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Jonathan Rayner

The AFC genre The role of these films as quasi-official representatives of, rather than representations of, the nation did endow the industry with cultural and political legitimacy during those early difficult years. The institutional commitment to the cultural flagship may well have cushioned film producers from some of the commercial consequences of their judgements at a time when the commercial consequences were particularly harsh … [period films] possessed attributes which were the reverse of those

in Contemporary Australian cinema
Andrew Higson

the arguments I have developed elsewhere about period films with British connections. 1 I work from the perspectives of film studies rather than medieval studies (so, for instance, when I refer to the epic, it is the epic film genre rather than the literary genre that I have in mind). As a film historian I am more interested in historical specificity than grand theory, and seek to examine textuality

in Medieval film
An introduction
Editor: Jonathan Rayner

This book offers introductory readings of some of the well-known and less well-known feature productions coming out of Australia since the revival in the national film industry at the end of the 1960s. The interpretations of the texts and the careers of their makers are considered in relation to the emergence of an indigenous film culture and the construction of national identity. The majority of the films examined in the book have had theatrical or video releases in the UK. The independent development of several indigenous film genres has been an important feature of recent production, and helped to punctuate and bracket the streams of feature production that have evolved since 1970. These Australian genres have been identified and evaluated (the Australian Gothic, the period film, the male ensemble film) and are worthy of consideration both in their own right and in their intersection with other conventionalised forms. These include science fiction, fantasy and horror in comparison with the Gothic, the heritage film and literary adaptation in connection with the period film, and the war film and rite of passage in relation to the male ensemble. More recently, an aesthetic and thematic trend has emerged in the examples of Strictly Ballroom, The Adventures of Priscilla, and Muriel's Wedding, which foregrounds elements of the camp, the kitsch and the retrospective idolisation of 1970s Glamour. Such chronological, stylistic and thematic groupings are important in the interpretation of national filmmaking.

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Jonathan Rayner

examination of media history reveals that no country in the Western world, other than the US, has sustained a film and television industry without some sort of regulation or other measures designed to support it. 2 6 Celia However, assistance was seen to rely increasingly on approval of cultural value, irrespective of artistic worth or true representativeness. The reception and encouragement of the period film cycle has been taken as evidence of a

in Contemporary Australian cinema
Australian films in the 1990s
Jonathan Rayner

questing within a country supposedly his own but over which he can exert little control, emerges as a key characteristic of Australian film narratives across the Gothic, period film and male ensemble cycles of the 1970s and ’80s. From the 1980s into the ’90s, features foregrounding the rite of passage have forsaken the parabolic, historic settings of the First World War and the aestheticism of the period film to concentrate on the prosaic or unremarkable dilemmas of adolescents and immature adults. John Duigan’s films

in Contemporary Australian cinema
Abstract only

Medieval film' forces us into a double-take on chronology. This book argues that such a playful confusion of temporalities is a fundamental characteristic not just of the term but also of medieval films themselves. Medieval films reflect on the fact that they make present a past that was never filmable and offer alternatives to chronological conceptions of time. The book examines the contrasting uses, or non-uses, of medieval art objects in two medieval films and assesses how they contribute to the films' overall authenticity-effects. It makes tentative contribution to a list of such characteristics: that the fragmented visual profile of the medieval makes medieval authenticity-effects particularly troublesome to produce. The reliance of film theory on medievalism has never been acknowledged by film scholars. The book shows the ways in which preconceived notions of the Middle Ages filtered into and were influenced by film theory throughout the twentieth century; and to what extent film theory relies on knowledge about the Middle Ages for its basic principles. It explores to what extent medieval film engages with questions of language, and to what extent these engagements may be distinctive. Cinematic medievalism participated in and drew on a wider cultural and political preoccupation with the Middle Ages. Romanticism posited the Middle Ages as an alternative, utopian realm promising creative and political possibility. The book argues that certain films with medieval themes and settings, mostly dating from the 1940s to the 1960s, demonstrate a surprising affinity with the themes and techniques associated with film noir.

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Martin O’Shaughnessy

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. Produced with a range of different collaborators, in widely varying circumstances and production contexts, Jean Renoir's work must be located in a world undergoing massive and often traumatic change, one rent by competing ideologies and war. Rather than seeking some impossible synthesis, it is better to trace its evolution, identifying periods of relative consistency and crucial turning points that gave it a new direction. The silent period films are interesting for their technical innovation and visual inventiveness. The early 1930s are dominated by adaptations of novels and boulevard theatre and take from them a critique of the bourgeoisie that is at times gentle and at times acerbic but always inwardlooking. Some of Renoir's Hollywood output explores tensions in American mythology to a limited degree without ever subverting it (Swamp Water, The Southerner).

in Jean Renoir
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Steven Gerrard and Robert Shail

With his chiselled features, mock-cockney mid-Atlantic accent, toned physique and steely gaze, Jason Statham has a right to the title of Britain’s current leading male movie star. From growing up as the son of a market stallholder, becoming a competing member of Britain’s National Diving Squad at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, and selling perfume on a street corner in London, Statham has risen through the ranks of supporting roles to become a global film star in his own right.

His career has been varied. He has been a model, pop video Adonis, bit-part actor, cameo actor and now mainstream film star. He has charisma, and a screen presence that demanded he could be a star, to become a recognisable and bankable box office name, making the leap into Hollywood blockbuster action movies.

In an era when British actors have come to represent the villains in comic book franchises, donned costume in period films and reflected Britain’s collapsing social structure in gritty dramas, Statham remains Statham: tough, sardonic and chisel-jawed. By placing the actor into his context, this edited collection will examine the phenomenon that is Jason Statham. The introduction sets the tone for this investigation into the Statham-phenomenon.

in Crank it up
Jonathan Rayner

in collective comprehension) and consensual acceptance (consenting to the group identity) of the images of nationality conveyed. However, within this apparent homogeneity of representation and interpretation, certain significant divergences are discernible. As with the period films, the perception of orthodoxy and conservatism is belied by the texts’ formal challenges or ironic tone. Distinctions emerge between the treatments of past and contemporary events and societies, and between the beliefs associated with

in Contemporary Australian cinema
Finding meaning and identity in the rural Australian landscape
Jonathan Rayner

aesthetic and narrative development of indigenous film genres – such as the period film and the Gothic – and through such conventionalisation it has been instrumental in the revision and reformulation of Australian-ness. Landscape and validation The most formally and politically conservative conceptualisations of the Australian landscape on film are found within male-dominated and

in Cinematic countrysides