Brian Mcfarlane

s was a series of melodramas emanating from Gainsborough studios, beginning with The Man in Grey (1943) and providing escapism for war-weary film audiences. Since the 1980s, these films have been critically rehabilitated, for both their cinematic flair and their encoding, in period settings, of the social realities of their time, but in the 1940s one would have searched in vain for serious critical appraisal

in Lance Comfort
Abstract only
Hatter’s Castle
Brian Mcfarlane

He is mentioned in every review of the film and in most of the press releases during the months of the film’s production. Despite all this, I would claim that Comfort’s film improves on the novel in virtually every way. In an earlier essay on Comfort’s melodramas, I compared the film’s bravura effects to Cronin’s ‘relatively austere novel’. 6 Then relying on memories of reading the novel some decades

in Lance Comfort
Lissette Lopez Szwydky

. The scene may be original to Frankenstein ’s film history, but it directly invokes the novel’s nineteenth-century stage history, which also took many forms – melodramas, farces, and burlesques. Song-and-dance routines such as the one in Young Frankenstein were common in nineteenth-century stage productions, such as Frankenstein; or, The Vampire’s Victim , a musical first staged at London’s Gaiety Theatre in 1887. Like the 1974 parody, the 1887 burlesque took its most immediate inspiration from several earlier Frankenstein adaptations, Gothic thrillers, and

in Adapting Frankenstein
Affect and artifice in the melodramas of Isabel Coixet
Belén Vidal

‘usefulness’ of Coixet’s cinema, that is, the desire to have an impact in the real world through affective storytelling. The iconography and narratives of ‘indie’ melodrama, which bring together a remarkably coherent body of work, also provide a generic mode of address that potentially facilitates the circulation of her films within and beyond the domestic market. 3 Against this background of complex relations with

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
Ruth Livesey

, stimulated debate around the value of realism or romance, naturalism or melodrama. In order to amplify Harkness’s London soundscape in this context I want to contrast it with Henry James’s novel of poverty and anarchy in 1880s London, The Princess Casamassima (1922 [1885–86]). The Princess Casamassima is a self-­ consciously experimental foray into naturalism and political activism that throws into relief the experimental value of genres in A City Girl and its resistance to the aesthetic. James’s quest to know the lives of others by a kind of auscultation of internal

in Margaret Harkness
Abstract only
Brian McFarlane

Afterword In the literature about British cinema of the 1940s, the contributions made by the four directors who are the subject of this study are in general inadequately reported, or, when their films are discussed, it is not usually to the credit of these men. For instance, feminist – and other – critics have made very intelligent examinations of some of the Gainsborough melodramas, often in the light of their temporal and social contexts. However, they have not often seemed to show much interest in the directorial skills that made the films interesting to them

in Four from the forties
Abstract only
John Gibbs

enriching the context for the modern practice of style-­based criticism, and the benefit of providing a more accurate history for its own sake, this book has 2 The life of mise-en-scène other interests which connect directly with the contemporary field. Mise-­en-­scène, and other ways of conceiving visual style, have been central to so many important debates – authorship, the critical discovery of Hollywood, melodrama – that the writing examined in the book shaped the field in enduring ways. Criticism which recognises the significance of film style has repeatedly been

in The life of mise-en-scène
Dolores Tierney

/brothel melodrama) genre. In films like Salón México and Distinto amanecer (A different dawn, Julio Bracho 1944) which proliferated during the late 1940s, women are the breadwinners forced by growing economic hardship to work as prostitutes. These films deal with this apparent crisis in patriarchy (and in the ideals of the Revolution) by forwarding an ideology of family orthodoxy and national unity, recuperating the other

in Emilio Fernández
Abstract only
The British Empire and the stage, 1790–1930

Imperialist discourse interacted with regional and class discourses. Imperialism's incorporation of Welsh, Scots and Irish identities, was both necessary to its own success and one of its most powerful functions in terms of the control of British society. Most cultures have a place for the concept of heroism, and for the heroic figure in narrative fiction; stage heroes are part of the drama's definition of self, the exploration and understanding of personal identity. Theatrical and quasi-theatrical presentations, whether in music hall, clubroom, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre or the streets and ceremonial spaces of the capital, contributed to that much-discussed national mood. This book examines the theatre as the locus for nineteenth century discourses of power and the use of stereotype in productions of the Shakespearean history canon. It discusses the development of the working class and naval hero myth of Jack Tar, the portrayal of Ireland and the Irish, and the portrayal of British India on the spectacular exhibition stage. The racial implications of the ubiquitous black-face minstrelsy are focused upon. The ideology cluster which made up the imperial mindset had the capacity to re-arrange and re-interpret history and to influence the portrayal of the tragic or comic potential of personal dilemmas. Though the British may have prided themselves on having preceded America in the abolition of slavery and thus outpacing Brother Jonathan in humanitarian philanthropy, abnegation of hierarchisation and the acceptance of equality of status between black and white ethnic groups was not part of that achievement.

Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

engineer a “forgetting” of traumas that they o ­ riginally inflicted on victims’, a question of particular interest to the case of internal exile during Fascism with regard to recent discussions of exile as va­cation.9 Ultimately, however, remnants of the trauma-​inducing event return in the guise of symptoms, and Kaplan looks towards the cinema, with a particular eye on melodrama, to investigate ways in which a culture ‘can unconsciously address its traumatic hauntings’.10 Most of the films in the corpus of Italian cinematic works dealing with internal exile, we argue

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy