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SCREEN SERIALITIES - Constantine Verevis (Monash University, Melbourne)

The Transnational Television Research Group (Cultural Transformations) in cooperation with the Centre for Media Industries and Production Studies invites everyone to a talk & discussion by and with Assoc. Prof. Constantine Verevis (Monash University, Australia).

2018.09.20 | Johanne Vejrup Nielsen

Date Tue 25 Sep
Time 10:00 12:00
Location room 295, Nyygard building (5336), (Helsingforsgade 12)

This presentation – made up of two short papers – provides an introduction to work for the new book series, SCREEN SERIALITIES, a forum for introducing, analysing and theorising a broad spectrum of serial screen formats – including franchises, series, serials, sequels and remakes – from various perspectives: historical and contemporary, national and transnational, across old and new media platforms. 

Each of the two papers belongs to its own larger project: ‘Blondie Knows Best’ is part of The Ladies Take Over: Female Centred Film Series in Studio Era Hollywood (with Jennifer Forrest, Texas State U, San Marcos; and Helen Hanson, U of Exeter); ‘Another Green World’ belongs to a forthcoming book project (with Daniel Herbert, U Michigan) on Film Reboots.


Blondie Knows Best”: Columbia Pictures’ Blondie Series (1938–50)

In 1938, Motion Picture Daily heralded the arrival of Columbia Pictures’ “Goodwill Gal”, Blondie, and her family: “America’s favorite family of the ‘funnies’ are rarin’ to give their millions of delighted followers the screen treat of the year … in a picture [Blondie, 1938] that wends its happy way straight to your heart!”  An instant hit, Blondie was serialized before the year was out, Variety writing: “minute for minute and inch for inch this second film [Blondie Meets the Boss, 1938] fashioned in the format of Chic Young’s comic strip matches any family series on the market laugh for laugh.” Drawing upon its cartoon derivation for its principal “themes” – eating, sleeping, child rearing and money making – the Blondie series (twenty-eight films produced between 1938 and 1950) employed various techniques – slow motion, invisible wires and camera effects – to privilege actions and situations in/through moments of medial self-reflexivity. This project focuses on these serialization processes, interrogating the Blondie films, in particular, for the way in which they adopt/adapt the basic elements of the “Blondie” comic strip in order to narrate a compendium of American family types and values across a decade-long period of cultural and political change.


Another Green World: The Mad Max series

The recent release of the fourth film in the Mad Max series, Fury Road (2015), provides an opportunity for considering the shifts in (inter-) national cinema since the original cinematographic action film (Mad Max, 1979). If George Miller was ahead of the game in 1979, blowing away the literary-character, period-landscape of the New Australian cinema, then is Fury Road, with its transnational cast and video-game aesthetic, anything more than an iteration of conglomerate Hollywood’s ultra-high budget blockbuster/franchise/action cinema? This paper will argue that the four films that now comprise Miller’s Mad Max series are best understood as part of the broader field of new millennial remakes and related ideas around cinematic ‘rebooting.’ While some of the best work onMad Max has come from Australian cultural theorists Adrian Martin, Meaghan Morris and Ross Gibson, this paper takes its lead from Martin’s more recent work on ‘ruinous sequels’ to describe the inherent discontinuity of cinema, drawing in part on the Mad Max series, in order to challenge conservative accounts of serialization.


Constantine Verevis is Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. He is author of Film Remakes (2006) and co-author of Australian Film Theory and Criticism, Vol. I: Critical Positions (2013). He is author of Film Remakes (2006) and co-author of Australian Film Theory and Criticism, Vol. I: Critical Positions (2013). His co-edited volumes include: Second Takes (2010), Film Trilogies (2012), Film Remakes, Adaptations and Fan Productions (2012), Transnational Television Remakes (2016) and Transnational Film Remakes (2017). Verevis is (with Claire Perkins), series co-editor of Screen Serialities for Edinburgh University Press.

Kulturelle Transformationer , Centre for Media Industries and Production Studies, Medievidenskab og Journalistik