Academic journal article Notes

Film Matters

Academic journal article Notes

Film Matters

Article excerpt

NEW TITLES Film Matters. Edited by Liza Palmer and Tim Palmer. Intellect, Ltd. Quarterly. Volume 1, issue 1 (2010). ISSN 2042-1869. Print and online format (PDF). Access: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view- Journal,id=187/. Subscription or inquiries: Turpin Distribution, The Bleachery, 143 West Street, New Milford, CT 06776. E-mail: turpinna@turpin-distribution.com. $33 individuals (print); $99 institutions (print and online); $60 institutions (online only).

Among the ever-burgeoning field of new journals in film studies comes one that fills a much-needed niche: Film Matters (published by Intellect, Bristol, U.K.) is purportedly the first peer-reviewed journal of film studies for undergraduate college authors. In the introduction to the inaugural issue, co-editors Tim and Liza Palmer (University of North Carolina-Wilmington) state that the mission of the journal is to provide a format for undergraduate writers interested in film studies, while also featuring interesting articles on films outside of the popular Hollywood cinema mainstream.

The articles and review of this issue deliver on the editors' promise. The first issue of the journal contains three well-written articles focusing on social implications of some rather obscure (by Hollywood standards) films. Carolyn Lake (Flinders University, South Australia) speculates on how popular film can construct history for its viewers-whether real or imagined. She provides a close reading of Baz Luhr - mann's Australia and how the film resonates with Australian audiences. The film proves a particularly interesting case, given the fanciful nature of many of Luhrmann's films (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet).

The two other articles provide case studies of films whose themes react against the dominant ideology of American Hollywood cinema. Brian Ford (University of Michigan) examines the dilemma of promulgating social change through commercial cinema, especially films constructed in a "third world Hollywood" production model that attempt to operate within the strictures of the Hollywood popular narrative film. He enumerates the irregularity of audience impact in three South African anti-apartheid films, Cry Freedom (Richard Attenborough), A World Apart (Chris Menges), and A Dry White Season (Euzhan Palcy). Finally, Jamie Marie Wagner (Dennison University) describes how the pre-World War II pessimism of the 1938 French classic Quai des Brumes runs counter to the prevailing optimism of American narrative cinema at the time, eschewing this optimism by refusing "to answer arbitrarily the questions it raises for the sake of narrative clarity or social conservatism. …

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