Retrovisions : Reinventing the Past in Film and Fiction

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The contributors to Retrovisions consider what happens to history in the movies. Focusing on films and texts from the 1950s to the 1990s, the contributors argue that the past has always come to us by way of previous texts and culturally bounded aesthetic categories, and that history films - to the despair of historians - have always taken a 'postmodern' approach to their subject, seeing the past as a dynamic resource for exciting stories and poetic, morally uplifting untruths. Why do certain decades appeal at certain times? And what does the renewal of interest in narrative history reveal about our culture at the start of the new millennium?

The authors address the variety of ways in which history can be used, refashioned and made over to reflect current concerns - and how history films from the past can be reinterrogated to learn what they tell us about their own times. The films discussed include Elizabeth, Shakespeare in Love, Culloden, The Avengers, Titus, and several adaptations of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, including Cruel Intentions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 166.1 x 215.9 x 11.9mm | 267.62g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 074531578X
  • 9780745315782

About Deborah Cartmell

Deborah Cartmell is a Principal Lecturer in English at De Montfort University; I.Q. Hunter is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at De Montfort; Imelda Whelehan is a Principal Lecturer in English and Women's Studies at De Montfort.
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Table of contents

Notes on Contributors

1. Introduction: Retrovisions: Historical Make-overs in Film and Literature

Deborah Cartmell and I.Q Hunter

2. 'No Man's Elizabeth': The Virgin Queen in Recent Films

Renee Pigeon

3. Shakespeare in Love and the End(s) of History

Elizabeth Klett

4. Reflections on Sex, Shakespeare and Nostalgia in Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night

Maria F. Magro and Mark Douglas

5. Black Rams Tupping White Ewes: Race vs. Gender in the Final Scene of Five Othellos

Pascale Aebischer

6. Cool Intentions: Looking back to the literary classic and other attempts to legitimise the teenpic's 'chick flick'

Sarah Neely

7. Mrs Brown's Mourning and Mr King's Madness: Royal Crisis on Screen

Kara McKechnie

8. Peter Watkins' Culloden and the alternative form in historical filmmaking Nicholas J. Cull

9. The Grandfathers' War Re-Imagining World War I in British Novels and Films of the 1990s

Barbara Korte

10. `Charm, Bowler, Umbrella, Leather Boots': Remaking The Avengers

Stephen Longstaffe

11. Forbidden Planet and the retrospective attribution of intentions

Judith Buchanan

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