62.3 Spring 2023

A Happy Farewell

Editors of JCMS

Read more


Graduate Student Organization

Joseph Roskos, Yulia Gilich, David Kolik, Hamidreza Nassiri, and Vuk Vuković

Read more

Kam Copeland

Interview by TreaAndrea M. Russworm

Read more

Research Articles

#BlackoutBTS: Race and Self(ie)-Display in Digital Fandom

Andrea Acosta

Abstract: This article takes up K-pop’s online fandoms as sites of racial work and resistance in the digital era. Examining the #BlackOutBTS selfie project on Twitter, a project created by and for Black fans of Korean group BTS to combat online racism, I argue these fans intervene meaningfully into anti-Black optic regimes through creative acts of self-display. In turn, their productions frame the selfie as a dynamic, rather than static, digital genre. Its capacity for editing, manipulation, and image play—its merging of photography with performance—makes the selfie an effective site for a minoritarian (re)presentation of the racialized subject.

Read more

Consuming the Korean Mobile Nation: Seoul, Dislocation, and the Search for Belonging in (Food) Media

Ellie Choi

Abstract: From the 1980s on, topographies of the city and country emerged in the Korean cinematic imagination as reactions to Seoul’s hypermodernity. Scenes of resting in an idyllic countryside and in rooms hidden within the city often depict eating, indexing a global media trend of linking identity to place. Today, television, film, and digital media are streamed into tablets, and these images affect virtual togetherness in a Korean “mobile nation,” an online community of domestic and international viewers consuming “Korea(n food)” together, interstitially. Evocative foodscapes conjure affects of belonging as consumers engage in timed chats and upload content.

Read more

"Open the Door and I'll Get It For Myself": Minority Production Assistant Programs and the Politics of the Urban Location Shoot, 1969-1974

Noelle Griffis

Abstract: This article traces the development of the Community Film Workshop Council’s minority apprentice program and its attempt to break through decades of exclusionary hiring practices in feature film production. The program coincided with the rise of feature filmmaking on location in New York City and the corresponding need to integrate the city’s film crews. Through an archival study of the program and the essential roles that the apprentices played on films, including The Landlord (Hal Ashby, 1970) and Cotton Comes to Harlem (Ossie Davis, 1970), I demonstrate how media activism, policy, and labor relations are fundamental to both challenging and maintaining industrial power structures.

Read more

The Ballad of Morton Hellig: On VR's Mythic Past

Nicholaus Gutierrez

Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) became a cultural fixture in the 1980s, when advances in computing inspired a general belief in VR’s revolutionary potential. To support this belief, VR enthusiasts at that time also constructed an imagined history. This article examines VR’s historiography through one of its most enduring myths: that filmmaker and inventor Morton Heilig developed analog VR in the 1950s but never received public recognition because few understood his vision. I argue that this narrative of Heilig as VR’s forgotten prophet functioned to justify the putatively revolutionary project of VR and to legitimize the VR community that was promoting it.

Read more

Death in the Streets, Blood on Your Hands: Chocolate Babies and the End of AIDS

Robert J. Mills

Abstract: This article considers Stephen Winter’s Chocolate Babies (1996), a low-budget feature made amid, and in response to, the ravages of AIDS in New York City. Paying close attention to the film’s conjunctural cinematic syntax, I argue that Winter here critiques a once-prominent consensus that rapid biomedical advancements were bringing about the epidemic’s “end.” Throughout, I put Chocolate Babies in dialogue with numerous critics who refused to accept the politically vacant terms of biomedicine as a neat conclusion to the decades-long struggle against AIDS. Winter’s film, I ultimately suggest, extends such antagonisms, affirming the necessity of an enduring state of emergency.

Read more

Cinema Wears the Mask: The Metaphysics of Animism in Une histoire de vent

Pao-chen Tang

Abstract: In response to ongoing ecological crises, recent turns to animism in eco-criticism have celebrated a materialist dimension of this worldview that understands the world as a relational mesh collectively formed by agential entities, human and nonhuman alike. But as animism increasingly gets grounded in contemporary concerns and materialism rather than indigeneity and the soulful metaphysics behind the term’s etymology, critiques of its politics emerge as well. By analyzing Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s Une histoire de vent (A Tale of the Wind, 1988), this article demonstrates how animism does not need be secularized in order to be ecopolitical.

Read more