Search results

The dollars are coming!

While post-war popular cinema has traditionally been excluded from accounts of national cinemas, the last fifteen years have seen the academy’s gradual rediscovery of cult and, more, generally, popular films. Why, many years after their release, do we now deem these films worthy of study? The book situates ‘low’ film genres in their economic and culturally specific contexts (a period of unstable ‘economic miracles’ in different countries and regions) and explores the interconnections between those contexts, the immediate industrial-financial interests sustaining the films, and the films’ aesthetics. It argues that the visibility (or not) of popular genres in a nation’s account of its cinema is an indirect but demonstrable effect of the centrality (or not) of a particular kind of capital in that country’s economy. Through in-depth examination of what may at first appear as different cycles in film production and history – the Italian giallo, the Mexican horror film and Hindi horror cinema – Capital and popular cinema lays the foundations of a comparative approach to film; one capable of accounting for the whole of a national film industry’s production (‘popular’ and ‘canonic’) and applicable to the study of film genres globally.

Abstract only

– the relations that make it the commodity it is and that sustain it as a function in a process of capital accumulation – but it does so in very complex, or as Marx put it, hidden ways. To begin with, different circumstances inevitably produce very different films. CONCLUSION 159 These films also stage profoundly different horizons – fantasies about the ideal conditions for their existence as commodities, their functioning as surplus generating processes. Within a capitalist system such as the one we inhabit, the overall logic of accumulation that produces and

in Capital and popular cinema

away the body. Overcome by this series of events, Nora faints. She wakes up the next morning at the hospital, where her account of the extraordinary events she resolutely claims to have witnessed is explained away by the doctors as  the effect of too vivid an imagination, blaming explicitly her regrettable p ­ assion for giallo books. She returns to Trinità dei Monti with 34 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA Marcello, but no trace of the murder can be found. On the contrary, under the spring  sun the Spanish Steps look as joyful and serene as a picture postcard. Nora

in Capital and popular cinema

, as a result, to leisure time. From the mid-1950s the growth of disposable income for this expanding section of the world’s population brought about a new wave of industrialised culture,4 especially in fashion, in the music industry and in the realm of private transport (scooters, cars, etc.). Further, with the demise of the 12 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA peasantry came the rise of occupations that required secondary and higher education. Before World War Two the combined population of Germany, France and Britain (150 million) contained no more than 150

in Capital and popular cinema
Abstract only
The cinema of Fernando Méndez

understand how El vampiro circulated globally and came to be written into the history of cinema in just this way – in short, to assess critically the expectations that underpin its international reception – the film and its director must first be situated in their historically specific film industrial and broader cultural context. In what follows I map the career of Fernando Méndez against the growth of the Mexican film 78 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA industry and the changes the country underwent in the two decades after World War Two. As will become apparent, by the

in Capital and popular cinema

brothers and their films never existed. In this chapter I examine some of the Ramsay brothers’ films, their position in the Hindi film industry and the industry’s relation to the wider economy. What becomes apparent from this outline is that Hindi cinema produced horror films during the 1980s and in that decade mainly because in India the one single factor that was necessary for the production of films exploit- THE HINDI HORROR FILMS OF THE RAMSAY BROTHERS 123 ing the generic sales points constitutive of the genre – radical ­capital – was, until then, contained by

in Capital and popular cinema
Abstract only
Polisse and Entre les murs

4 Capital centres: Polisse and Entre les murs W e begin in north-eastern Paris, in the districts of Belleville and Gambetta. In these multicultural quartiers, the films Polisse and Entre les murs explore interactions between different cultural groups as they play out in public institutions. In both the police procedural Polisse and the schoolroom drama Entre les murs, multilingualism is a feature of everyday life within the city, and language difference is essential to (re)negotiating social hierarchies between historically dominant and dominated cultural

in Decentring France
Abstract only
National cinema and unstable genres

their criteria of relevance and the priorities within any given issue reflected relatively narrow and particular areas of interest. In this context, Movie Paperbacks published monographs on auteurs such as Jean Renoir, Claude Chabrol, 2 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA Jean Vigo, François Truffaut, Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, John Ford, Allan Dwan, Luis Buñuel and Eric von Stroheim. Cameron’s reply to Willemen and Johnston’s proposal to devote a volume to Terence Fisher was, accordingly, that he (Cameron) would ‘take a little convincing that there is

in Capital and popular cinema
Abstract only
Re-Reading European Trash Cinema (1988–98)

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
Technologies of Surveillance, Knowledge and Power in Paramount Budget Documents, 1927–58

Film production at Paramount Pictures during the so-called classical era required the mobilisation of massive material and human capital that depended on institutional systems of surveillance, knowledge creation and control ranging from departmental affiliations to the pre-printed budget forms. This article focuses on those pre-printed budget forms as technologies of knowledge and power, revealing that the necessities of creating and managing coalitions of expert labourers created alternative power centres and spaces where being the object of surveillance was itself a source of power. It concludes by discussing the implications of this ecology for the historiography of Hollywood.

Film Studies