Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cry Wolf

It seems that Warner Brothers produced a number of gothic suspense film in the late 1940s. Cry Wolf (Peter Godfrey) is an example built around the star presence of Barbara Stanwyck and Errol Flynn. What seems distinctive about the Warners spin on the genre is the glee in portraying the sinister patriarch, where in other iterations of the gothic, the threat comes either from the charm of the husband or from his detachment. It's particularly interesting to see Flynn's star image retooled to this end.

The film is a good example of the Warners house style of the mid to late 1940s. We have the watery wipes for the credit titles...

the intense, low-angle practical lighting obscured by figures...

the low-level deep focus shots...

and the almost expressionistic effects lighting, like the "fireplace" gobo:
Cinematographer Carl Guthrie also provides some notable touches, like the tonal contrast between foreground and background in the ubiquitous mirror shot:

I have a fuller argument I'm developing about the fondness for mirrors in 1940s Hollywood. They appear quite frequently.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

CFP: JFV on Media Writing

Call for Submissions
Journal of Film and Video
Special double issue on Media Writing
Publication date: spring/summer 2013.

Guest Editor: Emily Edwards, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (

This special issue is devoted to the current state of the creative scholarship of media writing. We see this endeavor as part of a larger question of the impact of new technologies, new delivery systems, and new resources on writing style, content and creativity.

This special issue is open to both essays of traditional scholarship as well as articles written in a more journalistic style. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Analyses of produced films with an emphasis on the screenplay and the screenwriter.
• Essays and articles on writing stories for newer media delivery systems. Topics may include writing for extremely short narrative forms, games and interactive media; new structures for traditional media; and the impact of newer media on traditional forms.
• New concerns for teaching media writing. We are particularly interested in essays that address the controversy of student peer review. The ability to give and take constructive criticism is an important writer’s skill, yet some educators believe student peer reviews can be hurtful to young writers as they are still developing their voices and understanding
the craft.
• Essays devoted to the occupational and creative concerns of media writers in the creative climate.

We welcome reviews of writers’ Internet resources (InkTip and other writers’ websites), writing contests (a vetting of top contests with descriptions and an assessment of their merits for new and seasoned writers), professional reader services, writers’ software (Movie Magic Screenwriter, Final Draft, Celtx, etc.) and their online components.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: December 1, 2011

Submission guidelines at the UFVA website.