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 is a refereed journal that approaches cinema and the moving image from within the fields of critical, conceptual and historical scholarship. The aim is to provide a forum for the interdisciplinary, intercultural and intermedial study of film by publishing innovative research of the highest quality. Contributions from diverse perspectives that are formed by the crossing of institutional and national boundaries are encouraged.
This short essay draws on research undertaken by the curator of the Scottish Screen Archive on the few surviving films credited to Greens Film Service of Glasgow in the teens and twenties. The research revealed a dynamic family business, born out of the travelling cinematograph shows of the late nineteenth century, growing to assume a dominant role in the Scottish cinema trade in the silent era, across exhibition, distribution and production. One small part of a lost film history waiting for rediscovery – early cinema in Scotland.
Given the relative lack of attention to specific TV programmes and episodes in interviews with surviving blacklistees until recently, given the relative lack of availability of 1950s and 1960s TV shows on video, on DVD or even in archives, given the relative lack of complete or reliable information on the credits of many TV series and shows, and given the sheer number of episodes (closer to a thousand than to hundred) requiring research, attention and study, the difficulties facing those interested in researching the blacklistees and TV are all the more formidable. This article begins the task of listing blacklistee‘s television credits.
Written in French exile, the following text by Siegfried Kracauer from December 1936 outlines a research project that the German-Jewish intellectual undertook with funding from the Institute for Social Research. The work outlined here would be a study of totalitarian propaganda in Germany and Italy through sustained comparison with communist and democratic countries, especially the Soviet Union and the United States. Appearing in English translation for the first time, this document from Kracauer‘s estate is crucial for a full understanding of his career as a sociologist, cultural critic, film theorist and philosopher, demonstrating the global scope of his engagement with cinema, mass culture and modernity.
Although film renting began in Britain in London, the rapid spread of cinemas after 1910 meant that there was a demand for distribution closer to the sites of exhibition. As a long-established trading centre, Manchester was well placed to become the hub for Northern distribution, and local trade directories list distributors from 1912 onwards. These clustered at first near Victoria Station, but soon moved to Deansgate, as independent distributors began to outnumber branch offices of the major companies. The life-expectancy of these was short, and the First Worlds War affected their business, but they remain an important and under-researched aspect of the early British cinema business.
This article reveals how screenwriter Stephen Volk‘s idea for a sequel to The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton) became, over the course of fifteen years, the British horror film The Awakening (2011, Nick Murphy). It examines practitioner interviews to reflect on creative labour in the British film industry, while also reorientating the analysis of British horror film to the practices of pre-production, specifically development. The research reveals that female protagonist Florence Cathcart was a major problem for the project and demonstrates how the Florence character changed throughout the development process. Repeatedly rewritten and ultimately restrained by successive male personnel, her character reveals persistent, problematic perceptions of gender in British horror filmmaking.
In this co-authored review-reflection, we discuss the African Feminisms 2019 conference, offering a snapshot of the vital and emboldening African feminist work being conducted by researchers, cultural producers and creative practitioners at all levels of their careers, as well as a sense of the emotional labour that this work entails. We note the particular, shocking event that took place in South Africa just prior to the conference informed the papers, performances and ensuing discussions. We also note that the conference and many of its attendees advocated for a variety of approaches (and more than one feminism) when seeking to challenge power.
This article addresses two questions about artworks. First, why do we emotionally respond to characters and stories that we believe are fictional? Second, why are some media better than others at generating specific types of emotions? I answer these questions using psychological research that suggests our minds are not unified, but are comprised of numerous subsystems that respond differently to various aspects of artworks. I then propose a framework to help us understand how films, videogames, and literature interact with our minds in different ways, which explains why they tend to excel at generating different types of emotions.
Metaphorically set in a border town, the darkly lit, libidinous urban topography of Orson Welles’ classic late film noir, Touch of Evil (1958), harbours primal fears and partially clads criminal activities, underscoring the fact that in the 1950s miscegenation was still illegal in a number of US states. This article juxtaposes Charlton Heston‘s leading role in two interracial romances, Touch of Evil and Diamond Head (1963), which takes place in the new border state of Hawaii. The historical foregrounding of the Civil Rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and ‘60s with respect to the interracial romances growing popularity is discussed, and the relevance of recent genetic research into the appeal of difference and the way it functions within a ‘primal drama’.