Search results

The stardom of Catherine Deneuve
Editors: Lisa Downing and Sue Harris

Few screen icons have provoked as much commentary, speculation and adulation as the 'she' of this plaudit, Catherine Deneuve. This book begins with a brief overview of Deneuve's career, followed by a critical survey of the field of theoretical star studies, highlighting its potential and limitations for European, and particularly French, film scholarship. It argues the need for the single-star case study as a model for understanding the multiple signifying elements of transnational stardom. Her first role, at the age of 13, was a brief appearance as a schoolgirl in André Hunebelle's Collégiennes/The Twilight Girls. It was in 1965 that Roman Polanski would cast Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion, described by one critic as a 'one-woman show' in a role that would effectively create a persona which would resonate throughout her future film career. The darker shades of the Deneuve persona are in even greater evidence in Tristana. Demy's Donkey Skin is arguably an equal source of the tale's iconic status in France today, and largely because of Deneuve. The book also investigates films of the 1970s; their role in shaping her star persona and the ways in which they position Deneuve in relation to French political culture. The book considers exactly why directors gravitate towards Deneuve when trying to evoke or represent forms of female homosexual activity on film, and to consider exactly what such directors actually make Deneuve do and mean once they have her performing these particular forms of lesbian relation.

Author: Paul Newland

British Films of the 1970s offers fresh critical insights into a diverse range of films including Carry On Girls, O Lucky Man!, Radio On, Winstanley, Cromwell, Akenfield, Requiem for a Village, That’ll Be the Day, Pressure, The Shout, The Long Good Fridayand The Offence. The book sets out to obtain a clearer understanding of two things – the fragmentary state of the filmmaking culture of the period, and the fragmentary nature of the nation that these films represent.

This book shows us that British films of the period – often hybridised in terms of genre - mediate an increasingly diverse and contested culture. It argues that there is no singular narrative to be drawn about British cinema of the 1970s, other than the fact that films of the period offer evidence of a Britain (and ideas of Britishness) characterised by vicissitudes. But the book demonstrates that while the 1970s in British filmmaking (but also in British culture and society) was a period of struggle and instability, it was also a period of openings, of experiment, of new ideas, and, as such, of profound change.

The book will be of interest to scholars working on British film history but also British socio-cultural history and geography. It will appeal to academics, postgraduate and undergraduate students. But it has also been written in a style that will make it accessible to the general reader.

Abstract only
Author: Carrie Tarr

Diane Kurys' first film, Diabolo menthe (Peppermint Soda), made in 1977, depicts the lives of two schoolgirl sisters growing up in the early 1960s, a period which coincides with Kurys' own adolescence. Kurys' films are of interest not just as projections of individual preoccupations but also because their focus on girls and women of the baby-boomer generation produces a symptomatic text for analysing wider issues relating to female identity. Her work needs to be understood within the specific context of French cinema and French culture, in which the concept of the auteur, if ostensibly ungendered, remains resolutely masculine. The commercial and critical successes of Diabolo menthe and Coup de foudre, Kurys' two most incontrovertibly women-centred films, coincide with the period when the women's movement in France had its greatest impact on social and political life. In the light of recent gender theory which insists on the fluidity and constructedness of gender positions, Kurys' signalling of 'femininity' in François Truffaut's films might be considered progressive. Diabolo menthe was a huge success, well received by the majority of critics and the highest grossing French film of 1977, at one point coming second only to Star Wars. Cocktail Molotov focuses on a trio of teenagers who miss out on what was going on. Un homme amoureux, Après l'amour and A la folie are some other films that are discussed in this book.

Abstract only
Author: Tony Whitehead

Mike Leigh may well be Britain's greatest living film director; his worldview has permeated our national consciousness. This book gives detailed readings of the nine feature films he has made for the cinema, as well as an overview of his work for television. Written with the co-operation of Leigh himself, it challenges the critical privileging of realism in histories of British cinema, placing the emphasis instead on the importance of comedy and humour: of jokes and their functions; of laughter as a survival mechanism; and of characterisations and situations that disrupt our preconceptions of ‘realism’. Striving for the all-important quality of truth in everything he does, Leigh has consistently shown how ordinary lives are too complex to fit snugly into the conventions of narrative art. From the bittersweet observation of Life is Sweet or Secrets and Lies, to the blistering satire of Naked and the manifest compassion of Vera Drake, he has demonstrated a matchless ability to perceive life's funny side as well as its tragedies.

Abstract only
Haunting and community
Deborah Martin

a little girl and tells her husband Marcos (César Bordón): ‘maté a alguien en la ruta’ (‘I killed somebody on the road’). He is quick to try to dissuade her and takes her, at night, back to the site of the accident where he assures her that she hit only a dog. When news is made public that a child’s body has been found in the canal, Marcos, Juan Manuel and Vero’s brother – professionals with links to the police and justice system – cover up the story and Vero’s possible involvement in it quickly and easily. The ease with which La mujer sin cabeza 83 they are

in The cinema of Lucrecia Martel
Marking and remarking
Editors: Kate Watson and Katharine Cox

Tattoos in crime and detective narratives: Marking and remarking examines representations of the tattoo and tattooing in literature, television and film, from two periods of tattoo renaissance (1851–1914, and around 1955 to the present). The collection reads tattoos and associated scarification, such as branding, as mimetic devices that mark and remark crime and detective narratives in complex ways. The chapters utilise a variety of critical perspectives drawn from posthumanism, spatiality, postcolonialism, embodiment and gender studies to read the tattoo as individual and community bodily narratives. The collection develops its focus from the first tattoo renaissance and considers the rebirth of the tattoo in contemporary culture through literature, children's literature, film and television. This book has a broad appeal and will be of interest to all literature and media scholars and, in particular, those with an interest in crime and detective narratives and skin studies.

Abstract only
Fergus Daly and Garin Dowd

1 The planes occupied by Alex and Mireille seem to be set in motion in Boy Meets Girl 2 Alex’s own fireworks in Les Amants du Pont-Neuf 3 Anna

in Leos Carax
Abstract only
The treatment of the young offender
Philip Gillett

mood. The scene cuts to two youths loitering by a subway entrance. A voice-over gives a documentary tone to both outdoor sequences: The case of Diana Lewis is typical of many: a young girl showing the effect of a childhood living in a home broken and demoralised by war. These restless and ill-adjusted youngsters have produced a type of delinquent

in The British working class in postwar film
Criminal minds, CSI: NY and Law and order
Ruth Hawthorn and John Miller

provides striking evidence of the limits of tattooing as a sign, or at least a stable sign, of feminist struggle. ‘Oedipus Hex’ presents us with precisely this tension between alternative feminist embodiment and (for the most part) masculine consumption. The episode focuses on the murder of a Suicide Girl immediately after a sexually-charged performance at a ‘punk show’. Initially, suspicion falls on her fellow Suicide Girls, before the murderer is revealed as a male tattoo artist. With members of the SuicideGirls ( SG ) community playing

in Tattoos in crime and detective narratives
Abstract only
Fanzines, politics and agency
Matthew Worley

any prevailing cultural narrative, be it defined in newsprint or captured on film to be replayed over and over as disembodied spectacle, lay alternate interpretations scribbled, typed and held together with glue and staples. In fanzines we find cultures recorded from the bottom-up rather than the top-down. A ‘truth’, so The Clash’s Joe Strummer would have it, known only to guttersnipes.7 JOLT (1977): ‘Well, why aren’t there any real girl punk musicians around?’ JOLT was put together by Lucy Whitman – writing as Lucy Toothpaste – in January 1977, one of the first

in Ripped, torn and cut