• “A Music Video is Simply a Promo for a Song”: Music Video as Documentary

      Halligan, Benjamin; Heinze, Carsten; Niebling, Laura (Springer, 2015-10)
    • Desires for Reality: Radicalism and Revolution in Western European Film

      Halligan, Benjamin (Berghahn Books, 2016-02)
      What was the progressive cinema of the 1960s? In the absence of any generally agreed definitions, differing ideas abound, originating from two areas: firstly, the critical/academic histories of 1960s cinema, and secondly the conception of a ‘progressive cinema’ that is apparent in a number of 1960s films. The initial point of departure for this study is the conflict that arises between these two areas: the progressive cinema of the 1960s, as articulated in its own artefacts, does not always fully support, verify or validate the idea of a progressive cinema of the 1960s to be found in critical/academic histories. This disparity will be used to orientate this study as it seeks to expand the parameters of the critical/academic histories in order to identify and conceptualise, in a sustained way, the progressive cinema of the 1960s.
    • Mind Usurps Program: Virtuality and the "New Machine Aesthetic" of Electronic Dance Music

      Halligan, Benjamin; Rambarran, Shara; Whiteley, Sheila (Oxford University Press (US), 2016-03-14)
      This chapter outlines the changes in perceptions of electronic dance music across the phase of the introduction of virtuality. The chapter argues that such music must be read in relation to its conception of its audience, and that the audience, often cognitively impaired, responds to the music in a way that suggests ideological positions that redeem the music from accusations of cliché and racism. The chapter notes early theorizing of virtuality as giving rise to the idea or potential of a proletarian collective, as was realized in aspects of rave cultures, as associated with the idea of the “temporary autonomous zone.” The chapter turns to specific case studies from the work of Layo and Bushwacka! and Leftfield.
    • Modelling Affective Labour: On Terry Richardson’s Photography

      Halligan, Benjamin (Duke University Press, 2017-03-01)
      Photographer Terry Richardson works in a digital aesthetic vernacular that looks more to underground hardcore pornography of yesteryear than traditions associated with the institutionalisation of erotica, as associated with Playboy. And yet his images, in Kibosh and Terryworld, anticipate the contemporary public recalibration of ideas of intimacy as associated with Social Media, tally with contested ideas of the sexualisation of female empowerment as associated with contested elements of Third Wave Feminism, and can be read as a contemporary phase of Antonio Negri’s theory of art and immaterial labour in their evidencing of the affective labour on the part of the photographer himself. This critical commentary, the first such academic writing on Richardson, explores his work in these contexts, and considers Richardson’s return to the figure (over abstraction) as evidencing and exploring of the nature of work, and the nascent eroticisation of working relations, under Western neoliberal regimes.
    • Practices of verisimilitude in pop music biopics: A conversation with Todd Eckert and James Anthony Pearson on Control, and Nick Moran on Telstar

      Stewart, Jon; Maloy, Liam; Halligan, Benjamin (International Association for the Study of Popular Music, 2017-10-31)
      The arresting look and feel of two recent British music biopics, Control (directed by Anton Corbijn, 2007) and Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (directed by Nick Moran, 2008), prompts a reconsideration of questions of realism and authenticity – rationales, strategies, practices and constructions – in the historical popular music biopic. The first-hand accounts collated here highlight the ways in which verisimilitude can be compromised by the production process, particularly in relation to budget restrictions and expectations, performance limitations, equipment and props use, contemporary or period dialogue, music copyright, and a myriad other issues and challenges relating to the production of “period” cinema.
    • "({})": Raunch Culture, Third Wave Feminism and The Vagina Monologues

      Halligan, Benjamin (John Hopkins University Press, 2014)
    • “This is Father Berrigan Speaking from the Underground”: Daniel Berrigan SJ and the Conception of a Radical Theatre

      Halligan, Benjamin (MIT Press, 2018-05-25)
      The letter “Father Berrigan Speaks to the Actors from Underground” suggests the conception of a radical theatre, intended as a contribution to a cultural front against the US government during a time of the escalation of the war in Vietnam. The letter was prepared further to Berrigan’s dramatization of the trial in which he and fellow anti-war activists were arraigned for their public burning of draft cards in 1968. The play was The Trial of the Catonsville Nine and its production coincided with a period in which Berrigan, declining to submit to imprisonment, continued his ministry while a fugitive.
    • “Use/Abuse/Everyone/Everything”: A Dialogue on LA Plays Itself

      Halligan, Benjamin; Wilson, Laura (Wayne State University Press, 2015-10)
    • World’s end: punk films from London and New York, 1977-1984

      Halligan, Benjamin; McKay, George; Arnold, Gina (Oxford University Press, 2019-11-01)
      Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977) concludes with the protagonist, seemingly weary of the company of his delinquent friends (given over to gang violence and gang rape, and in the wake of the needless death of the youngest and most disorientated), finding a moment of peace in the apartment of his previously unenthused girlfriend. They have reconciled, a future together has begun, and “How Deep is Your Love” by the Bee Gees – a major international chart hit of 1977 – plays over the closing credits. The couple’s connection was initially based on shared disco dancing abilities, and their get-togethers on the dance floor and in the dance studio have offered the opportunity of an escape for each. For Tony Manero (John Travolta), the escape is from his underpaid blue-collar job and suffocating family tensions – where his life at home, as a second-generation Italian immigrant, seems like stepping back into the old country for family meals, in sharp contrast to the grooming he devotes to his appearance, upstairs in his bedroom. Once outside, the very streets of New York seem to have been recast as a dance floor – via mobile shots of Travolta’s feet, pacing with a cocksure swagger to the beat of the Bee Gees soundtrack. For Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney), the escape is from more obscure forms of patriarchal exploitation, enacted via her aspirations to a glamourous and independent life, which can be read as calibrated to an imagining of the nightclub Studio 54 (which opened in 1977), not least in her celebrity name-dropping and initial distaste for her uncultured suitor. The final shot of Saturday Night Fever frames the couple in her apartment: polished wooden floors, exposed brick walls, a healthy rubber plant, an acoustic guitar resting against a sofa, and a window ledge looking out across Manhattan – a much more desirable locale than the film’s initial setting of Tony’s Brooklyn (see Figure 1). In short, to return to “How Deep is Your Love”, the couple have realised that they were “living in a world of fools / breaking us down when they all should let us be / [since] we belong to you and me”, and enshrine this shared sentiment in domestication. The New York of 1977 has tested them and their success in meeting this test has allowed them to take a synchronised step forward, and establish themselves on an upwardly mobile trajectory.