‘The Zone is the Zone of Cinema. The camera is in the Zone. We don’t see it; we are it’
Adrian Ivakhiv, 2012
Due out next year is another new academic text adding to the small field of ecocriticism as it applies to thinking about cinema – the full title is listed as Ecologies of the moving image: cinema, affect, and nature.
I’ve found its author, Adrian Ivakhiv, an Associate Professor of Environmental Thought and Culture at the University of Vermont, and his theory work in and around the forming fields of ecocriticism , green cultural studies, political ecology, environmental communication, very thought-provoking and adding much to the small but developing field of ‘ecocinema’ studies. So I was interested to hear Ivakhiv’s outline for his upcoming book in more detail on his blog here (his blog Immanence is also a great resource for scholars and educators in green cultural studies in general).
In the recent wide-ranging, and possibly field establishing text by Routledge (2012) on Ecocinema theory and practice*, which I have previously mentioned, I was particularly interested in Ivakhiv’s arguments in his chapter for An ecophilosophy of the moving image: cinema as anthrobiogeomorphic machine. Ivakhiv argues that ‘watching films is a relational process… that the viewer is herself a relational process, as is the film: the productions of each involves material, social, and perceptual elements and dynamics’. He then goes onto introduce and outline ideas and asks ‘how does [cinema] alter and transform the world? So I will be very interested to see how Ivakhiv expands on these ideas in his new book. He too is hoping to have a still from a Tartovsky film on the cover like the Routledge book and it will be good to see Ivakhiv write about Tartovsky’s Stalker, amongst a range of other films from an ecocritical and eco-philosophical point of view too.
* The Routledge book builds on a previous excellent book edited by Paula Willoquet-Maricondi on Framing the World Explorations in Ecocriticism and Film (2010)