Roland Joffé, the film-maker behind the significant critical hits The Killing Fields (1984) and The Mission (1986), employed a hypnotic aesthetic, which unflinchingly…
Roland Joffé, the film-maker behind the significant critical hits The Killing Fields (1984) and The Mission (1986), employed a hypnotic aesthetic, which unflinchingly depicted violence and brutality within different cultural contexts. In 2007, he used a no less impressive aesthetic in a similar way, although this film, Captivity, was met with public outcry, including from self-proclaimed feminist film-maker Joss Whedon. This was based upon the depiction, in advertisements, of gendered violence in the popularly termed ‘torture porn’ subgenre, which itself has negative gendered connotations.
We aim to revisit the critical reception of Captivity in light of this public controversy, looking at the gendered tensions within considerations of genre, narration and aesthetics. Critics assumed Captivity was an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the torture horror subgenre, and there is evidence that the film-makers inserted scenes of gore throughout the narrative to encourage this affiliation. However, this chapter will consider how the film works as both an example of post-peak torture horror and an interesting precursor to more overtly feminist horror, such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) and Raw (2017). This is seen through the aesthetic and narrative centralizing of a knowing conflict between genders, which, while not entirely successful, does uniquely aim to provide commentary on the gender roles which genre criticism of horror has long considered implicit to the genre’s structures and pleasures.
In 1958 the Daily Express began publication of a comic strip adaptation of Casino Royale authorised by Ian Fleming, predating the original film version by four years. For…
In 1958 the Daily Express began publication of a comic strip adaptation of Casino Royale authorised by Ian Fleming, predating the original film version by four years. For the next 10 years adaptations of the novels and short stories appeared in the newspaper with Bond’s appearance fashioned firstly by John McLusky and then Yaroslav Horak. When the supply of Fleming’s stories was exhausted, new adventures were penned by Jim Lawrence with artwork by Horak, McLusky or Harry North. From 1977 publication switched to the Sunday Express and then the Daily Star. Eventually, the strips were reprinted for a whole new audience by Titan Books.
Subsequently, Bond appeared in a number of other comic book adaptations and reworkings, including key adaptations by the independent publishers Dark Horse and Dynamite, offering contemporary re-imaginings of this iconic, but always controversial, male icon. Taken together they provide a run of Bond adventures over more than 50 years. As such, they contain an alternative Bond universe, where his embodiment of male heroism mimics and varies Fleming’s original and the images constructed in the film franchise. This chapter will consider these mirror images and their responses to changing societal pressures as Bond adapts to new definitions of what constitutes the male hero.