New publication: Images of Occupation in Dutch Film

The German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II left a lasting mark on Dutch memory and culture. This book is the first to explore depictions of that period in films made a generation later, between 1962 and 1986. As Dutch public opinion towards the war altered over the postwar decades, the historical trajectory of Dutch recovery and reconstruction-political, economic, and, most complicated of all, psychological-came to be revealed, often unconsciously, in the films of the period.
Wendy Burke
Dr Wendy Burke is Teaching Fellow in Culture and Media at King’s College London. Her research considers film and media from an interdisciplinary perspective and embraces film and history, culture, identity and memory, representing the past in film, and cultural legacies of war and occupation.

Very soon available – Beyond the Bridge: Contemporary Danish Television Drama

Beyond the Bridge: Contemporary Danish Television Drama
Tobias Hochscherf, Heidi Philipsen
Hardback; £69.00; London and New York: I.B.Tauris; 288 pages; ISBN: 9781784533564

Drawing worldwide acclaim from critics and audiences alike, programmes like The Killing, Borgen, The Bridge and The Legacy demonstrate widespread fascination with Danish style, aesthetics and culture as seen through television narratives. This book uses familiar, alongside lesser known, case studies of drama series to demonstrate how the particular features of Danish production – from work cultures, to storytelling techniques and trans-national cooperation – have enhanced contemporary Danish drama’s appeal both at home and abroad. The era of globalisation has blurred national and international television cultures and promoted regular cross-fertilisation between film and television industries. Important questions have emerged from this context surrounding, for example, the ‘Americanisation’ of foreign television formats, the meaning and practice behind the term ‘quality television’, and the purpose and efficacy of public service broadcasting. Beyond the Bridge tackles these issues in relation to Danish television, by examining the so-called ‘scaffolded production processes’ behind the making of quality serials and their thought-provoking content.
Drawing on popular motifs from these celebrated dramas such as foreign politics, organised crime, global warming, and the impact of multinational corporations, this timely book provides crucial insight into the Danish dramas at the forefront of sophisticated, forward-thinking, fictional television.

About the authors:
Tobias Hochscherf is Professor of Film, Radio and Television at Kiel University of Applied Sciences and the University of Flensburg, Germany. His research interests include film and television history, televisual representations of society and politics, as well as transnational media cultures. He is Associate Editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.

Heidi Philipsen is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. Her research interests focus on the creative processes and talent development within audiovisual media. Among other publications, she has written a comprehensive study of The National Film School of Denmark: The New Wave of Danish Film – Influences and Imprints from The National Film School of Denmark.

‘In Beyond the Bridge, Hochscherf and Philipsen take us on an analytical ride into the creative context of transnational success and public service channel DR. This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand a fascinating phenomenon in international TV-drama.’
– Ib Bondebjerg, University of Copenhagen

‘Integrating analysis of internationally acclaimed programmes and their reception by audiences, as well as TV production practices, this is an illuminating exploration of contemporary Danish TV drama. It tackles the key questions in current media culture about national specificity, public value and television, professional industry training and the relationship between TV and cinema in a globalised world.’
– Jonathan Bignell, University of Reading

Special issue out now: Early Film Theory Revisited: Historical Perspectives

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Overview: here
Abstract of the introduction (T. Hochscherf and K. Niemeyer)
“Early film theory is the main focus of this special issue. Revisiting it means to rethink well-known mechanisms, patterns and key personae, but also to resituate them in relation to one another by taking into consideration the historical circumstances of their genesis, publication, reception, transformation and, if applicable, their legacy. Theories, in fact, appear in certain periods and places and they do not fall from the sky, and theoretical writing and consequently theoretical content cannot be separated from their specific conditions of production and reception. If films shape or represent cultural attitudes, the same can be said about theories. They emerge within concrete and complex technological, economic, social and cultural premises.
This following article reconsiders major early film theories and theorists up to the 1950s. Yet, some of them also provide scope for more or less unknown theoretical thinkers. The themed issue does so from historical perspectives that seek to contextualise the different approaches and concepts within their environment of production and reception. Instead of accepting theoretical ideas as universal, global and timeless concepts that can be applied at will, their thematic, geographical and historical contextualisation requires more scrutiny. Given that all theories, regardless of their aim or scope, are the product of specific historical, geographical and ideological circumstances, ahistorical approaches, which tend at discretion to apply theories without acknowledging their origin or evolution to any past or contemporary film, ought thus to be questioned”.
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