia Copella's award winning 2003 film "Lost in Translation". Historically, media scholars have privileged the symbolic (meaning, signification, representation) over the semiotic chora (meaningfulness, signifiance, materiality, corporeality, affectivity). More recently, however, scholars across an array of disciplines have begun to investigate the importance of media as both environ and experience. This essay brings this line of enquiry to bear on the medium of cinema, for film offers a fully immersive and embodied emplacement. Specifically, we argue that the film defies traditional practices of sense making by privileging choric experience that replays the ambivalence of abjection. Attending to the shared experience of the main characters, we illustrate how the film returns viewers to a formative state of choric connection. The essay concludes by considering the implications of this analysis for the complex intersection of space, identity, materiality, and media.

Ott is an award winning teacher and scholar, whose work on television, film, and postmodernism has appeared widely in national and international journals. His books include "The Small Screen: How Television Equips Us to Live in the Information Age", "Critical Media Studies: An Introduction" (co-authored with Robert Mack), and "It's Not TV: Watching HBO in the Post-Television Era" (co-edited with Marc Leverette and Cara Buckley). He currently serves as editor for the Western Journal of Communication.