Add a gurgling moan with the sound of dragging feet and a smell of decay and what do you get? Better not find out. The zombie has roamed with dead-eyed menace from its beginnings in obscure folklore and superstition to global status today, the star of films such as 28 Days Later, World War Z, and the outrageously successful comic book, TV series, and video game—The Walking Dead. In this brain-gripping history, Roger Luckhurst traces the permutations of the zombie through our culture and imaginations, examining the undead’s ability to remain defiantly alive. Luckhurst follows a trail that leads from the nineteenth-century Caribbean, through American pulp fiction of the 1920s, to the middle of the twentieth century, when zombies swarmed comic books and movie screens. From there he follows the zombie around the world, tracing the vectors of its infectious global spread from France to Australia, Brazil to Japan. Stitching together materials from anthropology, folklore, travel writings, colonial histories, popular literature and cinema, medical history, and cultural theory, Zombies is the definitive short introduction to these restless pulp monsters.
THE ITALIAN CINEMA BOOK is an essential guide to the most important historical, aesthetic and cultural aspects of Italian cinema, from 1895 to the present day. With contributions from 39 leading international scholars, the book is structured around six chronologically organised sections: THE SILENT ERA (1895–22) THE BIRTH OF THE TALKIES AND THE FASCIST ERA (1922–45) POSTWAR CINEMATIC CULTURE (1945–59) THE GOLDEN AGE OF ITALIAN CINEMA (1960–80) AN AGE OF CRISIS, TRANSITION AND CONSOLIDATION (1981 TO THE PRESENT) NEW DIRECTIONS IN CRITICAL APPROACHES TO ITALIAN CINEMA Acutely aware of the contemporary 'rethinking' of Italian cinema history, Peter Bondanella has brought together a diverse range of essays which represent the cutting edge of Italian film theory and criticism. This provocative collection will provide the film student, scholar or enthusiast with a comprehensive understanding of the major developments in what might be called twentieth-century Italy's greatest and most original art form.
The vampire and the zombie, the two most popular incarnations of the undead, are brought together for a forensic critical investigation in Screening the Undead. Both have a long history in popular fiction, film, television, comics and games; the vampire also remains central to popular culture today, from literary 'paranormal romance' to cult TV and movie franchises - by turns romantic, tortured, grotesque, countercultural, a goth icon or lonely outsider. The zombie can shamble or, nowadays, sprint with alarming velocity, and even dance. It frequently lends itself to metaphor and can stand in for fascism or ecological disaster, but is perhaps most frequently a harbinger and instrument of the apocalypse. Leading writers on Horror and cult media consider the sexy vampire and the grotesque zombie, as well as hybrid figures who do not fit neatly into either category. These are examined across a range of contexts, from the Swedish vampire to the Afro-American Blacula, from the lesbian vampire to the gay zombie, from the Spanish Knights Templar riding skeletal horses to dancing Japanese zombies. Screening the Undead sheds new light on these two icons of terror - and desire - whose popular longevity has taken them 'Beyond Life'.
This collection addresses the significant cultural phenomenon of the 'zombie renaissance' – the growing importance of zombie texts and zombie cultural practices in popular culture. The chapters examine zombie culture across a range of media and practices including films games, music, social media, literature and fandom.
From Jack the Ripper to Frankenstein, Halloween customs to Alexander McQueen collections, Fashioning Horror examines how terror is fashioned visually, symbolically, and materially through fashion and costume, in literature, film, and real life. With a series of case studies that range from sensationalist cinema and Slasher films to true crime and nineteenth-century literature, the volume investigates the central importance of clothing to the horror genre, and broadens our understanding of both material and popular culture. Arguing that dress is fundamental to our understanding of character and setting within horror, the chapters also reveal how the grotesque and horrific is at the center of fashion itself, with its potential for instability, disguise, and carnivalesque subversion. Packed with original research, and bringing together a range of international scholars, the book is the first to thoroughly examine the aesthetics of terror and the role of fashion in the construction of horror.
Documentary as Exorcism is an interdisciplinary study that builds upon the insights of postcolonial studies, critical race theory, theological and religious studies and media and film studies to showcase the role of documentary film as a system of signifying capable of registering complex theological ideas while pursuing the authentic aims of documentary filmmaking. Robert Beckford marries the concepts of 'theology as visual practice' and 'theology as political engagement' to develop a new mode of documentary filmmaking that embeds emancipation from oppression in its aesthetic. In various documentaries made for Channel 4 and the BBC, Beckford narrates the complicit relationship of Christianity with European expansion, slavery, and colonialism as a historic manifestation of evil. In light of the cannibalistic practices of colonialism that devoured black life, and the church's role in the subjugation and theological legitimation of black bodies, Beckford characterises this form of historic Christian faith as 'colonial Christianity' and its malevolent or 'occult' practices as a form of 'bewitchment' that must be 'exorcised'. He identifies and exorcises the evil practices of colonialism and their present impact upon African Caribbean Christian communities in Britain in films such as Britain's Slave Trade and Empire Pays Back through a deliberate process of encoding/decoding. The emancipatory impact of this form of documentary filmmaking is demonstrated by its ability to bring issues such as reparations to the public square for debate, and its capacity to change a corporation's trade policies for the good of Africans.
Author: Stevie Simkin
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs ignited fierce debate among censors, critics and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic on its release in 1971. When Amy (Susan George) returns to her home village with her American peacenik husband David (Dustin Hoffman), the residents of this tight-knit Cornish community slowly turn on them. The sexual tension and latent violence finally erupt in an explosion of violence that includes a rape scene that has remained controversial to this day. The film was heavily cut for theatrical release in the US, and the pressinspired furore in the UK led to several local councils cutting or banning it outright. Later, caught in the wake of the 'video nasties' panic of the 1980s, Straw Dogs was refused a home-video certificate in the UK for nearly twenty years. Stevie Simkin's study sheds light on the film's treatment by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and tracks its subsequent tortuous journey towards home-video release, buffeted by various shifts in the BBFC's policy on representations of sexual violence. But, equally importantly, Simkin provides a highly original accountof themaking of the film, drawing on extensive research in Peckinpah's archive, including analysis of draft scripts, notes, memos and contemporary press items, as well as insights from a number of Peckinpah's associates, and key figures at the BBFC. 'A swift, compelling read. Thorough and scholarly without the faintest whiff of academic stuffiness, Stevie Simkin's study of Straw Dogs summons up the turmoil of the 1960s and 70s and illuminates the highly charged subject of sexual violence on film.' Stephen Farber, Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter Stevie Simkin is Reader in Drama and Film at the University of Winchester, UK. He is the author of, among other works, Revenge Tragedy: A New Casebook (2001), Early Modern Tragedy and the Cinema of Violence (2005), and, also in the Controversies series, a volume on Basic Instinct (forthcoming, 2013).
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.
Arguing for the need to understand Gothic cinema as an aesthetic mode, this book explores its long history, from its transitional origins in phantasmagoria shows and the first ‘trick’ films to its postmodern fragmentation in the Gothic pastiches of Tim Burton. But what is Gothic cinema? Is the iconography of the Gothic film equivalent to that of the horror genre? Are the literary origins of the Gothic what solidified its aesthetics? And exactly what cultural roles does the Gothic continue to perform for us today? Gothic Cinema covers topics such as the chiaroscuro experiments of early German cinema, the monster cinema of the 1930s, the explained supernatural of the old dark house mystery films of the 1920s and the Female Gothics of the 1940s, the use of vibrant colours in the period Gothics of the late 1950s, the European exploitation booms of the 1960s and 1970s, and the animated films and Gothic superheroes that dominate present times. Throughout, Aldana Reyes makes a strong case for a medium-specific and more intuitive approach to the Gothic on screen that acknowledges its position within wider film industries with their own sets of financial pressures and priorities. This groundbreaking book is the first thorough chronological, transhistorical and transnational study of Gothic cinema, ideal for both new and seasoned scholars, as well as those with a wider interest in the Gothic.