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Mary Elizabeth Braddon and the Penny Blood
Mark Bennett

This article considers the exploration of Gothic genericity within two of Mary Elizabeth Braddon‘s neglected penny blood fictions. It observes the way in which genericity comes to be associated with the Gothic as the supposedly disruptive influence of popular literatures is countered by Victorian reviewers. These emphasise such texts’ genericity in order to contain their influence and separate them from superior readerships and literature which is held to transcend generic limitations. Braddon‘s bloods explore this implicit association between the Gothic and genericity and suggest that the latter – identified in terms of the Gothic‘s status as an ephemeral commodity in the penny blood genre – actually enhances rather than limits, the Gothic‘s agency.

Gothic Studies
Genre as Practice
Timothy Jones

The term ‘Gothic’ is used in critical writing to describe an ever-increasing variety of texts that are not popularly recognisable as such. This article suggests Gothic texts ought to be read in terms of their genre, and that genre can be understood as the practical logic of habitus, formulated by Bourdieu.

Gothic Studies
Affect, the Gas Pump and US Horror Films (1956–73)
Chuck Jackson

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (dir. Don Siegel, 1956), The Birds (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1963), and Night of the Living Dead (dir. George Romero, 1968) imbue scenes that take place at a gas pump with a horror so intense, it petrifies. As three of the earliest American horror films to feature a monstrous exchange at the pump, they transform the genre by reimagining automotive affect. This article examines the cinematic mood created when petrification meets petroleum, providing an alternative look at American oil culture after 1956, but before the oil crisis of 1973.

Film Studies
Chiao-I Tseng

The recent uses of digital technology in war films have sparked a wave of discussions about new visual aesthetics in the genre. Drawing on the approach of film discourse analysis, this article critically examines recent claims about new visual grammar in the war film and investigates to what extent the insertion of different media channels has affected the persuasive function of the genre. Through a detailed analysis of Redacted (2007), which constitutes an extreme case of a fiction filmmaking use of a variety of digital channels, this article demonstrates that the multimedia format works within systems of classical film discourse while also generating new patterns of persuasion tied to new visual technology.

Film Studies
Genre, Authorship, and Quality in Teen TV horror
Rebecca Williams

The Vampire Diaries began life as a series of novels before being adapted into a television series screened on the CW channel in the US and ITV2 in the UK. This article explores how the show contributes to debates over genre and authorship within the context of the TV vampire via its status as a teen horror text. It also investigates how the show intersects with debates over quality television via the involvement of teen-TV auteur Kevin Williamson. In exploring genre and authorship, the article considers how The Vampire Diaries functions as a teen drama and a TV vampire/horror text.

Gothic Studies
A Thematic Analysis of Collective Trauma and Enemy Image Construction in the 1980s American Action Film
Lennart Soberon

During the 1980s the spectre of the Vietnam War haunted the sites of cinema and popular culture in various forms. Whereas a rich body of scholarly research exists on cinematic iterations of the Vietnam war as trauma, the discursive dynamics between memory, ideology and genre in relation to enemy image construction are somewhat underdeveloped. This article utilises genre studies, conflict studies and trauma theory in analysing how the representations of film villains interact with the construction of cultural trauma and national identity. Considering the American action thriller to be an important site for processes of commemoration and memorialisation, the discursive construction and formal articulation of national trauma are theorised within the genre. Additionally, a thematic and textual analysis was conducted of a sample of forty American action thriller films. The analysis illustrates how the genre operates through a structure of violent traumatisation and heroic vindication, offering a logic built on the necessity and legitimacy of revenge against a series of enemy-others.

Film Studies
Open Access (free)
Jazzing the Blues Spirit and the Gospel Truth in James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”
Steven C. Tracy

The webs of musical connection are essential to the harmony and cohesion of James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues.” As a result, we must explore the spectrum of musical references Baldwin makes to unveil their delicate conjunctions. It is vital to probe the traditions of African-American music—Spirituals, Blues, Jazz, and Pop—to get a more comprehensive sense of how Baldwin makes use of music from the sacred and secular continuum in the African-American community. Looking more closely at the variety of African-American musical genres to which Baldwin refers in the story, we can discern even more the nuances of unity that Baldwin creates in his story through musical allusions, and shed greater light on Baldwin’s exploration of the complexities of African-American life and music, all of which have as their core elements of human isolation, loneliness, and despair ameliorated by artistic expression, hope, and the search for familial ties. Through musical intertextuality, Baldwin demonstrates not only how closely related seemingly disparate (in the Western tradition) musical genres are, but also shows that the elements of the community that these genres flow from and represent are much more in synchronization than they sometimes seem or are allowed to be. To realize kinship across familial (Creole), socio-economic (the brother), and most importantly for this paper appreciation and meanings of musical genres advances to Sonny the communal cup of trembling that is both a mode and an instance of envisioning and treating music in its unifying terms, seeing how they coalesce through a holistic vision.

James Baldwin Review
A Case Study of the Irish Film Board 1993–2013
Roddy Flynn and Tony Tracy

This article sets out to reinvigorate national cinema studies in an Irish context through a quantitative analysis of films financed by the Irish Film Board between 1993 and 2013. In constructing and coding a database of titles produced with the aid of state finance during this period, the authors argue for a methodology that broadens the inductive approaches of textual analysis that have dominated discussions of Irish cinema to date. By establishing recurring genres, narrative patterns, themes and character types present in IFB-funded films during this period, this article demonstrates how the professional objectives of IFB personnel have shaped institutional funding outcomes.

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
Abstract only
Constantine Verevis

What is film remaking? Which films are remakes of other films? How does remaking differ from other types of repetition, such as quotation, allusion, adaptation? How is remaking different from the cinemas ability to repeat and replay the same film through reissue, redistribution and re-viewing? These are questions which have seldom been asked, let alone satisfactorily answered. This article refers to books and essays dealing directly with ‘film remakes’ and the concept of ‘remaking film’, from Michael B. Druxman‘s Make It Again, Sam (1975) to Horton and McDougal‘s Play It Again, Sam (1998) and Forrest and Koo‘s’ Dead Ringers: The Remake in Theory and Practice (2002). In addition, this article draws upon Rick Altman‘s Film/Genre, developing from that book the idea that, although film remakes (like film genres) are often ‘located’ in either authors or texts or audiences, they are in fact not located in any single place but depend upon a network of historically variable relationships. Accordingly this discussion falls into three sections: the first, remaking as industrial category, deals with issues of production, including industry (commerce) and authors (intention); the second, remaking as textual category, considers texts (plots and structures) and taxonomies; and the third, remaking as critical category, deals with issues of reception, including audiences (recognition) and institutions (discourse).

Film Studies