‘Psychiatry quit defining madness after widespread experiments exposed shocking errors in diagnosis. Sanity is indexed to reality but reality is cultural and transient, of no fixed abode. ‘Well adjusted’ to what: 1930s Berlin or 1960s San Francisco? Elwood P. Dowd: “I wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor, and I’m happy to say I finally won out over it.”’
Gary McMahon on the history of ‘madness’, its uses and definitions, in Hollywood cinema and beyond. Read Gary’s companion piece, ‘oN thE eDGe’ here.
Beware of the wolves! The Turkish versus the European reception of Valley of the Wolves: Iraq (2006)
‘Serdar Akar’s action film Kurtlar Vadisi: Irak/Valley of the Wolves: Iraq was released in Turkey in January 2006. Riding the waves of Turkish nationalism and capitalizing on widespread frustrations over Turkey’s geopolitical situation, the film became one of the most-watched local films ever. Soon afterwards, the film was released in European theatres. Although targeted at viewers of Turkish origin, the film caught the attention of others too. This marked the beginning of a polemic reception and a wide public and political denouncement of the film’s anti-American and anti-Semitic character.’
A reception study by Kevin Smets, Dilek Kaya Mutlu and Roel Vande Winkel.
‘He loved what he did so much!’ An Interview with Evans (Evans) Frankenheimer
‘Arguably post-war Hollywood’s most politically engaged and astute writer/director, John Frankenheimer (1930–2002) was also an incredible visual stylist, a man who learned the craft of image-making both from his early years as a photographer and from intense and demanding work he did in quality live TV drama during the 1950s, where he managed writing, rehearsals, storyboarding and – as the shows unfolded – the instant editing made possible by multiple camera set-ups. This was a period (like the celebrated years D.W. Griffith spent at Biograph) that provided Frankenheimer with the kind of concentrated hands-on training with the medium that few have been lucky enough to experience…’
Murray Pomerance interviews the director’s widow, Evans Frankenheimer, about her husband’s long career and his relationship to, among others, Bobby Kennedy, Frank Sinatra and Toshiro Mifune. With an introduction by R. Barton Palmer.
‘The English master of movie melodrama’: Hitchcock, horror and the woman’s film
‘As the following will therefore demonstrate, not only was Hitchcock identified as a horror director during the 1940s, but as the central horror director of the period. Furthermore, his films clearly demonstrated the connection between films that have since been presented as separate and distinct from one another through the use of generic terms that were invented in later periods: films identified as examples of film noir or the paranoid woman’s film. As a result, while many of Hitchcock’s films feature the persecuted male of many supposedly noir thrillers, and often operated as the template for such films, many of his films also featured the female investigator of the paranoid woman’s film…’
Mark Jancovich takes issue with the opinion that Psycho was Hitch’s first horror movie.