Ahead of its online premiere, watch a clip from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1928 silent comedy Champagne, starring Betty Balfour as an heiress whose father tests her fiancé by claiming the family fortune has disappeared. Champagne was restored by the BFI National Archive as part of the Genius of Hitchcock season.
The restored version of Champagne will be streamed live at www.thespace.org starting at 7.30pm on Thursday 27 September
1950s “Rocketman” TV Series and Their Fans: Cadets, Rangers, and Junior Space Men, Cynthia J. Miller & A. Bowdoin Van Riper (eds) (Palgrave Macmillan)
Before astronauts like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong were household names, before the ‘one small step’ that left America’s national footprint on the Moon, and before the wonders of science fiction became the wonders of science fact, television heroes in jetpacks and sleek silver rocket ships soared through the skies, and the universe was full of wonder. These fourteen essays look back on those days, exploring the ways that series such as Space Patrol,Tom Corbett, and Captain Z-Ro entered the day-to-day lives of their fans through mentoring and merchandising, ranger clubs and secret messages. Together, they reveal how the Rocketman guided young viewers through the complexities of life in Cold War America, even while inspiring them to look to the stars and dream of adventure.
Too Bold for the Box Office: The Mockumentary, From Big Screen to Small, Cynthia Miller (ed.) (Scarecrow Press).
Although considered a relatively new genre, the mockumentary has existed nearly as long as filmmaking itself and has become one of the most common forms of film and television comedy today. In order to better understand the larger cultural truths artfully woven into their deception, these works demonstrate just how tenuous and problematic our collective understandings of our social worlds can be.
In Too Bold for the Box Office: The Mockumentary from Big Screen to Small, Cynthia J. Miller has assembled essays by scholars and filmmakers who examine this unique cinematic form. Individually, each of these essays looks at a given instance of mockumentary parody and subversion, examining the ways in which each calls into question our assumptions, pleasures, beliefs, and even our senses. Writing about national film, television, and new media traditions as diverse as their backgrounds, this volume’s contributors explore and theorize the workings of mockumentaries, as well as the strategies and motivations of the writers and filmmakers who brought them into being.
Reflections by filmmakers Kevin Brownlow (It Happened Here), Christopher Hansen (The Proper Care and Feeding of An American Messiah), and Spencer Schaffner (The Urban Literacy Manifesto) add valued perspective and significantly deepen the discussions found in the volume’s other contributions. This collection of essays on films, television programming, and new media illustrates common threads running across cultures and eras and attempts to answer sweeping existential questions about the nature of social life and the human condition.