Abstract only

Melodrama Visconti worked in theatre, lyric opera and film. In each of these pursuits, though especially in theatre and lyric opera, he put into play (put into scene) a pre-existing text. In theatre, these texts were ancient (Shakespeare), relatively recent (Chekhov, Strindberg), or contemporary (Cocteau, Anouilh, Miller, Williams). What was interesting in these theatrical productions were their visual, spectacular aspects (decor, lighting, costume, gesture), no matter what the period from which they came. Visconti sought to find visual and sound equivalents for

in Film modernism

passed before Judith Williamson challenged Muggeridge by claiming that this celebrity melodrama could actually serve the Crown and the ideology of national unity that it represents. Writing just after the protracted strike that failed to halt the closure of Britain’s coal mines in 1984, Williamson observed that the pitmen’s wives sought the Queen’s support for their cause in the belief that she cared

in The British monarchy on screen

6 Melodrama and mise-­en-­scène Considered as an expressive code, melodrama might therefore be described as a particular form of mise-­en-­scène, characterised by a dynamic use of spatial and musical categories, as opposed to intellectual and literary ones.1 This suggestion, from Thomas Elsaesser’s extraordinary article ‘Tales of Sound and Fury: observations on the family melodrama’, recognises a particularly strong relationship between mise-­en-­scène and melodrama. In the early 1970s, writing on melodrama provided some of the richest expressions of mise

in The life of mise-en-scène
The genealogy and diffusion of a ‘popular’ theatrical genre and experience, 1780–1830

3 Melodrama in post-revolutionary Europe: the genealogy and diffusion of a ‘popular’ theatrical genre and experience, 1780–1830 carlotta sorba I n September 1820 a newspaper from the city of Pau, Department of the Pyrenees in the south-west of France, recounted a journalist’s tale of how, finding himself in a deep and remote valley in the Béarn, he approached a child carrying a bundle of wood on her head. Upon being asked what she was called, she did not reply, as one might have anticipated, Jeanne or Marguerite, but rather Coelina, the far-from-common name of

in Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c.1700–1870

2 Avant-garde working-class melodramas In the previous chapter, we discovered the broad conceptual range of Epstein’s master word, photogénie. What it seeks to link are: the embodiment of the viewer and the actors; the cinema apparatus as positive and ethical mediation (compared to Walter Benjamin’s aura-damaging mediation); and a paradoxical aesthetics at once avant-garde and utterly modernist, and rearguard in insisting that sensorial experiencing in the cinema remains haunted by the ghost of Symbolism. This complexity explains how easy it has been for

in Jean Epstein
The claim of reason

3 University melodramas: the claim of reason The university loves to have guidelines and policies in place to back itself up … but it just becomes a bit of, as I would say in Arabic, a ‘Syrian drama’, which is very like [in a high-​pitched voice] aahhhh! Lots of things going on, but nothing much is happening.1 In April 2010, I began my initiation into the student politics of Palestine–​Israel when I went to observe the NUS National Conference. The UJS and FOSIS had organised a fringe meeting entitled ‘Hate Speech on Campus’, which had generated intense advance

in Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics

business interests. She therefore sees the jingoistic tone as imposed upon a working class which previously accepted the glorification of the nation only in the military, naval and slave melodramas staged in the saloons, in which it was always offered with the qualification that ‘the goal of British power was freedom’ (p. 41). It is unfortunate for her argument that Richard Price, also attempting to

in Acts of supremacy

While one of the distinguishing characteristics of Winterbottom’s oeuvre is his way of taking recognised genres and treating them in idiosyncratic ways, some of his work defies easy categorisation. A film such as Go Now , made for television but shown in cinemas in some countries, is a case in point: it exhibits some of the informing traits of melodrama but its treatment is in certain essentials

in Michael Winterbottom

The writers of nineteenth-century spectacular melodrama made frequent use of colonial settings, particularly India and Africa. In their dramas the clear demarcation between good and evil so vital to the genre was given a strong geographical justification, and, as John MacKenzie has noted, ‘a powerful racial twist’. 1 Moreover, the necessary sense of a hostile, unjust

in Acts of supremacy

culturally exotic subject matter produced by the Edison and Lumière production companies, I consider how two commercial entertainment genres – the travel film and the melodrama set in an exotic location – constituted the cinematic crucible out of which emerged three films that are often referred to as major milestones in the history of ethnographic film: Grass , In the Land of the Head Hunters and, most important of all, Nanook of the North

in Beyond observation