This book aims to demystify the place and power of the screenwriter within French film production, in creative and artistic terms, but also in the context of film criticism and film discourse more generally, whether that be in mainstream, popular or auteur cinema. Critical discourses on French cinema have tended to consider words to be of secondary importance to the image, regarding screenwriters as either over-dominant or completely eclipsed. The reality is, of course, that screenwriting has remained an integral part of the industry since the coming of sound. This book takes a number of key figures in the history of French screenwriting from the transition to sound to the present day, in order to explore the shifting function and position of screenwriters and major trends in screenwriting practice. It considers the industrial categorisation of screenwriting as adaptation, script development and dialogue writing, and explores creative practices around these three specialist areas – which are rarely as clearly defined as film credits might have us believe. It addresses and questions the myths that have emerged around certain writers in critical discourses, as well as the narrative mythologies that these writers have helped to shape in their films: from fatalism and the working-class (anti)hero to the small-minded petit bourgeois; from the neurotic protagonist to the naive fool of comedy. In doing so, it also reflects on the methodological challenges of screenwriting research, and the opportunities opened up by shedding light on these frequently neglected figures.
This groundbreaking book is the first full-length study of British horror radio from the pioneering days of recording and broadcasting right through to the digital audio cultures of our own time. The book offers an historical, critical and theoretical exploration of horror radio and audio performance examining key areas such as writing, narrative, adaptation, performance practice and reception throughout the history of that most unjustly neglected of popular art forms: radio drama and “spoken word” auditory cultures. The volume draws on extensive archival research as well as insightful interviews with significant writers and actors. The book offers detailed analysis of major radio series such as Appointment with Fear, The Man in Black, The Price of Fear and Fear on Four as well as one-off horror plays, comedy-horror and experimental uses of binaural and digital technology in producing uncanny audio.
This book is the first ever English-language study of Julien Duvivier (1896-1967), once considered one of the world’s great film filmmakers. It provides new contextual and analytical readings of his films that identify his key themes and techniques, trace patterns of continuity and change, and explore critical assessments of his work over time. Throughout a five-decade career, Duvivier zigzagged between multiple genres – film noir, comedy, literary adaptation – and made over sixty films. His career intersects with important historical moments in French cinema, like the arrival of sound film, the development of the ‘poetic realism’, the exodus to America during the German Occupation, the working within the Hollywood studio system in the 1940s, and the return to France and to a much-changed film landscape in the 1950s. Often dismissed as a marginal figure in French film history, this groundbreaking book illustrates Duvivier’s eclecticism, technical efficiency and visual fluency in films such as Panique (1946) and Voici le temps des assassins (1956) alongside more familiar works like La Belle Equipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937). It will particularly appeal to scholars and students of French cinema looking for examples of a director who could comfortably straddle the realms of the popular and the auteur.
This monograph argues that well-established concepts in migration studies such as ‘settlement’ and ‘integration’ do not sufficiently capture the features of adaptation and settling of contemporary migrants. Instead, it proposes the integrative and transdisciplinary concept of anchoring, linking the notions of identity, adaptation and settling while overcoming the limitations of the established concepts and underlining migrants’ efforts at recovering their feelings of security and stability. Drawing on 80 in-depth interviews with Polish migrants in the UK and Ukrainian migrants in Poland, ethnographic and autobiographical research together with an analysis of Internet blogs and forums, the book presents the author’s original concept of anchoring, underpinned by a combination of sociological and psychological perspectives, as well as demonstrating its applications. The book aims not only to provide a theoretical and methodological contribution to better understanding and examining the processes of adaptation and settling among today’s migrants, but also to highlight practical implications useful for the better support of individuals facing changes and challenges in new, complex and fluid societies.
In this edited collection, scholars use a variety of methodologies to explore the history of stage plays produced for British television between 1936 and the present. The volume opens with a substantial historical outline of the how plays originally written for the theatre were presented by BBC Television and the ITV companies as well as by independent producers and cultural organisations. Subsequent chapters analyse television adaptations of existing stage productions, including a 1937 presentation of a J. B. Priestley play by producer Basil Dean; work by companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stoke-on-Trent’s Victoria Theatre and the Radical Alliance of Poets and Players; the verbatim dramas from the Tricycle Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland; and Mike Leigh’s comedy Abigail’s Party, originally staged for Hampstead Theatre and translated to the Play for Today strand in 1977. Broadcast television’s original productions of classic and contemporary drama are also considered in depth, with studies of television productions of plays by Jacobean dramatists John Webster and Thomas Middleton, and by Henrik Ibsen and Samuel Beckett. In addition, the volume offers a consideration of the contribution to television drama of the influential producer Cedric Messina who, between 1967 and 1977, oversaw BBC Television’s Play of the Month strand before initiating The BBC Television Shakespeare (1978–85); the engagement with television adaptations by modern editors of Shakespeare’s plays; and Granada Television’s eccentric experiment in 1969–70 of running The Stables Theatre Company as a producer for both stage and screen. Collectively, these chapters open up new areas of research for all those engaged in theatre, media and adaptation studies.
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.
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.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the most popular novels in western literature. It has been adapted and re-assembled in countless forms, from Hammer Horror films to young-adult books and bandes dessinées. Beginning with the idea of the ‘Frankenstein Complex’, this edited collection provides a series of creative readings that explore the elaborate intertextual networks that make up the novel’s remarkable afterlife. It broadens the scope of research on Frankenstein while deepening our understanding of a text that, 200 years after its original publication, continues to intrigue and terrify us in new and unexpected ways.
M UCH OF THE SIGNIFICANCE of Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein (1974) lies in its engagement with Frankenstein ’s adaptation history and early cinema conventions, which it accomplishes through a brilliant mix of parody and homage. The more they are well versed in Frankenstein ’s film history, the more viewers are able to appreciate the jokes in Young Frankenstein that cover a full range of characters, scenes, props, and film techniques, alongside literary, film, and cultural critiques.
The Frankenstein Complex: when the text is more than a text
Dennis R. Cutchins and Dennis R. Perry
A DAPTING F RANKENSTEIN APPROACHES THE seemingly endless adaptations, appropriations and re-appropriations, the prolific progeny of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus , as inextricably intertextual pieces of popular culture. Arguably, Frankenstein 1 has a greater presence in popular media than any other single narrative over nearly two centuries, 2 only growing more extant and cogent as the popular culture machine begins to ever more resemble the patchwork monster which Shelley’s precocious student created. In the