By Kathleen Scott and Sarah Soliman
For the second issue of Frames, we are pleased to be collaborating with the British Association of Film Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS). BAFTSS is the representative body for scholars engaged in the study, research and teaching of the medium of film, television, and screen media in the UK. Frames will be devoting one issue a year to publishing the work of BAFTSS affiliated scholars, a partnership about which we are extremely pleased and excited. As an academic journal still in its early stages, we look forward to working together with BAFTSS, also a relatively new organisation, to provide a platform for new academic work. Judging by the quality of the articles we received for the autumn 2012 issue of Frames, there is a lot of exciting scholarship to look forward to.
We are especially proud of the essays contributed by the BAFTSS Postgraduate Essay Contest winner and finalists. As a journal run by postgraduate students, we understand the importance of finding outlets to publish our work. Frames is proud to provide a platform for emerging voices in the field of film studies. Stephen Presence’s winning essay “An Investigation of Affect in the Cinema: Spectacle and Melodramatic Rhetoric in Nil By Mouth” argues for the re-examining of affective spectacle within contemporary cinema. Hannah Mowat’s “Nature Versus Architecture: Navigating the Threshold in Alain Resnais’s L’Année derniére á Marienbad, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and Jessica Hausner’s Hotel” explores the tensions between constructed interiors and natural exteriors in these films, using Derrida’s work on thresholds to discuss doorways as fluid portals across which hostile relationships between natural and built environments are enacted. John Trafton’s essay “Things That Almost Killed Me: Apocalypse Now and The Hurt Locker and the Influence of 19th Century Spectacle Art in the War Film” looks at how these films render the trauma of witnessing and experiencing warfare, and discusses how each film works pre-cinematic spectacle into their re-working of war film genre codes. This range of essays demonstrates the fascinating work that we can look forward to from exciting new voices within film studies; we would like to congratulate our essay winners on their recognition from BAFTSS as such.
Our additional essays for this issue were also solicited from BAFTSS members, and conceptual interconnections between them abound. Perhaps appropriately, all address the role of film and media within British culture and social life. Joe Barton’s essay “‘Welcome to Manchester’: Neoliberal Regeneration and 24 Hour Party People” considers how issues of urban regeneration and its underlying neoliberal logic pervade and problematise Michael Winterbottom’s 2002 comedic account of Manchester-based record label Factory, and its wider relationship to the city from the late 1970s onwards. In an essay entitled “Keeping It All in the (Nuclear) Family: Big Brother, Auntie BBC, Uncle Sam and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four” Nigel Morris discusses British audience reception of two 1950s adaptations of George Orwell’s novel, attending to the different stylistic, institutional and ideological determinants in each adaptation. Amy Sargeant’s essay, entitled “Cinema, Aviation and Air-Mindedness in the 1920s,” investigates the imbrication of British cinema and cinematography with aviation in the 1920s, focusing in particular on the increasing ‘air-mindedness’ of the British public as films incorporated elements of aerial technologies into their formal designs.
We would like to thank all of our contributors for their rich and insightful explorations of a wide array of topics within the field film studies; we hope readers enjoy engaging with their work as much as we did.
For anybody returning to Frames after reading our inaugural issue, you will notice that we have made a number of changes to the website. We believe that the new look of the Frames website reflects our dedication to a high-quality reading experience, and matches the high standards set by the content of this issue. Mike Arrowsmith, Computer Officer at the University of St Andrews, deserves a huge thank-you for facilitating the redesign of the website.
We would also like to thank our many other collaborators who made this issue possible. Editorial team members Pasquale Cicchetti, Heath Iverson, Diana Popa and Giles Taylor provided invaluable support and assistance, as have all of our fellow PhD students at the University of St Andrews. Dr. Tom Rice (University of St Andrews) and Professor Robert Burgoyne (Head of Department and the Centre for Film Studies, University of St Andrews) also contributed much-appreciated advice and guidance during the preparation of this issue. Professor Dina Inordanova (University of St Andrews), Dr. Alex Marlow-Mann (University of Birmingham) and Dr. Rajinder Dudrah (University of Manchester) provided key liaison support between the Frames and BAFTSS editorial boards. And of course we would like to thank the BAFTSS editorial board for providing us with such high-quality postgraduate work, as well as members of the Frames editorial advisory board for their counsel and support.