Alejandro Amenábar has made only five main features over a 15-year period from
1995 to 2009. In 1995 he abandoned his Film Studies degree at Madrid's
Complutense University in order to shoot Tesis (Thesis), his
first feature. This book contains a brief biographical profile of Amenábar, but
the main focus is a detailed analysis of his shorts, and the ways in which a set
of templates and devices (stylistic, narrative and thematic) begin to emerge
from them, as well as a series of working practices. It then provides detailed
accounts of Amenábar's five feature films to date: Tesis,
Abre los ojos, The Others, Mar
adentro, and Ágora. Though the approaches adopted and
the menu of topics vary in each chapter, the book seeks to combine important
aspects of contextual information (historical, social, industrial) with detailed
production and reception notes. It pays close attention to aspects of film form
and style (e.g. the interplay in Tesis between classical Hollywood narration and
'art film narration'). The book explores the ways in which Amenábar
appears to conduct experiments in generic hybridity to create a personal, auteur
cinema which satisfies his cinephilia as well as his desire for ambiguity and
profundity. At the same time, it demonstrates his commitment to the tastes and
pleasures of film audiences. The study presented is guided in large part by
questions already raised in scholarly writings on Amenábar, as well as other
issues and evidence which have subsequently emerged.
Adapting a novel for the stage is no easy task, especially if the novel in question is as famous and omnipresent as Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. Seven years prior to Francis Ford Coppola‘s box office hit, the Scottish poet and playwright Liz Lochhead wrote a version of the vampire saga which not only successfully translates the technical complexities of Stoker‘s text into the difficult medium of the theatre, but also offers a careful reading and contemporary evaluation of the subversive potential of the novel. In her adaptation, the fundamental dilemma of subjectivity and otherness becomes visible and demonstrates why Stoker‘s creation keeps fascinating readers, film audiences and critics alike.
Glasgow Corporation had been sponsoring films for almost twenty years when in 1938
its Public Health Department commissioned seven silent films. This marked new
relations between the Corporation and the emerging Scottish documentary film movement
and a change of approach towards the films’ audiences and the city itself. The essay
traces the Corporation‘s film sponsorship from the late 1930s to 1978 when the final
images of Glasgow‘s Progress, the Corporation‘s last sponsored film - on its urban
renewal projects were taken. By then the Corporation had been amalgamated into
Strathclyde Regional Council, the century-long social project of reform had come to
an end and television had made its own documentary impact. It argues that over time
Corporation films served a variety of political and institutional purposes and often
prefigured the fortunes of the city and its people.
The intention of this chapter was to
map the key sites of mediation between popular cinema and wider cultural
traditions in Brazil. Whether elements of long-standing popular memory, such
as the counter-cultural ethos of malandragem, or the media of the
time, such as the radio, the various influences on popular film that have
been examined here serve to establish the shared cultural repertoire of film
A question of love: Los amantes
del Círculo Polar (1998)
Spanish filmaudiences grew during the decade of the 1990s along
with the number of private television channels and new cinemas, 982
of which had opened by its end (ICAA 2003). However, so did the
average cost of film production, prompting Spanish companies to seek
foreign investors and co-production partners with their sights on the
pan-European multiplex audiences and the favours of such American
distributors as Miramax and Fine Line. By the mid 1990s, however, an
impending crisis in the Spanish film
formal techniques and, in so doing, engage with broader
discussions of the effects of montage on theatre and filmaudiences. Throughout
the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, from Eisenstein’s montage of attractions to Brecht’s alienation techniques to Lehmann’s theorisation of the postdramatic,
artists and scholars have explored the ways in which stage and film narratives invite
viewers to connect (or not) the various component elements of the piece before them.
Leaving gaps between elements, juxtaposing unlike or seemingly contradictory elements, and
The author addresses the spatial determinations at play in Georges Franju’s French horror masterpiece Les Yeux sans visage (1960), in which a mad scientist bent on reconstructing his daughter’s damaged face tortures and kills the unsuspecting young women he lures to his suburban villa. The author argues for a strong correlation between Franju’s directorial sensibility and the Paris suburbs’ culturally and geographically peripheral status. A locus of untold violence, Dr Génissier’s secluded villa cloaks the extraordinary under the guise of the ordinary to unsettle the film audience in a strong rejection of the nostalgic tones of Jacques Becker’s Casque d’or and of Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle from the same period. The author relates themes of banishment and disfiguration to the sociological effects of suburban upheaval during the Trente Glorieuses. The story of Dr Génissier’s experiments gone awry – ultimately a story about the duality of victimhood and predatory madness – comes symptomatically to express other social processes at work in French culture of the period.
There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.
Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain explores the relationship between classic American films about juvenile delinquency and British popular youth culture in the mid-twentieth century. The book examines the censorship, publicity and fandom surrounding such Hollywood films as The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock alongside such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Intersecting with star studies and social and cultural history, this is the first book to re-vision the stardom surrounding three extraordinarily influential Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking specifically at the meanings of these American stars to British fans, this analysis provides a logical and sustained narrative that explains how and why these Hollywood images fed into, and disrupted, British cultural life. Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain is based upon a wide range of sources including censorship records, both mainstream and trade newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts and memoirs, as well as the films themselves. The book is a timely intervention of film culture and focuses on key questions about screen violence and censorship, masculinity and transnational stardom, method acting and performance, Americanisation and popular post-war British culture. The book is essential reading for researchers, academics and students of film and social and cultural history, alongside general readers interested in the links between the media and popular youth culture in the 1950s.
This book explores the development of Robert Lepage’s distinctive approach to stage direction in the early (1984–94) and middle (1995–2008) stages of his career, arguing that globalisation had a defining effect in shaping his aesthetic and professional trajectory. It combines examination of Lepage’s theatremaking techniques with discussion of his work’s effects on audiences, calling on Lepage’s own statements as well as existing scholarship and critical response. In addition to globalisation theory, the book draws on cinema studies, queer theory, and theories of affect and reception. As such, it offers an unprecedented conceptual framework, drawing together what has previously been a scattered field of research. Each of six chapters treats a particular aspect of globalisation, using this as a means to explore one or more of Lepage’s productions. These aspects include the relationship of the local (in Lepage’s case, his background in Québec) to the global; the place of individual experience within global late modernity; the effects of screen media on human perception; the particular affect of ‘feeling global’; the place of branding in contemporary creative systems; and the relationship of creative industries to neoliberal economies. Making theatre global: Robert Lepage’s original stage productions will be of interest to scholars of contemporary theatre, advanced-level undergraduates with an interest in the application of theoretical approaches to theatrical creation and reception, and arts lovers keen for new perspectives on one of the most talked-about theatre artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.