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04 February, 2017

Medievally Speaking reviews: Woods, The Medieval Filmscape

Our most recent review for Medievally Speaking: Erin Lee Mock on: William F. Woods.  The Medieval Filmscape: Reflections of Fear and Desire in a Cinematic Mirror. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014. 

Writing about “period” film as “period film” is rife with difficulty as William F. Woods admits in The Medieval Filmscape: Reflections of Fear and Desire in a Cinematic Mirror.  Beyond the question of period itself, all studies of genre or subgenre present the problem of “quality,” and the “medieval filmscape” does so more than most.  A responsible scholar must attend to a variety of texts which include, to use Rick Altman’s term, the “semantic” elements of that genre, including many films which are frankly terrible.  Simultaneously, most scholars who undertake subgenre study do so to argue for its critical function.  Woods manages this problem structurally and through one major metaphor (the mirror), which is his greatest strength.  READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE