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Author: Sue Harris

Whether one 'likes' his work or not, Bertrand Blier is undisputably an important and influential presence in modern French film-making. For those who would understand the nature and function of popular French culture, it has now become impossible to ignore his work. Blier's career began in 1957 as an assistant stagiaire, as it was still relatively conventional in the French film-making tradition. This book hopes to be able to start formulating some answers to the puzzle that is Blier's work. The aim is to identify strategies for finding one's way through a body of work, which has disconcerted spectators, to identify some reference points that the curious spectator can use as a map to navigate through Blier's preferred themes and stylistic techniques. One way of understanding the system of dramatic cohesion that unifies the action of Blier's films is to read it in terms of an 'absurdist' conception. The comic momentum of Blier's films relies on the elaboration of a system of images which might be termed 'festive-ludic' or 'anarchocomic'. His deliberate attempt to go beyond the conventional limits of gender representation is as important example of the many processes of narrative subversion. Discussions reveal that the key tropes around which Blier's work is structured point to an engagement with a tradition of popular discourse, translated into both content and form, which finds an echo in the wider cultural apparatus of the post-1968 period and which is all the more significant for its location in mainstream visual culture.

Adam O’Brien

An important theme in current studies of environmental representation is the inadequacy of many narratological and stylistic techniques for registering ecological complexity. This article argues that, in the case of cinema, water constitutes an especially vivid example of an allusive natural subject, and it examines the means by which one film, The Bay (Barry Levinson, 2012), manages to confront that challenge. It pays particular attention to The Bay’s treatment of animal life, and its acknowledgement of water’s infrastructural currency. The article draws on the writings of ecocritical literary theorist Timothy Morton and media historian and theorist John Durham Peters.

Film Studies
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Sue Harris

identify strategies for finding one’s way through a body of work which has disconcerted spectators, critics and academics alike, and to identify some reference points which the curious spectator can use as a map to navigate through Blier’s preferred themes and stylistic techniques. By reappraising some of the received wisdom about the director’s work, and identifying a counter-cultural context in which his work might profitably be read, it

in Bertrand Blier
K. J. Donnelly

solo section of the song, the promo changes mode to show a rapid selection of TV news images in smaller frames within the screen. In stylistic terms, Even Better than the Real Thing is a remarkable visual accompaniment to U2’s song, utilising a vast range of stylistic techniques in pursuit of informational overload. Blondie’s Eat to the Beat (1979) was publicised as the ‘first video album’, released as an object with images as well as a music disc. In the next decade, the British group The The released the album Infected (1986), with purposemade videos, as a ‘video

in Experimental British television
Daniel Featley, anti-Catholic controversialist abroad
Hugh Adlington

possibly alluding here, as a metaphor for rhetorical ‘flourishing’, to a stylistic technique in ancient Roman art in which a billowing garment is used to frame the body (P. Rehak, Imperium and Cosmos: Augustus and the Northern Campus Martius, ed. J. G. Younger (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), p. 111). 2 I. Donaldson, Ben Jonson: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 299; R. Coronato, ‘Was it just an anecdote? Ben Jonson and the eucharist, Paris 1612’, Ben Jonson Journal, 4 (1997), 35–46; W. D. Kay, Ben Jonson: A Literary Life

in Chaplains in early modern England
The Last of England and The Garden
Alexandra Parsons

home movies are noticeably thematically and stylistically different from the rest of the film, presenting generic characters and amateur stylistic techniques that indicate that they should be immediately read as home movies. As Jarman gives no context that might immediately and definitively situate the participants in the film within an understanding of his life on first watching, Jarman creates what Justin Wyatt terms a ‘“generic” home movie’. 28 And indeed this is what we read from the family sequences at first

in Luminous presence
Homer B. Pettey

such hidden vices as the plagiarism of a foreign aesthetic, the illusion that forms can be innocent, the acceptance of an individual mythology based on a classless humanism, and an exaggerated reliance on questionable stylistic technique’. 33 Left-leaning critics in America and in Europe questioned ‘the effectiveness of using such “bourgeois” Hollywood genre conventions for a consciously political cinema’. 34 Obviously not having read Vassilikos's novel or having much knowledge of the Lambrakis assassination, Lawrence Loewinger derided Z as ‘an old

in The films of Costa-Gavras
Mark Bould

humanism, and an exaggerated reliance on questionable stylistic techniques’. 5 The conventions borrowed from Hollywood – primarily, the displacement of social realities on to the terrain of individual psychology, the focus on surfaces and interpersonal relations rather than deeper economic and political frameworks – tend to overwhelm whatever political content might be injected into the thriller form. Terrified of embodiment, Hennebelle moralises that the Z movies should ‘be condemned’ not because of their ‘reliance on facile techniques’ but for the determination with

in The films of Costa-Gavras
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Unpacking the political satire in Veep
Michael P. Young

ends up laughing at the popular American desire for facile solutions to complex problems in the twenty-first century. I will draw out three moments from Veep that evince how it shifts between simple comedy and complex political satire. Of the television programmes that we can categorise as political satires, Veep is the only one with a female lead, at least in the US. Other programmes which use some of the same stylistic techniques – the dialogue generally occurring in private, if hysterical and exasperated, tones, and shot in close-ups and

in Complexity / simplicity
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Abbott as writer, producer and creator
Beth Johnson

John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (2005: 125) argue, ‘as we do in our everyday lives, when we watch [television] we have to rely on accumulated experience of ourselves and others to intuit what might lie behind what we see and hear’, it is also important to map the semantic fields of the televisual, considering the inspirations of repeated themes, narrative structures and stylistic techniques employed. The originality of Abbott’s televisual auteurism is, in this work, to be associated with what John Caughie (2000: 127) refers to as ‘the primacy attached to art as an

in Paul Abbott