The Datchet Diamonds

5 •• Speculative society, risk and the crime thriller: The Datchet Diamonds Victoria Margree In Richard Marsh’s The Datchet Diamonds (1898), luckless stock market speculator Cyril Paxton becomes entwined in the world of gentlemancriminal Arthur Lawrence. When a chance encounter puts Paxton in possession of the Duchess of Datchet’s diamond collection, which Lawrence has procured in a daring heist, he must decide whether to push his scruples aside and risk all on one final speculation. Marsh’s decision to build a crime thriller around a plot of financial

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915

The most frequently noticed effect of the new post-1968 climate on the French cinema was a change in the nature of the thriller. In 1968 itself (and therefore unaffected in its conception by the actual events of that year) Constantin Costa-Gavras’ Z reached the screens and found an eager audience for whom it summed up the new requirements of the time. By the end of 1969, Z had achieved an audience of 700,000 in Paris, which made it one of the biggest successes of the year and indeed of the whole decade. It proved to

in French cinema in the 1970s
James Herbert, The Spear and ‘Nazi Gothic’

This article examines the ways in which James Herbert‘s The Spear (1978) attempted to combine nineteenth century gothic with the contemporary thriller. The novel deals with the activities of a neo-Nazi organisation, and the essay draws parallels between Herberts deployment of National Socialism and the treatment of Roman Catholicism in earlier Gothic texts. Contextualising the novel within a wider fascination with Nazism in 1970s popular culture, it also considers the ethical difficulties in applying techniques from supernatural Gothic to secular tyranny.

Gothic Studies
Adaptation, Dürrenmatt, and The Pledge

In Sean Penn‘s crime thriller The Pledge (2000), a crucial stage of story action is determined by a purely chance event. Neither prefigured by narrative signposting nor sutured into the films system of causation, the chance event both mystifies the fictive agents and distresses audience expectation. This essay explores the issues at stake in the films reliance on chance action, arguing that its usage represents a significant risk on the part of the dramaturgist. Moreover, the essay examines the alterations that the film makes in Friedrich Dürrenmatts source novel, and considers the ways in which these alterations radically transform the effects created by the story‘s chance event.

Film Studies
Gothic Continuities, Feminism and Postfeminism in the Neo-Gothic Film

The article seeks to explore questions of fictional female victimhood by examining feminist and post-feminist critical engagements with the Gothic heroine figure. The paper traces instances of this figure in literary and filmic versions of the ‘female gothic’ narrative, focusing in particular on the female gothic film cycle of the 1940s, in films such as Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941), and the cycles recurrence in more contemporary female-addressed suspense thrillers, such as Deceived (1991), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Shadow of Doubt (1998), and What Lies Beneath (2000). The paper reveals that the neo-gothic heroine condenses key issues pertinent to shifts in feminist and post-feminist critique, such as woman-as-victim, negotiations about the meanings of femininity, and the relationship between women and domestic space.

Gothic Studies

A generation ago, Spain was emerging from a nearly forty-year dictatorship. This book analyses the significant changes in the aesthetics, production and reception of Spanish cinema and genre from 1990 to the present. It brings together European and North American scholars to establish a critical dialogue on the topic of contemporary Spanish cinema and genre while providing multiple perspectives on the concepts of national cinemas and genre theory. The book addresses a particular production unit, the Barcelona-based Fantastic Factory as part of the increasingly important Filmax group of companies, with the explicit aim of making genre films that would have an appeal beyond the Spanish market. It explores the genrification of the Almodovar brand in the US media and cinematic imaginary as a point of departure to tackle how the concepts of genre, authorship and Spanish cinema itself acquire different meanings when transposed into a foreign film market. Melodrama and political thriller films have been a narrative and representational form tied to the imagining of the nation. The book also examines some of the aspects of Carícies that distinguish it from Pons's other entries in his Minimalist Trilogy. It looks briefly at the ways in which the letter acts as one of the central melodramatic gestures in Isabel Coixet's films. After an analysis of the Spanish musical from the 1990s until today, the book discusses Spanish immigration films and some Spanish-Cuban co-productions on tourism and transnational romance.

Abstract only

Gothic, in a sense, has always been 'queer'. This book illustrates the rich critical complexity which is involved in reading texts through queer theories. It provides a queer reading of such early Gothic romances as William Beckford's Vathek, Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk, and Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer. Building upon critical trend of desire between men, the book examines Frankenstein's engagement with sexual rhetoric in the early nineteenth century. It explores some ways in which the signifying practices of queerness are written into the language and, therefore, the signifying practices of Gothic fiction. Teleny's apparently medicalised representation of homosexual erotic love contains some strikingly Gothic elements. The book examines how the courtroom drama of the E. M. Forster's A Passage to India focuses on the monstrous possibility of miscegenation, an Indian accused of raping an Englishwoman. Antonia White's Frost in May can be contextualised to the concept of the 'lesbian Gothic', which helpfully illuminates the representation of adolescent female subjectivity and sexuality. Same-sex desire is represented indirectly through sensuous descriptions of the female body and intertextual allusions to other erotic texts. The book considers how the vampire has become an ambivalent emblem of gay sexuality in late twentieth-century Gothic fiction by examining Interview with the Vampire and Lost Souls. The understanding of the Gothic and queer theory in a pop video is achieved by considering how Michael Jackson's use of the Gothic in Thriller and Ghosts queers the temporality of childhood.

Spain as an entity and Spanish cultural identity are no less difficult to pin down as the concept of the nation state is simultaneously assailed by political, economic and cultural globalisation and the fragmentation of the state by the demands of its autonomous communities. This book presents a coherent picture of the main narrative, thematic, stylistic and representational trends which have characterised the recent cinema produced in Spain. It seeks to explore the obsession of Spanish cinema with the past and its role as part of a wider recuperation industry. The book examines the varied forms of historical cinema ranging from literary adaptation and period drama to retro thriller and musical. It offers an analysis of other main forms of genre cinema which have dominated the commercial industry and the popular imagination in Spain since the 1970s. The book explores constructions of gender and sexuality across a wide range of examples taken from a variety of contemporary movies. It also focuses on cinema in the autonomous communities, mainly Catalonia and the Basque Country. The period 1993 to 1994 was perhaps one of the most difficult for the film industry in post-Franco Spain, particularly in relation to production totals and audience figures. The setting Institut de Cinema Catalá offered a new forum for debate and inaugurated the first of a number of attempts to define what Catalan film and a Catalan film industry ought to be doing and how Catalan professionals should develop their sector.

Michael Winterbottom is the most prolific and the most audacious of British filmmakers in the last twenty years. His television career began in the cutting-rooms at Thames Television, and his first directing experience was on the Thames TV documentaries, Ingmar Bergman: The Magic Lantern and Ingmar Bergman: The Director, made in 1988. Winterbottom has featured in top ten lists in Britain and his name has become a moniker of distinction in the promotion of his own films. This book articulates the ideas which have led to the name 'Michael Winterbottom' being associated with a particular body of work and, second, by turning to those factors which tend to dissipate the idea of Winterbottom as the single source of a world view and style, and to relocate his films within a constellation of directors, films and (principally European) national cinemas. It is important to acknowledge that all of his films employ realism across a variety of styles, genres and historical representations. The book focuses on Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, In This World and The Road to Guantánamo, with a brief reference to 24 Hour Party People as five very different films that have particular relationships with the historical world that they represent. It considers what Winterbottom has done with such popular genres as the road movie, the musical and the sciencefiction thriller, how far he has adapted their conventions to contemporary film practice and ideology, and whether these films, in reworking Hollywood genres, exhibit any peculiarly British inflections.

The echoes of May

Cinema's engagement with 1968 was perhaps most in evidence in the auteur sector of the French industry. This book presents a study that aims to consider the ways in which the shake-up in French perceptions transferred itself to French cinema screens during the following decade. The emphasis is in the changes which occurred during the 1970s in the French output of films which could be seen by an average metropolitan cinema-goer without making such special efforts as joining a cine-club or seeking out films shown in community centres or to special interest groups. The most frequently noticed effect of the new post-1968 climate on the French cinema was a change in the nature of the thriller. The book focuses on three 1970s political thriller: série-Z, Yves Boisset's L'Attentat, and René Gainville's Le Complot. It looks at some films of the early 1970s which retain a consciously politico-social approach to their protagonists' problems, which conform to the broad description of 'new naturalism' in terms of narrative and protagonist. The 'New Naturalism' movement outlived its connection to 1968, and in the course of its development launched some of the most significant new film-makers to come to prominence in this decade, such as Jacques Doillon, Jean Eustache or Claude Miller. It concentrates on the two very different cinematic Utopias imagined by Claude Faraldo: Bof! and Themroc. The book also considers two film-makers: William Klein and Alain Tanner, whose work encapsulates many of the currents and issues.