Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Medieval Film

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Medieval Film

Article excerpt

Medieval Film, ed. Anke Bernau and Bettina Bildhauer (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009). x + 241 pp. ISBN 978-0-7190-7702-9. £5 5. 00/184.9 5. The introduction to this essay collection identifies the book's purpose as to characterize medieval film rather than to collect studies on individual films dealing with the Middle Ages. This introduction devotes itself chiefly to discussing possible meanings of the term 'medieval film' and ultimately relates medieval films to their challenges to chronology, citing several relevant examples of temporal disruption. The other chapters in this collection similarly analyse medieval film in theoretical terms and illustrate the arguments with concrete examples. A chapter by Sarah Salih, for example, first discusses the paradox in the relationship between cinematic visual details intended as authenticating factors and the visual signifiers that mediate 'medievalness' to viewers before examining the contrasting uses of medieval art objects in two medieval films to assess their contribution to the films' overall authenticity effects. Other chapters fill out the theoretical characterization of medieval film by discussing the role of translation, the interplay of imagination and history in Italian films, a theory of medieval film music, the encrypted allegorical use of medieval objects (the Bayeux Tapestry), medieval film's relationship with film genres (film noir, period film), and, again, chronology (in particular, film theory's foundation in medievalism). …

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