This article reveals how screenwriter Stephen Volk‘s idea for a sequel to The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton) became, over the course of fifteen years, the British horror film The Awakening (2011, Nick Murphy). It examines practitioner interviews to reflect on creative labour in the British film industry, while also reorientating the analysis of British horror film to the practices of pre-production, specifically development. The research reveals that female protagonist Florence Cathcart was a major problem for the project and demonstrates how the Florence character changed throughout the development process. Repeatedly rewritten and ultimately restrained by successive male personnel, her character reveals persistent, problematic perceptions of gender in British horror filmmaking.
This article addresses the current state of film studies as a discipline, profession and institution, arguing that the hunt for cultural authority has been the defining feature, motivating force and tragic flaw of film studies. The current self-reflexive soul- searching reveals that the field – no longer a radical upstart – still lacks the gravitas of more established subjects. Departments have responded to identity crises and changing enrolment patterns by mummifying, killing off or burying foundational emphases. The nostalgia for film studies origins and the jeremiads about an unmanageable, unruly and recalcitrant discipline yield rose-tinted fantasies about community and mutual intelligibility that must be ultimately resisted.
In recent decades, scholars in a variety of humanities fields have thoroughly interrogated the ways in which established critical practices and theoretical frameworks have reproduced paradigms of coloniality. Yet cinema studies lags in this initiative. This article examines how presentist tendencies in particular have contributed to the ongoing Eurocentrism of academic work on film, by focusing on the acute challenges of film preservation and access, and the persistent sway of French theory.
This article describes the rise of MA programmes in audio-visual archiving, preservation and presentation. It distinguishes between two key developments that are transforming the contemporary graduation education in AV heritage: digital developments that significantly impact the professional field, and new governance structures that comprise a (forced) move away from film studies as disciplinary home. It is the latter, this article argues, that poses the real threat for the future of professional education in preservation and presentation of moving images.
This article looks at contemporary film scholarship in order to address one of the disciplines pressing questions: the place of cinema in a context of rapid technological change. Rather than simply focus on technology, however, the article calls for a broad set of criteria to define what counts as cinema today. In particular, it revisits the concept of expanded cinema and treats filmmaking as an event that combines the contexts of production and reception. Finally, the article insists on the relevance of film studies as a field that will continue to lead the debate on moving image media.