Older than America (2008), by Georgina Lightning (Cree), and
Imprint (2007), directed by Michael Linn, who is non-Native,
but who worked with producer Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), both use and revise
Gothic elements to explore Indigenous history and contemporary issues. Both
films use various Gothic elements to draw non-Native audiences into
Native-centered movies that deal with Indigenous history and culture.
Older than America simultaneously works to promote healing as
well as addresses difficult but underrepresented history, while
Imprint only uses Native history as a plot device and does not
engage with setting, history, or trauma in effective or complex ways.
Averageness, Populism and Seriality in Robert Benchley‘s How to Short
Over the course of the 1930s, the comic persona of Algonquin humorist Robert Benchley
changed from that of a sophisticated humorist to an average man. This article
situates Benchley‘s How to short subjects for MGM (1935–44) within a broader public
preoccupation with averageness that characterised the populist political rhetoric of
New Deal-era America. In particular, it explores the function of seriality as a
discursive trope conjoining the format of Benchley‘s MGM shorts to the broader
construction of average identities in the eras political culture.
This short essay draws on research undertaken by the curator of the Scottish Screen
Archive on the few surviving films credited to Greens Film Service of Glasgow in the
teens and twenties. The research revealed a dynamic family business, born out of the
travelling cinematograph shows of the late nineteenth century, growing to assume a
dominant role in the Scottish cinema trade in the silent era, across exhibition,
distribution and production. One small part of a lost film history waiting for
rediscovery – early cinema in Scotland.
This article examines the role of automobility in the Greek cinema of the 1960s. It focuses on the representations of the automobile’s domestication in selected films. Particular attention is paid to the technical and symbolic reconstruction of space and the redefinition of socioeconomic and gender stereotypes. The article’s conclusions concern the role of the automobile in a specific period within Greek film history, as well as its place within cinema in general and in the theoretical and material construction of what is perceived as ‘modernity’.
Rethinking the Familiar in Steven Soderbergh‘s The Limey
This article complicates the notion that Steven Soderbergh‘s films are simply a
refashioning of familiar materials, as evidenced by his ongoing appropriation of
classical Hollywood and the European art cinema. Through a close analysis of The
Limey (1999), this essay argues that Soderbergh‘s film interrogates the idea of
familiarity, as such, beginning with the perceptual experience that it generates for
viewers. With reference to Victor Shklovsky‘s notion of defamiliarization as well as
Martin Heidegger‘s formulation of temporality in Being and Time, this discussion
proposes that Soderbergh‘s reiteration of the filmic past can be seen as a meaningful
event for film-critical practice that sheds new light upon issues of filmic
temporality and film history.
The one-shot sequence – the articulation of an entire scene through a
single, unbroken long take – is one of the cinema’s most important
rhetorical devices and has therefore been much used and widely theorised over
the years. This article provides a brief overview of these theories and of the
multiple ways in which the one-shot sequence has been used both in world cinema
(in general) and Italian cinema (in particular) in order to contextualise its
use by one of Italian cinema’s best-known and most significant
practitioners, Paolo Sorrentino. Through close analyses of one-shot sequences in
Sorrentino’s films L’uomo in più/One Man
Up, Le conseguenze dell’amore/The Consequences of
Love, This Is the Place and Il divo –
La vita spettacoloare di Giulio Andreotti – the article argues
that Sorrentino’s predilection for the device is best explained by the
wide variety of functions that it serves (as a mark of directorial bravura and
auteur status; as a self-reflexive device and meditation on the cinematic gaze;
as a political tool; and as a means of generating emotion). While rooted in
history, Sorrentino’s use of the one-shot sequence thus transcends its
position within Italian film history and discourse.
Leni Riefenstahl was one of filmmakings most contentious directors. The power of her
epic documentaries, Triumph of the Will (1935) and Olympia (1938), have cemented her
place in film history. More criticism has been written about Riefenstahl than any
other director, except perhaps Hitchcock and Welles. Publicity surrounding the
publication of an illustrated book marking her centenary reawakened debates about
Riefenstahl‘s career in film and her involvement with the Third Reich. In this
article, I focus on one of the key films which emerged from that relationship,
Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens), which I discussed at length in my
interview with Riefenstahl. Her recollections were sharp and I was intrigued by some
of her answers, not for what new insight they offered, but for how they reaffirmed
how she wished others to interpret her films and motivations. In particular, I was
interested in the way she considered Triumph of the Will to be a realistic portrayal
of the Nazi‘s 1934 Nuremberg Rally and the events surrounding it, and her role as a
filmmaker in shaping that representation.
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
When looking at the history of visual humanitarianism, one surprisingly realizes that filmhistory has only scarcely been covered, while scholarly interest has increased in humanitarian campaigns on digital media ( Cottle and Cooper, 2015 ). Yet, debates that emerged in the 1980s about the paradigm of distant suffering, immersion and chronotopic engagement by means of communication technologies, such as virtual reality, remain to be examined through historical patterns. In the age of mass communication, aid agencies turned very early to motion
For a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain, the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This volume of new, spellbinding essays explores their tense working relationship as well as their legacy, from crashing cymbals to the sound of The Birds. The volume brings together new work and new perspectives on the relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Featuring new essays by leading scholars of Hitchcock’s work, including Richard Allen, Charles Barr, Murray Pomerance, Sidney Gottlieb, and Jack Sullivan, the volume examines the working relationship between the pair and the contribution that Herrmann’s work brings to Hitchcock’s idiom. Examining key works, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Marnie and Vertigo, the collection explores approaches to sound, music, collaborative authorship and the distinctive contribution that Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock brought to this body of films. Partners in Suspense examines the significance, meanings, histories and enduring legacies of one of film history’s most important partnerships. By engaging with the collaborative work of Hitchcock and Herrmann, the essays in the collection examine the ways in which film directors and composers collaborate, how this collaboration is experienced in the film text, and the ways such a partnership inspires later work.
This book considers Marcel Carne's films within the broader social and political context. It reinvestigates Carné's highly contested position within French film history, and in particular how his films relate to major moments of French cinema such as poetic realism, the tradition of quality and the French new wave. The period from the late 1920s to the end of the 1930s was crucial in Marcel Carné's career: he entered the French film industry, made films now considered his masterpieces, and achieved significant box-office success. The book reflects on the main developments in his career, from his early work as a journalist, amateur filmmaker, and assistant director, to his production of his first feature films, Jenny and Drôle de drame. It also discusses his contributions to poetic realism at the end of the decade, Le Quai des brumes, Hôtel du Nord, and Le Jour se lève. The book also re-examines how Carné fitted into both popular and artistic French cinematic traditions, and his identity as a 'populist filmmaker', an area that has not received sufficient analysis. Redressing the neglect of Carné's postwar work, it highlights its value in bringing about greater understanding of Carné's cinema per se, but also its relationship with broader social, political and cinematic contexts. The book also focuses on charting the main developments that led towards the production of these films, and explains what was specific to Carné's own particular inflection of poetic realist cinema.