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LICA Film research seminar by Dr Peter Stanfield (Kent)

Date: 28 November 2012 Time: 17.00 pm

Venue: Bowland North seminar room 22

Dr Peter Stanfield (Film Studies, Kent).

'Intent to speed: cyclical production, topicality and the 1950s hot rod movie'

LICA 'Contemporary Arts Thinking' seminar

Wednesday, November 28th, 5pm

Bowland North, seminar room 22

Abstract:This paper tracks the emergence, consolidation and dissolution of the short cycle of hot rod movies that was exhibited from 1956 to 1958. The aim is to explore this cycle's connection to topical issues and show how filmmakers used timely subjects. The paper examines the media frenzy that whirled around the subculture of hot rodding and the sensationalist marketing strategies used to promote the films, which are linked to exhibition in drive-in theatres. There is an extraordinary mismatch between the thrills promised by the sales pitch for the films and the pedestrian action of the films themselves. While showing intent to speed, few examples of the cycle actually delivered on the promise to thrill. Finally, questions of turnover and the speed of production are considered. What draws these areas of interest together is a series of enquiries about what made hot rods and hot rod culture useful to film producers and audiences.

Peter Stanfield's most recent publication is Maximum Movies, Pulp Fictions (2011, Rutgers U.P.),which explores the relationship between hard boiled crime fiction and cinema. His research covers the areas of cultural history, film studies, media studies, and American studies.

All are welcome to attend this talk.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Graduate School, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
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United Kingdom

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