The volume offers a new method of interpreting screen adaptations of Shakespearean drama, focusing on the significance of cinematic genres in the analysis of films adapted from literary sources. The book’s central argument is rooted in the recognition that film genres may provide the most important context informing a film’s production, critical and popular reception. The novelty of the volume is in its use of a genre-based interpretation as an organising principle for a systematic interpretation of Shakespeare film adaptations. The book also highlights Shakespearean elements in several lesser-known films, hoping to generate new critical attention towards them. The volume is organised into six chapters, discussing films that form broad generic groups. Part I comprises three genres from the classical Hollywood era (western, melodrama and gangster noir), while Part II deals with three contemporary blockbuster genres (teen film, undead horror and the biopic). The analyses underline elements that the films have inherited from Shakespeare, while emphasising how the adapting genre leaves a more important mark on the final product than the textual source. The volume’s interdisciplinary approach means that its findings are rooted in both Shakespeare and media studies, underlining the crucial role genres play in the production and reception of literature as well as in contemporary popular visual culture.
In the introduction to Part II of the book, we have seen the significant impact of youth culture on filmmaking through the increased economic independence and purchasing power of teenagers, particularly since the 1990s. As a result, the teenfilm can be seen as the flagship genre of the new cinematic boom, and of particular interest for this volume, as a number of popular Shakespeare-based films discussed here have outperformed major Shakespeare adaptations at the box office, which in itself is a noteworthy achievement. 1 On the other hand, the critical
, the remedy is, of course, true love). This rejection of medical or scientific explanations in favour of a romantic solution is not entirely alien to supernatural teenfilms, as many young adult romances overwrite their science-fiction or fantasy narratives for the sake of this archetypal ending, for instance in the romantic fantasy Upside Down (2012, dir. Juan Diego Solanas).
As we could see, while Warm Bodies as a Shakespeare film may not merit in-depth textual analysis, it serves as a perfect example to illustrate the claim that instead of a fidelity
After the discussion of classical Hollywood genres and their appropriation of Shakespearean narratives, Part II of the volume investigates three genres that represent more recent colours on the cinematic palette. While the three genres included in these chapters – teenfilms, undead horror and biopics – are not regarded as classics of commercial cinema, it is undeniable that they also had antecedents either in the pre- or post-war decades of filmmaking. They have typically (re)gained popularity and thus significance in and around the 1990s, the great decade of
prospective customers a way to choose between films and help indicate the kind of audience for whom a particular movie was made.’ 9 Along these lines, we can find genres based on the age or gender of the target audience (e.g. teenfilm, woman’s film or chick-flick, family entertainment or children’s film); the theme, a favoured location or certain properties of the plot (e.g. horror, western, thriller); typical characters (e.g. gangster or superhero films); material qualities or cinematic technique (e.g. animation, film noir , expressionist film); or even the dominance
cinema: ‘Don’t you forget about me’
The opening of John Hughes’
1985 teenfilm The Breakfast Club begins with an on-screen quote
from the David Bowie song ‘Changes’:
children that you spit on, As they try to change their
Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain explores the relationship between classic American films about juvenile delinquency and British popular youth culture in the mid-twentieth century. The book examines the censorship, publicity and fandom surrounding such Hollywood films as The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock alongside such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Intersecting with star studies and social and cultural history, this is the first book to re-vision the stardom surrounding three extraordinarily influential Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking specifically at the meanings of these American stars to British fans, this analysis provides a logical and sustained narrative that explains how and why these Hollywood images fed into, and disrupted, British cultural life. Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain is based upon a wide range of sources including censorship records, both mainstream and trade newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts and memoirs, as well as the films themselves. The book is a timely intervention of film culture and focuses on key questions about screen violence and censorship, masculinity and transnational stardom, method acting and performance, Americanisation and popular post-war British culture. The book is essential reading for researchers, academics and students of film and social and cultural history, alongside general readers interested in the links between the media and popular youth culture in the 1950s.
using fan material from 1953,
you need to think about where it was published, who wrote it and who
may have read it. If it was published in a fan magazine devoted to the
attractions of American teenfilm stars and mainly written and consumed
by teenage girls then this material obviously relates to a very specific
audience. While valuable in helping us to understand the teenage
audience, it cannot be used to offer conclusions about 1950s audiences
as a whole. Similarly, if you are using critical reviews of a film from
British newspapers like The Times or the Guardian
Women, domesticity and the female Gothic adaptation on television
York : Routledge .
Morley , D. ( 1992 ), Television Audiences and Cultural Studies, London : Routledge .
Moseley , R. ( 2002 ), ‘ Glamorous witchcraft: gender and magic in teenfilm and television ’, Screen 43 : 4 , 403–422 .
Moseley , R. , and J. Read ( 2002 ), ‘ “Having it Ally”: popular television (post-)feminism ’, Feminist Media Studies 2 : 2 , 231–249 .
Nelson , R. ( 2001 ), ‘ Costume Drama ’, in G. Creeber (ed.), The Television Genre Book , London : BFI .
Pidduck , J. ( 1998 ), ‘ Of windows and country walks: frames
order to form a picture, just as film
is composed of shots and frames added together by the editing and the projector. The instrumental version of ‘Please Please Please . . . ’ adorns this contemplative sequence in this by and large upbeat film, offering a counterpoint to
the rather stereotypical miserabilist view of The Smiths.
The song was subsequently used in its original version during the prom
scene in another American teenfilm, Never Been Kissed (Raja Gosnell, 1999),
in which journalist Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) enrols in her old high
school as an