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Editors: Agnes Andeweg and Sue Zlosnik

Although the preoccupation of Gothic storytelling with the family has often been observed, it invites a more systematic exploration. Gothic Kinship brings together case studies of Gothic kinship ties in film and literature and offers a synthesis and theoretical exploration of the different appearances of the Gothic family. The volume explores the cultural mediation of the shifting relations of kinship and power in gothic fictionfrom the eighteenth century up to the present day. Writers discussed include early British Gothic writers such as Eleanor Sleath and Louisa Sidney Stanhope as well as a range of later authors writing in English, including Elizabeth Gaskell, William March, Stephen King, Poppy Z. Brite, Patricia Duncker, J. K. Rowling and Audrey Niffenegger. There are also essays on Dutch authors (Louis Couperus and Renate Dorrestein) and on the film directors Wes Craven and Steven Sheil.

Arranged chronologically, the various contributions show that both early and contemporary Gothic display very diverse kinship ties, ranging from metaphorical to triangular, from queer to nuclear-patriarchal. Gothic proves to be a rich source of expressing both subversive and conservative notions of the family.

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Author: Tony Whitehead

Mike Leigh may well be Britain's greatest living film director; his worldview has permeated our national consciousness. This book gives detailed readings of the nine feature films he has made for the cinema, as well as an overview of his work for television. Written with the co-operation of Leigh himself, it challenges the critical privileging of realism in histories of British cinema, placing the emphasis instead on the importance of comedy and humour: of jokes and their functions; of laughter as a survival mechanism; and of characterisations and situations that disrupt our preconceptions of ‘realism’. Striving for the all-important quality of truth in everything he does, Leigh has consistently shown how ordinary lives are too complex to fit snugly into the conventions of narrative art. From the bittersweet observation of Life is Sweet or Secrets and Lies, to the blistering satire of Naked and the manifest compassion of Vera Drake, he has demonstrated a matchless ability to perceive life's funny side as well as its tragedies.

Critical essays on Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock

For a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain, the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This volume of new, spellbinding essays explores their tense working relationship as well as their legacy, from crashing cymbals to the sound of The Birds.

The volume brings together new work and new perspectives on the relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Featuring new essays by leading scholars of Hitchcock’s work, including Richard Allen, Charles Barr, Murray Pomerance, Sidney Gottlieb, and Jack Sullivan, the volume examines the working relationship between the pair and the contribution that Herrmann’s work brings to Hitchcock’s idiom. Examining key works, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Marnie and Vertigo, the collection explores approaches to sound, music, collaborative authorship and the distinctive contribution that Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock brought to this body of films.

Partners in Suspense examines the significance, meanings, histories and enduring legacies of one of film history’s most important partnerships. By engaging with the collaborative work of Hitchcock and Herrmann, the essays in the collection examine the ways in which film directors and composers collaborate, how this collaboration is experienced in the film text, and the ways such a partnership inspires later work.

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Author: Peter Hutchings

This book is about the British film director Terence Fisher. It begins by setting the context by detailing Fisher's directorial debut to Hammer's horror production and the importance of the Hammer horror to Fisher's career. Hammer's horror production represents one of the striking developments in post-war British cinema. The book explains some professional and industrial contexts in which Fisher operated and shows how these relate both to the films he made and the way in which these films have been judged and valued. It presents a detailed account of The Astonished Heart, Fisher's sixth film as director, highlighting the benefits and some of the problems involved in thinking about Fisher's career generally in its pre-horror phase. The successful Hammer film, The Curse of Frankenstein, both inaugurated the British horror boom and established Fisher as a film-maker whose name was known to critics as someone who specialised in the despised horror genre. After The Curse of Frankenstein, Fisher became primarily a horror director. The book presents an account of the highs and lows Fisher faced in his directorial career, highlighting his significant achievements and his box-office failures. It also shows Fisher as a director dependent on and at ease with the industrial and collaborative nature of film-making. In a fundamental sense, what value there is in Terence Fisher's work exists because of the British film industry and the opportunities it afforded Fisher, not despite the industry.

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Author: Brian Mcfarlane

Lance Comfort began to work in films between the age of 17 and 19, more or less growing up with the cinema. When he came to make 'B' films in the 1950s and 1960s, his wide-ranging expertise enabled him to deal efficiently with the constraints of tight budgets and schedules. He was astute at juggling several concurrent plot strands, his prescient anticipation of postwar disaffection, the invoking of film noir techniques to articulate the dilemma of the tormented protagonist. Comfort's reputation as a features director seemed to be made when Hatter's Castle, made by Paramount's British operation, opened at the Plaza, Piccadilly Circus, after a well-publicised charity première attended by the Duchess of Kent and luminaries such as Noel Coward. He had been in the film business for twenty years when, in 1946, he directed Margaret Lockwood in Bedelia. Comfort is not the only director who enjoyed his greatest prestige in the 1940s and drifted into providing fodder for the bottom half of the double-bill in the ensuing decades. There were six intervening films, justifying the journalist who described him in early 1943 as the Busiest British film director. Great Day, Portrait of Clare, Temptation Harbour, Bedelia, Daughter of Darkness, and Silent Dust were his six melodramas. He was an unpretentious craftsman who was also at best an artist, and in exploring his career trajectory, the viewer is rewarded by the spectacle of one who responded resiliently to the challenges of a volatile industry.

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Author: Renate Günther

Marguerite Duras embarked on a second career as a film director in the late 1960s; by then was already a well-known and highly acclaimed novelist and playwright. Bearing in mind this dual influence, this book presents an outline of Duras's early life and of her later political preoccupations, highlighting the relationship between these two dimensions and her films. Duras's aim was to transcend the limitations of both literature and cinema by creating an écriture filmique. Working within the 1970s French avant-garde, Marguerite Duras set out to dismantle the mechanisms of mainstream cinema, progressively undermining conventional representation and narrative and replacing them with her own innovative technique. The making of Nathalie Granger in 1972 coincided with the period of intense political activity and lively theoretical debates, which marked the early years of the post-1968 French feminist movement. India Song questions the categories of gender and sexuality constructed by the patriarchal Symbolic order by foregrounding the Imaginary. Agatha mirrors transgressive relationship and quasi-incestuous adolescent relationship, as the film resonates with the off-screen voices of Duras and Yann Andréa who also appears on the image-track where he represents Agatha's anonymous brother. Her work, both in literature and in film, distinguishes itself by its oblique, elusive quality which evokes her protagonists' inner landscape instead of dwelling on the appearances of the external world.

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Jason Statham: star!

This book offers an investigative analysis into the post-millennium rise to global stardom of British actor, Jason Statham.

It presents original ideas focusing on new notions about film and cult actor stardom and celebrity. Using in-depth analysis of Statham’s work across a range of multimedia platforms, including chapters dedicated to his film, pop promo, videogaming and tabloid persona, each essay will present this British actor as a postmodern phenomenon in a quickly changing media world.

Chapters include: new ideas about the reframing of post-millennial British film masculinity; Statham as an anti-hero; his videogaming work; investigations into his art films; the music of Crank; Statham’s clothes in his modelling, pop promo and film work; work across a variety of genres; his ensemble approach in The Expendables, and how he ages in that franchise; and a personal essay from Statham’s director of Spy – Paul Feig.

The book is written in a fluid and approachable style but would be of particular benefit to students of film, stardom, celebrity, gender and social studies. Its approach will also appeal to the general member of the public and fan of Jason Statham.

Contributors include Professor Robert Shail (Stanley Baker and Children’s Film Foundation) Professor James Chapman (James Bond), Dr Steven Gerrard (Modern British Horror and the Carry On films) and Hollywood film director Paul Feig.

The rise of Nordic Gothic
Yvonne Leffler and Johan Höglund

This chapter provides a historical survey of the rise of the Gothic in Nordic literature, film, TV series and video games. Going back to the first generation of Gothic texts, the chapter notes that German, British and French novels around 1800 were quickly translated into the Scandinavian languages, and that they inspired Nordic writers – and, later, film directors – to emulate this tradition but also to adapt the genre to Nordic audiences. The chapter then discusses the evolution of Nordic Gothic during the nineteenth and twentieth century, noting the most important writers and their work. Finally, the chapter describes the emerging scholarship that shows how Nordic canonical authors and filmmakers have been influenced by the Gothic, and addresses what can be termed the Nordic Gothic boom that can be said to begin in 2004 with John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Låt den rätte komma in.

in Nordic Gothic
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Sam Rohdie

in film is necessarily to engage with the history of the cinema, as the film directors of the French Nouvelle Vague did. The apparent arbitrary order and openness of the book, based as it is on the alphabet, is indebted to Jean-Luc Godard’s interrogation of History and of film history, especially in his stunning Histoire(s) du cinema. I make a distinction between history (as story) and History (usually understood) as history: histoire in French can mean either, the differentiation is usually a matter of context.

in Film modernism
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Gemma King

perhaps more than any other filmmaker working in the French space today, Jacques Audiard is both the ideal subject to complement a book series named French Film Directors, and the ideal one to challenge it. Audiard is at once an archetypal French film director and one who tests the definitions of each of these terms. He is of French nationality, but he operates in an increasingly transnational and

in Jacques Audiard