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Visual style and British film criticism, 1946–78
Author: John Gibbs

This book explores the role of mise-en-scene in melodrama criticism, and considers what happened to detailed criticism as major theoretical movements emerged in the 1970s. Mise-en-scene, and other ways of conceiving visual style, has been central to so many important debates that the writing examined in the book shaped the field in enduring ways. The book provides a cross-section of the British culture and its attitudes to film. It also considers a range of important contexts, from material conditions of film viewing (and therefore criticism) to the cultural and political shifts of 1956. The book further investigates the frequently asserted connection between literary criticism and the approaches developed in Movie. It identifies the range of different approaches to interpreting mise-en-scene advanced in Movie, drawing out sections on action, camera movement and placing, connections between different parts of the film, and a range of further debates. 'Tales of Sound and Fury' is an extraordinary article, and Elsaesser's appreciation of the plastic and expressive qualities of domestic melodrama and the broader melodramatic tradition is exemplary. In the early 1970s, writing on melodrama provided some of the richest expressions of mise-en-scene criticism. The book embodies a number of approaches which were to undermine the emergent interest in the interpretation of the film style. Melodrama criticism is a crucial focus for shifts in film criticism and theory, and for this history.

Sam Rohdie

not belong to the world of the fiction (diegetic) but to an intervention from outside that world which is marked as exterior to it (non-diegetic) and has been made by the film rather than issuing logically from within a naturalist drama of events. Thus the film stands not simply as the enactment of a dramatic story, but apart from it; it takes on the role of external commentary using the fictional elements as elements of a

in Montage
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Sam Rohdie

narration was less his than the consequence of his means, less an intervention than a recording, and by that fact (or illusion) Muybridge gained his fame. Muybridge’s images were not projected but printed in a book. Each page was a study of a particular movement or action, all the elements simultaneously present at a glance rather than consecutively as in a projected film strip, each effacing the other. The

in Montage
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Author: Sarah Cooper

The study of film as art-form and (to a lesser extent) as industry, has become a popular and widespread element of French Studies, and French cinema has acquired an important place within Film Studies. The adoption of a director-based approach raises questions about auteurism. This book aims to provide informative and original English-language studies of established figures, and to extend the range of French directors known to anglophone students of cinema. Chris Marker began his career as a writer. He entered filmmaking in the first instance as a writer. His finely tuned skills in this capacity are evidenced from the outset in the richness and beauty of his poetic commentaries. The first decade of Marker's filmmaking career encompasses what Chris Darke terms the 'lost period' of his oeuvre. He co-directed one film with Alain Resnais (Les Statues meurent aussi) and directed five of his own (Olympia 52; Dimanche à Pékin; Lettre de Sibérie; Description d'un combat; and Cuba Si!). Marker's idiosyncratic documentaries reassess what the term 'documentary' means. Two key essayist interventions, Lettre de Sibérie and especially Sans Soleil, have earned him a stellar reputation in the manipulation of this personalised form. The rethinking of filmic time and alternative lives in his many and varied works is enabled, rather than blocked, by an engagement with death and stasis. There is certainly something of this in Marker's oeuvre, which aches at times for what was and what could have been.

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David Lean has been characterised as a director of highly romantic disposition whose films offer a vision of 'the romantic sensibility attempting to reach beyond the restraints and constrictions of everyday life'. This book proposes new perspectives on the work of David Lean and offers a fuller and more varied appreciation of his manifold achievements as a filmmaker. In so doing, the book makes interventions in wider academic debates around authorship, gender, genre and aesthetics in relation to the British cinema and transnational cinema of British cultural inheritance of which Lean was such a remarkable exponent. It first deals with Lean's early career, covering his entry into the film industry and flourishing formative years as an editor, honing skills, and his official entry into direction. It then examines Lean's four forays into the nineteenth century, encompassing his two Dickens adaptations as well as his two later Victorian dramas, both centred on rebellious females. Each film presents a vivid instance of the twentieth century in the process of 'inventing the Victorians'; put together, the quartet of films show how perceptions began to change during the pivotal postwar year. The book also focuses on the gender by focusing on a trio of films about women in love and three films centred on male visionaries.

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Concluding remarks
Andrew Asibong

their protagonists to smithereens, prodding them towards reassemblage in radically new environs, pulling them in and out of familiar and deeply unfamiliar frames, experimenting constantly with the all-pervasive prodding of change. Ozon’s cinema prior to Angel has, above all, been a cinema concerned with the recording of the metamorphoses wrought in human life by the intervention of forces beyond human control. His camera is often

in François Ozon
Robert Fish

’ concerns. In this sense the volume at hand is designed to function as something of an intervention in, and subversion of, this dominant spatial imagery. It is an effort to square the ‘flickering, virtual, presence of the city’ (Clarke 1997 : 10) with the ‘flicker of lights, sunsets, shadows, sunrises’ of the countryside (Denzin, 1991 : 142). Yet it would be wrong to claim that the ‘non-urban’ or ‘more than

in Cinematic countrysides
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Carrie Tarr

The body of films discussed in this book, the products of beur, banlieue and Algerian filmmaking in France, constitute a challenging intervention to narratives of nation in contemporary French cinema. Pursuing a specifically French problematic, the place within French society of France’s postcolonial ethnic others, they construct very different images of France from those which have conventionally dominated France’s cinema exports. Thanks

in Reframing difference
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Through feminine eyes
Parvati Nair and Julián Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla

debates and filmic or cultural representation, thereby seeking new ways of approaching the complicated status of Hispanic and Lusophone female identities and subjectivities through filmic and theoretical analyses and offering critical interventions and theoretical interrogations in existing scholarship. The pioneering works of Susan Martin-Márquez, Sight Unseen: Feminist Discourses and Spanish Cinema ( 1999 ), or Ofelia Ferrán’s and Kathleen Glenn

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
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Guillaume Dustan and Erik Rémès
Victoria Best and Martin Crowley

writers has generated extreme controversy for its depiction and apparent celebration of extreme sexual practices in a context defined by AIDS and HIV: this chapter will discuss their writings and other cultural interventions in terms of their deployment of various problematics – social, sexual, physical or textual – relating to figures of containment, boundaries, limits, and so on. After a brief initial presentation of the two

in The new pornographies