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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
Paul Moody

2 British landscapes in pre-​Second World War film publicity Paul Moody A romanticised concept of pastoral life was widely established in British culture by the start of the twentieth century, having been popularised by, among others, the pre-​Raphaelites as an ‘idealised medieval vision’1 since the late 1800s, and used as shorthand for the essence of the British national character, the pedigree of which was located in the ‘green and pleasant fields’ of the (mainly English) countryside. This conflation of land and identity circulated through popular, commercial

in British rural landscapes on film
Tom Ryall

Post-war films 1 – genre and British cinema 5 The British cinema emerged from the war period with a high critical reputation, a degree of audience appeal, and with the Rank group well established as a large vertically integrated company ready to challenge the Hollywood majors in the international marketplace. Yet, the early post-war years saw the industry coping with a turbulent period of uncertainty dramatised by a trade war with Hollywood during which the American majors withheld their films from the British market for several months. The uncertainty, however

in Anthony Asquith
Tom Ryall

Post-war films 2 – adaptation and the theatre 6 The British cinema in the post-war period was not overly dependent upon the theatre for its source material. One writer has estimated that ‘of the 1,033 British films of the 1950s listed in David Quinlan’s British Sound Films, some 152 were based on stage plays’.1 On an annual basis the figure never fell below 10 per cent of the annual production output; in some years it reached more than 20 per cent, as in 1948 when there were nineteen stage-originated features out of seventy-four films, and in 1952 when the

in Anthony Asquith
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Genre, history, national cinema
Author:

This book undertakes a consideration of the depiction of naval warfare within British and American cinema. The films (ranging from examples from the interwar period, the Second World War, the Cold War and contemporary cinema) encompass all areas of naval operations in war, and highlight varying institutional and aesthetic responses to navies and the sea in popular culture. Examination of the films centres on their similarities to and differences from the conventions of the war genre as described in earlier analyses, and seeks to determine whether the distinctive characteristics of naval film narratives justify their categorisation as a separate genre or sub-genre in popular cinema. The explicit factual bases and drama-documentary style of many key naval films (such as In Which We Serve, They Were Expendable and Das Boot) also require a consideration of them as texts for popular historical transmission. Their frequent reinforcement of establishment views of the past, which derives from their conservative ideological position towards national and naval culture, makes these films key texts for the consideration of national cinemas as purveyors of contemporary history as popularly conceived by filmmakers and received by audiences.

Queered Space and Cold War Discourse
Merrill Schleier

The Big Clocks skyscraper is a mechanical, entrapping grid controlled by a huge timepiece. It is presided over by the homosexual Janoth who tries to frame Stroud for a murder that he committed. This article traces Stroud‘s journey within the International Style skyscrapers temporarily ‘queered spaces.’ The Cold War film seeks the removal of undesirable ‘aliens’ to liberate capitalist space and reassert hegemonic heterosexuality. The married Stroud outsmarts his adversaries, leading to Janoth‘s death by his own building. After Janoth is symbolically ‘outed,’ he kills his partner before plummeting down a hellish elevator shaft, punishment for his ‘perverse’ deeds.

Film Studies
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Author:

Claude Chabrol's films break down the dubious critical barrier between art cinema and popular cinema. Rejecting the avant-garde and the experimental, Chabrol chooses to work within the confines of established genres. He has in fact filmed farce, melodrama, fantasy, war films, spy films and glossy literary adaptations. Chabrol has excellent new-wave credentials and is in some ways a representative figure for this innovative film movement in French cinema. For the small budget of 32 million old francs, he was able to shoot Le Beau Serge over nine weeks in the winter of 1957/8 and film it in what was essentially his home village. Chabrol has known periods of great success (the launching of the new wave in 1958, the superb Hélène cycle of the late 1960s, including his most famous film Le Boucher for his return to form in the 1990s). He also has had periods of inactivity and failure. His depiction of the middle classes usually concentrates on the family. Le Cri du hibou begins as Masques ends, with a framed image from which the camera slowly tracks back to reveal the presence of a spectator. Given that in Chabrol's cinema women are often lacking in financial or social power, there are limits to the ways in which they can either define themselves or escape their situation. This is spelled out most clearly in Les Bonnes Femmes, where the potential escape routes are sex, marriage into the bourgeoisie, a career, romance or death.

A celebration

This book offers a startling re-evaluation of what has until now been seen as the most critically lacklustre period of the British film history. It includes fresh assessment of maverick directors; Pat Jackson, Robert Hamer and Joseph Losey, and even of a maverick critic Raymond Durgnat. The book features personal insights from those inidividually implicated in 1950s cinema; Corin Redgrave on Michael Redgrave, Isabel Quigly on film reviewing, and Bryony Dixon of the BFI on archiving and preservation. A classic image from 1950s British cinema would be Jack Hawkins in The Cruel Sea, the epitome of quiet English integrity. Raymond Durgnat's A Mirror for England: British Movies from Austerity to Affluence, which deals extensively with British films of the 1950s, was written in the mid-1960s and was published in 1970. In a 1947 article called 'Angles of Approach' Lindsay Anderson delivered a fierce attack on contemporary British film culture, outlining a model for a devoted politics of creation, well in line with what we would later understand as auteurism and art cinema aesthetics . The war films of the 1950s together constitute the assented-to record of the emotions and moral judgments called upon to set in order those disorderly events. The book also talks about the Festival of Britain, White Corridors, and four Hamer's post-Ealing films: The Spider and the Fly, The Long Memory, Father Brown and The Scapegoat. A number of factors have contributed to the relative neglect of the 1950s as a decade in British cinema history.

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Jonathan Rayner

naval film, as an operable and recognisable set of conventions, both within and apart from other representations of combat and the armed services. A series of motifs, narrative concerns, aspects of characterisation and specifics of representation have been noted throughout. While these communal features suggest a kinship with and extrapolation from the form and meaning of the generic war film, the apportionment and configuration of characteristics changes the ‘uniforms’ of these films from military to naval, and their reference and significance from the all-purpose to

in The naval war film
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Bertrand Tavernier's substantial oeuvre could hardly be more varied. The filmmaker seeks to challenge himself in different ways with each film, refusing to be pigeonholed. This book commences with introductory remarks on the French filmmaker, Bertrand Tavernier, and his works. Tavernier has made twenty-one feature films, six documentaries, and several short films. Tavernier's oeuvre is unified by a recognizable constellation of ideas at its core. His Lyon, le regard intérieur, and his 'merveilleux lyonnais' ties filmmaking to the magic of childhood. The book chapter explores the significance of generations in Tavernier's films and in his career. The notion of generations has far-reaching implications in his work, ranging from literal families to successive 'waves' of filmmakers in the history of French cinema. The book examines this pervasive network of themes, reveals Tavernier's social, political, and affective worldview, and identifies him in terms of 'generational consciousness'. It discusses how L'Horloger de Saint-Paul presents itself as post-war, post-colonial, post-1968, and post-New Wave. L'Horloger de Saint-Paul suggests that the theme of conflicts between generations may ultimately be a red herring. Tavernier works instead to reconnect generations, showing that rebellion, solidarity, influence, and even memory are two-way streets. Tavernier's portraits of professional artists, focusing on Des enfants gâtés, Un dimanche à; la campagne, and Autour de minuit are also discussed. Daddy nostalgie is examined through the lens of melodrama, the nostalgia that comes into focus not only as an emotion but also as a historical dimension and a gateway to social engagement.