Editor’s Picks

Winter 2021

Barbara Klinger, Pre-cult: Casablanca, radio adaptation, and transmedia in the 1940s

Excerpt: “For decades during Hollywood’s classic era, the film industry and the emergent rival medium of radio used licensing arrangements for film content – a type of inter-industry cooperation that produced the textual migration and altered narrative elements characteristic of transmedia storytelling. Radio versions of films offer only one instance of intertextuality in an older context of convergence and transmedia. However, by studying them as something more than deficient copies of an original or simple transfers of content between media, they help us to explore the role new media played in circulation and hence in a text’s continued vitality. Radio gave Casablanca a second life as an audio entity prior to its cult apotheosis – a divine status to which I now briefly turn.” Read the full article here

Antonio Lázaro-Reboll, Daring cycles: the Towers–Franco collaboration, 1968–70

Excerpt: “The commercial and cultural specificities of the series and related cycles go beyond histories of British, Spanish, European, or American cinema – as mass culture products, the Fu Manchu collaborations were distributed globally and reached international audiences. When Fu Manchu addresses his band of female assassins in the opening moments of The Blood of Fu Manchu, the film self-reflexively signals the cosmopolitan reach of this particular film and the series as a whole: ‘Each of you has a destination: Rome, Berlin, New York, Tokyo, to the ends of the Earth.’ The alliance of Towers and Franco opens up complex questions about the history and the geography of low-genre productions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film and cultural historian is confronted with the often confused history of their output – as individual films, series, and cycles overlap, and as patterns of distribution respond to the particular indigenous requirements of national film industries.” Read the full article here

David Stevens, Redford and Streisand: The Shifting Star Persona in 1970s Hollywood

Excerpt: “The breakdown of the Production Code could also explain the change in taste in female stars. Though some actresses would seem to belong to a bygone studio era, figures like Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde and The Thomas Crown Affair [1968] or Katharine Ross in The Graduate and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [1969] represent a more modern woman, retaining a sense of classical beauty but exuding a more liberated sexuality and sometimes, a propensity for violence. Streisand appears to possess both the traditional appeal of a star (in her singing voice) and a modern appeal in her ordinariness, vulgarity, self-deprecation and zany humour.” Read the full article here

Emily D. Ferrigno, The Dark Side: representing science fiction in drum ‘n’ bass

Excerpt: “[T]he sheer ‘new’ feeling that dark drum & bass experienced in the 90s, as ragga styles took a backseat to raw sounds and terrifying synth patches and effects, almost begged the pairing of sci-fi samples … the chilling and eerie soundscapes used in intros sound even more ominous when paired with the right vocal sample, especially from a horror or sci-fi movie. Borgs from Star Trek, stormtroopers from Star Wars, laser gun blasts, explosions … they all fit drum ’n’ bass more than any other genre.” Read the full article here