superhero Thor

Where did Storm go?: Representing Race and Gender in Superhero films

Superhero films and the comics that spawned them are famous for their traditionally white male fan-base. It’s a fan-base to which the creators play, with the vast majority of superheroes, and particularly the high profile ones, being white men. This raises issues for the balanced representation of gender and race and for the diversity of…

By Andrew Knighton
Agora history

Film as thesis: 3 Depictions of the Nature of History

As a history graduate and a film lover I’ve long been aware of the complex relationship between cinema and the past. Films can reflect our history, the way we reconstruct a story of the past from the evidence around us. They can also shape popular understanding of history, as shown by both Hollywood blockbusters and…

By Andrew Knighton
fantasy cinema The Hobbit

There And Back Again: Fantasy Cinema and Literary Legacy

Fantasy cinema, taking the themes and ideas of fantasy literature and putting them up on the big screen, is an increasingly powerful force in cinema. Like superhero films, this genre has been driven by recent successful adaptations, starting with The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). And just as J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the…

By Andrew Knighton
comics marvel dc amazing spider man

Marvel and DC: Comics as Cinematic R&D

There’s no avoiding comic book movies. Though they are most obvious in the big screen superhero blockbusters, comic adaptations now cross all genres. There are historical epics like 300 (2007), horror films like 30 Days of Night (2007), crime dramas like Sin City (2005) and Road to Perdition (2002), even quirky comedies like Scott Pilgrim…

By Andrew Knighton
Abraham Lincoln

It’s True Because It Works: Historical Storytelling in Lincoln

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012) may seem at first glance a straightforward historical film, narrating how President Abraham Lincoln ensured the liberation of the slaves at the end of the American Civil War. But closer examination of the characterisation of this great president, impeccably played by Daniel Day-Lewis, reveals a script that forces us to challenge…

By Andrew Knighton
Ways of watching

Ways of Watching: Taming the World Through Cinema

Watching films is about more than pleasure. It can be educational and thought provoking, but it also scratches a more primeval itch, one born from our desire to make a safe, controlled space to live in. Cinema helps us to own and to tame our world. Ownership through oils In his book and television series…

By Andrew Knighton

Disruptive Distribution: Joss Whedon and the Release of ‘In Your Eyes’

It’s always worth paying attention to Joss Whedon. The writer, producer and director responsible for the Marvel movie franchise also plays the independent movie game, contributing projects such as Much Ado About Nothing (2012) and The Cabin In The Woods (2012) between massive blockbusters. This year’s Tribeca Film Festival saw the premiere of his latest…

By Andrew Knighton