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Ian Aitken

transformations, technique should not determine content, and it is content which must regulate the application of technique. By György Lukács [It is a stylistic feature of Cinema Nuova to break up the flow of an article by positioning a key quote from elsewhere in the article near the beginning of the

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
Malcolm Turvey

It is widely argued that engaging with a fiction involves imagining its content. Yet, the concept of the imagination is rarely clarified, and it is often used incorrectly by theorists. A good example, this paper argues, is Gregory Currie‘s simulation theory, and its claim that imagining the content of a fiction consists of simulating ‘the beliefs I would acquire if I took the work I am engaged with for fact rather than fiction’. The paper, following the philosopher Alan R. White, argues instead that imagining consists of thoughts about the possible.

Film Studies
Adrian Scott and the Politics of Anti-Fascism in Cornered
Jennifer Langdon-Teclaw

Drawing on internal studio correspondence, multiple screenplay drafts and the final film, this essay reconstructs the production history of Cornered to explore the ways in which Scott both compromised with and challenged the studios expectations and interventions. I argue that although Ceplair and Englund are correct in their assessment that studio meddling shaped the films political content in significant ways, Scotts complex negotiations during the films production ensured that Cornered remained a powerfully anti-fascist film.

Film Studies
Jennifer Lyon Bell

Filmmaker Jennifer Lyon Bell (Blue Artichoke Films) has made empathy the centre of her practice as an alternative porn filmmaker. This blend of artist manifesto and academic essay illuminates the three ways in which empathy is a driving force at every level of her artistic efforts. 1) Structure: Using a foundation of cognitive film theory and specifically the work of Murray Smith, she builds empathy into the structure and content of her films themselves. 2) Production: She prioritises empathy in her production process on the set with cast and crew 3) Society: By creating and spreading empathetic pornography, she aims to introduce more empathy into society at large.

Film Studies
Reidar Due

During a twenty-five year period, spanning the Second World War and his move from England to America, Hitchcock showed a particular preference for plots involving an unjustified accusation against the films central character. The 39 Steps (1935), Young and Innocent (1937), Saboteur (1942), Strangers on a Train (1951), I Confess (1953), The Wrong Man (1956) and North by Northwest (1959) are all variations on the same pattern with different thematic emphases. This article discusses the narrative logic and moral content of this ‘innocence plot’, running through Hitchcock‘s films from the mid-thirties to the late fifties.

Film Studies
21 Grams in Focus
Geoff King

An analysis of 21 Grams (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2003) that uses the film to illustrate a number of trends in the contemporary American independent sector, including both its situation in the industrial landscape and its most distinctive formal qualities. Industrially, the film, distributed by Focus Features, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, is identified as a product of the zone of overlap that exists between all-out independence and attachment to the major Hollywood studio-distributors. A hybrid identity is also suggested,at the level of form, in a mixture of fragmented narrative and hyper-realistic visual textures with more conventionally melodramatic content.

Film Studies
Abstract only
Dmytryk, Rossellini and Christ in Concrete
Erica Sheen

Focusing our understanding of Hollywood and HUAC on questions of presence and content is to apply paradigms of authorship and genre which were critical by-products of the cultural transformation to which HUAC contributed, and will as a result have limited critical purchase on its causes. What might break this critical impasse would be the discovery of something outside the circle; something not easily, or at least not yet, assimilated into its cycle of repetitions. Such a remainder can be found in a film which is arguably one of the most important productions of the period: Edward Dmytryk‘s ‘lost’ film of Italian/American author Pietro di Donatos novel Christ in Concrete (1949).

Film Studies
Frank Sinatra, Postwar Liberalism and Press Paranoia
Karen McNally

Anti-Communist hysteria had a wide-ranging impact on Hollywood across the postwar period. As writers, directors and stars came under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) due to the content of their films and their political activities, careers were interrupted indefinitely and Hollywood‘s ability to promote cultural change in the new era following World War II was severely hampered. Frank Sinatra‘s heavy involvement in liberal politics during this period illustrates the problems confronting the American film industry as it attempted to address the country‘s imperfections.

Film Studies
Swedish Sex Education in 1970s London
Adrian Smith

In 1974 the British Board of Film Censors refused to grant a certificate to the Swedish documentary More About the Language of Love (Mera ur Kärlekens språk, 1970, Torgny Wickman, Sweden: Swedish Film Production), due to its explicit sexual content. Nevertheless, the Greater London Council granted the film an ‘X’ certificate so that it could be shown legally in cinemas throughout the capital. This article details the trial against the cinema manager and owners, after the film was seized by police under the charge of obscenity, and explores the impact on British arguments around film censorship, revealing a range of attitudes towards sex and pornography. Drawing on archival records of the trial, the widespread press coverage as well as participants’ subsequent reflections, the article builds upon Elisabet Björklund’s work on Swedish sex education films and Eric Schaefer’s scholarship on Sweden’s ‘sexy nation’ reputation to argue that the Swedish films’ transnational distribution complicated tensions between educational and exploitative intentions in a particularly British culture war over censorship.

Film Studies
Understanding Production, Humour and Political Context through Nice Coloured Girls (1987) and The Sapphires (2012)
Benjin Pollock

How Indigenous Australian history has been portrayed and who has been empowered to define it is a complex and controversial subject in contemporary Australian society. This article critically examines these issues through two Indigenous Australian films: Nice Coloured Girls (1987) and The Sapphires (2012). These two films contrast in style, theme and purpose, but each reclaims Indigenous history on its own terms. Nice Coloured Girls offers a highly fragmented and experimental history reclaiming Indigenous female agency through the appropriation of the colonial archive. The Sapphires eschews such experimentation. It instead celebrates Indigenous socio-political links with African American culture, ‘Black is beautiful’, and the American Civil Rights movements of the 1960s. Crucially, both these films challenge notions of a singular and tragic history for Indigenous Australia. Placing the films within their wider cultural contexts, this article highlights the diversity of Indigenous Australian cinematic expression and the varied ways in which history can be reclaimed on film. However, it also shows that the content, form and accessibility of both works are inextricably linked to the industry concerns and material circumstances of the day. This is a crucial and overlooked aspect of film analysis and has implications for a more nuanced appreciation of Indigenous film as a cultural archive.

Film Studies