03-chap 02 26/2/07 10:13 am Page 34 The 1960s: social realism and The Wednesday Play 2 The Wednesday Play anthology series has acquired a pivotal role in the history of television drama, providing a showcase for drama that was formally experimental, distinctive to the medium of television and socially and culturally provocative. As such, it is often regarded nostalgically as a symbol of the kind of author-led, issue-based drama that is no longer on our screens. Many of the most widely-discussed plays of the decade – which were also amongst the most
extreme right-wing presidents that ushered in a period of oppression in 1968, referred to as ‘the coup within the coup’, which lasted until the mid-1970s and the so-called abertura or political opening-up. It was, then, in the context of a very clear distinction between Left and Right that the 1960s got under way, and such distinctions would inflect discussions of culture, including popular culture, throughout the decade and
This article focuses on a cycle of late 1960s true crime films depicting topical mass/serial murders. It argues that the conjoined ethical and aesthetic approaches of these films were shaped within and by a complex climate of contestation as they moved from newspaper headlines to best-sellers lists to cinema screens. While this cycle was central to critical debates about screen violence during this key moment of institutional, regulatory and aesthetic transition, they have been almost entirely neglected or, at best, misunderstood. Meeting at the intersection of, and therefore falling between the gaps, of scholarship on the Gothic horror revival and New Hollywood’s violent revisionism, this cycle reversed the generational critical divisions that instigated a new era in filmmaking and criticism. Adopting a historical reception studies approach, this article challenges dominant understandings of the depiction and reception of violence and horror in this defining period.
Introduction The application of the concept of ‘art cinema’ to British film production in the 1960s immediately poses certain problems of definition. If we adopt Steve Neale’s institutional perspective, highlighting how the concept was used in France, Italy and Germany to foster indigenous national cinemas that could resist the threat posed by Hollywood by emphasising the cultural value of film, 1 then the evidence suggests a rather different set of priorities in the case of Britain. For the UK film industry
throughout the 1960s and 1970s took place in the context of dramatic changes in British society. Changing leisure patterns, demographic shifts, the growth of consumer culture, television, and new broadcast technologies like video and satellite all compounded the decline in cinema-going and a corresponding contraction of the cinema infrastructure. The period is one in which cinema exhibitors sought to distinguish the silver screen from the
’s departure in 1961. Whilst viewers were migrating to ITV in large numbers, one police series was standing firm. Dixon of Dock Green represented one of the BBC’s few drama successes of the late 1950s and early 1960s, attracting audiences of ‘10 million by the middle of 1957’ (Cooke 2015a : 52). By the first quarter of 1961 Dixon was the second most popular programme of
In the 1960s, there were isolated examples of horror radio, such as J. L. Galloway’s ‘The Dark’ (29 July 1962) produced by John Tydeman. This is a thirty-minute drama which presents, from the perspective of a ship, a storm that has raged for six weeks and, centrally, a lighthouse in which the two stranded keepers’ irritation with each other grows into murderous contempt
Pepla and politics: the emergence of a television genre (1960s) Part II As noted in Part I, Graeco-Roman and biblical epics gained popularity in cinema in the 1950s and early 1960s to counter the apparent threat of television. Epics set in antiquity were particularly equipped to offer cinema audiences what television could not – large sets, sweeping panoramic views of ancient landscapes, crowds of extras and brightly coloured costumes and decorations. In other words, ‘Hollywood’s reaction [to the threat of television] was to seek to do things not open to the
The purpose of this article is to analyse the ambivalent politics of looking and discourses of gender, class and sexuality in a variety of 1960s–70s Japanese studio-made exploitation films, known as sukeban films. It first contextualises their production within a transnational and domestic shift emphasising sex and violence in film and popular culture. The article then highlights instances where the visual, narrative and discursive articulation of non-conforming femininities flips the gendered power balance, as in the sketches that satirise men’s sexual fetishes for girls. In conclusion, it suggests to understand the filmic construction of young women’s agency, and their bodily and sexual performance, in terms of a recurring modus operandi of Japanese media that ambivalently panders to and co-constitutes youth phenomena.
Regarded by fans and critics alike as the Queen of Horror, Barbara Steele stands as one of the few bona fide cult icons of the genre, whose ability to project an uncanny blend of deathliness and eroticism imbues her characters with a kind of necrophiliac appeal. Horror film scholars have tended to read Steele‘s films in feminist terms, as texts that play to our fascination with the monstrous-feminine. This article approaches them from a different standpoint – that of cinephilia studies. Steele‘s cult horror films are at their most basic level horror movies about cinephilia, presenting her as the very embodiment of the ghostly medium that cinephiles cherish. In so doing, they convert Steele into a necrophiliac fetish-object, an intoxicating fusion of death and desire. Considering Steele‘s work from this perspective reveals the fluidity of the boundary between horror and cinephilia, demonstrating that horror has something important to teach us about cinephilia and cinephilia has something important to teach us about horror.