As part of the SIE FilmCenter's series on "Great Adaptations," CU Denver English professors Colleen Donnelly, Sarah Hagelin, and Andrew Scahill took center stage to contextualize major cinema blockbusters that have been adapted from literary sources. Before screenings of Blade Runner (1982),The Thin Man (1934), and IT (2017) this summer, the English professors delivered multimedia lectures for audiences of nearly 200 attendees.
For the SIE FilmCenter's screening of 2017's hit horror film IT, Prof. Scahill provided a historical overview of the manner in which children have been represented in film. More specifically, how have films been allowed to represent children's bodies on screen vis a vis violence and sexuality? Titled "The Don'ts and Be Carefuls of Child Representation," Dr. Scahill presented the unwritten rules of child representation, and how they have been contested over the years. Starting with the German Expressionist film M, which subtly suggested the protagonists pedophilic desire, through to child monster films like The Bad Seed, to representations of child prostitution in Taxi Driver and Pretty Baby, Dr. Scahill's lecture provided context for IT's graphic representations of child violence, and its diluted references to child sexuality. This lecture capitalized on Dr. Scahill's work in unruly child representations in film, stemming from his 2015 book The Revolting Child in Horror Cinema: Youth Rebellion and Queer Spectatorship.