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Manchester Metropolitan University Library
Figuring the past: period film and the mannerist aesthetic

Figuring the past: period film and the mannerist aesthetic

"This definitive work offers a new approach to the period film at the turn of the twenty-first century, examining the ways in which contemporary cinema recreates the historical past. This book explores the relation between visual motifs and cultural representation in a range of key films by James Ivory, Martin Scorsese and Jane Campion, among others. Looking at the mannerist taste for citation, detail and stylisation, the author argues for an aesthetic of fragments and figures central to the period film as an international genre. Three key figures - the house, the tableau and the letter - structure a critical journey through a selection of detailed case studies, in relation to changing notions of visual style, melodrama, and gender. This seeks to place this popular but often undervalued genre in a new light and to rethink its significance in the context of key debates in film studies."--Publisher's website

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Criticism, interpretation, etc. Electronic books.
Published Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press 2012

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


ISBN: 9048513537, 9089642811, 9781283698245, 9789048513536, 9789089642813
EAN: 9789089642813
Note: Print version record.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Language note: English.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (256 pages) : illustrations.
Other Number: 9789089642813
Series: Film culture in transition
Subject: Film, TV and radio.; PERFORMING ARTS Film & Video General.; Motion pictures and history.; PERFORMING ARTS Reference.; Historical films.; The arts.; Historical films History and criticism.; Renaissance in motion pictures.
Alternative Title: Period film and the mannerist aesthetic
Series Title: Film culture in transition.


  1. Introduction: period film and the mannerist moment
  2. A poetics of figuration
  3. Present in the past: The house
  4. Time and the image: the tableau
  5. The scene of writing: the letter
  6. Conclusion-Second sight: reviewing the past, figuring the present.