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Adrian Scott and the Politics of Anti-Fascism in Cornered
Jennifer Langdon-Teclaw

Drawing on internal studio correspondence, multiple screenplay drafts and the final film, this essay reconstructs the production history of Cornered to explore the ways in which Scott both compromised with and challenged the studios expectations and interventions. I argue that although Ceplair and Englund are correct in their assessment that studio meddling shaped the films political content in significant ways, Scotts complex negotiations during the films production ensured that Cornered remained a powerfully anti-fascist film.

Film Studies
Abstract only
John Corner

to arrive at firmer propositions than research which is entirely academically oriented and intent on exploring a particular area of media operations against a number of conflicting ideas. I have discussed elsewhere (e.g. Corner, 1999) the way in which media research is one of those areas in which ‘theory’ is sometimes used interchangeably with ‘ideas’ in a way that is not always helpful, although perhaps hard to avoid. To have an idea about something, say for instance new tendencies in reality television, is certainly to work at a level of abstraction above the

in Theorising Media
Some issues
John Corner

aspects of this development in Corner (2010b) while here I concentrate on work which is defined by its explicit, self-conscious engagement with core political issues. A better understanding of the range of documentary production that continues to be effectively political in different international contexts, and in relation to changing ideas both of ‘the political’ and of its connections with aspects of personal and social life, would be a welcome contribution to film and media scholarship (see, for instance, Chanan, 2007). 188 PART TWO(2) Documentary has a long

in Theorising Media
John Corner

) Questions were inevitably raised about the conditions of the photograph’s taking, and Platt was quite quick to establish its ‘authenticity’ and his own relationship of integrity towards what it depicted. His account, in interview, was posted on a number of websites, and a crucial passage went as follows: This was the first morning that we were able to really survey what had happened here. And I saw out of the corner of my eye, coming ‘CRITICAL SOCIAL OPTICS’ 215 at me at a fairly decent speed, a car that really stood out from everything else. It was clean. Nothing in

in Theorising Media
John Corner

of propaganda, all media systems will show many examples of different kinds of promotionalism, sometimes involving the activities of government and corporate PR agencies ‘placing’ their accounts in ostensibly journalistic material. To see this as confirming the ‘model’ would simply be impressionistic, without firm criteria for scale and intensity. Corner (2003) develops a more comprehensive discussion of the model’s limitations as a framework for research and argument, and I have looked further at the question of deceit in politics, in Corner (2010a). Journalism is

in Theorising Media
Spaces and tensions
John Corner

analytic attention to particular instances, continuing debate about its general profile and implications will therefore be a good idea. NOTES 1 The move away from singularity immediately ‘relaxes’ the issue of a unitary value framework while, at the same time, introducing problems of overall coherence and priority/precedence. PUBLIC 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 KNOWLEDGE AND POPULAR CULTURE 163 Here, I might note my attempt many years ago (Corner, 1991) to suggest that media research into audiences could be characterised broadly as either concerned primarily with the

in Theorising Media
Abstract only
John Corner

attention to how the media operate. Until recently, the study of political communication was particularly prone to this foreshortening, although a marked shift is now discernible here (see, for instance, Bennett and Entman, 2001; Corner and Pels, 2003; van Zoonen, 2006; and Jones, 2010 for examples of the cultural placing of the political). The diverse work of writers in Cultural Studies has helped to extend a cross-disciplinary sense of the importance of the ‘cultural context’ for many areas of social enquiry which have previously worked within a narrower framework of

in Theorising Media
Abstract only
John Corner

, this latitude is framed by the social stability of many of the conventions of meaning and significance through which the media operate (Corner, 1991 attempts to argue this by using the idea of ‘levels’ of interpretation). Moreover, it is a mistake – one still made – to see interpretative variations as the result of the application of sharply individualised rather than socially induced frameworks of understanding, since how we ‘read’ media products is in large part how our social development and position encourage us to read them. THE ANTINOMIES OF SUBJECTIVITY AND

in Theorising Media
Abstract only
John Corner

the media (Corner, 2010a looks at political publicity in relation to this question). These have varied from what are sometimes relatively simple ideas of ‘propaganda’ as a flow of calculated lies, exaggerations and highly selective information designed to mislead the public as to what is happening, often ‘in their name’ (see Chapter 4), all the way through to the most complex theories of ideology as a regulator of imagination, consciousness and subjectivity of a far more subtle kind, not needing routinely to descend to the level of direct falsehoods (reviewed in

in Theorising Media
Writing, painting and photography
John Corner

up rather than closing down on the range of theories and approaches it draws upon, and connecting both with humanities and social studies agendas. I have looked at some 168 PART TWO(2) aspects of the history of this area of study, essentially emerging from Film Studies but now with important contributions from elsewhere, in Corner (2008). Currently, it shows signs of becoming an area attracting strong international interest, as documentary production itself reworks its ideas and representational modes for different kinds of purpose within a changing array of

in Theorising Media