Browsing Faculty of Arts by Journal
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Damsels in Distress: British Women Film Directors and British Cinema Funding Post MillenniumOn 28 March 2013, a small group of British female academics submitted written evidence of their findings to a Commons Select Committee concerning the dearth of British women film and television directors within the industry. Entitled Women in the Workplace (Conley et al. 2013), part of that report contained evidence from Directors UK, an organization formed in 2008 that calls itself ‘the voice of British film and television directors’ (Conley et al. 2013). A professional association with over 4,500 members, Directors UK explicitly expressed concern over the paucity of female film and television directors within the British media industry, although the period from 2000 to 2010 saw a rise in female film directors, reaching a peak in 2009, when they accounted for 17.2 per cent of British film directors overall. The increase coincides with the initiation of the UK Film Council (UKFC) and its changing policies concerning the encouragement of greater diversity and equal opportunities within the film industry. Within a historical context and in light of funding and UKFC policy, this article analyses its impact on women film directors in British cinema post-millennium.
Frozen, Homosexuality and MasochismDisney’s animated phenomenon Frozen (2013) has been criticized by America’s religious right for its homosexual subtext which allegedly advocates non-Christian values to impressionable audiences. This essay does not dispute the presence of such a subtext, but argues that that the film’s gay codings, rather than celebrating and encouraging homosexuality, invoke bigoted stereotypes, negative psychoanalytic categories and masochistic cinematic conventions. The film represents homosexuality in an ostensibly non-discriminatory manner, but undermines this potential through a range of cultural prejudices and conventionalized conservative cinematic techniques. The last of these elements entails the film’s most sinister approach to homosexuality, reflexively linking a masochistic representation of its gay-coded characters with the ideological passivity of cinematic spectatorship.