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Author: Keith Reader

Lacanian discourse has a complex and multiplies determined relationship with Catholicism, and Robert Bresson has the reputation of being the cinema's greatest Catholic director. Few Catholic artists, however, have found the institutional life of 'their' Church a congenial or inspirational topic, and its declining importance in Bresson's later work is not of itself particularly surprising. Pascal's wager on the existence of God has what contemporary linguistics might call a performative effect, for it is only thanks to the wager that God's existence becomes certain and available to the believer. Bresson's first film, Affaires publiques, is in many ways as unBressonian a work as could be imagined. Bresson from Journal onwards works to all intents and purposes outside genre, with the exception of those parts of Pickpocket and the inserts in Le Diable probablement that are close to the documentary. In 1947, Bresson went to Rome to work on a screenplay of the life of St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, which was never to be filmed. Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, released in 1956, was and remains Bresson's most commercially successful and critically best-received film, though curiously for a very long time it was unavailable in Britain. Bresson's next two films, his first in colour, are also his first true adaptations from Dostoevsky. Bresson's final film, shot in the summer of 1982 and released in 1983, brought to an end the longest gap in his work since that separating Journal from Les Dames, more than thirty years before.

Simplicity and complexity in Father Ted
Karen Quigley

centuries-old colonial tropes of the ‘simple’ Irish peasant and the ‘complex’ British landowner continue to permeate such perceptions, it cannot be denied that cultural stereotypes of Ireland and Irishness have always included variations on drunken stupidity, mystical spirituality and fervent Catholicism. However, when the global gaze fixed on Ireland in 2015 as it became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote, and again in 2018 with the removal of the country's long-held constitutional ban on abortion, the persistent image of Ireland

in Complexity / simplicity
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Keith Reader

drawn largely on Lacanian concepts and methods. Lacanian discourse has a complex and multiply determined relationship with Catholicism, and – third and last, but emphatically not least, in my short list of common approaches – Bresson has the reputation of being the cinema’s greatest Catholic director (doubtless leaving Dreyer and Bergman to fight it out for the Protestant crown). For Louis Malle writing on Pickpocket , ‘[p

in Robert Bresson
Portraying medicine, poverty, and the bubonic plague in La Peste
Ragas José, Palma Patricia, and González-Donoso Guillermo

Catholicism, Protestants, surviving crypto-Jewish traditions, and other faiths harboured by the maritime nature of the city. For the General Inquisitor Celso de Guevara, the suspicion and further arrest of prominent heretics is a testimony to how Andalusia was both a space of cultural and religious pluralism and an important site of large Protestant groups and heretical subversives. The core narrative of this season revolves around

in Diagnosing history
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Embodiment and adolescence in recent Spanish films
Sarah Wright

trauma and psychic interior pain (trauma binds the bodily to the psychic). In the sense that wound culture offers up a trauma to the spectator, this chapter will explore the traumatic legacies of endemic machismo and violence and National Catholicism on the Spain of the early twenty-first century. For André Bazin films with children ‘treat childhood precisely as if it were open to our understanding and empathy, they are made in the name of anthropomorphism’ (Bazin, 1997: 121). This ‘anthropomorphism’ may remind us of Jacqueline Rose’s assertions that childhood always

in The child in Spanish cinema
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The Others and its contexts
Ernesto R. Acevedo-Muñoz

arrangements that emphasise allegorically and metaphorically the Spanish contexts of cultural and political isolation, tradition, Catholicism, repression and motherhood. 2 Amenábar’s Los otros reflexively reconfigures these Spanish themes into a horror format that obliquely refers to Spain’s recent traumatic past and to the contemporary need to face and acknowledge the nation

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
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Horror, ambivalence, femininity
Deborah Martin

’amour est un oiseau rebelle’ (Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy)1 Good and evil, the beautiful and the ugly, saintliness and desire: these are the dichotomies upon which La niña santa meditates, the social and cultural categories which it seeks to blur. These are the questions which obsess its young female characters, and especially its teenage protagonist Amalia (María Alche), as she attempts to recon­ cile her Catholic teachings with sexual desire. In La niña santa, it is in particular the ideological conditions established by Catholicism – and their close relationship

in The cinema of Lucrecia Martel
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Author: Steve Blandford

This is the first book-length study of one of the most significant of all British television writers, Jimmy McGovern. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all his work for television including early writing on Brookside, major documentary dramas such as Hillsborough and Sunday and more recent series such as The Street and Accused.

Whilst the book is firmly focused on McGovern’s own work, the range of his output over the period in which he has been working also provides something of an overview of the radical changes in television drama commissioning that have taken place during this time. Without compromising his deeply-held convictions McGovern has managed to adapt to an ever changing environment, often using his position as a sought-after writer to defy industry trends.

The book also challenges the notion of McGovern as an uncomplicated social realist in stylistic terms. Looking particularly at his later work, a case is made for McGovern employing a greater range of narrative approaches, albeit subtly and within boundaries that allow him to continue to write for large popular audiences.

Finally it is worth pointing to the book’s examination of McGovern’s role in recent years as a mentor to new voices, frequently acting as a creative producer on series that he part-writes and part brings through different less-experienced names.

Alberto Fernández Carbajal

This chapter proposes that queer diasporas are inverted in Ferzan Özpetek’s debut feature film, Hamam (1997), exploring the experiences of an Italian man in modern Istanbul. This chapter undertakes a reading of Hamam which interrogates the film’s use of the Orientalist homoerotic spatial trope of the Turkish bath. Whilst the film has been deemed as perpetuating European imaginaries about the sensually and sexually alluring Orient and of the civilising ‘white saviour’, the analysis demonstrates that the homosocial spaces of the eponymous hamam remain micropolitically transgressive, productively re-inscribing same-sex desire onto contemporary Turkish culture. Character connect across ethnic and national divides, at a remove from the Italian protagonist’s inherited Catholicism, and from the clandestine workings of Kemalist and Islamist homophobia illustrated in the film’s denouement. The chapter suggests that Hamam does not victimise the figure of the abandoned wife whose husband has turned towards men, but that she continues the architectural restoration work her dead husband started in a manner that does not equate the film’s exploration of male queerness with a silencing or ignoring of women’s perspectives.

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Martin O’Shaughnessy

together what was a loosely articulated work. Cantet took the inspiration for his episode from a chance encounter on a previous trip to Cuba, a country he had visited both while scouting for locations for Vers le sud and to run a cinema workshop. The meeting was with Nathalia Amore, a Santera, or priestess of the syncretic Santería religion, with its fusion of Yoruba spiritual traditions and Catholicism. When Cantet met her, Nathalia was involved in supervising the construction of a shrine to Oshun, a figure with African roots but also associated with the Virgén de la

in Laurent Cantet