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Mattias Frey and Sara Janssen

This introduction to the Film Studies special issue on Sex and the Cinema considers the special place of sex as an object of inquiry in film studies. Providing an overview of three major topic approaches and methodologies – (1) representation, spectatorship and identity politics; (2) the increasing scrutiny of pornography; and (3) new cinema history/media industries studies – this piece argues that the parameters of and changes to the research of sex, broadly defined, in film studies reflect the development of the field and discipline since the 1970s, including the increased focus on putatively ‘low’ cultural forms, on areas of film culture beyond representation and on methods beyond textual/formal analysis.

Film Studies
Stuart Hanson

In the 1930s the cinema interior was seen as a place of escape … The architecture provided a fantasy a world apart from the unemployment and slums without … Just as the Gothic cathedral was seen as a kind of foretaste of heaven for the illiterate masses of medieval Europe, a trailer for the forthcoming attraction, so the cinema

in From silent screen to multi-screen
Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Asquith
Tom Ryall

In a European country like Britain you would normally expect the most interesting films to be produced within the area of art cinema. Alan Lovell 1 Art cinema, as a significant historical element of a national film culture and a counterbalance to the international power of the American cinema, has a secure place, established very firmly in the 1920s, in the histories of the major European cinemas, and represented, in particular, by the films of France

in British art cinema
Ian Aitken

We can never escape from the condition of conceptual confusion: something new and beautiful has arisen in our time, but, instead of accepting it as it is, one tries with all possible means to place it within old, inappropriate categories, and, in doing so, deprive it of its true meaning and value. Today, ‘cinema’ is conceived of either as an

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
Guy Austin

It has become a commonplace that ‘Algerian cinema was born out of the war of independence and served that war’ (Salmane 1976 : 5). Film in Algeria also preserved the memory of that war, legitimising the FLN regime after independence by mythologising the liberation struggle. State-controlled culture played an important role in the formation of a national imaginary after 1962, thus fulfilling

in Algerian national cinema
Guy Austin

mobilizations of 1995 which signalled a change of the socio-political climate in France, and which created the conditions for the rebirth of a committed cinema and for subsequent mobilizations such as that around the sans-papiers ’ (O’Shaugnessy 2003 : 189; see also below). Mobilisation however could not disguise the fact that the erosion of class identities and of Marxism during the nineties had left many of the

in Contemporary French cinema
A case study of John Krish
Robert Shail

What is British art cinema? Finding the answer to this question is far from easy. Other nations seem to have found the task simpler; one of the earliest French production companies called itself Film d’Art and was dedicated to making ‘cultural films’. 1 By the early 1920s a group of international avant-garde artists, including Man Ray and Fernand Léger, were settled in Paris pursuing their creative interests through the comparatively new medium of cinema. Yet when Erik Hedling wrestled with the term for The British Cinema Book (2009

in British art cinema
Barry Jordan and Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas

Introduction Spanish cinema is known for producing more explicit images (of both sex and violence) than most other contemporary European cinemas. On the wider international circuit, this reputation has been fuelled by legal and media controversies surrounding the US release of films such as Vicente Aranda’s Amantes (1991) as well as Pedro

in Contemporary Spanish cinema
Brett Bowles

playwright with only the vaguest knowledge of the cinema industry into France’s only fully independent filmmaker. In addition to serving as writer, producer and director, Pagnol built and ran his own studio and development laboratory in Marseilles, even acquiring two cinemas that served as outlets for his work. In an industry plagued by seemingly incurable fiscal and administrative problems and threatened by a rising tide of

in Marcel Pagnol
Paul Sutton

it as pretentious while Assayas’ arthouse following may find it just plain tacky. ( 2002 : 32) 1 In his later reassessment, however, he suggested that the film wasn’t simply a catastrophe but rather ‘a film made in the catastrophic mode’, arguing provocatively ‘that a cinema truly attuned to our times can make sense only if it partakes of catastrophe, of a collapse of

in Five directors