Film Studies is a refereed journal that approaches cinema and the moving image from within the fields of critical, conceptual and historical scholarship. The aim is to provide a forum for the interdisciplinary, intercultural and intermedial study of film by publishing innovative research of the highest quality. Contributions from diverse perspectives that are formed by the crossing of institutional and national boundaries are encouraged.
Repetition, Innovation, and Hollywood‘s Hit Film Formula
This article explores the rise of the Hollywood sequel in the 1970s and 1980s, analysing contemporary industrial and popular discourses surrounding the sequel, sequelisation, and film seriality. Drawing on recent sequel scholarship as well as a wide range of film examples and paratexts it examines how industry insiders, trade papers, and film critics tried to make sense of the burgeoning sequel trend. The ensuing discourses and cultural practices, this article argues, not only shaped the contexts of sequel production and reception at the time but also played into the movies‘ serialisation strategies and their increasingly self-referential manoeuvres.
Film and Digital Media
This article looks at contemporary film scholarship in order to address one of the disciplines pressing questions: the place of cinema in a context of rapid technological change. Rather than simply focus on technology, however, the article calls for a broad set of criteria to define what counts as cinema today. In particular, it revisits the concept of expanded cinema and treats filmmaking as an event that combines the contexts of production and reception. Finally, the article insists on the relevance of film studies as a field that will continue to lead the debate on moving image media.
Swedish Sex Education in 1970s London
In 1974 the British Board of Film Censors refused to grant a certificate to the Swedish documentary More About the Language of Love (Mera ur Kärlekens språk, 1970, Torgny Wickman, Sweden: Swedish Film Production), due to its explicit sexual content. Nevertheless, the Greater London Council granted the film an ‘X’ certificate so that it could be shown legally in cinemas throughout the capital. This article details the trial against the cinema manager and owners, after the film was seized by police under the charge of obscenity, and explores the impact on British arguments around film censorship, revealing a range of attitudes towards sex and pornography. Drawing on archival records of the trial, the widespread press coverage as well as participants’ subsequent reflections, the article builds upon Elisabet Björklund’s work on Swedish sex education films and Eric Schaefer’s scholarship on Sweden’s ‘sexy nation’ reputation to argue that the Swedish films’ transnational distribution complicated tensions between educational and exploitative intentions in a particularly British culture war over censorship.
This article focuses on a cycle of late 1960s true crime films depicting topical mass/serial murders. It argues that the conjoined ethical and aesthetic approaches of these films were shaped within and by a complex climate of contestation as they moved from newspaper headlines to best-sellers lists to cinema screens. While this cycle was central to critical debates about screen violence during this key moment of institutional, regulatory and aesthetic transition, they have been almost entirely neglected or, at best, misunderstood. Meeting at the intersection of, and therefore falling between the gaps, of scholarship on the Gothic horror revival and New Hollywood’s violent revisionism, this cycle reversed the generational critical divisions that instigated a new era in filmmaking and criticism. Adopting a historical reception studies approach, this article challenges dominant understandings of the depiction and reception of violence and horror in this defining period.
The stardom of Catherine Deneuve
Edited by: Lisa Downing and Sue Harris
Few screen icons have provoked as much commentary, speculation and adulation as the 'she' of this plaudit, Catherine Deneuve. This book begins with a brief overview of Deneuve's career, followed by a critical survey of the field of theoretical star studies, highlighting its potential and limitations for European, and particularly French, film scholarship. It argues the need for the single-star case study as a model for understanding the multiple signifying elements of transnational stardom. Her first role, at the age of 13, was a brief appearance as a schoolgirl in André Hunebelle's Collégiennes/The Twilight Girls. It was in 1965 that Roman Polanski would cast Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion, described by one critic as a 'one-woman show' in a role that would effectively create a persona which would resonate throughout her future film career. The darker shades of the Deneuve persona are in even greater evidence in Tristana. Demy's Donkey Skin is arguably an equal source of the tale's iconic status in France today, and largely because of Deneuve. The book also investigates films of the 1970s; their role in shaping her star persona and the ways in which they position Deneuve in relation to French political culture. The book considers exactly why directors gravitate towards Deneuve when trying to evoke or represent forms of female homosexual activity on film, and to consider exactly what such directors actually make Deneuve do and mean once they have her performing these particular forms of lesbian relation.
Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire
Edited by: Keith Jeffery
The notion that the British Empire was in any way an 'Irish Empire' is not one that will cut very much ice on the contemporary island of Ireland, north or south. This volume explores aspects of the experience of Ireland and Irish people within the British Empire and addresses a central concern of modern Irish scholarship. The paradox that Ireland was both 'imperial' and 'colonial' lies at the heart of this book. One of the themes which emerges from the studies in this book is the irrelevance of the Empire to some Irish concerns. Popular culture, sport and film are investigated, as well as business history and the military and political 'sinews of Empire'. In cinematic terms, the image of Ireland has been largely in the hands of the British and American film industries. Analogies between Ulster loyalists and zealous British settlers are frequently drawn. The book examines the views of that region's businessmen on the British Empire, including their perception of Empire, the role of Empire as an economic unit and views the status of Northern Ireland within the Empire. The eventual choice of both flags illustrates that pre-partition strands of both loyalism and Unionism continued to survive among leading politicians within Ulster during the 1920s. The British Empire Union of 1915, established to make the Irish more Empire-minded, included the energetic promotion of imperial history in schools and of the idea of Empire Day within the population as a whole.
Silence, historical memory and metaphor
Maria M. Delgado
from hepatitis, writes Vero love letters. Vero’s husband liaises with family and friends in the town to ensure that all traces of the accident – her visit to the hospital, damage to the car, her stay at the hotel – are removed. The child is discovered, presumed drowned, in the canal. Transnational cinema and historical memory Recent scholarship on transnational
Timing The Birth of a Nation
As well as causing political controversy from the moment of its release, D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915) was hailed as a milestone in cinema history. Endorsed on a political level by President Woodrow Wilson – whose scholarship on the American Civil War was explicitly referenced in the film’s intertitles – it was also praised by film critics and viewers
they attempt to challenge. Are studies of memory and trauma attempts to produce a better world? If so do they rely on the very narrative or continuous time they purport to destabilise? What I do in this chapter is explore what this means, both for my own argument and for the activity of memory studies and international politics scholarship more generally. I use Chris Marker’s film La Jetée as a prompt to examine how notions of time are linked to particular ideas of politics and political futures.5 I explore how these notions of time can be examined in terms of Eric