[PAST EVENT] Global Cinema-Going&Emphasis: Problems in Marketing Transnational Film Productions Around the World 

February 17, 2018
Swem Library, Reeder Media Center
400 Landrum Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
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This workshop will examine how we can imagine the idea of “global” cinema by looking at how the promotion around international co-productions prompts us to at-once imagine a vague idea of an “ideal” global spectator, and acknowledge different traditions and viewing practices of audiences in varied national contexts. Using a set of case studies (principally, the discourse around the 2013 film Snowpiercer), this workshop will explore how focus on particular stars, stress on different genre elements, and reliance on familiarity with peripheral texts (the graphic novel on which it is based, previous dystopian film and literature, and so on) helps us encounter the difficulties inherent in promoting and distributing films around the world. More specifically, we will examine the rhetoric of different marketing materials (multiple versions of the film trailer, posters, cover art) predetermines audience expectation. Stepping back, we will ask questions that can be abstracted to enrich the research that we do in other areas: how (and why) do paratexts predetermine our experiences of the movies we encounter? How accurately do distributors and studios imagine their audiences? What inadequacies in this process are rectified by less controlled promotion, such as word-of-mouth buzz or viewer generated memes?


Kevin M. Flanagan ’06 is a Visiting Lecturer in Film Studies and English at the University of Pittsburgh. His main research interests include British film and television, arts documentary, adaptation studies, genre, and media history. In Fall 2017, he was a “Global Across the Curriculum” fellow, and is actively developing Global Studies components and assignments for the courses he teaches. He received his Ph.D. from Pitt in 2015 (dissertation – The British War Film, 1939-1980: Culture, History, and, Genre). A book version of his dissertation will be published as War Representation in British Cinema and Television: From Suez to Thatcher, and Beyond in 2019 by Palgrave, as part of the “Britain and the World” series.

In June 2016, he was a Guest Curator at the British Film Institute, where he co-curated (with Matt Harle) the “Architecture on TV” season. Flanagan and Harle’s dossier on architectural programming on British television will be published in the Oxford University Press journal Screen in 2018. Flanagan contributed essays and an audio commentary to the critically acclaimed BFI blu-ray/DVD boxed set Ken Russell: The Great Composers (2016). Flanagan is editor of Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England’s Last Mannerist (2009, Scarecrow Press) and has contributed essays to the Journal of British Cinema and Television, Framework, Critical Quarterly, South Atlantic Review, Adaptation, Porn Studies, and many others. He recently contributed the “Videogame Adaptation” chapter to the Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies (2017, ed. Thomas Leitch) and has recently edited a special issue of Wide Screen on the same subject. He regularly reviews books for Choice, a publication of the American Library Association.

Forthcoming publications include several essays on literary adaptations for Gale/Cengage’s Books to Film series of reference works, an essay on movement and bodies in recent peplum films, and a study of “consumptive horror” under Reagan and Thatcher. Flanagan is also under contract to edit Edgar Wright: Interviews for the University Press of Mississippi’s longstanding “Conversations with Filmmakers” series of books.