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This essay announces the discovery of ten performances of Horace Walpole‘s five-act tragedy, The Mysterious Mother (1768) in May 1821 at The Surrey Theatre, St Georges Fields, London, then under the management of Thomas John Dibdin (1771–1841). It was produced as Narbonne Castle: Or, The Mysterious Mother and billed as founded on a Tragic Play written by the late HORACE WALPOLE, EARL OF ORFORD, and now presented for the FIRST TIME. It has long been assumed there was no public performance until the Glasgow Citizens Theatre production of 2001. The essay demonstrates theatre licensing conditions forced Dibdin to produce Narbonne Castle as a three-act, musicalized, redaction. With audiences totalling in excess of 16,000, its production raises many questions about contemporary attitudes to incest.

Gothic Studies
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Supernatural Masculinity in Gothic Fiction

Applying Butler‘s gender performance theory and critiquing authoritative philosophical discourse on the sublime, the essay examines the Gothic sublime as phantasmatic masculine drag. Focusing on Walpole‘s flamboyant flouting of Longinus‘s rhetorical prescriptions, the essay also explores how The Castle ofOtrantos fictional progeny continue to drag sublimity into Gothic drag king performances.

Gothic 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
Creating Connections on the Global Film Festival Circuit

What role do individuals play in sustaining the so-called global film festival network? This article considers this question through case studies of four specialist Chinese-language film festivals in London. It argues that while the global circuit shapes the institutional appearance of these smaller events, the kinds of strategic collaborations that the organisers of the latter effect at the former – striking up connections with directors and sales agents at film markets, for example – are key ways in which global relationships and A-list events are built from the ground up. These mutually related but unstable interactions allow us to rethink the network as an assemblage of events and individuals, addressing the analytical problem of scale in film festivals studies in the process.

Film Studies

This article describes the operational practices of the city morgue in Santiago, Chile and their effects on the family members who come to claim the bodies of their loved ones. It explores the impact of the body‘s passage through the morgue on the observance of rituals surrounding death and mourning. An underlying conflict can be identified between the states partial appropriation of and interference with the body and intrinsic needs associated with the performance of funeral rites in accordance with cultural and religious precepts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

The acceleration of interest in Baldwin’s work and impact since 2010 shows no signs of diminishing. This resurgence has much to do with Baldwin—the richness and passionate intensity of his vision—and also something to do with the dedicated scholars who have pursued a variety of publication platforms to generate further interest in his work. The reach of Baldwin studies has grown outside the academy as well: Black Lives Matter demonstrations routinely feature quotations from Baldwin; Twitter includes a “Son of Baldwin” site; and Raoul Peck’s 2016 documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, has received considerable critical and popular interest. The years 2010–13 were a key period in moving past the tired old formula—that praised his early career and denigrated the works he wrote after 1963—into the new formula—positing Baldwin as a misunderstood visionary, a wide-reaching artist, and a social critic whose value we are only now beginning to appreciate. I would highlight four additional prominent trends that emerged between 2010 and 2013: a consideration of Baldwin in the contexts of film, drama, and music; understandings of Baldwin globally; Baldwin’s criticism of American institutions; and analyses of Baldwin’s work in conversation with other authors.

James Baldwin Review
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Surfaces and Subtexts in the Popular Modernism of Agatha Christie‘s Hercule Poirot Series

In Detective Writers in England, Christie claims a detective story is an escape from the realism of everyday life; however, her Poirot series represents anxieties about the conditions of modernity through the conventions, images, and tones of the classic Gothic, a genre well established as providing a balance between escapism and historical commentary (xiii). While the earlier Poirot texts juxtapose the trappings of the Gothic– séances, curses, ghosts– against a rational modern world and produce a comical effect when these conventions are revealed as staged, as the conditions of modernity weigh upon Christie, particularly during World War II, her Poirot texts take on an increasingly sinister quality in which history itself is coded in Gothic terms.

Gothic Studies
On Theatrical Culture, Oscar Wilde and Ernst Lubitsch‘s Lady Windermeres Fan

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
James Baldwin and Ray Charles in “The Hallelujah Chorus”

Based on a recent, archival discovery of the script, “But Amen is the Price” is the first substantive writing about James Baldwin’s collaboration with Ray Charles, Cicely Tyson, and others in a performance of musical and dramatic pieces. Titled by Baldwin, “The Hallelujah Chorus” was performed in two shows at Carnegie Hall in New York City on 1 July 1973. The essay explores how the script and presentation of the material, at least in Baldwin’s mind, represented a call for people to more fully involve themselves in their own and in each other’s lives. In lyrical interludes and dramatic excerpts from his classic work, “Sonny’s Blues,” Baldwin addressed divisions between neighbors, brothers, and strangers, as well as people’s dissociations from themselves in contemporary American life. In solo and ensemble songs, both instrumental and vocal, Ray Charles’s music evinced an alternative to the tradition of Americans’ evasion of each other. Charles’s sound meant to signify the history and possibility of people’s attainment of presence in intimate, social, and political venues of experience. After situating the performance in Baldwin’s personal life and public worldview at the time and detailing the structure and content of the performance itself, “But Amen is the Price” discusses the largely negative critical response as a symptom faced by much of Baldwin’s other work during the era, responses that attempted to guard “aesthetics” generally—be they literary, dramatic, or musical—as class-blind, race-neutral, and apolitical. The essay presents “The Hallelujah Chorus” as a key moment in Baldwin’s search for a musical/literary form, a way to address, as he put it, “the person and the people,” in open contention with the social and political pressures of the time.

James Baldwin Review
Is There Really No Place Like Home?

The outsourcing of film shoots has long been adopted by US producers to cut costs and improve box-office performance. According to the academic literature, outsourcing is exploited mainly for low- and middle-budget films, but this article aims to demonstrate that blockbusters are also migrating towards other states and countries to take part in an even more competitive film location market. It investigates 165 blockbusters released between 2003 and 2013. The collected data show that blockbuster shoots are not an exclusive to California, but are re-drawing the map of film production in favour of an even more polycentric and polyglot audiovisual panorama.

Film Studies