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Rachel Moore

With the enormous span of time embedded in the very grain of the celluloid, old films and footage touch, in a sensate way, the strange and familiar longing for the archaic past which lies at the heart of the modern dilemma. Walter Benjamin‘s suggestion - that when delving into the secrets of modernity, including its technology, the archaic is never that far off - grows palpable when watching film from the archives. This project could just be called, ‘Why do we love old movies?’ To begin to grasp how old films touch us, its instructive to look at how technology functions within films. The power of degraded technology to create intimacy does not go unnoticed by filmmakers today where its use extends from the avant-garde to popular cinema. To further understand such effects, this paper focuses on one way technology provokes intimacy: how people fall in love in the movies.

Film Studies
Interview with Hollis Frampton
Deke Dusinberre and Ian Christie

This interview took place on 8 September, 1976, at the London Filmmakers’ Coop, Fitzroy Road, London. Frampton already had a reputation as one of the major theorist-filmmakers of the contemporary avant-garde, although his work was comparatively little known in Britain at this time.

Film Studies
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Richard Brown

Film Studies
On Theatrical Culture, Oscar Wilde and Ernst Lubitsch‘s Lady Windermeres Fan
Charles Musser

The cinema is as much a theatrical form of entertainment as performance on the stage, a fact that is crucial to a full appreciation of Ernst Lubitsch‘s Lady Windermere‘s Fan (Warner Brothers, 1925). Particularly in the cinemas silent era (1895-1925), when motion picture exhibition relied on numerous performance elements, theatrical performance and film exhibition interpenetrated. This underscores a basic conundrum: cinema has been integral to, and an extension of, theatrical culture, even though it has also been something quite different - a new art form. Indeed, the unity of stage and screen was so well established that critics, theorists, historians and artists expended large amounts of intellectual energy distinguishing the two forms while paying little attention to what they held in common. One fundamental feature of theatrical practice that carried over into many areas of filmmaking was adaptation. For Lubitsch, adaptation was a central fact of his artistic practice. This article looks at the history of adaptations of Lady Windermere‘s Fan on stage and screen making reference to textual comparisons, public reception, painting, symbolism and queer readings.

Film Studies
Reidar Due

During a twenty-five year period, spanning the Second World War and his move from England to America, Hitchcock showed a particular preference for plots involving an unjustified accusation against the films central character. The 39 Steps (1935), Young and Innocent (1937), Saboteur (1942), Strangers on a Train (1951), I Confess (1953), The Wrong Man (1956) and North by Northwest (1959) are all variations on the same pattern with different thematic emphases. This article discusses the narrative logic and moral content of this ‘innocence plot’, running through Hitchcock‘s films from the mid-thirties to the late fifties.

Film Studies
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
Alan Marcus

Leni Riefenstahl was one of filmmakings most contentious directors. The power of her epic documentaries, Triumph of the Will (1935) and Olympia (1938), have cemented her place in film history. More criticism has been written about Riefenstahl than any other director, except perhaps Hitchcock and Welles. Publicity surrounding the publication of an illustrated book marking her centenary reawakened debates about Riefenstahl‘s career in film and her involvement with the Third Reich. In this article, I focus on one of the key films which emerged from that relationship, Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens), which I discussed at length in my interview with Riefenstahl. Her recollections were sharp and I was intrigued by some of her answers, not for what new insight they offered, but for how they reaffirmed how she wished others to interpret her films and motivations. In particular, I was interested in the way she considered Triumph of the Will to be a realistic portrayal of the Nazi‘s 1934 Nuremberg Rally and the events surrounding it, and her role as a filmmaker in shaping that representation.

Film Studies
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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
Miscellaneous Remarks on Godards Conceptual Processes Apropos of Sauve qui peut (la vie)
Richard Morris

Jean-Luc Godard‘s Sauve qui peut (la vie) holds a uniquely pivotal position in the directors oeuvre and provides the occasion for a case study in how he conceives and develops his works. Amongst the salient features of this process are Godard‘s invention of the ‘video-scenario’ format, enabling him to couch his ideas in visual rather than verbal form from the very moment of their inception; his desire to “look at things a bit scientifically”; and a use of commissioned and pre-existing music which lies at the very heart of his creative method.

Film Studies
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Essays on Film Music
Christopher Wintle and Hans Keller

Among the musical Hitler Émigrés from Vienna to London, pride of place has often been accorded to Hans Keller, a psychologically-minded critic (or, as he described himself, ‘anti-critic’) who dominated the British musical scene for the 40 years that followed 1945. In the period 1946-1959 he devoted himself assiduously to film music, on the one hand laying out the topics that a ‘competent film music critic’ would need to address, and on the other paying scrupulous attention to everything he saw and heard. He shared with Theodor Adorno a loathing of Hollywood, and championed British composers above most others. This selection comes in advance of the publication of his collected writings on film, Film Music and Beyond (London, Plumbago, 2005), and shows on the one hand his topical writings, dealing with the importance of actually listening to film-music, ‘noise as leitmotif’, the contribution of psychology to understanding the function of film music, and classical quotations in film, and on the other hand his writing on composers, including Arthur Benjamin, Georges Auric, William Alwyn, Leonard,Bernstein (On the Waterfront) and Anton Karas (The Third Man).

Film Studies