British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

New books in December

This is a roundup of new print publications available from this December. For details on how to order these titles, please click on the book covers or the links to the respective publishers.


British Film Culture of the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure
Edited by Sue Harper and Justin Smith
(Edinburgh University Press) 336 pages
ISBN: 978-0748640782 (Hardback), Price: £65

This volume draws a map of British film culture in the 1970s and provides a wide-ranging history of the period. It examines the cross-cultural relationship between British cinema and other media, including popular music and television. The analysis covers mainstream and experimental film cultures, identifying their production contexts and the economic, legislative and censorship constraints on British cinema throughout the decade. The essays in Part I contextualise the study and illustrate the diversity of 1970s moving image culture. In Part II, Sue Harper and Justin Smith examine how gender relations and social space were addressed in film. They show how a shared visual manner and performance style characterises this fragmented cinema, and how irony and anxiety suffuse the whole film culture. This volume charts the shifting boundaries of permission in 1970s film culture and changes in audience taste. Contributors include: Dave Allen, Sian Barber, Peri Bradley, Laurie N. Ede, Laurel Forster, Vincent Porter and Sally Shaw. This book is the culmination of an AHRC-funded project at the University of Portsmouth. For more information about ‘1970s British Cinema, Film and Video: Mainstream and Counter-Culture’ (2006-2009) please visit the project website at

About the Editors: Professor Sue Harper is Emeritus Professor – Film History at the University of Portsmouth and is co-author of British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference with Vincent Porter (Oxford University Press, 2003). Justin Smith is a Principal Lecturer and Subject Leader for Film Studies at the University of Portsmouth and author of Withnail and Us: Cult Films and Film Cults in British Cinema, 1968-86 (I. B. Tauris, 2010).


The Celluloid Madonna: From Sculpture to Screen
By Catherine O’Brien
(Columbia University Press), 224 pages
ISBN: 978-1906660277 (Paperback), £17.50; ISBN: 978-1906660284 (Hardback), £52.50

The first book to analyze the life of the Virgin Mary on screen from the silent era through to the present. For decades, Mary has caught the imagination of filmmakers from a range of religious backgrounds, whether Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Marxist, or atheist, and film’s intersection of theology and secular culture has inspired some of the most singular and controversial visions of this icon in cinema history. Focusing on the challenge of adapting Scripture to the screen, this volume discusses Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings (1927), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth (1977), Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail Mary (1984), Jean Delannoy’s Mary of Nazareth (1994), Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), Catherine Hardwicke’s The Nativity Story (2006), and Mark Dornford-May’s Son of Man (2006).

About the Author: Catherine O’Brien is senior lecturer in film studies and French at Kingston University in the U.K. She has published widely on the intersections between Marian theology and secular culture.


Gothic Science Fiction: 1980-2010
Edited by Sara Wasson and Emily Alder
(Liverpool University Press), 219 pages
ISBN: 978-1846317071 (Hardback), Price: £65.00

The essays in this collection examine interpretations across genre, form, and discipline, as well as revealing a buoyant field of research in contemporary Gothic and science fiction studies. The collection ranges across narrative media – in the form of literature, film, graphic novels, trading card games – and across genre – in the form of horror, science fiction, Gothic, New Weird and more. Bringing together distinguished contributors, the essays explore questions of genre, medical science, gender, biopower, capitalism, with Gothic science fiction texts understood as uniquely inflected for their time and place. Contributors include: Roger Luckhurst, Fred Botting, Aris Mousoutzanis, Laurence Davies, Gwyneth Peaty, Mark P. Williams, Jerrilyn McGregory, Nickianne Moody and Laura Hilton.

About the Editors: Sara Wasson is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Culture, Senior Teaching Fellow, and Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Culture, Media and Society degree at Edinburgh Napier University and is the author of Urban Gothic of the Second World War: Dark London (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Dr Emily Alder is a lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University and is Assistant Editor for Gothic Studies, the journal of the International Gothic Association.


Hollywood and Intimacy: Style, Moments, Magnificence
By Steven Peacock
(Palgrave Macmillan), 184 pages
ISBN: 978-0230354500 (Hardback), Price: £50

Hollywood and Intimacy provides a rare critical appreciation of close relationships in the modern American movie. Films considered include The Age of Innocence (1993), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), The Insider (1999), and The Straight Story (1999). Offering a new perspective on contemporary Hollywood, the book considers the intimate relationships that exist between characters, their surroundings, and points of film style. Through close and evocative readings, the book counters typical claims for contemporary Hollywood’s large-scale indulgence and forwards a fresh approach to understanding the big American film.

About the Author: Steven Peacock is Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Hertfordshire and is the author of Colour (Manchester University Press, 2010) and editor of Reading 24: TV Against the Clock (I B Tauris, 2007).

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