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New heart and new spirit
Editor: Wickham Clayton

The extreme profitability of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ in 2004 came as a great surprise to the Hollywood establishment, particularly considering its failure to find production funding through a major studio. Since then the biblical epic, long thought dead in terms of widespread marketability, has become a viable product. These screen texts, primarily film and television features adapting stories from both the Old and New Testaments, have seen production both inside and outside of Hollywood. Seeking both profits and critical acclaim, as well as providing outlets for auteurist ‘passion projects’ such as Gibson’s film, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (2014) and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), these texts both follow previous biblical epic traditions, as well as appear distinct stylistically and thematically from the biblical epic in its prime. With 2018 seeing the highly publicised release of Mary Magdalene, an attempt at a feminist take on this controversial figure, as well as Gibson’s announcement that he is in production on a follow-up to The Passion of the Christ, there is no clear evidence that the steady production of biblical media will abate anytime soon. Therefore, academic consideration of the modern biblical epic is both timely and highly relevant. With contributions from scholars such as Mikel J. Koven, Andrew B. R. Elliott and Martin Stollery, and a preface from Adele Reinhartz, this collection aims to be a starting point for initiating this discourse.

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Celestino Deleyto

Soderbergh’s Out of Sight (1998) and it is a description that makes the film sound very much like a romantic comedy, whether we take our definition from accounts of the genre’s classical antecedents in Greek and Roman New Comedy (for example, Miola, 2002 ), from Northrop Frye’s theorisation of Shakespearean green world comedies ( 1957 ), or from more recent approaches, like Steve Neale’s discussion of romantic comedy

in The secret life of romantic comedy
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Author: Matthew Pateman

Joss Whedon explores the televisual texts that have been worked on by Whedon, from his earliest days as a writer on Roseanne to this involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D. In doing so it engages in and challenges a range of important questions about these works, but also about the broader recent history of television in the USA and the UK, and the studies of it. The Part I looks at three periods of Whedon’s career (up to the end of season 3 of his iconic Buffy the Vampire Slayer; the years covering the full run of Angel; and the time between the ending of Angel and the present day). Looking at changing modes of production, distribution and viewing, this section offers Whedon in the context of the recent history of television, as well as locating his contribution to other media such as comic books, internet series and films. It also looks at his involvement in liberal politics and assesses the politics of his shows.

Part II provides readings of each of his most important television shows through the lens of his narrative choices. These range from the importance of the exposition scene in Buffy to questions about the very possibility of serial narrative in Firefly; the significance of narrative complexity in Angel and the empty slate narrative of Dollhouse.

Throughout, it uses textual analysis, historical assessment, scholarly sources, as well as my own unique correspondence with Whedon collaborator Jane Espenson, and the exceptional store of draft scripts for the episodes that she wrote. A transcript of the correspondence is included as an appendix.

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Creativity, experimentation and innovation
Editors: Paul Newland and Brain Hoyle

British art cinema: Creativity, experimentation and innovation brings together a selection of essays from both new and established scholars that engage with how far artistic creativity, entertainment and commerce have informed a conceptual British ‘arthouse’ cinema. The chapters show that rather than always sitting in the shadow of its European counterparts, for example, British cinema has often produced films and film-makers that explore intellectual ideas, and embrace experiment and innovation. The book examines the complex nature of state-funded and independent British filmmaking, the relationship between the modernist movement and British cinema, and the relationship between British cinema, Hollywood and US popular culture. The chapters cover the history of British cinema from the silent period to the 2010s. Film-makers explored in detail include Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Derek Jarman, Ken Russell, Horace Ové, Joseph Losey, John Krish, Humphrey Jennings, Nicolas Roeg, and lesser-known artists such as Enrico Cocozza and Sarah Turner. There are new essays on the British New Wave, the 1980s, poetic realism and social realism, the producer Don Boyd, the Black Audio Film Collective, films about Shakespeare, and the work of the Arts Council in the aftermath of World War Two.

Novel, film, television
Author: Steven Peacock

Swedish crime fiction became an international phenomenon in the first decade of the twenty-first century, starting with novels but then percolating through Swedish-language television serials and films into English-language BBC productions and Hollywood remakes. This book looks at the rich history of Nordic noir, examines the appeal of this particular genre, and attempt to reveal why it is distinct from the plethora of other crime fictions.

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Jay Beck and Vicente Rodriguez Ortega

This collection analyses the significant changes in the aesthetics, production and reception of Spanish cinema and genre from 1990 to the present. It brings together European and North American scholars to establish a critical dialogue on the topic of contemporary Spanish cinema and genre while providing multiple perspectives on the concepts of national cinemas and genre theory. We start from the

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
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Genre collisions and mutations
James Peacock

-fi picaresque inside an animal’s body? And what happens when a kangaroo develops the power of speech and starts wielding a gun? The punchlines are all to be found in Jonathan Lethem’s writing, and they are only partially comic. This book proceeds from the broad and frequently rehearsed observation that Jonathan Lethem’s novels and short stories subvert established fictional genres in some way, and that the

in Jonathan Lethem
The dollars are coming!

While post-war popular cinema has traditionally been excluded from accounts of national cinemas, the last fifteen years have seen the academy’s gradual rediscovery of cult and, more, generally, popular films. Why, many years after their release, do we now deem these films worthy of study? The book situates ‘low’ film genres in their economic and culturally specific contexts (a period of unstable ‘economic miracles’ in different countries and regions) and explores the interconnections between those contexts, the immediate industrial-financial interests sustaining the films, and the films’ aesthetics. It argues that the visibility (or not) of popular genres in a nation’s account of its cinema is an indirect but demonstrable effect of the centrality (or not) of a particular kind of capital in that country’s economy. Through in-depth examination of what may at first appear as different cycles in film production and history – the Italian giallo, the Mexican horror film and Hindi horror cinema – Capital and popular cinema lays the foundations of a comparative approach to film; one capable of accounting for the whole of a national film industry’s production (‘popular’ and ‘canonic’) and applicable to the study of film genres globally.

Author: James Doelman

While among the most common of Renaissance genres, the epigram has been largely neglected by scholars and critics: James Doelman's The Epigram in England: 1590-1640 is the first major study on the Renaissance English epigram since 1947. It combines awareness of the genre's history and conventions with an historicist consideration of social, political and religious contexts. Tracing the oral, manuscript and print circulation of individual epigrams, the book demonstrates their central place in the period's poetic culture.

The epigram was known for brevity, sharpness, and an urbane tone, but its subject matter ranged widely; thus, this book gives close attention to such sub-genres as the political epigram, the religious epigram and the mock epitaph. In its survey the book also considers questions of libel, censorship and patronage associated with the genre.

While due attention is paid to such canonical figures as Ben Jonson and Sir John Harington, who used this humble (and sometimes scandalous) genre in poetically and socially ambitious ways, the study also draws on a wide range of neglected epigrammatists such as Thomas Bastard, Thomas Freeman and "Henry Parrot". More subject than author-oriented, epigrams often floated free, and this study gives full attention to the wealth of anonymous epigrams from the period. As epigram culture was not limited by language, the book also draws heavily upon Neo-Latin epigrams.

In its breadth The Epigram in England serves as a foundational introduction to the genre for students, and through its detailed case studies it offers rich analysis for advanced scholars.

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Shakespeare meets genre film
Kinga Földváry

Romeo as a love-struck zombie, Hamlet as a cowboy riding off into the sunset, Katherine the Shrew leading Her Majesty’s Opposition and King Lear heading a dynasty of circus acrobats – you name it, we have it! By the twenty-first century, one can hardly think of popular genre themes or settings that have not been tried and tested in screen adaptations of Shakespearean drama. The other side of the coin is equally remarkable: it is not simply adaptors of Shakespeare who rely on popular visual formats, but creators of popular visual culture also mine his work for

in Cowboy Hamlets and zombie Romeos