From its earliest days, horror film has turned to examples of the horror genre in fiction, such as the Victorian Gothic, for source material. The horror film has continually responded to cultural pressures and ideological processes that resulted in new, mutated forms of the genre. Adaptation in horror cinema is a useful point of departure for articulating numerous socio-cultural trends. Adaptation for the purposes of survival proves the impetus for many horror movie monsters. This book engages generic and thematic adaptations in horror cinema from a wide range of aesthetic, cultural, political and theoretical perspectives. These diverse approaches further evidence the horror genre's obsession with corporeal transformation and narratological re-articulation. Many horror films such as Thomas Edison's Frankenstein, John S. Robertson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, David Cronenberg'sVideodrome, Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers, and Terence Fisher's The Gorgon are discussed in the book. The book sheds welcome light upon some of the more neglected horror films of cinema's first century, and interrogates the myriad alterations and re-envisionings filmmakers must negotiate as they transport tales of terror between very different modes of artistic expression. It extends the volume's examination of adaptation as both an aesthetic process and a thematic preoccupation by revealing the practice of self-reflexivity and addresses the remake as adaptation. The book analyses the visual anarchy of avant-garde works, deploys the psychoanalytic film theory to interpret how science and technology impact societal secularisation, and explores the experimental extremes of adaptation in horror film.
The introduction surveys theories of genre as they pertain to drama and to movies. Shakespeare, it is argued, innovated hybrid dramatic kinds by incorporating different traditions, in this context most pertinently, comedy and romance. Film history has generated its own repertoire of genres but the hybrid model of Shakespeare is at the heart of the process, and gave an initial model of genre development which early movie-makers tacitly adopted – scenes from his plays were among the first cinematic experiments, and continued to shape cinema history. The nature of influence is equally important. Shakespeare was influenced by earlier writers, a process which is examined here, and his indirect cultural influence (distinguished from sources and direct adaptation), especially on movies, is analogous and is traced here.
The looking machine calls for the redemption of documentary cinema, exploring the potential and promise of the genre at a time when it appears under increasing threat from reality television, historical re-enactments, designer packaging and corporate authorship. The book consists of a set of essays, each focused on a particular theme derived from the author’s own experience as a filmmaker. It provides a practice-based, critical perspective on the history of documentary, how films evoke space, time and physical sensations, questions of aesthetics, and the intellectual and emotional relationships between filmmakers and their subjects. It is especially concerned with the potential of film to broaden the base of human knowledge, distinct from its expression in written texts. Among its underlying concerns are the political and ethical implications of how films are actually made, and the constraints that may prevent filmmakers from honestly showing what they have seen. While defending the importance of the documentary idea, MacDougall urges us to consider how the form can become a ‘cinema of consciousness’ that more accurately represents the sensory and everyday aspects of human life. Building on his experience bridging anthropology and cinema, he argues that this means resisting the inherent ethnocentrism of both our own society and the societies we film.
–64 Figure 6.2 Jens Jørgen Thorsen, Viet Nam , 1969 In a sense, the festivals that Nash and Thorsen organised were the real cinematic experiments or situations they wished to create. The individual film was less important than the cinematic experience as an expanded process in which projected images and sound created a kind of proto-installation, blurring the established roles of director, actor, and spectator. Nash and Thorsen often projected several films at once, both in order to experiment with the interplay between the films but also in order to create an
this by following more accepted practices in another. The familiar thus serves as an anchor and a point of departure for change. Pioneering film directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Jean-Luc Godard underpinned many of their cinematic experiments with melodramatic plots and glamorous actors, giving audiences something attractive and reassuring to hang on to. For documentary filmmakers, the choices are necessarily more limited. Yet they often ‘cast’ their films as surely as Hollywood directors, looking for the most expressive protagonists. Documentary films are also
Zola’s Nana (1955). Alexandre Astruc applied his own concept of caméra-stylo, the elevation of the construction of directorial 4 French literature on screen vision as narrative, to his adaptation Flaubert’s L’Education sentimentale (1962). French noirs achieved considerable recognition during this period, incorporating memorable cinematic experiments, among them the long silent heist sequence in Jules Dassin’s 1955 adaptation of Auguste Le Breton’s novel Du rififi chez les hommes (Rififi) and the hauntingly disturbing lighting of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les
the script for En själslig angelägenhet (1980)/( A Spiritual Matter ), which was first conceived in the form of a script for a cinematic experiment consisting entirely of close-ups. According to a telephone conversation with Bergman (14 May 2000), it was also written with Liv Ullmann in mind as the lead character; but after she declined the role as Emilie in Fanny and Alexander (1982), the script remained dormant for seven years before Bergman resumed work on it. However, Ullmann’s part in this course of
shorthand, while cinematic experiment such as had already been espoused by the Nouvelle Vague acquired an ethical justification in the name of disturbing the audience and thus (notionally) encouraging intellectual engagement with the content. This second, non-naturalistic, interpretation of the formal debates of 1968 was to leave some traces on the stylish, reputedly apolitical successes of the cinéma du look in the early 1980s, especially in the work of Léos Carax. Apart from these major cinematic debates, certain themes prominent
, and as a disembodied intellect. By contrast the cinematic experiments with touch and sound which characterise Martel’s work are a means to convey, through alternative sensory and perceptual experiences, the ‘aberrant forms of life and consciousness’, which Merleau-Ponty attributed, amongst others to ‘children and madmen’ (2004, 56). In this attention to the tactile, the senses, and their evocation of other forms of life and consciousness, especially childhood, but also the sexually non-normative, Martel’s work has had a significant influ ence on filmmaking in
for reasons which remain difficult to articulate. Arnaud observes that ‘son malaise tient à ce qu’il est impossible d’en domestiquer l’effet en lui conférant un attribut’ – a ‘suspension de tout sens possible’ that ‘redistribue sa force sur tout le reste du film’ 13 (Arnaud 1986 : 59). The most celebrated cinematic experiment with editing, carried out by the Russian Lev Kuleshov, emphasised the importance of montage in the