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Law and Film: Introduction Author(s): Stefan Machura and Peter Robson Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 28, No. 1, Law and Film (Mar., 2001), pp. 1-8 Published by: Wiley on behalf of Cardiff University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3657943 . Accessed: 18/12/2012 21:19
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UK and 350 Main Street. University of Strathclyde. USA This content downloaded on Tue. andFilmhasbeen a focusof the LawandSocietyAssociation its Annual at the through Meetings fromdifferent We 1990sandhas attracted scholars backgrounds. Oxford OX4 1JF. on the Inevitably concentration the dominant cultural of products Hollywood.The interests and paradigmsthe writersadopt of a includesocial theory. includefour threefromBritain.There is then a to varietyof approaches the issue of how film looks at law. 1-8 Law and Film: Introduction STEFAN MACHURA* AND PETER ROBSON** Whatwe havebrought in together thiscollectionis a selectionof contemporary in Law scholarship LawandFilmin a rangeof jurisdictions.The paucityof materialother in thanAmerican the areaof law films is itself an issuewhichis addressed a in number of the essays presented here. withinmostof theessaysis. Ruhr-Universitat Bochum. NUMBER 1. Not surprisingly thereis no consensusaboutwhat to look at in law and film nor in what form these studies are best conducted. 18 Dec 2012 21:19:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . whilstothershave provideda close readingof the workof eithera particular era.The essays look at the significanceand impactof these law films on the public perceptionof law and the legal process and the influence on the practiceof law itself. * Law Faculty.JOURNALOF LAW AND SOCIETY VOLUME 28. welcome this diversitywhich is inevitablein a We field of scholarship boundaries.andfourfromthe UnitedStatesof pieces fromGermany. MA 02148. 1 ? Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001. America. We have provided a selected of chronological bibliography writing on law and film at the end of this work indicateshow recenthas been scholarly introduction. GebdudeGC 8/135. pp. Some of the writersin this volume have based their analysison a wide range of films.173 Cathedral Street. bibliography This on law andfilm andthe recentgenesisof this scholarship helpedshapethe has variednatureand style of the workspresented here. Maiden. film-makeror writer. that seeks to cross traditional There are a numberof strandsof inquirywhich have emerged in this collection.literarytheory.Further. D-44780 Bochum.and film studies.The collectionlooks at the natureof the films produced law portraying andlawyers. however.Threeprincipal areascan be identified. MARCH 2001 ISSN: 0263-323X.Germany ** The Law School. 108 Cowley Road. Scotland GlasgowG4 ORQ. number films recur within the essays and are the subject of analysis from these distinctiveperspectives.
they also for to providean explanation the drawon NiklasLuhmann's systemstheory of withthe legal process. in 'Adaptingthe Moder Law Novel: page 2 C BlackwellPublishers 2001 Ltd This content downloaded on Tue. Duringthe Nazi Period'. imposedon society andin otherworkhe stresseshow it emergesfromsocial and interaction represents communityvalues.In herpapershe have used to emphasizeaspectsof law and notesthe techniques film-makers to involve the viewer in the story. in 'The GermanCourtroomFilm of inter-warGermany.Finallythereis an assessmentof how andwhy the variousthemesin writing for on the topic of law andfilm have developed.in 'MythandLaw in the Films of JohnFord'. 'Hero or Villain? Steve Greenfieldtakes up this theme in his contribution of Justice'. He describesa conscious of manipulation law in film to reinforce a notion of communitywhich Nazi policies of 'ethnicand social cleansing'. which Meyerand Osbornhave noted.Two Versions and Two Visions Separated ThirtyYears'. she providesan overviewof this area.points out how very differentkinds of films were used in this periodto bolster a myth aboutlaw.In 'AmericanCriminal to 2000. The dominanttheme in law films has.in 'The Social Issue Courtroom of AmericanPopularCulture'. by MichaelBohnke. temporary popular In 'Law in Film: Globalizingthe HollywoodCourtroom Drama'.She goes beyondthe dominant concernsof lawyers discipline and with film.been how the lawyerpursuesjustice. He on effect of adaptation theirjourneyfromthe printed also notes the flattening to the screen. She identifies and describes three their developmentfrom 1930 differentphases of film-makingand locates them in their culturalcontext.it is important readers an appreciation how the law film has developed.In 'Patternsof Courtroom Justice'. 18 Dec 2012 21:19:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .looks at how law films relateto the tradition of social issues film-making.StefanMachura Stefan Ulbrich examine the dominanceof Hollywood law films in conGerman cultureandexplorereasonsfor this phenomenon.takesthe to opportunity explore the whole questionof the natureand legitimacyof He looks at the way Ford portrayslaw in some of his work as being law. Peter Robson.to look at the narrative aestheticconventions whichthe Hollywoodlaw films share.First. In the ratherdifferentcontext Peter Drexler. Jessica thenaddresses critiqueof DavidBlackin Lawin Film:Resonance the Silbey to and Representation lawyershave failed to makeany contribution the that of film studies. The contrast over the years between the lawyer of the 1960s and the 1990s is a notion which Gerald Thain examines in 'Cape Fear . however.PhilMeyerlooks at the fascination the film industry United in role of cinemain the way in which law is practiced contemporary Statescourtsin 'Why a JuryTrialis MoreLike a Movie Thana Novel'. and Lookingto the questionsof significanceandimpact. justified Dramaas an Expression MathiasKuzina.Nicole Rafter of to gain providesa brief guide to the differentkindsof films which have emergedin TrialFilms'.He suggeststhattherehave Cinematic Lawyersandthe Delivery been differentemphasesover the years and that the unethicallawyer has always existed alongsidethe Atticus Finch figure.
'PerryMason meets Sonny Crocket:The History of Lawyers and the Police as Television Heroes' (1987) 42 Universityof Miami Law Rev. beyond the surface. the full range of interests is. 3 ? Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001 This content downloaded on Tue. even wider than what can be presented in a single collection. 297. 527-69. Bar FoundationResearch J. Macaulay. and even film studies.D. Friedman. we feel that this collection provides a fair representation of the concerns and interests of scholars working in this field. Lawyers and PopularCulture'(1989) 98 Yale Law J. Entertainment and SpectatorSports' (1987) 21 Law and Society Rev. 'Images of Law in Everyday Life: The Lessons of School. He -notes that there are a range of educational reasons for film and law as a subject on the law school curriculum. 'Towardsa Legal Theory of PopularCulture' (1986) WisconsinLaw Rev. 'Lawyersand PopularCulture:A Review of Mass Media Portrayals of American Attorneys'  2 Am. and attending conferences in the area of law.'Law. emphasizes Grisham's concerns with the inequality of legal services and the parasitic nature of the legal profession in the American system.Filming John Grisham'. Guy Osborn outlines the development of Law and Film as a sub-discipline within law schools in Britain and the whole question of what counts as the subject matter of such inquiries. From our experience teaching. and popular culture. He suggests that the adaptation process has produced a type of film which. 1987 T. S. We are confident that work in this area will build on these foundations and that Law and Film will continue to provide a worthwhile and increasing input to legal education. In his essay 'Borders and Boundaries: Locating The Law in Film'. however. 18 Dec 2012 21:19:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1989 L. 15791606. It is worth noting the context in which the examination of law films operates. 'On the PopularImage of the Lawyer: Reflections in a Dark Glass' (1987) 75 California Law Rev. society. As can be seen from the bibliography.A CHRONOLOGY SELECT 1986-1999 1986 A. 185-218. ED WRITINGS ON LAW AND FILM . perhaps surprisingly. 379-89. Chase. Courtroom'sFinest Hour in American Cinema (1987). He examines how the blockbusting book success of John Grisham has been transformed into film. S. Chase. A. Stark.C. Harris. theory.J. Post. R. presenting at symposia. Not only does it operate in the professional sphere as Meyer notes but it is an expanding area with higher education. takes up this theme of the relationship between fiction and film. 229-83.
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