This article addresses the current state of film studies as a discipline, profession
and institution, arguing that the hunt for cultural authority has been the defining
feature, motivating force and tragic flaw of film studies. The current self-reflexive
soul- searching reveals that the field – no longer a radical upstart – still lacks
the gravitas of more established subjects. Departments have responded to identity
crises and changing enrolment patterns by mummifying, killing off or burying
foundational emphases. The nostalgia for film studies origins and the jeremiads about
an unmanageable, unruly and recalcitrant discipline yield rose-tinted fantasies about
community and mutual intelligibility that must be ultimately resisted.
By exploring how laughter is represented in Kipling‘s ghost stories this article attempts a re-evaluation of how colonial and postcolonial identities can be theorised within the Gothic. Laughter, and the disorientation that it provokes, is accorded a Gothic function that destabilises images of colonial authority.
Smith explores how Stoker‘s novel raises some complex questions about love through its use of a male love-struck narrator, who appears to be caught in a Female Gothic plot which casts him as its hero. In the novel ‘love’ becomes increasingly sinister as it turns into a destabilising and dangerously irrational emotion that ultimately aligns love with feelings of justified horror. Jewel (1903, revised 1912) thus develops a male reading of a Female Gothic plot in which the idea of female empowerment becomes defined as horrific. However, this idea of a pathologised love, Smith argues, is not unique to Stoker and can be linked to Freud‘s account of love, which reveals how issues relating to male authority appear within psychoanalytical debates about emotion at the time.
In the early gothic literature of the eighteenth century danger lurked in the darkness beneath the pointed arches of gothic buildings. During the nineteenth century, there was a progressive, although never complete, dislocation of gothic literary readings from gothic architecture. This article explores a phase in that development through discussion of a series of dark illustrations produced by Hablot Knight Browne to illustrate novels by Charles Dickens. These show the way in which the rounded arches of neo-classical architecture were depicted in the mid-nineteenth century as locales of oppression and obscurity. Such depictions acted, in an age of political and moral reform, to critique the values of the system of power and authority that such architecture represented.
Representations of Lower-Class Voices in Ann Radcliffe’s Novels
This paper investigates lower-class voices within the context of anti-Gothic
criticism, using Ann Radcliffe’s novels and early Gothic critic Joseph Addison’s
essays to highlight the ways in which Radcliffe reassigns value to the Gothic
aesthetic. It further emphasizes Radcliffe’s reconfiguration of domestic roles
as she positions patriarchal figures as anti-Gothic critics, the heroine as
reader of gothic narratives, and lowerclass voices and tales as gothic texts.
The Mysteries of Udolpho and Romance of the
Forest subvert critical discourse and its motif of servants’ contagious
irrationality. In Radcliffe’s novels, ‘vulgar’ narratives as superstitious
discourse do not spread fear to susceptible heroines, embodiments of bourgeois
virtue, but demonstrate the ways in which fear is a construct of patriarchal
discourse. Servants and country people, in turn, construct a pedagogy for
reading gothic texts that permit heroines to deconstruct metaphors of ghostly
haunting embedded in their tales and resist patriarchal hegemony and
interpretative authority over gothic texts.
This book examines how the working-class people are portrayed in the British cinema. One objective of this work is to take a modest step in redressing the balance by considering the popularity of the films discussed. A second objective is to demonstrate how film might be used by disciplines whose practitioners often display scant interest in its possibilities. The third objective is to consider what films can contribute to the debate on the consequences of war. A final objective is to test received opinion. The book discusses a five-dimensional model for examining images of the working class in films. These are: place in the authority structure; cohesion/fragmentation within the working-class community; internalised values; the built environment; and personal signifiers of class, notably speech, hairstyles and clothing. It deals with the war films that were made in the context working class community, and discusses The Way to the Stars, The Hasty Heart, and Wooden Horse. With the approach of war in the late 1930s, changes in censorship allowed industrial disputes to be portrayed on British screens for the first time. The working class community was portrayed in It Always Rains on Sunday to better effect as compared to Passport to Pímlíco. Three groups of criminals make regular appearances in postwar British films: spivs, who are black market traders; those have served in the forces; and career criminals. The book also deals with several British films in the postwar years focusing on dance hall, namely, Floodtide, Waterloo Road, and Dance Hall.
Frankenstein , this sequence gives us instead a sense that the narrative
is already under way before the film itself has properly started. At the
same time, Fisher’s camerawork immediately establishes a certain
authority over the film’s audience, for this is a camera that knows
exactly where it is going and, whether we want it or not, it leads us into
darkness and bloodshed.
This confident treatment of the story material is carried
The marginalisation of both
Count Dracula and Baron Frankenstein in British horror cinema of the
1970s was only one part of a much wider rejection and casting out of
those male authority figures who had been so important in earlier
Hammer horrors. At the same time the question of the woman’s
desire – a troubling element in The Sorcerers (Michael
Reeves, 1967) and The Devil Rides Out (Terence Fisher, 1968)
– became a more pressing and unavoidable issue in 1970s
horror, with this sometimes
or sea, in dry or wet climate, based on a real
event or an imaginary one, against Germany or Japan.10
What distinguishes the film, and in turn motivates Basinger’s description of submarine and naval films as ‘domestic’ dramas rather than
combat films, is the definition of the crew as a family.
The shipboard family is headed by an idealised paternal figure, a
youthful but authoritative captain who is also a husband and father.
Captain Cassidy (Cary Grant) of the USS Copperfin combines command
authority with a (literal) pastoral sensitivity. For the mission
, fighting with his father immediately before and
after Darla makes him a vampire, and then challenging the authority of
the male vampire, “the Master,” that Darla has followed
for centuries – Darla leaves that vampire group to join Angelus
in a 150-year Bonnie-and-Clyde murder spree. In flashbacks to subsequent
periods, Angelus acts as the leader to other male vampires, transforming
and training Penn