The contemporary study of film is dominated by narrative theory - yet films include scenes and images which do not perform a narrative task but nevertheless provoke an emotional response. Stella Hockenhull looks at the painterly dimensions inherent in the medium of film, arguing that an aesthetic analysis enables a fuller appreciation of the visual 'spectacle' of cinema. In a reading of the formal aspects in film imagery in contemporary British films spanning social realist, melodrama and horror genres, Hockenhull demonstrates how the spiritual aspects of landscape and nature mobilise a Neo-Romantic effect. She traces the influence of Romanticism and notions of the Sublime in key British films including Sweet Sixteen, The Queen, Ratcatcher, Eden Lake, 28 Days Later, My Summer of Love and The Last Great Wilderness. Operating at the intersection between film theory, art theory and aesthetics, this is a vital contribution which enables a fuller, multidimensional understanding of cinematic experience.
Stella Hockenhull is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, based at the Wolverhampton City Campus. Prior to working at Wolverhampton, she taught at Chester Art College, Liverpool University and Staffordshire University. She is the author of Neo-Romantic Landscapes: An Aesthetic Approach to the Films of Powell and Pressburger (2008).
List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Introduction: Aesthetics and Emotion: Remystifying Film Studies 1 Ruckenfigurs and Realism: from Sweet Sixteen to Better Things 2 Sublime Horror: Moorlands, Mountains and Mudflats in the 'Not Home' Setting 3 Female Landscapes: No Prospects for The Queen, the Ladies in Lavender, The Magdalene Sisters or Miss Potter 4 The Dream of Home: Hopes, Holidays and Happenings in the Accented Film Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index