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Julius Caesar
Maria Wyke

In studio publicity, trade papers, reviews, articles, and educational materials, Joseph L. Mankiewiczs Julius Caesar (1953) was described and accepted as a faithful and mostly pleasing adaptation of Shakespearean drama to the Hollywood screen. As Variety accurately predicted, it achieved four Oscar nominations, one award for art direction and set decoration, high grosses, a hit soundtrack album, and several subsequent revivals. With the content more or less given, contemporary discussion focussed closely on how the verbal had been visualised, on how theatre had been turned into cinema – in short, on the film‘s style. It is with contemporary and subsequent readings of the film‘s style that this article is concerned, where, following David Bordwell, style is taken to mean ‘a films systematic and significant use of techniques of the medium’. But whereas Bordwell analyses film style directly in terms of an aesthetic history he considers to be distinct from the history of the film industry, its technology, or a films relation to society, I explore interpretations of one film‘s style that are heavily invested with socio-political meaning. If, in Bordwell‘s organic metaphor, style is the flesh of film, these readings of style explicitly dress that flesh in socio-political clothing. This analysis of Julius Caesar, then, is not another contribution to debates about adaptation, theatre on film, or Shakespeare on screen, but about the politics of film style.

Film Studies
The Strange History of The Robe As Political Allegory
Jeff Smith

Smith reveals the particular biases and assumptions of blacklist allegories as well as the extent to which this type of interpretation has informed the reception of 1950s films. More specifically, he addresses several questions about the validity of allegorical readings of the blacklist. Is there a basis for such allegorical interpretations? What is the place of authorial intention and audience reception in the encoding and decoding of blacklist allegories? What does this reading strategy tell us about the politics of the films makers? Does this reading strategy privilege certain meanings of the text over others of equal significance?

Film Studies
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Urban Spaces, Sexual Encounters and Erotic Spectacle in Tsukamoto Shinya‘s Rokugatsu no Hebi - A Snake of June (2003)
Greg Tuck

Shot in a blue washed monochrome, the city of Tsukamoto Shinya‘s A Snake of June, stages a number of highly mediated sadomasochistic sexual encounters within its public spaces. This article examines how the forms of mediation offered within the narrative by both architecture and technology as well as the mediation offered by the film‘s extraordinary blueness articulates the intimate relationship between sexuality and modernity. Following on from the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, it combines a phenomenological and dialectical approach to develop an analysis of sexual pleasure and sexual politics which can account for the embodied interaction of urban subjects and urban spaces.

Film Studies
Mattias Frey and Sara Janssen

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
An Analysis of Cinenovas Management Committee Meeting Minutes, 1991–97
Julia Knight

Cinenova was relaunched in 1991 from the pre-existing womens distributor, Circles, which had operated throughout the 1980s. In keeping with their founders feminist politics, both Circles and Cinenova were run via a non-hierarchical management structure and focused on the distribution, promotion and exhibition of films and videos made by, for and about women. As the funding and economic climate became harsher during the 1990s this organisational model was severely tested, as Cinenova‘s workers were forced to try and survive on a more commercially viable basis. This article uses Cinenova‘s management committee meeting minutes of 1991–97 to explore how its management practices impacted on its operation and effectiveness.

Film Studies
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The Films of Glasgow Corporation 1938-1978
Elizabeth Lebas

Glasgow Corporation had been sponsoring films for almost twenty years when in 1938 its Public Health Department commissioned seven silent films. This marked new relations between the Corporation and the emerging Scottish documentary film movement and a change of approach towards the films’ audiences and the city itself. The essay traces the Corporation‘s film sponsorship from the late 1930s to 1978 when the final images of Glasgow‘s Progress, the Corporation‘s last sponsored film - on its urban renewal projects were taken. By then the Corporation had been amalgamated into Strathclyde Regional Council, the century-long social project of reform had come to an end and television had made its own documentary impact. It argues that over time Corporation films served a variety of political and institutional purposes and often prefigured the fortunes of the city and its people.

Film Studies
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Re-Reading European Trash Cinema (1988–98)
Antonio Lázaro-Reboll

Discussion of the horror film fanzine culture of the 1980s and early 1990s has been dominated by an emphasis on questions around the politics of taste, considerations of subcultural capital and cultism in fan writing, and processes of cultural distinction and the circulation of forms of capital. Sconce‘s concept of paracinema has come to shape the conceptual approach to fanzines. The aim of this article is to refocus attention on other areas of fanzine production, providing a more nuanced and richer historicisation of these publications and the ways they contributed to the circulation, reception and consumption of European horror film. Focusing on the fanzine European Trash Cinema (1988–98) I propose a return to the actual cultural object – the printed zine – examining the networks of producers converging around, and writing about, Eurohorror films and related European trash cinematic forms, as well as the contents within the publication itself.

Film Studies
The Boom of 1960s–70s Erotic Cinema and the Policing of Young Female Subjects in Japanese sukeban Films
Laura Treglia

The purpose of this article is to analyse the ambivalent politics of looking and discourses of gender, class and sexuality in a variety of 1960s–70s Japanese studio-made exploitation films, known as sukeban films. It first contextualises their production within a transnational and domestic shift emphasising sex and violence in film and popular culture. The article then highlights instances where the visual, narrative and discursive articulation of non-conforming femininities flips the gendered power balance, as in the sketches that satirise men’s sexual fetishes for girls. In conclusion, it suggests to understand the filmic construction of young women’s agency, and their bodily and sexual performance, in terms of a recurring modus operandi of Japanese media that ambivalently panders to and co-constitutes youth phenomena.

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
Rape and Marriage in Go Tell It on the Mountain
Porter Nenon

To consider how James Baldwin resisted racialized notions of sexuality in his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, I employ a number of black feminist critics—including Saidiya Hartman, Patricia Williams, Hortense Spillers, and Patricia Hill Collins—to analyze three under-studied minor characters: Deborah, Esther, and Richard. Those three characters are best understood as figures of heterosexual nonconformity who articulate sophisticated and important critiques of rape and marriage in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Baldwin thus wrote subversive theories of race and sexuality into the margins of the novel, making its style inextricable from its politics. Baldwin’s use of marginal voices was a deft and intentional artistic choice that was emancipatory for his characters and that remains enduringly relevant to American sexual politics. In this particularly polarizing transition from the Obama era to the Donald J. Trump presidency, I revisit Baldwin’s ability to subtly translate political ideas across fault lines like race, nationality, and sex.

James Baldwin Review