Adrian Scott and the Politics of Anti-Fascism in Cornered
Drawing on internal studio correspondence, multiple screenplay drafts and the final
film, this essay reconstructs the production history of Cornered to explore the ways
in which Scott both compromised with and challenged the studios expectations and
interventions. I argue that although Ceplair and Englund are correct in their
assessment that studio meddling shaped the films political content in significant
ways, Scotts complex negotiations during the films production ensured that Cornered
remained a powerfully anti-fascist film.
Creating an Inclusive Film Industry through Reclaiming The Frame
In this interview with Mia Bays (Birds’ Eye View), we discuss the recent Reclaim The Frame project, a UK-wide touring programme that showcases female-directed or -scripted films, usually new or recent releases. The interview explores the idea that this kind of curation is a necessary feminist intervention in the contemporary British cinema circuit, one that offers audiences agency and acknowledges that initiatives in film production alone are not sufficient to shift structural inequalities in the film industry. The piece begins with some contextual detail before turning to my discussion with Bays.
Technologies of Surveillance, Knowledge and Power in Paramount Budget
William Thomas McClain
Film production at Paramount Pictures during the so-called classical era required the
mobilisation of massive material and human capital that depended on institutional
systems of surveillance, knowledge creation and control ranging from departmental
affiliations to the pre-printed budget forms. This article focuses on those
pre-printed budget forms as technologies of knowledge and power, revealing that the
necessities of creating and managing coalitions of expert labourers created
alternative power centres and spaces where being the object of surveillance was
itself a source of power. It concludes by discussing the implications of this ecology
for the historiography of Hollywood.
The outsourcing of film shoots has long been adopted by US producers to cut costs and
improve box-office performance. According to the academic literature, outsourcing is
exploited mainly for low- and middle-budget films, but this article aims to
demonstrate that blockbusters are also migrating towards other states and countries
to take part in an even more competitive film location market. It investigates 165
blockbusters released between 2003 and 2013. The collected data show that blockbuster
shoots are not an exclusive to California, but are re-drawing the map of film
production in favour of an even more polycentric and polyglot audiovisual
In 1974 the British Board of Film Censors refused to grant a certificate to the
Swedish documentary More About the Language of Love
(Mera ur Kärlekens språk, 1970, Torgny Wickman,
Sweden: Swedish Film Production), due to its explicit sexual content.
Nevertheless, the Greater London Council granted the film an ‘X’
certificate so that it could be shown legally in cinemas throughout the capital.
This article details the trial against the cinema manager and owners, after the
film was seized by police under the charge of obscenity, and explores the impact
on British arguments around film censorship, revealing a range of attitudes
towards sex and pornography. Drawing on archival records of the trial, the
widespread press coverage as well as participants’ subsequent
reflections, the article builds upon Elisabet Björklund’s work on
Swedish sex education films and Eric Schaefer’s scholarship on
Sweden’s ‘sexy nation’ reputation to argue that the Swedish
films’ transnational distribution complicated tensions between
educational and exploitative intentions in a particularly British culture war
This book on Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman contains eighteen new scholarly chapters on the director’s work, mainly in the cinema. Most of the contributors—some Swedish, others American or British—have written extensively on Bergman before, some for decades. Bergman is one of the most written-about artists in film history and his fame still lingers all over the world, as was seen in the celebrations of his centenary in 2018. The book was specifically conceived at that time with the aim of presenting fresh angles on his work, although several chapters also focus on traditional aspects of Bergman’s art, such as philosophy and psychology. Ingmar Bergman: An Enduring Legacy thus addresses a number of essential topics which have not featured in Bergman studies before, such as the director’s relations with Hollywood and transnational film production. It also deals at length with Bergman’s highly sophisticated use of film music and with his prominence as a writer of autobiographical literature, as well as with the intermedial relations to his films that this perspective inevitably entails. Finally, the book addresses Bergman’s complex relations to Swedish politics. Many different approaches and methods are employed in the book in order to show that Bergman remains a relevant and important artist. The analyses generally focus on some of his most memorable films, like Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, and Fanny and Alexander; but some rarer material, including Hour of the Wolf, The Lie, and Autumn Sonata, is discussed as well.
This book provides an introduction to French film studies. It concentrates on films which have had either a theatrical or video release in Britain, or which are available on video or DVD from France. Most avant-garde film-makers, including Germaine Dulac, were unable to continue in the 1930s, faced with the technical demands and high production costs of the sound film. Exacerbated by the Depression, and above all by the financial collapse of both Gaumont and Pathé, film production fell from 158 features the previous year to only 126 in 1934, and 115 in 1935. While poetic realism was at its height, a talismanic figure in post-war film was faced with a generally lukewarm reception from critics and audiences. Thanks largely to German finance and also to an influx of filmmakers replacing those who had departed, after 1940 French film. If 1968 marked a watershed in French cinema's engagement with politics and history 1974 did the same for representations of sexuality. In that year, pornography entered mainstream French cinema. Although film-making remains male-dominated in France as elsewhere, 'more women have taken an active part in French cinema than in any other national film industry'. A quarter of all French films made in 1981 were polars, and many of those were box-office successes. French fantasy has had a particular national outlet: the bande dessinée. The heritage film often takes its subject or source from the 'culturally respectable classicisms of literature, painting, music'.
Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón are the best-known Mexican directors internationally, yet none of them has directed a film in Mexico since 2001. This book examines the career trajectories of the directors and presents a detailed analysis of their most significant films. The three directors were lobbying for tax initiatives to stimulate filmmaking, more opportunities for the distribution and exhibition of Mexican films, and more involvement in film production from television companies. Guillermo del Toro is famous as a director of genre films. The book explores the similarities between the films generated by the authorial force of del Toro, also pointing to divergence occasioned by the very different production contexts. It also explores the auteurist strategies that he has cultivated and explains what is meant by a 'del Toro film'. Alejandro González Iñárritu has also cultivated auteurist strategies, but to a very different effect. The book examines the way in which Iñárritu adopts the language of US independent cinema, with a focus on the narrative structure and the application of a range of colour palettes. Alfonso Cuarón has also followed a transnational trajectory, making films in Mexico, the USA, and the UK, and he has had a varied career, taking on auteurist and studio projects. Despite the very different industrial context, Cuarón brought a number of artistic ideas he and his cinematographer had developed, notably the use of a green colour palette and opulent, highly decorated interiors and lush exteriors.
This study analyses Samuel Beckett's television plays in relation to the history and theory of television, arguing that they are in dialogue with innovative television traditions connected to Modernism in television, film, radio, theatre, literature and the visual arts. Using original research from BBC archives and manuscript sources, it provides new perspectives on the relationships between Beckett's television dramas and the wider television culture of Britain and Europe. The book also compares and contrasts the plays for television with Beckett's Film and broadcasts of his theatre work including the Beckett on Film season. Chapters deal with the production process of the plays, the broadcasting contexts in which they were screened, institutions and authorship, the plays' relationships with comparable programmes and films, and reaction to Beckett's screen work by audiences and critics.
By way of conclusion, we turn first of all to a text cited much earlier in this book: Peter Wollen’s ‘An Alphabet of Cinema’ (in Wollen, 2002 ). Writing very early in the twenty-first century, Wollen was prescient in making one of his alphabetical selections: ‘O’, he says, ‘is for Online’ ( 2002 : 13). He goes on to indicate that the digital will leave its imprint, if that is not too concrete a term to apply to this technology of the virtual, upon all domains and levels of film. Thus transformations will occur in filmproduction itself, since ‘Digital