name, though the wartime thrillers no doubt have melodramatic
elements. There were six intervening films, justifying the journalist who
described him in early 1943 as the ‘Busiest British filmdirector
… Within the last six months he’s made five films, and now
he’s busy on a sixth [ Escape to Danger ] . And they
haven’t all been the same kind of movie as well.’ 1 Indeed they were not. In order of release, 2 they were: the comedy-drama of
Jean-Luc Godard enjoyed a comfortable and cultured upbringing, acquiring a literary sensibility that would inflect the whole of his career in the cinema. Godard began to study anthropology at the Sorbonne, but dropped out, and the subsequent decade of his life was spent drifting between various occupations. It is this period of Godard's life in particular that has given rise to speculation, rumour and apocryphal stories. Along with other critics at Cahiers du cinéma, including Truffaut, Rivette, Chabrol and Rohmer, Godard's writing on film in the 1950s played an important role in shaping the canon of great film directors that would influence the development of both French and anglophone film studies. A mixture of playfulness and reverent cinematic homage is to be found in the film language that Godard employs in A bout de souffle. The film became famous for its use of jump-cuts, and it may be difficult for today's viewers, familiar with the ultra-rapid editing of music videos and advertising, to appreciate how disruptive this technique appeared to contemporary spectators. Vivre sa vie, like Le Petit Soldat, appears, in places, to appropriate a kind of existentialist narrative form, only to move beyond it into something much stranger and more troubling. Jean-Luc Godard's Masculin féminin is about young people in Paris in the winter of 1965-1966. Godard in the 1970s is doubtless addressing issues such as the nature of capitalism, and the possibilities for revolt. France tour détour deux enfants is a fascinating glimpse of what television could be.
The journey North is a recurrent motif throughout the Gothic literary tradition, often representing a journey back in time to a more primitive location where conventional rules do not apply. Within the context of contemporary Scottish Gothic this journey continues to involve a temporal regression. The North of Scotland, and specifically the Highlands, is still a Gothic location, allowing for an interrogation of the homogenising notion of ‘national identity’. In this article the journey North is explored in the work of contemporary writers and film directors including Iain Banks, Alan Warner, David Mackenzie, and Neil Marshall.
The new wave of Korean cinema has presented a series of distinct genre productions, which are influenced by contemporary Japanese horror cinema and traditions of the Gothic. Ahn Byeong-ki is one of Korea‘s most notable horror film directors, having made four Gothic horrors between 2000 and 2006. These transnational horrors, tales of possession and avenging forces, have repeatedly been drawn to issues of modernity, loneliness, identity, gender, and suicide. Focusing on the figure of the ghostly woman, and the horrors of modern city life in Korea, this essay considers the style of filmmaking employed by Ahn Byeong-ki in depicting, in particular, the Gothic revelation.
This is the first book dedicated to the career and films of Jacques Audiard. It argues that the work of this prominent French director both reinforces and undermines the traditional concept of the auteur. The book traces Audiard’s career from his early screenwriting projects in the 1970s to his eight directed feature films. From a prison outside Paris to a war zone in Sri Lanka, from a marine park on the Côte d’Azur to the goldfields of the American Wild West, these films revolve around the movement of bodies. Fragile yet powerful, macho yet transgressive, each of these films portrays disabled, marginalised or otherwise non-normative bodies in constant states of crisis and transformation. This book uses the motif of border-crossing – both physical and symbolic – to explore how Audiard’s films construct and transcend boundaries of many forms. Its chapters focus on his films’ representation of the physical body, French society and broader transnational contexts. Located somewhere between the arthouse and the B movie, the French and the transnational, the feminist and the patriarchal, the familiar and the new, this book reveals how Jacques Audiard’s characters and films reflect his own eternally shifting position, both within and beyond the imaginary of French cinema.
This book aims to provoke increased interest in the work of the four directors:
Dominique Cabrera, Noémie Lvovsky, Laetitia Masson and Marion Vernoux, although
some of their early works have become more difficult to access, most of their
films remain commercially available through French distributors. The four
directors are not new arrivals and began making films in the early 1990s, yet
they have received scant critical attention in both popular and academic film
criticism. They share similar profiles in terms of box office success, number of
films made and generational affinities and, shorts and feature films in France.
They make films that straddle boundaries of categorisation and therefore escape
the quickly established and self-perpetuating groupings that serve as powerful
frameworks for popular access via DVD distribution, critical canonisation and
academic curricula. Whilst Cabrera attests her sanguine awareness of the
discriminatory treatment of women in all areas of the film industry she rejects
the suggestion that the process of her filmmaking is determined by sexual
difference or a gendered creative identity, asserting provocatively. The book
discusses Masson's use of romance and detective narratives to debunk the
former and subvert the later. The career path of Lvovsky remains distinctive
from that of other directors. Vernoux's oeuvre maintains a coherent focus
on the modes of transgression present within the generic conventions of comedy
and romance in films which exploit the common narrative device of the encounter
to propel narratives and characters across social boundaries within a dominant
generic focus on romantic comedy.
Lance Comfort began to work in films between the age of 17 and 19, more or less growing up with the cinema. When he came to make 'B' films in the 1950s and 1960s, his wide-ranging expertise enabled him to deal efficiently with the constraints of tight budgets and schedules. He was astute at juggling several concurrent plot strands, his prescient anticipation of postwar disaffection, the invoking of film noir techniques to articulate the dilemma of the tormented protagonist. Comfort's reputation as a features director seemed to be made when Hatter's Castle, made by Paramount's British operation, opened at the Plaza, Piccadilly Circus, after a well-publicised charity première attended by the Duchess of Kent and luminaries such as Noel Coward. He had been in the film business for twenty years when, in 1946, he directed Margaret Lockwood in Bedelia. Comfort is not the only director who enjoyed his greatest prestige in the 1940s and drifted into providing fodder for the bottom half of the double-bill in the ensuing decades. There were six intervening films, justifying the journalist who described him in early 1943 as the Busiest British film director. Great Day, Portrait of Clare, Temptation Harbour, Bedelia, Daughter of Darkness, and Silent Dust were his six melodramas. He was an unpretentious craftsman who was also at best an artist, and in exploring his career trajectory, the viewer is rewarded by the spectacle of one who responded resiliently to the challenges of a volatile industry.
Jean Cocteau, the first French writer to take cinema seriously, was as old and young as cinema itself; he made his first film in 1925 and completed his last film when he was 70. This book first deals with the issue of the type of film maker that Cocteau was: as a auteur, as a collaborator, as an experimenter, and as a theorist. It takes the pulse of Cocteau's cinema by examining in detail his ground-breaking first film Le Sang d'un poète', and argues that the film offers a vision of the potential of film for Cocteau. The book traces the evolution of realism and fantasy in Cocteau's work by introducing a main element, theatre, and assesses the full gamut of Cocteau's formal inclinations: from the legend and fantasy of L'Eternel retour to the spectacular fairytale of La Belle et la bête; from the 'film théâtral' of L'Aigle à deux têtes to the domestic melodrama Les Parents terribles which 'detheatricalises' his original play. In Le Testament d'Orphée, all the various formal tendencies of Cocteau's cinema come together but with the additional element of time conceived of as history, and the book re-evaluates the general claim of Cocteau's apparently missed encounter with history. The book considers whether the real homosexual element of Cocteau's cinema surfaces more at the most immediate level of sound and image by concentrating on the specifics of Cocteau's filmic style, in particular camera angle, framing and reverse-motion photography.
‘essential’ and ‘inessential’ images. Unlike most filmdirectors, he doesn’t use some images as weak links in a narrative chain
leading to strong ones, but only images which, in addition to serving a
narrative function, also have independent value.
There is a play in the title of Histoire(s) du cinéma between the one and
the many, the singular and the plural, the cinema and the other arts, film
and cinema, the history of the cinema and the stories (histoires) narrated
in films. These ideas are restated in the titles of four of the eight sections
of the film: 1A Toutes les
This is a book about the British filmdirector Terence Fisher. A prolific film-maker with fifty titles to his
credit, Fisher’s last film – Frankenstein and the Monster
from Hell – was released in 1974, when I was twelve. I was not old
enough to see any of the horror films upon which Fisher’s reputation
rests when they were first released; for a number of them, I was not even
born. I have been