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Alex Symons, Alice Haylett Bryan, Eleonora Sammartino and Esther Wright
Film Studies
Adam O’Brien

An important theme in current studies of environmental representation is the inadequacy of many narratological and stylistic techniques for registering ecological complexity. This article argues that, in the case of cinema, water constitutes an especially vivid example of an allusive natural subject, and it examines the means by which one film, The Bay (Barry Levinson, 2012), manages to confront that challenge. It pays particular attention to The Bay’s treatment of animal life, and its acknowledgement of water’s infrastructural currency. The article draws on the writings of ecocritical literary theorist Timothy Morton and media historian and theorist John Durham Peters.

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
Andrew Moor

The article notes a trend towards low-key naturalism in twenty-first-century independent queer cinema. Focusing on work by Andrew Haigh, Travis Mathews and Ira Sachs, it argues that this observational style is welded to a highly meta-cinematic engagement with traditions of representing non-straight people. The article coins the term ‘New Gay Sincerity’ to account for this style, relating it to Jim Collins’s and Warren Buckland’s writing on post-postmodern ‘new sincerity’. At its crux, this new style centres itself in realism to record non-metropolitan, intimate and quotidian gay lives, while acknowledging the high-style postmodernism of oppositional 1990s New Queer Cinema.

Film Studies
Tim Snelson

This article focuses on a cycle of late 1960s true crime films depicting topical mass/serial murders. It argues that the conjoined ethical and aesthetic approaches of these films were shaped within and by a complex climate of contestation as they moved from newspaper headlines to best-sellers lists to cinema screens. While this cycle was central to critical debates about screen violence during this key moment of institutional, regulatory and aesthetic transition, they have been almost entirely neglected or, at best, misunderstood. Meeting at the intersection of, and therefore falling between the gaps, of scholarship on the Gothic horror revival and New Hollywood’s violent revisionism, this cycle reversed the generational critical divisions that instigated a new era in filmmaking and criticism. Adopting a historical reception studies approach, this article challenges dominant understandings of the depiction and reception of violence and horror in this defining period.

Film Studies
Vito Zagarrio

The one-shot sequence – the articulation of an entire scene through a single, unbroken long take – is one of the cinema’s most important rhetorical devices and has therefore been much used and widely theorised over the years. This article provides a brief overview of these theories and of the multiple ways in which the one-shot sequence has been used both in world cinema (in general) and Italian cinema (in particular) in order to contextualise its use by one of Italian cinema’s best-known and most significant practitioners, Paolo Sorrentino. Through close analyses of one-shot sequences in Sorrentino’s films L’uomo in più/One Man Up, Le conseguenze dell’amore/The Consequences of Love, This Is the Place and Il divo – La vita spettacoloare di Giulio Andreotti – the article argues that Sorrentino’s predilection for the device is best explained by the wide variety of functions that it serves (as a mark of directorial bravura and auteur status; as a self-reflexive device and meditation on the cinematic gaze; as a political tool; and as a means of generating emotion). While rooted in history, Sorrentino’s use of the one-shot sequence thus transcends its position within Italian film history and discourse.

Film Studies
The 1970s Cycle of Youth Westerns
Zoë Wallin and Nicholas Godfrey

In the late 1960s, Hollywood had the youth demographic in its sights. In 1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid proved that Westerns could appeal to this market, and sparked a cycle of youth Westerns. The cycle framework provides a new lens to refocus this group of Westerns. When the films are situated alongside the other production trends and cycles of the period, as they were in the contemporary trade discourses, they emerge as part of a short-lived strategy for financing Western films that targeted the youth market. An industrial and discursive analysis of the marketing and reception of the youth Western cycle contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the New Hollywood period.

Film Studies
Sophie Belot

In French cinema, representations of girls have often been associated with films made by women, as demonstrated by Carrie Tarr with Brigitte Rollet (2001). They claim that the young girl is the major cinematographic topic for a woman’s first film, and names, such as Céline Sciamma in the late 2000s, Diane Kurys and Catherine Breillat in the 1970s, substantiate this position. However, Breillat’s A Real Young Girl was different, as it attracted critics’ acerbic reception and was subsequently banned for its open depiction of a young girl’s sexual experiences. It is argued that Breillat’s images of the young girl’s sexual initiation in the 1970s brings to the fore the significance of the idea of authenticity in relation to sex and cinema. Examining the representation of the ‘real young girl’ highlights the ideas of reflexivity and creativity attached to the existentialist notion of authenticity. This article aims to show that the young girl stands as a metaphor for Breillat’s auteurist approach to challenging existing filmic conventions.

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
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Frank Krutnik, Patrick Brian Smith, Adam Herron, Emre Çağlayan, Anirban K. Baishya, Martin R. Hall, Nick Poulakis, Lydia Mae Brammer, Haim Bresheeth, Adelaide McGinity-Peebles, Nick Jones, Özgür Çiçek, Jack Booth, Geraint D'Arcy and Richard Paterson
Film Studies