Abstract only

Series:

Jeffrey Richards

The Second World War was a radio war. Radio in wartime was informational and inspirational. It provided news, entertainment, propaganda. Three notable British films derived their titles from recurrent phrases in the news bulletins: One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing, The Next of Kin and Fires Were Started. Two of the memorable radio voices of the war were the novelist and playwright J. B. Priestley and Quentin Reynolds. The Lion Has Wings was made by Alexander Korda in six weeks flat, following the outbreak of the war. Dangerous Moonlight, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and scripted by Terence Young, was a classic romantic melodrama in which a Polish concert pianist falls in love with and marries an American millionaire's daughter. Radio had a role to play too during the Cold War, in two films in which God intervenes in the modern world directly.

Abstract only

Series:

Heather Walton

Early works of feminist criticism celebrated the discovery of this remarkable spiritual legacy and demonstrates how the spiritual radicalism of women's creative writing posed a direct challenge to the conventions of domestic piety usually deemed appropriate to women. For this reason women authors often found it necessary to dissemble and communicate their audacious visions in the language of the family hearth and schoolroom. This chapter explores the ways in which Carol Christ and Alicia Ostriker have presented women's literature as the voice of woman. It examines the work of Alicia Ostriker, whose approach to literature is paired with Christ's since both women are united in their characterisation of women's literature as representing distinctively female experiences and apprehensions of the divine. In the work of Ostriker the terms 'literature' and 'theology' lose much of their currency and are supplanted by references to male and female traditions.

Abstract only

Series:

Jeffrey Richards

Everyone has heard of Tarzan, the white man raised by apes in the African jungle who became a legendary warrior and fought for good against evil. However the Tarzan of the MGM films differed in many respects from the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes and developed in twenty-five subsequent books. MGM's Tarzan was a monosyllabic noble savage of indeterminate origin, living in a tree house with a pet chimpanzee and eventually mating with Jane Parker, the daughter of an English trader. So popular was the character of Tarzan with young readers that an organization was set up to cater for them in 1916. The Tribes of Tarzan (later the Tarzan Clans) was rather similar to the Boy Scouts, whose junior branch, the Wolf Cubs, was directly modelled on The Jungle Book.

Abstract only

Series:

Stuart Hanson

This chapter documents the developments in the 1960s and 1970s which saw the decline of British cinema, and the lessons learnt from the success of American cinema industry. The decline in fortunes of the cinema throughout the 1960s and 1970s took place in the context of dramatic changes in British society. The period is one in which cinema exhibitors sought to distinguish the silver screen from the television screen as a plethora of technological advancements were marketed, such as stereophonic sound and special widescreen formats, notably CinemaScope. The end of the 1970s saw the emergence of the video cassette recorder for the home television as well as the conditions created for the development of a new kind of multi-screen cinema, pioneered in the USA. The development of the shopping centre heralded the introduction of new cinemas and chains that took their aesthetic inspiration from the malls themselves.

Abstract only

Series:

Jeffrey Richards

There are few more prosaic settings than a radio studio, usually an anonymous-looking room with table, chairs, curtains and control panel. The best cinematic depiction of radio studios in action can be found in the documentary film BBC, The Voice of Britain , commissioned by the BBC from the GPO Film Unit. The ubiquity of radio was such that established literary classics could be reworked to accommodate the radio age. One of the more unlikely broadcasting crazes in both the United Kingdom and the United States was the spelling bee. Spelling contests with instant prizes, they were all the rage in the United States in 1937 and came to the United Kingdom in 1938. Paramount cashed in on the desire of radio audiences to see their favourites in the flesh with a series of what were in effect musical revues, the Big Broadcast series.

Abstract only

Series:

Heather Walton

This chapter examines how the threat of poststructuralism has been constructed in feminist thinking and what is at stake in exploring another way of reading texts. The encounter of feminists within the Anglo/American tradition with post-structuralist theory is marked by a series of important publications which introduced the work of so-called 'French feminists' to an audience unfamiliar with the theoretical debates taking place in France. With a strong tradition of political activism, religious feminists have been particularly uncomfortable about anything that appears to threaten commitment to the political real. Robert Detweiler, David Jasper and others appear to point a possible way forward for religious feminists who are seeking to consider, alongside reading strategies which have proved creative in the past, new ways of reading which keeps us open to change.

Abstract only

Postscript

Reading Elizabeth Smart

Series:

Heather Walton

The topics addressed in Elizabeth Smart's texts seem intensely personal and apolitical, and her privileged social status cannot provide her with the credentials that would justify the interest of feminist readers eager to reclaim marginalised women's voices. Since Elizabeth Smart constructed most of her work from material first written in her journals, it is helpful to present a brief chronological account of her life as an aid to understand her texts. Smart's final work is In the Meantime. When narratives of everyday life are presented in Smart's work they are crushed into crystal. Smart intersects her narrator's voice with those of other women who live common, blasted but glorious lives. These resonances heighten the effect of her testimony. The chapter shows how Smart adopts various authorial locations in order to explore themes rarely expressed in male-centred culture.

Abstract only

Series:

Stuart Hanson

This chapter deals with the period after 1913, in particular that of the late 1920s of British cinema industry as it was a time of dramatic developments and the establishment of several features of the industry. It covers the establishment of the British Board of Film Censors in 1913, and the cinemas in First World War when the government instigated several organizations whose role it was in the first years of the war to produce propaganda targeted at those outside the country. The chapter also discusses the development of large cinema circuits and the development of cinema construction from the small, single-floored and simple buildings into the prototypes of the 'super cinemas' of the 1930s. The War and the associated conflicts in Europe saw the hegemony of Hollywood established and consolidated in the post-war period. The 1920s ended with a momentous technological advance, the development of synchronised sound.

Abstract only

Series:

Heather Walton

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book begins by interrogating the relations between literature and theology as they are presented in contemporary theological thinking. Both feminist politics and post-structuralist theory have alerted us to the disruptive potential of the repressed feminine partner within the binary system which characterises Western culture. There is instability in the coupling of literature and theology, which reflects a changing social and symbolic order. The book highlights a number of issues that will characterise feminist religious reading. The most important of these is a re-evaluation of the significance of literary texts and their power to challenge theological thinking. The book serves as an open invitation for other women to bring many differing perspectives to their theological engagements with literature.

Abstract only

Series:

Stuart Hanson

By the early 1980s, Britain was viewed as a market in which the domestic exhibition sector was in terminal decline, while at the same time being a market in which films from the USA were both popular and dominant. This chapter discusses the development of the multiplex cinemas in Britain from the mid 1980s to the present. The opening of Britain's first multiplex cinema called "The Point" in 1985 heralded a new kind of cinema. The building of new cinemas, initially on the edges and latterly in the centre of Britain's towns and cities, was the result of changes in economic, political and cultural policies precipitated by both the apparent triumph of laissez-faire capitalism and the hegemony of the Hollywood film. Multiplexes built new audiences, the over 35-age group. The chapter also looks at the impact of multiplex cinemas on the cinema-going audience and the cinema industry.