CSI (Wiley-Blackwell Studies in Film and Television)

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She has written widely about elements of popular culture, gay and lesbian studies, consumer culture, television, and almost all things considered "bad" taste. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. By reconsidering assumptions about mainstream popular culture and its revolutionary possibilities, author Dana Heller reveals that John Waters' popular film Hairspray is the director's most subversive movie.


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This is Brand New. Seller Inventory Scientific However culturally visible and even influential these shows have proven to be, they are also both marked by the seeming difficulty of drawing them into accounts of crime television as a genre. My guess is that this has to do with the long time association of crime television with the police drama series and its characteristic realist aesthetic so that the s is the decade of Law and Order [], Homicide [] and NYPD: Blue []. Through the s however, crime television has not only proliferated but is also far less wedded to the urban squad room.

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With shows focused on special units, private investigators and scientific advisors, crime television is plainly a space that exceeds any one genre even while it remains absolutely generic. Gothic tropes provide one of several ways into the historical development different contemporary crime genres. Gothic tropes feature in crime television in two distinct ways. Firstly, there is the presence of explicitly supernatural or paranormal elements within crime or investigative shows.

Making Crime TV: Producing Fictional Representations of Crime for Canadian Television

Evidentially there is an intriguing, if rather predictable, gendered dimension to these examples with male vampire crime fighters figuring the supernatural in somewhat different terms to female psychics. The grotesque and macabre is a presence even in crime shows which tend towards a very different aesthetic, with the figure of the serial killer — imagined as a sort of artist, staging darkly elaborate crime scenes — as one linchpin.

Interestingly, crime shows premised on the supernatural do not necessarily deploy a Gothic aesthetic. For example, Warehouse 13 [] which clearly trades off The X-Files while playing for comic effect in its characterisation of Secret Service agents ambivalent in their assignment to the policing of supernatural artifacts. We might also contrast the very different style of psychic shows Medium and Ghost Whisperer , the latter redolent with Gothic imagery while the former is more conventional in its styling. In their discussion of Dexter , Simon Brown and Stacey Abbott suggest that Gothic is in many ways a culturally acceptable term for talking about horror.

It is here we might productively situate a crime show like Cold Case [] in relation to the Gothic. In this, Cold Case couples a generic staple of crime television—the investigator, often though not always female, who is haunted by the past—to the uncanny juxtaposition of past and present and the uncovering of secrets so characteristic of the Gothic. The connections between American crime television and the Gothic reside as much in the uncanny ability of the investigator to uncover such secrets, as in explicitly grotesque imagery.

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It is through such strategies that crime television suggests and exploits the haunting presence of personal pain in the disciplinary structures of public morality. The X-Files , screen capture provided by author 2. Criminal Minds , screen capture provided by author 3. The Ghost Whisperer 4. Cold Case. For decades action was a defining feature of television crime series — hit shows of the s and 70s such as the recently remade Hawaii Five-O , or Starsky and Hutch routinely exploited the exhilarating pleasures of the action sequence, whether in the form of car chases and shoot-outs, explosions, fights or scenes of urban pursuit.

The credit sequences for these action-oriented crime shows featured spectacle of all kinds: explosive, urban, natural and sexual whether the characteristic cut-ins of nameless erotic dancers and bikini-clad women or, on occasion, the male cop characters. Rapid montage sequences juxtapose guns, ocean waves, and movement — of cars and cops — while rock derived soundtracks set a pace characterised by energy. As this capsule description suggests, spectacular scenery is a staple of many action-oriented crime shows.

While Hawaii-set Magnum PI and Miami Vice each had a distinct look, both made use of spectacular landscapes just as CSI Miami — , the credit sequence of which features a craft racing across Florida wetlands, does today. Of course crime is intensely narrative driven. But we need a language to talk about these dimensions of contemporary crime programming, quite as much as we need one to discuss the distinctive narrative emphasis of crime drama —- the deductive processes of the procedural, for example, with its emphasis on the reconstruction of events; forensic formats which centre on laboratory work and feature sidebar explanations of techniques and phenomena; or specialist units with their employment of particular knowledge and skills.

From a position of relative neglect, action cinema has been pretty extensively theorised in recent years.

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Action television, by contrast, has less often been named and discussed as such. For example, while the intensely paced editing of the action sequence — and the action film as effectively an extended action sequence — is described by Eric Lichtenfeld as a characteristic of s movies, a development signified by the distinctive authorial presence of Michael Bay, a show like Miami Vice had already been associated with what some critics termed an MTV aesthetic.

Lyons notes how Miami Vice was compared by contemporary critics to ensemble cop show Hill Street Blues , and found wanting. The relationship between narrative and spectacle alluded to here has been a significant focus in scholarship on action cinema and has, I would argue, a definite purchase for action television. Far from being extraneous to the development of the narrative or themes of the action film, critics have noted how the spectacular action sequence is intimately and even intricately bound up with these elements.

Taruis, In the s, action-heavy shows such as 24 or NCIS: Los Angeles — nonetheless serve as recognisable variants of crime — featuring what are effectively squad rooms as recurrent sets, coupled with the sort of high-tech equipment showcased in now familiar forensic formats. To some degree this is down to the collapsing together of — or at least mutual exchange between — espionage and crime formats in proliferating specialist units linked to themes of homeland security. That is, these developments have a lot to do with the way that television genres combine and evolve, suggesting just how expansive crime television is today.

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Action sequences are a recurrent element of these shows, underpinning an aesthetic of spectacle which in turn seems to respond to technological innovations in image quality. Gunning evokes the film as rollercoaster ride, referencing filmmakers such as Spielberg and Lucas; in action television, producers Donald P.

Synopsis About this title By reconsidering assumptions about mainstream popular culture and its revolutionary possibilities, author Dana Heller reveals that John Waters' popular film Hairspray is the director's most subversive movie. Represents the first scholarly work on any of film director John Waters' films Incorporates original interview material with the director Reveals meanings embedded in the film's narrative treatment of racial and sexual politics "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title. From the Back Cover : What you really want to watch There are certain films and shows that resonate with audiences everywhere-they generate discussion and debate about everything from gender, class, citizenship and race to consumerism and social identity.

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Hairspray's main character is a pound actor and drag performer, Divine, who not only satirizes myths of gender and maternity, but whose excessive, unruly presence exudes a radical cultural politics. John Water's camp classic is an iconic film that occupies a unique place in the popular imagination, in film studies, and with youth audiences everywhere. Hairspray offers a multi-leveled critique of the American social body, and the contradictory politics of race, sex, gender, class, and culture that underwrite its national mythologies. In this new exploration of the film - which includes original interview material with John Waters - Dana Heller engages readers in thought-provoking discussions about topics ranging from camp and queer theory to gender performance and the body; from debates over postmodern style vs.

Buy New Learn more about this copy. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Published by Wiley-Blackwell New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1.

Seller Rating:. Hairspray Heller, Dana. Published by Blackwell Pub Revaluation Books Exeter, United Kingdom. New Quantity Available: 5. Hairspray Hardback Dana Heller. Hairspray Dana Heller.