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The Datchet Diamonds
Victoria Margree

5 •• Speculative society, risk and the crime thriller: The Datchet Diamonds Victoria Margree In Richard Marsh’s The Datchet Diamonds (1898), luckless stock market speculator Cyril Paxton becomes entwined in the world of gentlemancriminal Arthur Lawrence. When a chance encounter puts Paxton in possession of the Duchess of Datchet’s diamond collection, which Lawrence has procured in a daring heist, he must decide whether to push his scruples aside and risk all on one final speculation. Marsh’s decision to build a crime thriller around a plot of financial

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Alison Smith

The most frequently noticed effect of the new post-1968 climate on the French cinema was a change in the nature of the thriller. In 1968 itself (and therefore unaffected in its conception by the actual events of that year) Constantin Costa-Gavras’ Z reached the screens and found an eager audience for whom it summed up the new requirements of the time. By the end of 1969, Z had achieved an audience of 700,000 in Paris, which made it one of the biggest successes of the year and indeed of the whole decade. It proved to

in French cinema in the 1970s
Elizabeth Montes Garcés

Introduction Constantin Costa-Gavras' State of Siege (1972) 1 deals with the kidnapping, trial, and assassination of American OPS (Office of Public Safety) agent Philip Michael Santore (Yves Montand) by the MLN-Tupamaro guerrillas in Uruguay in 1970. Based on the true story of the execution of Daniel Anthony Mitrione by the Tupamaros on 10 August 1970, the film is structured as a political thriller. Costa-Gavras uses what Richard Schechner has called ‘twice-behaved behaviors’ by re-enacting historical events on the screen dealing with the US

in The films of Costa-Gavras
A Thematic Analysis of Collective Trauma and Enemy Image Construction in the 1980s American Action Film
Lennart Soberon

During the 1980s the spectre of the Vietnam War haunted the sites of cinema and popular culture in various forms. Whereas a rich body of scholarly research exists on cinematic iterations of the Vietnam war as trauma, the discursive dynamics between memory, ideology and genre in relation to enemy image construction are somewhat underdeveloped. This article utilises genre studies, conflict studies and trauma theory in analysing how the representations of film villains interact with the construction of cultural trauma and national identity. Considering the American action thriller to be an important site for processes of commemoration and memorialisation, the discursive construction and formal articulation of national trauma are theorised within the genre. Additionally, a thematic and textual analysis was conducted of a sample of forty American action thriller films. The analysis illustrates how the genre operates through a structure of violent traumatisation and heroic vindication, offering a logic built on the necessity and legitimacy of revenge against a series of enemy-others.

Film Studies
James Herbert, The Spear and ‘Nazi Gothic’
Nick Freeman

This article examines the ways in which James Herbert‘s The Spear (1978) attempted to combine nineteenth century gothic with the contemporary thriller. The novel deals with the activities of a neo-Nazi organisation, and the essay draws parallels between Herberts deployment of National Socialism and the treatment of Roman Catholicism in earlier Gothic texts. Contextualising the novel within a wider fascination with Nazism in 1970s popular culture, it also considers the ethical difficulties in applying techniques from supernatural Gothic to secular tyranny.

Gothic Studies
Adaptation, Dürrenmatt, and The Pledge
Gary Bettinson

In Sean Penn‘s crime thriller The Pledge (2000), a crucial stage of story action is determined by a purely chance event. Neither prefigured by narrative signposting nor sutured into the films system of causation, the chance event both mystifies the fictive agents and distresses audience expectation. This essay explores the issues at stake in the films reliance on chance action, arguing that its usage represents a significant risk on the part of the dramaturgist. Moreover, the essay examines the alterations that the film makes in Friedrich Dürrenmatts source novel, and considers the ways in which these alterations radically transform the effects created by the story‘s chance event.

Film Studies
Gothic Continuities, Feminism and Postfeminism in the Neo-Gothic Film
Helen Hanson

The article seeks to explore questions of fictional female victimhood by examining feminist and post-feminist critical engagements with the Gothic heroine figure. The paper traces instances of this figure in literary and filmic versions of the ‘female gothic’ narrative, focusing in particular on the female gothic film cycle of the 1940s, in films such as Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941), and the cycles recurrence in more contemporary female-addressed suspense thrillers, such as Deceived (1991), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Shadow of Doubt (1998), and What Lies Beneath (2000). The paper reveals that the neo-gothic heroine condenses key issues pertinent to shifts in feminist and post-feminist critique, such as woman-as-victim, negotiations about the meanings of femininity, and the relationship between women and domestic space.

Gothic Studies
Author:

A practical, critical and personal guide to the craft of crime writing by novelist and professor of creative writing, Henry Sutton. Drawing on exceptional experience and resource, the mystery of creating crime fiction which moves with pace and purpose, menace and motivation, is forensically and engagingly uncovered. The work of the genre’s greatest contributors, and that from many lesser known names from around the world, past and present, is explored with both practical acumen. Sutton also mines his own fiction for lessons learnt, and rules broken. Personal creative successes, struggles and surprises are candidly addressed. In nine entertaining chapters the key building blocks for crafting pertinent and characterful crime fiction, are illustrated and explained. The genre’s extraordinary dynamism, with its myriad and ever-evolving sub-genres, from the cosy to the most chilling noir, the police procedural to the geopolitical thriller, is knowingly captured. However, the individual and originality are given centre stage, while audience and inclusivity continually considered and championed. This is an essential guide for those interested in writing crime fiction that gets noticed and moves with the times, if not ahead of the times.

Abstract only

Gothic, in a sense, has always been 'queer'. This book illustrates the rich critical complexity which is involved in reading texts through queer theories. It provides a queer reading of such early Gothic romances as William Beckford's Vathek, Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk, and Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer. Building upon critical trend of desire between men, the book examines Frankenstein's engagement with sexual rhetoric in the early nineteenth century. It explores some ways in which the signifying practices of queerness are written into the language and, therefore, the signifying practices of Gothic fiction. Teleny's apparently medicalised representation of homosexual erotic love contains some strikingly Gothic elements. The book examines how the courtroom drama of the E. M. Forster's A Passage to India focuses on the monstrous possibility of miscegenation, an Indian accused of raping an Englishwoman. Antonia White's Frost in May can be contextualised to the concept of the 'lesbian Gothic', which helpfully illuminates the representation of adolescent female subjectivity and sexuality. Same-sex desire is represented indirectly through sensuous descriptions of the female body and intertextual allusions to other erotic texts. The book considers how the vampire has become an ambivalent emblem of gay sexuality in late twentieth-century Gothic fiction by examining Interview with the Vampire and Lost Souls. The understanding of the Gothic and queer theory in a pop video is achieved by considering how Michael Jackson's use of the Gothic in Thriller and Ghosts queers the temporality of childhood.

Michael Winterbottom is the most prolific and the most audacious of British filmmakers in the last twenty years. His television career began in the cutting-rooms at Thames Television, and his first directing experience was on the Thames TV documentaries, Ingmar Bergman: The Magic Lantern and Ingmar Bergman: The Director, made in 1988. Winterbottom has featured in top ten lists in Britain and his name has become a moniker of distinction in the promotion of his own films. This book articulates the ideas which have led to the name 'Michael Winterbottom' being associated with a particular body of work and, second, by turning to those factors which tend to dissipate the idea of Winterbottom as the single source of a world view and style, and to relocate his films within a constellation of directors, films and (principally European) national cinemas. It is important to acknowledge that all of his films employ realism across a variety of styles, genres and historical representations. The book focuses on Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, In This World and The Road to Guantánamo, with a brief reference to 24 Hour Party People as five very different films that have particular relationships with the historical world that they represent. It considers what Winterbottom has done with such popular genres as the road movie, the musical and the sciencefiction thriller, how far he has adapted their conventions to contemporary film practice and ideology, and whether these films, in reworking Hollywood genres, exhibit any peculiarly British inflections.