Letter from the Editors

By Darae Kim and Andrea Gelardi

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With the conception of film came the formation of a new visual language, and a revolutionary way of looking at the world. This different and modern viewpoint granted artists and filmmakers radically new ways of considering and describing the visual, and allowed actors entirely new approaches to engaging with a performative space. Visual space is therefore the rudimentary apparatus and fundamental medium by which film receives its life-force. Its configuration is the means by which this modality gains ideological meaning and expression.

Established governing concepts of film analysis subscribe to the notion that everything observed by the camera and captured within the visual frame is immediately charged with expressive meaning. The reading of the filmic space is thus paramount to understanding the meaning of a text, and the identities contained within it.
This issue of Frames, entitled Making Meaning of the Visual: Space and Identity, includes four articles and one video-essay that challenge notions of identity formation by adopting different ground-breaking theoretical approaches and various research perspectives. As these contributions anchor their reflections on specific visual landscape and/or physical spaces, they also shed light on the intimate connection between space and identity.

In addition to our thematic issue, we are also proud to guest a selection of essays, in various formats, from the Institute for Global Cinema and Creative Cultures’ (IGCCC) workshop that celebrated the father of the Chinese Fifth Generations of directors, Wu Tianming, which was held at the University of St Andrews on April 9th, 2018.

We would like to thank our guest editor Dr Elisabetta Girelli at the University of St Andrews for her illuminating guidance and contribution to this issue. We also deeply appreciate Professor Dina Iordanova at St Andrews and Lifei Liu from East China Normal University in Shanghai for organising the workshop on Wu Tianming. Thank you to our contributors and, as always, thank you to our editorial team for making this issue possible.