Search results for: b-is-for-bad-cinema

B Is for Bad Cinema

Author : Claire Perkins
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Considers films that lurk on the boundaries of acceptability in taste, style, and politics. B Is for Bad Cinema continues and extends, but does not limit itself to, the trends in film scholarship that have made cult and exploitation films and other “low” genres increasingly acceptable objects for critical analysis. Springing from discussions of taste and value in film, these original essays mark out the broad contours of “bad”—that is, aesthetically, morally, or commercially disreputable—cinema. While some of the essays share a kinship with recent discussions of B movies and cult films, they do not describe a single aesthetic category or represent a single methodology or critical agenda, but variously approach bad cinema in terms of aesthetics, politics, and cultural value. The volume covers a range of issues, from the aesthetic and industrial mechanics of low-budget production through the terrain of audience responses and cinematic affect, and on to the broader moral and ethical implications of the material. As a result, B Is for Bad Cinema takes an interest in a variety of film examples—overblown Hollywood blockbusters, faux pornographic works, and European art house films—to consider those that lurk on the boundaries of acceptability.

Flaming Creatures

Author : Constantine Verevis
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Banned soon after its first midnight screenings, the prints seized and the organizers arrested, Jack Smith’s incendiary Flaming Creatures (1963) quickly became a cause célèbre of the New York underground. Championed and defended by Jonas Mekas and Susan Sontag, among others, the film wildly and gleefully transgresses nearly every norm of Hollywood morality and aesthetics. In a surreal and visually dense series of episodes, the titular “creatures” reenact scenes drawn from the collective cinematic unconscious, playing on mainstream film culture’s moral code in a way that is at once a love letter to classical Hollywood and a searing send-up of its absurdities. Tracing the film’s production and reception history, Constantine Verevis argues that it embodies a unique type of cinematic rewriting, one that combines Smith’s multifaceted artistic work with exotic fragments drawn from the cinematic past. This study of Smith’s magnum opus explores its status as a cult film that appropriates the visual texture, erotic nuance, and overt fabrication of old Hollywood exoticism.

The Many Lives of The Evil Dead

Author : Ron Riekki
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One of the top-grossing independent films of all time, The Evil Dead (1981) sparked a worldwide cult following, resulting in sequels, remakes, musicals, comic books, conventions, video games and a television series. Examining the legacy of one of the all-time great horror films, this collection of new essays covers the franchise from a range of perspectives. Topics include The Evil Dead as punk rock cinema, the Deadites' (demon-possessed undead) place in the American zombie tradition, the powers and limitations of Deadites, evil as affect, and the films' satire of neoliberal individualism.

Horror Franchise Cinema

Author : Mark McKenna
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This book explores horror film franchising from a broad range of interdisciplinary perspectives and considers the horror film’s role in the history of franchising and serial fiction. Comprising 12 chapters written by established and emerging scholars in the field, Horror Franchise Cinema redresses critical neglect toward horror film franchising by discussing the forces and factors governing its development across historical and contemporary terrain while also examining text and reception practices. Offering an introduction to the history of horror franchising, the chapters also examine key texts including Universal Studio monster films, Blumhouse production films, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, I Spit on Your Grave, Let the Right One In, Italian zombie films, anthology films, and virtual reality. A significant contribution to studies of horror cinema and film/media franchising from the 1930s to the present day, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of film studies, media and cultural studies, franchise studies, political economy, audience/reception studies, horror studies, fan studies, genre studies, production cultures, and film histories.

Brechtian Cinemas

Author : Nenad Jovanovic
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Explores the influence of Bertolt Brecht’s ideas on the practice and study of cinema. In Brechtian Cinemas, Nenad Jovanovic uses examples from select major filmmakers to delineate the variety of ways in which Bertolt Brecht’s concept of epic/dialectic theatre has been adopted and deployed in international cinema. Jovanovic critically engages Brecht’s ideas and their most influential interpretations in film studies, from apparatus theory in the 1970s to the presently dominant cognitivist approach. He then examines a broad body of films, including Brecht’s own Mysteries of a Hairdressing Salon (1923) and Kuhle Wampe (1932), Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s History Lessons (1972), Peter Watkins’s La Commune (2000), and Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (2013). Jovanovic argues that the role of montage—a principal source of artistic estrangement (Verfremdung) in earlier Brechtian films—has diminished as a result of the technique’s conventionalization by today’s Hollywood and related industries. Operating as primary agents of Verfremdung in contemporary films inspired by Brecht’s view of the world and the arts, Jovanovic claims, are conventions borrowed from the main medium of his expression, theatre. Drawing upon a vast number of sources and disciplines that include cultural, film, literature, and theatre studies, Brechtian Cinemas demonstrates a continued and broad relevance of Brecht for the practice and understanding of cinema. “This book opens up one of the most vaguely and often ill employed terms within film theory for extremely detailed discussion, providing the most thorough analysis of Brechtianism available to film scholars. It will become a standard reference.” — R. Barton Palmer, coeditor of Invented Lives, Imagined Communities: The Biopic and American National Identity

The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema

Author : Ernest Mathijs
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The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema offers an overview of the field of cult cinema – films at the margin of popular culture and art that have received exceptional cultural visibility and status mostly because they break rules, offend, and challenge understandings of achievement (some are so bad they’re good, others so good they remain inaccessible). Cult cinema is no longer only comprised of the midnight movie or the extreme genre film. Its range has widened and the issues it broaches have become battlegrounds in cultural debates that typify the first quarter of the twenty-first century. Sections are introduced with the major theoretical frameworks, philosophical inspirations, and methodologies for studying cult films, with individual chapters excavating the most salient criticism of how the field impacts cultural discourse at large. Case studies include the worst films ever; exploitation films; genre cinema; multiple media formats cult cinema is expressed through; issues of cultural, national, and gender representations; elements of the production culture of cult cinema; and, throughout, aspects of the aesthetics of cult cinema – its genre, style, look, impact, and ability to yank viewers out of their comfort zones. The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema goes beyond the traditional scope of Anglophone and North American cinema by including case studies of East and South Asia, continental Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, making it an innovative and important resource for researchers and students alike.

Cult Film as a Guide to Life

Author : I.Q. Hunter
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Cult Film as a Guide to Life investigates the world and experience of cult films, from well-loved classics to the worst movies ever made. Including comprehensive studies of cult phenomena such as trash films, exploitation versions, cult adaptations, and case studies of movies as different as Showgirls, Room 237 and The Lord of the G-Strings, this lively, provocative and original book shows why cult films may just be the perfect guide to making sense of the contemporary world. Using his expertise in two fields, I.Q. Hunter also explores the important overlap between cult film and adaptation studies. He argues that adaptation studies could learn a great deal from cult and fan studies about the importance of audiences' emotional investment not only in texts but also in the relationships between them, and how such bonds of caring are structured over time. The book's emergent theme is cult film as lived experience. With reference mostly to American cinema, Hunter explores how cultists, with their powerful emotional investment in films, care for them over time and across numerous intertexts in relationships of memory, nostalgia and anticipation.

Film and Domestic Space

Author : Baschiera Stefano Baschiera
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Although film and media studies have widely engaged with the different aspects of social space, domestic space in film has rarely been studied in its multiple dimensions. Drawing on a broad range of theoretical disciplines - and with case studies of directors such as Chantal Akerman, Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, Todd Haynes, Amos Gitai, Martin Ritt, John Ford, Ila Beka and Louise Lemoine - this book goes beyond the representational approach to the analysis of domestic space in cinema, in order to look at it as a dispositif. Adopting this innovative two-fold approach that couples representation and dispositif, the home is studied as an architecture, as the place that embodies, defines and perpetuates the family history, as the milieu of gender and generational struggle, as well as the first site where manifestations of power unfold. All chapters contribute to explore, unpack the complexities and expand on the richness encapsulated in the notion of domesticity and dwelling in its fascinating relation to moving images.

Populism and Its Limits

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Populism and Its Limits is a response to the evaluative and celebratory approaches to populism in social sciences and humanities. It seeks to study the phenomenon of populism, thoroughly consider its limits and, if possible, proposes ways out to other kinds of commitment in life, living and politics. It aims to formulate responses that take on the spurious and non-dialectical dissociation between thought and action, intellect and emotion, the people and the elite.

A Companion to American Indie Film

Author : Geoff King
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A Companion to American Indie Film features a comprehensive collection of newly commissioned essays that represent a state-of-the-art resource for understanding key aspects of the field of indie films produced in the United States. Takes a comprehensive and fresh new look at the topic of American indie film Features newly commissioned essays from top film experts and emerging scholars that represent the state-of-the-art reference to the indie film field Topics covered include: indie film culture; key historical moments and movements in indie film history; relationships between indie film and other indie media; and issues including class, gender, regional identity and stardom in in the indie field Includes studies of many types of indie films and film genres, along with various filmmakers and performers that have come to define the field

Locating the Voice in Film

Author : Lecturer in Film and Hispanic Studies Tom Whittaker
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Where is the place of the voice in film? Where others have focused on Hollywood film, this volume aims to extend the field to other cinemas from around the world, encompassing Latin America, Asia and Africa amongst others. Traditional theoretical accounts, based on classical narrative cinema, examine the importance of the voice in terms of a desired perfect match between visuals and sonic effects. But, as the chapters of this volume illustrate, what is normative in one film industry may not apply in another. The widespread practices of dubbing, postsynch sound and "playback singing" in some countries, for instance, provide an alternative means of understanding the location of the voice in the soundtrack. Through seventeen original chapters, this volume situates the voice in film across a range of diverse national, transnational and cultural contexts, presenting readings which challenge traditional readings of the voice in film in exciting new ways. By taking a comparative view, this volume posits that the voice may be best understood as a mobile object, one whose trajectory follows a broader network of global flows. The various chapters explore the cultural transformations the voice undergoes as it moves from one industry to another. In doing so, the volume addresses sound practices which have been long been neglected, such as dubbing and non-synch sound, as well the ways in which sound technologies have shaped nationally specific styles of vocal performance. In addressing the place of the voice in film, the book intends to nuance existing theoretical writing on the voice while applying these critical insights in a global context.

A Companion to Australian Cinema

Author : Felicity Collins
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The first comprehensive volume of original essays on Australian screen culture in the twenty-first century. A Companion to Australian Cinema is an anthology of original essays by new and established authors on the contemporary state and future directions of a well-established national cinema. A timely intervention that challenges and expands the idea of cinema, this book brings into sharp focus those facets of Australian cinema that have endured, evolved and emerged in the twenty-first century. The essays address six thematically-organized propositions – that Australian cinema is an Indigenous screen culture, an international cinema, a minor transnational imaginary, an enduring auteur-genre-landscape tradition, a televisual industry and a multiplatform ecology. Offering fresh critical perspectives and extending previous scholarship, case studies range from The Lego Movie, Mad Max, and Australian stars in Hollywood, to transnational co-productions, YouTube channels, transmedia and nature-cam documentaries. New research on trends – such as the convergence of television and film, digital transformations of screen production and the shifting roles of women on and off-screen – highlight how established precedents have been influenced by new realities beyond both cinema and the national. Written in an accessible style that does not require knowledge of cinema studies or Australian studies Presents original research on Australian actors, such as Cate Blanchett and Chris Hemsworth, their training, branding, and path from Australia to Hollywood Explores the films and filmmakers of the Blak Wave and their challenge to Australian settler-colonial history and white identity Expands the critical definition of cinema to include YouTube channels, transmedia documentaries, multiplatform changescapes and cinematic remix Introduces readers to founding texts in Australian screen studies A Companion to Australian Cinema is an ideal introductory text for teachers and students in areas including film and media studies, cultural and gender studies, and Australian history and politics, as well as a valuable resource for educators and other professionals in the humanities and creative arts.

Positioning Art Cinema

Author : Geoff King
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Art cinema occupies a space in the film landscape that is accorded a particular kind of value. From films that claim the status of harsh realism to others which embody aspects of the tradition of modernism or the poetic, art cinema encompasses a variety of work from across the globe. But how is art cinema positioned in the film marketplace, or by critics and in academic analysis? Exactly what kinds of cultural value are attributed to films of this type and how can this be explained? This book offers a unique analysis of how such processes work, including the broader cultural basis of the appeal of art cinema to particular audiences. Geoff King argues that there is no single definition of art cinema, but a number of distinct and recurrent tendencies are identified. At one end of the spectrum are films accorded the most 'heavyweight' status, offering the greatest challenges to viewers. Others mix aspects of art cinema with more accessible dimensions such as uses of popular genre frameworks and 'exploitation' elements involving explicit sex and violence. Including case studies of key figures such as Michael Haneke, Pedro Almodóvar and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, this is a crucial contribution to understanding both art cinema itself and the discourses through which its value is established.

American Australian Cinema

Author : Adrian Danks
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This edited collection assesses the complex historical and contemporary relationships between US and Australian cinema by tapping directly into discussions of national cinema, transnationalism and global Hollywood. While most equivalent studies aim to define national cinema as independent from or in competition with Hollywood, this collection explores a more porous set of relationships through the varied production, distribution and exhibition associations between Australia and the US. To explore this idea, the book investigates the influence that Australia has had on US cinema through the exportation of its stars, directors and other production personnel to Hollywood, while also charting the sustained influence of US cinema on Australia over the last hundred years. It takes two key points in time—the 1920s and 1930s and the last twenty years—to explore how particular patterns of localism, nationalism, colonialism, transnationalism and globalisation have shaped its course over the last century. The contributors re-examine the concept and definition of Australian cinema in regard to a range of local, international and global practices and trends that blur neat categorisations of national cinema. Although this concentration on US production, or influence, is particularly acute in relation to developments such as the opening of international film studios in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast over the last thirty years, the book also examines a range of Hollywood financed and/or conceived films shot in Australia since the 1920s.

Making Sense of Cinema

Author : CarrieLynn D. Reinhard
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There are a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to researching how film spectators make sense of film texts, from the film text itself, the psychological traits and sociocultural group memberships of the viewer, or even the location and surroundings of the viewer. However, we can only understand the agency of film spectators in situations of film spectatorship by studying actual spectators' interactions with specific film texts in specific contexts of engagement. Making Sense of Cinema: Empirical Studies into Film Spectators and Spectatorship uses a number of empirical approaches (ethnography, focus groups, interviews, historical, qualitative experiment and physiological experiment) to consider how the film spectator makes sense of the text itself or the ways in which the text fits into his or her everyday life. With case studies ranging from preoccupations of queer and ageing men in Spanish and French cinema and comparative eye-tracking studies based on the two completely different soundscapes of Monsters Inc. and Saving Private Ryan to cult fanbase of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and attachment theory to its fictional characters, Making Sense of Cinema aligns this subset of film studies with the larger fields of media reception studies, allowing for dialogue with the broader audience and reception studies field.

The Art of Pure Cinema

Author : Bruce Isaacs
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In a now-famous interview with François Truffaut in 1962, Alfred Hitchcock described his masterpiece Rear Window (1954) as "the purest expression of a cinematic idea." But what, precisely, did Hitchcock mean by pure cinema? Was pure cinema a function of mise en scène, or composition within the frame? Was it a function of montage, "of pieces of film assembled"? This notion of pure cinema has intrigued and perplexed critics, theorists, and filmmakers alike in the decades following this discussion. And even across his 40-year career, Hitchcock's own ideas about pure cinema remained mired in a lack of detail, clarity, and analytical precision. The Art of Pure Cinema is the first book-length study to examine the historical foundations and stylistic mechanics of pure cinema. Author Bruce Isaacs explores the potential of a philosophical and artistic approach most explicitly demonstrated by Hitchcock in his later films, beginning with Hitchcock's contact with the European avant-garde film movement in the mid-1920s. Tracing the evolution of a philosophy of pure cinema across Hitchcock's most experimental works - Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, and Frenzy - Isaacs rereads these works in a new and vital context. In addition to this historical account, the book presents the first examination of pure cinema as an integrated stylistics of mise en scène, montage, and sound design. The films of so-called Hitchcockian imitators like Mario Bava, Dario Argento, and Brian De Palma are also examined in light of a provocative claim: that the art of pure cinema is only fully realized after Hitchcock.

Howard Hawks

Author : Ian Brookes
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Leading international scholars consider the films and legacy of Howard Hawks. Diverse contributions consider Hawks' work in relation to issues of gender, genre and relationships between the sexes, discuss key films including Rio Bravo, The Big Sleep and Red River, and address Hawks' visual style and the importance of musicality in his film-making.

Race and the Suburbs in American Film

Author : Merrill Schleier
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Explores how suburban space and the body are racialized in American film. This book is the first anthology to explore the connection between race and the suburbs in American cinema from the end of World War II to the present. It builds upon the explosion of interest in the suburbs in film, television, and fiction in the last fifteen years, concentrating exclusively on the relationship of race to the built environment. Suburb films began as a cycle in response to both America's changing urban geography and the re-segregation of its domestic spaces in the postwar era, which excluded African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinx from the suburbs while buttressing whiteness. By defying traditional categories and chronologies in cinema studies, the contributors explore the myriad ways suburban spaces and racialized bodies in film mediate each other. Race and the Suburbs in American Film is a stimulating resource for considering the manner in which race is foundational to architecture and urban geography, which is reflected, promoted, and challenged in cinematic representations. Merrill Schleier is Professor Emeritus of Art and Architectural History and Film Studies at the University of the Pacific. They are the author of Skyscraper Cinema: Architecture and Gender in American Film.

Transnational Film Remakes

Author : Iain Robert Smith
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What happens when a film is remade in another national context? How do notions of translation, adaptation and localisation help us understand the cultural dynamics of these shifts, and in what ways does a transnational perspective offer us a deeper understanding of film remaking? Bringing together a range of international scholars, Transnational Film Remakes is the first edited collection to specifically focus on the phenomenon of cross-cultural remakes. Using a variety of case studies, from Hong Kong remakes of Japanese cinema to Bollywood remakes of Australian television, this book provides an analysis of cinematic remaking that moves beyond Hollywood to address the truly global nature of this phenomenon. Looking at iconic contemporary titles such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Oldboy, as well as classics like La Bete Humaine and La Chienne, this book interrogates the fluid and dynamic ways in which texts are adapted and reworked across national borders to provide a distinctive new model for understanding these global cultural borrowings.

Cycles Sequels Spin offs Remakes and Reboots

Author : Amanda Ann Klein
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With sequels, prequels, remakes, spin-offs, or copies of successful films or franchises dominating film and television production, it sometimes seems as if Hollywood is incapable of making an original film or TV show. These textual pluralities or multiplicities—while loved by fans who flock to them in droves—tend to be dismissed by critics and scholars as markers of the death of high culture. Cycles, Sequels, Spin-offs, Remakes, and Reboots takes the opposite view, surveying a wide range of international media multiplicities for the first time to elucidate their importance for audiences, industrial practices, and popular culture. The essays in this volume offer a broad picture of the ways in which cinema and television have used multiplicities to streamline the production process, and to capitalize on and exploit viewer interest in previously successful and/or sensational story properties. An impressive lineup of established and emerging scholars talk seriously about forms of multiplicity that are rarely discussed as such, including direct-to-DVD films made in Nigeria, cross-cultural Japanese horror remakes, YouTube fan-generated trailer mash-ups, and 1970s animal revenge films. They show how considering the particular bonds that tie texts to one another allows us to understand more about the audiences for these texts and why they crave a version of the same story (or character or subject) over and over again. These findings demonstrate that, far from being lowbrow art, multiplicities are actually doing important cultural work that is very worthy of serious study.