Browse

Abstract only
Genre and the birth and childhood
Matthew Page

This chapter examines various post-2004 adaptations of the Nativity and how they innovate within or deviate from the conventions of the biblical epic as it has traditionally been understood. Starting with the historical biblical epics from the silent era through to The Passion of the Christ (2004), it will outline the factors that have tended to demarcate biblical epics from other genres. It will then use these elements a lens to examine five recent biblical films about the birth and childhood of Jesus. These films all take different approaches to examining the stories of the birth and childhood of Jesus. Whilst many of the above elements of biblical epics are present, none of these films sit squarely within all of the confines of the genre. Moreover, the manner in which they deviate from those conventions and adopt alternative approaches points towards new possibilities for the genre.

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
Michael Leonard

The final chapter addresses the most recent period in Garrel’s cinema, marked by his engagement with the experiences of younger generations. Since La Naissance de l’amour (1993) Garrel has produced eight films at the time of writing and is currently working on his ninth, Le Sel des larmes. This chapter identifies several distinct threads that together form loose subcategories within this body of work. The first concerns the memory and legacy of May 68, explored in the works Le Vent de la nuit (1999) and Les Amants réguliers (2005). The second concerns films that confront issues relating to young couples and the trauma of separation, including Sauvage Innocence (2001), La Frontière de l’aube (2008) and Un Été brûlant (2010). A third thread relates to the films La Jalousie (2013), L’Ombre des femmes (2015) and L’Amant d’un jour (2017). Filmed in black and white and each with a duration of approximately seventy-five minutes, the works have been described by Stephane Delorme as a ‘trilogie freudienne’. Consideration is given to the comparatively lighter tone that emerges in the latter films which hint at a cautious optimism on the part of Garrel.

in Philippe Garrel
Clarice Greco, Mariana Marques de Lima and Tissiana Nogueira Pereira

This chapter seeks to contribute with theoretical and empirical reflections on the recent phenomenon of biblical telenovelas produced in Brazil. Since the consolidation of television in the 1960s telenovelas have become the main cultural product in Brazil and Latin America – especially those from Globo Corporation, which attract all the prime-time audience. But during recent years another channel, Record TV, has been receiving some attention for trying a different strategy in producing biblical telenovelas. Since 2010, Record TV has produced telenovelas and series focused on biblical narratives to attract a new audience. Within that context we aim to analyse these narratives in relation to: (1) the focus on a niche audience; (2) the fact that the network Record is owned by representatives from the ‘Universal Church of the Kingdom of God’; (3) the rise of a more conservative audience; and (4) the biblical narrative as a rising genre.

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
Abstract only
Author: Michael Leonard

This book provides a comprehensive study of the cinema of Philippe Garrel, placing his work within the political context of France in the second half of the twentieth century (including the tumultuous events of May 68) and the broader contexts of auteur cinema and the avant-garde. Challenging the assumption that Garrel’s oeuvre exists in direct continuity with that of Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut et al., this study locates a more radical shift with Garrel’s predecessors by observing the eclecticism of the influences absorbed and exploited by the director. In doing so, it explores contexts beyond French cinema in order to interpret the director’s work, including avant-garde movements such as the Situationists, Surrealism, Arte Povera and the American Underground. Acknowledging Garrel’s role as an unofficial historian of the so-called ‘post-New Wave’, the study equally considers his relationship with other members of this loose film school, including Jean Eustache, Chantal Akerman and Jacques Doillon. The book is structured according to both a chronological and thematic reading of Garrel’s oeuvre. This method introduces different conceptual issues in each chapter while respecting the coherence of the various periodisations of the director’s career.

Abstract only
Michael Leonard
in Philippe Garrel
Andrew B. R. Elliott

If the concept of using credibility as a marker of quality is often true for the depiction of the past wherein even the slightest incongruity can be fatal, it is especially true for the biblical film. Alongside the development of special effects there have also arisen tropes and conventions which have become hallmarks of the epic and which are here used to support a biblical epic aesthetic. This chapter builds on ideas about effects in the epic film as an expression of verisimilitude, but here I propose instead to discuss effects not as guarantor of verisimilitude, but as ‘part of an overall process in which cinema displays itself and its powers’ (Neale 1980: 35) and how effects act as a function of spectacle, becoming part of an industrial selling point driving audiences to the cinema.

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
Iconoclasm and film genre in The Passion of the Christ and Hail, Caesar!
Martin Stollery

This chapter considers Hail, Caesar! (2016) as a distinctive, although far from dogmatic, Jewish American meditation on visual representation of ‘the godhead’ and invocations of faith in classic Hollywood and post-classic cinema. In some ways, Hail, Caesar! is an indirect riposte to The Passion of the Christ (2004). I also consider Hail, Caesar!’s exploration of these issues in relation to A Serious Man (2009), the Coens’ early meditation, albeit in a different mode, on faith, and Ben-Hur (1959). Hail, Caesar! reworks the Charlton Heston Ben-Hur more profoundly and compellingly than the blockbuster remake of this film released later in 2016.

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
Abstract only
Expendable Expendable?
Natasha Parcei

This chapter investigates how The Expendables film series constructs and frames the age identity of Lee Christmas, played by Jason Statham, by reading his position in the narrative in order to understand how ageing is represented in action cinema. Much of the critical attention for this series has been focused on the hyper-masculine ageing body of the franchise’s lead actor, Sylvester Stallone. This chapter will look at the construction of Christmas’s age identity as a middle-aged man during the unstable cultural position of middle-agedness. It will also focus on how the middle-aged action hero is constructed in the three Expendables films to date. It begins with an overview of the film series’ premise, followed by a brief outline of relevant critical ageing theory, then a consideration of how Christmas’s age construction aligns with the ageing theories of decline, prowess and the culture of the Third Age.

in Crank it up
Abstract only
Martin Carter

Jason Statham’s mock-Cockney attitudes have remained virtually unchanged across his range of roles. Whether in America or Britain, Italy or small South American islands, Statham has rarely ventured into exploring the culture of his surroundings. However, his role as Frank in the French Transporter films offer a tantalising glimpse into examining the interaction of a British star as ‘transnational body’. This chapter will examine Statham’s work within the codes of these international action movies.

in Crank it up
Abstract only
Exploring the virtualisation of the Statham brand
Dean Bowman and Erin Pearson

It is no secret that videogames are no longer for children. Over 65% of American households play videogames, and the average age of a gamer is 35. Celebrity videogame endorsements offer an innovative way to infuse brands into the lives of their customers. In today’s celebrity-obsessed culture, a famous face can instantly make or break a product’s popularity. Celebrities are chosen with care. What do they bring to the product? How will it help increase their own brand? Does it work?

By examining videogames such as Red Faction II, Call of Duty and Sniper X, this chapter will explore how they work to reflect and expand both Statham’s fan base appeal (through his own website and fan-based ones) and the celebrity brand that is Jason Statham. By focusing on the militaristic and gaming aspects of Statham’s corpus of work, and the ways that this negotiates the machismo and masculinity that form a distinctive part of his brand identity, it will reveal how the idea of ‘celebrity’ has come to incorporate not just acting roles, but has become part of a transmedia world in which the ‘rules’ of cultdom, fandom, celebrity and stardom combine to produce one overall package: Jason Statham.

in Crank it up