front cover of Bernard Shaw on Cinema
Bernard Shaw on Cinema
Edited by Bernard F. Dukore
Southern Illinois University Press, 1997

With his customary wit and quite often with remarkable prescience, Bernard Shaw maintained a dialogue on cinema that ran almost from the infancy of the industry in 1908 until his death in 1950. Bernard F. Dukore presents the first collection of Bernard Shaw’s writings and oral statements about cinema. Of the more than one hundred comments Dukore has selected, fifty-nine—more than half—are new to today’s readers. Twelve are previously unpublished, one is published in full for the first time, and forty-six appear in a collected edition of Shaw’s writings for the first time since their publication in newspapers and magazines.

Very early in the life of cinema, Shaw perceived that as an invention, movies would be more momentous than the printing press because they appealed to the illiterate as well as the literate, to the manual laborer at the end of an exhausting day as well as to the person with more leisure. He predicted that cinema would form people’s minds and shape their conduct. He recognized that cinema’s "colossal proportions make mediocrity compulsory" by leveling art and life down to the blandest morality and to the lowest common denominator of potential audiences throughout the world.

By 1908, Shaw was familiar with experiments synchronizing movies and sound. When talkies arrived, he discerned that they would precipitate major changes in acting, writing, and economics. He also saw how they would affect live theatre: "The theatre may survive as a place where people are taught to act," he said in 1930, "but apart from that there will be nothing but ‘talkies’ soon." At that time, few people in the theatrical profession were making such prophecies, at least not in public.


front cover of Bigger Than Life
Bigger Than Life
The Close-Up and Scale in the Cinema
Mary Ann Doane
Duke University Press, 2021
In Bigger Than Life Mary Ann Doane examines how the scalar operations of cinema, especially those of the close-up, disturb and reconfigure the spectator's sense of place, space, and orientation. Doane traces the history of scalar transformations from early cinema to the contemporary use of digital technology. In the early years of cinema, audiences regarded the monumental close-up, particularly of the face, as grotesque and often horrifying, even as it sought to expose a character's interiority through its magnification of detail and expression. Today, large-scale technologies such as IMAX and surround sound strive to dissolve the cinematic frame and invade the spectator's space, “immersing” them in image and sound. The notion of immersion, Doane contends, is symptomatic of a crisis of location in technologically mediated space and a reconceptualization of position, scale, and distance. In this way, cinematic scale and its modes of spatialization and despatialization have shaped the modern subject, interpolating them into the incessant expansion of commodification.

front cover of Body Double
Body Double
The Author Incarnate in the Cinema
Lucy Fischer
Rutgers University Press, 2013

Body Double explores the myriad ways that film artists have represented the creative process. In this highly innovative work, Lucy Fischer draws on a neglected element of auteur studies to show that filmmakers frequently raise questions about the paradoxes of authorship by portraying  the onscreen writer. Dealing with such varied topics as the icon of the typewriter, the case of the writer/director, the authoress, and the omnipresent infirm author, she probes the ways in which films can tell a plausible story while contemplating the conditions and theories of their making.

By examining many forms of cinema, from Hollywood and the international art cinema to the avant-garde, Fischer considers the gender, age, and mental or physical health of fictionalized writers; the dramatized interaction between artists and their audiences and critics; and the formal play of written words and nonverbal images.

By analyzing such movies as Adaptation,Diary of a Country Priest, Naked Lunch, American Splendor, and Irezumi, Fischer tracks the parallels between film author and character, looking not for the creative figure who stands outside the text, but for the one who stands within it as corporeal presence and alter-ego.


front cover of Brain Is The Screen
Brain Is The Screen
Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema
Gregory Flaxman
University of Minnesota Press, 2000
The first broad-ranging collection on Deleuze’s essential works on cinema. In the nearly twenty years since their publication, Gilles Deleuze’s books about cinema have proven as daunting as they are enticing—a new aesthetics of film, one equally at home with Henri Bergson and Wim Wenders, Friedrich Nietzsche and Orson Welles, that also takes its place in the philosopher’s immense and difficult oeuvre. With this collection, the first to focus solely and extensively on Deleuze’s cinematic work, the nature and reach of that work finally become clear. Composed of a substantial introduction, twelve original essays produced for this volume, and a new English translation of a personal, intriguing, and little-known interview with Deleuze on his cinema books, The Brain Is the Screen is a sustained engagement with Deleuze’s cinematic philosophy that leads to a new view of the larger confrontation of philosophy with cinematic images.Contributors: Éric Alliez, U of Vienna; Dudley Andrew, U of Iowa; Peter Canning; Tom Conley, Harvard U; András Bálint Kovács, ELTE U, Budapest; Gregg Lambert, Syracuse U; Laura U. Marks, Carleton U; Jean-Clet Martin, Collége International de Philosophie, Paris; Angelo Restivo; Martin Schwab, U of Michigan; François Zourabichvili, Collége International de Philosophie.Gregory Flaxman is a doctoral student in the Program of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter