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Author: Rob Stone

This account of the life and films of the Spanish-Basque filmmaker Julio Medem is the first book in English on the internationally renowned writer-director of Vacas, La ardilla roja (Red Squirrel), Tierra, Los amantes del círculo polar (Lovers of the Arctic Circle), Lucía y el sexo (Sex and Lucía), La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedra (Basque Ball) and Caótica Ana (Chaotic Ana). Initial chapters explore Medem's childhood, adolescence and education, and examine his earliest short films and critical writings against a background of a dramatically changing Spain. Later chapters provide accounts of the genesis, production and release of Medem's challenging and sensual films, which feed into analyses of their meanings, both political and personal, in which the author draws on traditions and innovations in Basque art, Spanish cinema and European philosophy to create a portrait of the director and his work.

Frank Sinatra, Postwar Liberalism and Press Paranoia
Karen McNally

Anti-Communist hysteria had a wide-ranging impact on Hollywood across the postwar period. As writers, directors and stars came under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) due to the content of their films and their political activities, careers were interrupted indefinitely and Hollywood‘s ability to promote cultural change in the new era following World War II was severely hampered. Frank Sinatra‘s heavy involvement in liberal politics during this period illustrates the problems confronting the American film industry as it attempted to address the country‘s imperfections.

Film Studies
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Jonathan Rayner

character, and proposes causal links between them (colonial experience, individuality and victimhood). Sirens : the parody of the period film Sirens (John Duigan. 1994) achieves a belated revival of many of the key features of the period film cycle, while developing the themes of its writer-director. Frequently. Duigan has been associated with film narratives detailing formative experiences and rites of passage (acting as writer-director for The Year My Voire Broke (1987). Flirting (1991) and the adaptation

in Contemporary Australian cinema
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Introducing Guillermo del Toro
Deborah Shaw

immortality, death, and morality. I explore the ways in which the writer-director applies his thesis on the importance of death to the horror genre, and examine how this subverts an understanding of death as the dark element to be feared. I go on to analyse how del Toro, through Cronos, establishes an auteurist identity, which will be developed with experience and access to larger budgets. I argue for the centrality of early horror filmmakers James Whale and Terence Fisher, and their interpretations of Dracula and Frankenstein. Finally, I consider traits which are common to

in The three amigos
The ‘screenplays’ of the New Wave auteurs
Sarah Leahy and Isabelle Vanderschelden

is worth noting that most of the monograph studies of individual films mentioned in this chapter include a section on its genesis. 3 In this chapter, we will consider the varying approaches of three writer-directors associated with the New Wave – Truffaut, Agnès Varda and Rohmer – to consider how their authorial practice extended the remit of screenwriting. We will address three sets of questions as a

in Screenwriters in French cinema
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Male homosexuality in Britain from Wolfenden to Gay Liberation

Odd Men Out is a social, cultural and political history of gay men living in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. It covers the period from the circumstances leading up to the appointment of the Wolfenden Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in 1954 to the emergence of the British Gay Liberation Front in the early 1970s. It looks at contemporary public, political and legal attitudes towards male homosexuality and gay men. It also focuses on the emergence of gay identities, the opening up and limitations of social spaces and contacts, the operation of the law, and the legal reform process up to and beyond the partial decriminalisation of adult male homosexuality in 1967. The book draws on a wealth of source material from archives, newspapers, magazines, memoirs, diaries, oral histories, interviews, television broadcasts, radio programmes, films and plays. It also includes interviews with social and political commentators, writers, directors, actors and others about their recollections and experiences during the period.

Eva Woods Peiró

This chapter locates specific instances in which writers, directors, and actors of the twenties referenced the actual object of the camera in relationship to Spanish film acting and performance. It further shows how, contrary to how Spaniards have been represented or have portrayed themselves throughout history, the phenomenology of technological mediation—in this case, acting—is deeply embedded in Spanish filmic culture. This chapter includes extensive archival work in order to analyse how Spanish critics of silent film regularly theorised on complex ideas concerning the need for actors to physically and psychologically adjust their performances to the requirements of the camera medium, the fragmentation and monotonisation of acting, and ultimately its commoditisation. It finally documents the ways in which the camera influenced acting styles and performances, and how the consciousness of cinemagoers participated in the policing, self-policing and racialization of subjects as readers of film magazines.

in Performance and Spanish film
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‘It’s not a question of ignorance, Laurence, it’s a question of taste’
Ruth Adams

Abigail’s Party, Mike Leigh’s excruciating comedy of suburban manners remains one of the writer/director’s most enduring and iconic works. The play is a claustrophobic portrayal of a nightmarish drinks party, hosted by beautician Beverly and her workaholic estate-agent husband Laurence. Guests include working-class neighbours and an older, upper-middle-class divorcee, the mother of the off-stage adolescent punk Abigail. First produced in Hampstead in April 1977, its broadcast as a BBC Play for Today in November surprisingly attracted sixteen million viewers.

Drawing on primary and secondary sources, this chapter offers a textual and sociocultural analysis of Abigail’s Party (especially its portrayals of class and taste) and of critical and popular responses to its life on stage, television and DVD. Many regard it affectionately, but some critics damn it as cruel and snobbish—a ‘Hampstead sneer’ at aspirational suburban mores. While arguments about supercilious intent and audiences may have credibility in the context of the original theatre production, how pertinent are they in understanding the immense popularity of the television version? If the play reflected little more than North London elite prejudices, would it really be enjoyed by so many?

This chapter suggests that the appeal of Abigail’s Party may partly be due to apparent similarities with television situation comedy. This claim may seem to justify criticisms that this is a play of caricatures and lazy stereotypes, but sitcom is a genre that can, at its best, offer finely drawn characters and complex, tragi-comic narratives whose large audiences relish the frisson of recognition. Arguably, therefore, it was on television that Abigail’s Party realised its democratic and critical potential.

in Screen plays
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‘I’m not done baking’
Matthew Pateman

just over 2 million for the final episode of season 4 (and struggling to reach over 5 million since season 1), has been renewed for a fifth season. ABC's and Marvel's parent company, Disney, presumably feel the franchise overall is worth the investment, and will doubtless reap lucrative benefits through syndication. Whedon, himself, has been announced as the writer, director and producer of a stand-alone Batgirl movie for DC

in Joss Whedon
Rethinking verbatim dramaturgies

Responding to the resurgence of verbatim theatre that emerged in Britain, Australia, the United States and other parts of the world in the early 1990s, this book offers one of the first sustained, critical engagements with contemporary verbatim, documentary and testimonial dramaturgies. Offering a new reading of the history of the documentary and verbatim theatre form, the book relocates verbatim and testimonial theatre away from discourses of the real and representations of reality and instead argues that these dramaturgical approaches are better understood as engagements with forms of truth-telling and witnessing. Examining a range of verbatim and testimonial plays from different parts of the world, the book develops new ways of understanding the performance of testimony and considers how dramaturgical theatre can bear witness to real events and individual and communal injustice through the re-enactment of personal testimony. Through its interrogation of different dramaturgical engagements with acts of witnessing, the book identifies certain forms of testimonial theatre that move beyond psychoanalytical accounts of trauma and reimagine testimony and witnessing as part of a decolonised project that looks beyond event-based trauma, addressing instead the experience of suffering wrought by racism and other forms of social injustice.