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Julius Caesar
Maria Wyke

In studio publicity, trade papers, reviews, articles, and educational materials, Joseph L. Mankiewiczs Julius Caesar (1953) was described and accepted as a faithful and mostly pleasing adaptation of Shakespearean drama to the Hollywood screen. As Variety accurately predicted, it achieved four Oscar nominations, one award for art direction and set decoration, high grosses, a hit soundtrack album, and several subsequent revivals. With the content more or less given, contemporary discussion focussed closely on how the verbal had been visualised, on how theatre had been turned into cinema – in short, on the film‘s style. It is with contemporary and subsequent readings of the film‘s style that this article is concerned, where, following David Bordwell, style is taken to mean ‘a films systematic and significant use of techniques of the medium’. But whereas Bordwell analyses film style directly in terms of an aesthetic history he considers to be distinct from the history of the film industry, its technology, or a films relation to society, I explore interpretations of one film‘s style that are heavily invested with socio-political meaning. If, in Bordwell‘s organic metaphor, style is the flesh of film, these readings of style explicitly dress that flesh in socio-political clothing. This analysis of Julius Caesar, then, is not another contribution to debates about adaptation, theatre on film, or Shakespeare on screen, but about the politics of film style.

Film Studies
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Author: Neil Sinyard

This book explores why Jack Clayton had made so few films and why most of them failed to find a large audience. It examines the kind of criticism they generated, sometimes adulatory but sometimes dismissive and even condescending. The book hopes to throw light on certain tendencies and developments within the film industry and of film criticism, the British film industry and film criticism in particular. The fact that Clayton's films fit David Bordwell's paradigm of the art film is one explanation why producers had difficulty with him and why mainstream cinema found his work hard to place and assimilate. Clayton's pictorial eye has sometimes antagonised critics: they often take exception to some aspect of his mise-en-scene. Clayton had come to prominence with Room at the Top, around the time of the British 'Free Cinema' movement and immediately prior to the so-called British 'new-wave' films of the early 1960s from directors such as Tony Richardson and John Schlesinger. Thorold Dickinson's evocation of the Russian atmosphere and, in particular, his use of suspenseful soundtrack to suggest ghostly visitation undoubtedly had an influence on Jack Clayton's style in both The Bespoke Overcoat and The Innocents. The critical controversy concerning the status of Jack Clayton as director and artist is probably at its most intense over The Pumpkin Eater. Clayton stressed the importance of an opening that established right away the situation of 'a woman in crisis' but wanted to delay the Harrods scene so as to build up an atmosphere of suspense.

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Bordwell’s interventions
John Gibbs

7 Postscript: Bordwell’s interventions This chapter moves outside of the historical and national boundaries of this study. The article on which it focuses – ‘Widescreen Aesthetics and Mise en Scene Criticism’ by David Bordwell – was published in a North American journal, The Velvet Light Trap, in 1985.1 Nevertheless, there are a number of reasons that make it an appropriate subject for the book’s final chapter. The article is a significant example of the misrepresentation of mise-­en-­scène criticism, and this significance is amplified because the article is an

in The life of mise-en-scène
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Lonely passions - the cinema of Jack Clayton
Neil Sinyard

wonder Clayton found the experience of making it so traumatic. In fact, in trying to define the Clayton style, I was surprised to find how closely it corresponds in many respects to David Bordwell’s classic formulation of the mode of discourse of the art film. 20 Bordwell was writing mainly of what one might call the modernist masters of European cinema – Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean

in Jack Clayton
Breaking through the barriers of filmmaking
Deborah Shaw

tropes, as I have noted. When looking at film’s relationship with art cinema it is important to acknowledge that it is characterised by its ‘mongrel identity’, as Galt and Schoonover have argued (2010: 3). For these authors, art cinema is a hybrid form and contested term that has ‘intersected with popular genres, national cinema, revolutionary filmmaking and the ­avant-garde, and has mixed corporate, state, and independent capital’ (3). Nevertheless, there are certain aspects that have been seen to delineate ‘art cinema’. David Bordwell, in his well known essay ‘The

in The three amigos
A case study of John Krish
Robert Shail

) he was forced to concede that ‘Britain did not have an internationally well-known art cinema in this sense until Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman and other film-makers emerged in the 1980s.’ 2 The ‘sense’ that Hedling refers to is the widely used definition arrived at by David Bordwell, which describes art cinema as a ‘non-classical form’ inviting ‘higher-level interpretation’. 3 At the same time, Hedling refers tantalisingly to other ‘critical and cinematic practices which connected British film culture to the development of the European art cinema’, 4 without

in British art cinema
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John Gibbs

English Dictionary spells mise-­en-­scène with hyphens and without italicisation, and this is the form which this book follows when it is speaking in its own voice.9 However ‘mise-­ en-­scène’ is spelt in various ways by different critics. In French it has no hyphens, and a number of writers and translators quoted employ this version, sometimes italicising the word to indicate its etymol- Introduction 5 ogy; David Bordwell dispenses with the accent. In every quotation the spelling of the original has been followed. Structure The first chapter looks at the

in The life of mise-en-scène
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Don Fairservice

Burch, Theory of Film Practice , p. 11 . 6 In particular, David Bordwell’s Narration and the Fiction Film and Edward Branigan’s Narrative Comprehension and Film.

in Film editing: history, theory and practice
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Steven Peacock

only as a property of an object, it keeps getting missed, or subsumed into broader categories of film style. Such an elision occurs in David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s definition of mise-en-scène, in which they highlight ‘setting, lighting, costume, and the behaviour of the figures’. 7 Perhaps as we are now so familiar with seeing colour in movies (and movies in colour), expecting its appearance in most narrative film

in Colour
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Ian Aitken

remains unclear, even after the intervention of scholars such as Richard Abel Alan Williams, David Bordwell, Dudley Andrew, Norman King and others, what real interest the general critical community retains in a movement such as cinematic impressionism; and to what extent the ‘aesthetic’ apparel of the movement continues to consign it to critical oblivion, despite the aesthetic and historical importance of films such as Napoléon

in Realist film theory and cinema