CFP – Edited Collection: Gender, Genre and the Body in Contemporary North American and European Film

Gender and the body are inextricably connected, and it could be argued that within any given filmic context, they are also closely related to genre and generic traditions. Moreover, genres often use genders, gender stereotypes and bodies in diverse and specific ways, and gender and its relationship to the body performs different functions in the context of any given genre. This collection aims to critically examine and interrogate the representation of the body and its relationship to both gender and genre in contemporary North American and European films.

CFP – Cine-Excess XIII: Independent Visions of Excess

Birmingham City University Presents: Cine Excess XIIIIndependent Visions of Excess7th-9th November 2019 - Birmingham City University (and related screening venues) Confirmed Guests of Honour:Jen and Sylvia Soska (Rabid [2019], American Mary)Norman J. Warren (Terror, Inseminoid) Keynote Speakers:Dr Stacey Abbott, Roehampton UniversityProfessor Ernest Mathijs, University of British Columbia Cine-Excess XIII is hosted by Birmingham City University and will feature a … Continue reading CFP – Cine-Excess XIII: Independent Visions of Excess

CFP – Screening #TimesUp: Exploring Rape Culture in Hollywood Film

Beginning in 2017, the #MeToo movement drew attention to the sexual assault, coercion, and harassment experienced by many individuals and especially women working in Hollywood. Over the last two years, actors have come forward to speak about their experiences, condemning the industry for silencing victims while safeguarding predators. This conversation about sexual conduct and safe … Continue reading CFP – Screening #TimesUp: Exploring Rape Culture in Hollywood Film

Speaking of Sexual Violence: A Provocation

During an introduction to a City Eye Southampton Film Week screening of The Rape of Recy Taylor (Nancy Buirski 2017) at Solent University in November 2018, a brief exchange ensued about how we overcome the difficulty of starting conversations that address challenging topics. This was not about how we actively tackle issues of sexual violence, racism and abuse but how do we even begin to talk about them in a way that is not divisive, insensitive or biased by our own cultural identities?

Issues with the BBFC’s 2018 Consultation Exercise

In 2018, the BBFC undertook a public consultation exercise that will inform its 2019 Classification Guidelines. Thus far, journalists have over-reached in their reactions to the exercise. To illustrate, various press outlets erroneously declared that films featuring sexual violence will be automatically allocated an 18-certificate under the BBFC’s 2019 guidelines. Both the Daily Mail’s Emily Kent Smith and The Daily Telegraph’s Charles Hymas refer to (but fail to substantiate) the motivating factors for the as-yet unconfirmed shift in BBFC policy, pointing towards ‘widespread concern that current age ratings are sometimes misjudged’ and ‘public backlash over “liberal” classifications following the #MeToo movement’. Hymas’s reference to #MeToo conflates real-world sexual assault with fictional representations of sexual violence. #MeToo was certainly driven by discussions about sexual assault within the film industry. However, outrage over real-world incidents of sexual assault does not directly equate to concerns about representations of sexual violence in fiction film; the latter may be of concern to ‘the public’, but the #MeToo campaign does not evince any such concern. Moreover, any change in BBFC policy would only impact on how films are classified; it would not directly curb instances of sexual assault within the film industry, for instance. Conflating real-world sexual assault with fictional representations is unhelpful inasmuch as it distracts from the campaign to prevent real-world sexual violence by changing working conditions within the film industry (and beyond).