They are shot on high-definition digital cameras—with computer-generated effects added in postproduction—and transmitted to theaters, websites, and video-on-demand networks worldwide. They are viewed on laptop, iPod, and cell phone screens. They are movies in the 21st century—the product of digital technologies that have revolutionized media production, content distribution, and the experience of moviegoing itself.
21st-Century Hollywood introduces readers to these global transformations and describes the decisive roles that Hollywood is playing in determining the digital future for world cinema. It offers clear, concise explanations of a major paradigm shift that continues to reshape our relationship to the moving image. Filled with numerous detailed examples, the book will both educate and entertain film students and movie fans alike.
John W. Cones has updated his now classic 43 Ways toFinance Your Feature Film: A Comprehensive Analysis of Film Finance with a substantially reorganized and expanded third edition.
An essential reference guide for film professionals on every side of film financing, 43 Ways answers the question that every filmmaker and producer ultimately faces, the issue that can make or break any venture into the film industry: How do I finance my feature film? The third edition includes updated information and coverage of new options for financing.
In his clear and concise style and with expertise amassed over his nearly twenty years of experience in the film finance industry, Cones breaks financing options down into six main areas: gifts and grants, investor financing, domestic government subsidies and tax incentive programs, lender financing, international finance options, and studio or industry financing. Beginning with the forms of financing most likely to be accessible to independent feature film producers, Cones proceeds to other forms that become increasingly available as the producer’s career matures.
As an objective adviser, Cones provides specific, concise information regarding the many possible financing strategies and lists the distinct pros and cons of each strategy. This guide covers the options for film financing in rich detail so that even first-time producers and filmmakers will be able to make educated and informed decisions about the best approaches to financing their films. An extensive bibliography contains additional information about each form of film finance. Cones also counters much of the bad advice being provided by pseudoprofessional film finance consultants and points out scams that may separate unwary film producers from their money.
Although the book focuses on financing feature films, much of its information is relevant to the financing of other kinds of projects, such as short films, documentaries, videos, and multimedia and theatrical endeavors. Anyone considering making or investing in a feature film will be well served by this practical and helpful guide.
In this revealing study, Daisuke Miyao explores "the aesthetics of shadow" in Japanese cinema in the first half of the twentieth century. This term, coined by the production designer Yoshino Nobutaka, refers to the perception that shadows add depth and mystery. Miyao analyzes how this notion became naturalized as the representation of beauty in Japanese films, situating Japanese cinema within transnational film history. He examines the significant roles lighting played in distinguishing the styles of Japanese film from American and European film and the ways that lighting facilitated the formulation of a coherent new Japanese cultural tradition. Miyao discusses the influences of Hollywood and German cinema alongside Japanese Kabuki theater lighting traditions and the emergence of neon commercial lighting during this period. He argues that lighting technology in cinema had been structured by the conflicts of modernity in Japan, including capitalist transitions in the film industry, the articulation of Japanese cultural and national identity, and increased subjectivity for individuals. By focusing on the understudied element of film lighting and treating cinematographers and lighting designers as essential collaborators in moviemaking, Miyao offers a rereading of Japanese film history.
This volume attempts to join the disparate worlds of Egyptian, Maghrebian, South African, Francophone, and Anglophone African cinema—that is, five “formations” of African cinema. These five areas are of particular significance—each in its own way. The history of South Africa, heavily marked by apartheid and its struggles, differs considerably from that of Egypt, which early on developed its own “Hollywood on the Nile.” The history of French colonialism impacted the three countries of the Maghreb—Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco—differently than those in sub-Saharan Africa, where Senegal and Sembène had their own great effect on the Sahelian region. Anglophone Africa, particularly the films of Ghana and Nigeria, has dramatically altered the ways people have perceived African cinema for decades. History, geography, production, distribution, and exhibition are considered alongside film studies concerns about ideology and genre. This volume provides essential information for all those interested in the vital worlds of cinema in Africa since the time of the Lumière brothers.
The American Film Industry
Edited by Tino T. Balio University of Wisconsin Press, 1985 Library of Congress PN1993.5.U6A87 1985 | Dewey Decimal 384.80973
Upon its original publication in 1976, The American Film Industry was welcomed by film students, scholars, and fans as the first systematic and unified history of the American movie industry. Now this indispensible anthology has been expanded and revised to include a fresh introductory overview by editor Tino Balio and ten new chapters that explore such topics as the growth of exhibition as big business, the mode of production for feature films, the star as market strategy, and the changing economics and structure of contemporary entertainment companies. The result is a unique collection of essays, more comprehensive and current than ever, that reveals how the American movie industry really worked in a century of constant change-from kinetoscopes and the coming of sound to the star system, 1950s blacklisting, and today's corporate empires.
Shanghai in the early twentieth century was alive with art and culture. With the proliferation of popular genres such as the martial arts film, the contest among various modernist filmmakers, and the advent of sound, Chinese cinema was transforming urban life. But with the Japanese invasion in 1937, all of this came to a screeching halt. Until recently, the political establishment has discouraged comprehensive studies of the cultural phenomenon of early Chinese film, and this momentous chapter in China's history has remained largely unexamined.
The first sustained historical study of the emergence of cinema in China, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen is a fascinating narrative that illustrates the immense cultural significance of film and its power as a vehicle for social change. Named after a major feature film on the making of Chinese cinema, only part of which survives, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen reveals the intricacies of this cultural movement and explores its connections to other art forms such as photography, architecture, drama, and literature. In light of original archival research, Zhang Zhen examines previously unstudied films and expands the important discussion of how they modeled modern social structures and gender roles in early twentieth-century China.
The first volume in the new and groundbreaking series Cinema and Modernity, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen is an innovative—and well illustrated—look at the cultural history of Chinese modernity through the lens of this seminal moment in Shanghai cinema.
The emergence of the double-bill in the 1930s created a divide between A-pictures and B-pictures as theaters typically screened packages featuring one of each. With the former considered more prestigious because of their larger budgets and more popular actors, the lower-budgeted Bs served largely as a support mechanism to A-films of the major studios—most of which also owned the theater chains in which movies were shown. When a 1948 U.S. Supreme Court antitrust ruling severed ownership of theaters from the studios, the B-movie soon became a different entity in the wake of profound changes to the corporate organization and production methods of the major Hollywood studios.
In The Battle for the Bs, Blair Davis analyzes how B-films were produced, distributed, and exhibited in the 1950s and demonstrates the possibilities that existed for low-budget filmmaking at a time when many in Hollywood had abandoned the Bs. Made by newly formed independent companies, 1950s B-movies took advantage of changing demographic patterns to fashion innovative marketing approaches. They established such genre cycles as science fiction and teen-oriented films (think Destination Moon and I Was a Teenage Werewolf) well before the major studios and also contributed to the emergence of the movement now known as underground cinema. Although frequently proving to be multimillion-dollar box-office draws by the end of the decade, the Bs existed in opposition to the cinematic mainstream in the 1950s and created a legacy that was passed on to independent filmmakers in the decades to come.
"Helps us to understand how Hollywood films shaped public consciousness about the past by constructing a very specific, ideologically charged version of that past. . . . A fresh and important contribution to film history and cultural studies."--Daniel Czitrom, Mount Holyoke College
Bio/Pics is the first comprehensive study of a once important film genre, the biographical film. Using previously unavailable archival materials from Twentieth Century-Fox, Warner Bros., MGM, and RKO studios, as well as censorship files from the Production Code Administration, George Custen argues that, through these films, Hollywood manufactured a nearly monochromatic view of history that was systematically distorted in regard to race, gender, nationality, and profession.Utilizing a carefully selected sample of over 100 films produced during the Studio Era (1927-1960), Custen maintains that the biopic constructed a Hollywood code of history out of a tightly controlled reference system, glamorizing the producers' own personal visions of what constituted a great life. Custen's examination of production practices reveals that the machinery of public history operating through these films was fueled by difference sources. His analysis of the roles played by star personae, legal considerations, censorship practices, and the producers' own ideologies brings the world of biopic alive, even into the age of the made-for-TV movie.
Cinema is not only a major industry in India, it is a powerful cultural force. But until now, no one has undertaken a major examination of the ways in which films made in Bombay mediate the urban experience in India. In Bombay Cinema, Ranjani Mazumdar takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding Bombay cinema as the unofficial archive of the city in India.
In this analysis of the cinematic city, Mazumdar reveals a complex postnationalist world, convulsed by the social crisis of the 1970s and transformed by the experience of globalization in the 1990s. She argues that the upheaval of postcolonial nationalism led to Bombay cinema’s articulation of urban life in entirely new terms. Specifically, the place of the village in the imaginary constitution of anticolonial nationalism gave way to a greater acknowledgment, even centrality, of urban space. Bombay Cinema takes the reader on an inventive journey through a cinematic city of mass crowds, violence, fashion, architectural fantasies, and subcultural identities. Moving through the world of gangsters and vamps, families and drifters, and heroes and villains, Bombay Cinema explores an urban landscape marked by industrial decline, civic crisis, working-class disenchantment, and diverse street life.Combining the anecdotal with the theoretical, the philosophical with the political, and the textual with the historical, Bombay Cinema leads the reader into the heart of the urban labyrinth in India, revising and deepening our understanding of both the city and the cinema.
"A landmark study—carefully researched, well organized and offering refreshingly uncondescending and strikingly insightful discussions of mainstream films—that deserves to be read by anyone interested in India's popular cinema or its contemporary urban life." —Journal of Asian Studies
"Bombay Cinema is an exciting and important contribution to a field that has, to date, been under researched and under theorized. Lively, provocative and richly suggestive, it will also serve as a surefire incentive to watch those films all over again." —Screen
"Here, at last, is a book length study on Cinema in India that does not get locked into a dance of hermetic closure between what transpires on screen and a set of stock off screen textual and cultural references, but more importantly, walks the streets where the films are set, looks at shop windows, publicity material, costumes, fashion, architecture, telecommunications and the concrete materiality that surrounds the film object." —Seminar
"Bombay Cinema is lucid, provocative, stylish and substantial. It is an illuminating scholarly study that spares no effort to bring Bombay cinema out of the academic closet." —The Book Review India
"Departing from the obsession that Film Studies in India has displayed with the idea of cinema as a national allegory, the book convincingly argues for the need to examine the city's hidden archive as one that cannot be subsumed within the sign of the national." —Biblio
"Mazumdar has a great capacity to discuss Indian cinema, with a brilliant grasp of its political, historical, and aesthetic developments, but equally she is well attuned to the interests and ruptures in the academic discourse of film and cinema studies."—Film International
"Mazumdar's experience as a filmmaker allowed her to offer significant readings of not just the narratives and character development in the films, but of the cinematography, mise-en-scene, and other technical and performance aspects of production." —Journal of Popular Culture
"At once about Hindi films, spatial practices, urban modernity and globalization . . . the strength of Bombay Cinema lies in bringing all of them together in a productive conversation.” —Economic and Political Weekly
"Bombay Cinema is methodologically challenging in its deployment of moments rather than discursiveformations of film as text. The book also refuses to read film alone, but interprets the medium alongside the detailed insights of people involved in making them, and with the recent history of Bombay, within which the film industry is located. In Mazumdar's evocative reading of the films she engages with, the cinematic city becomes the space of critique of the nation, the site of the ruin of the modern nationalist project." —Contemporary South Asia
Business Plans for Filmmakers
John W. Cones Southern Illinois University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN1995.9.P7C66 2010 | Dewey Decimal 384.83
The practical and legal aspects of writing a business plan for a film venture can be daunting to navigate without a firm grasp of know-how. With this in mind, John W. Cones's Business Plans for Filmmakers arms independent movie-makers and students with everything they need to successfully tackle the confusing intersection of law, business, and art when creating a business plan for a movie. This pragmatic volume offers plenty of examples and strategies for success, sharing straightforward insight into some of the toughest challenges independent filmmakers face when encountering these documents.
With simple yet thorough detail and clarity, Cones outlines the legal requirements affecting movie proposals, including ways to evaluate the necessity for a business plan or a securities disclosure document, as well as the legal definition of "an active investor." Also addressed are the numerous subjects filmmakers and students must consider before a film offering, including the efficacy of a business plan to fund the development, production, and distribution phases of a film; common elements of fraud of which fledgling filmmakers should beware; the intricacies of revenue sharing; and how to render financial projections. Cones also imparts useful distinctions between such industry terms as "company financing" versus "project financing," along with many others.
This bookalso includes in-depth guidance through the murky paths of investor analysis and key strategies to find and attract parties interested in financing film. Drawing upon his many years as a securities and entertainment attorney, and his experiences advising independent film producers, Cones offers the tools necessary not only to understand investors' motivations but also to use that knowledge to the filmmaker's advantage. Also provided are perceptive studies of the investment vehicles commonly used in business plans seeking investors, with analysis of each method's pros and cons. Throughout the volume, Cones uses sample plans to offer a real-world grasp of the intricacies of the business.
In the business of this art, knowledge is power. Business Plans for Filmmakers dispels the myths and misinformation circulating among filmmakers to provide accurate and useful advice.
How did the imperial logic underlying British and Indian film policy change with the British Empire’s loss of moral authority and political cohesion? Were British and Indian films of the 1930s and 1940s responsive to and responsible for such shifts? Cinema at the End of Empire illuminates this intertwined history of British and Indian cinema in the late colonial period. Challenging the rubric of national cinemas that dominates film studies, Priya Jaikumar contends that film aesthetics and film regulations were linked expressions of radical political transformations in a declining British empire and a nascent Indian nation. As she demonstrates, efforts to entice colonial film markets shaped Britain’s national film policies, and Indian responses to these initiatives altered the limits of colonial power in India. Imperially themed British films and Indian films envisioning a new civil society emerged during political negotiations that redefined the role of the state in relation to both film industries.
In addition to close readings of British and Indian films of the late colonial era, Jaikumar draws on a wealth of historical and archival material, including parliamentary proceedings, state-sponsored investigations into colonial filmmaking, trade journals, and intra- and intergovernmental memos regarding cinema. Her wide-ranging interpretations of British film policies, British initiatives in colonial film markets, and genres such as the Indian mythological film and the British empire melodrama reveal how popular film styles and controversial film regulations in these politically linked territories reconfigured imperial relations. With its innovative examination of the colonial film archive, this richly illustrated book presents a new way to track historical change through cinema.
Historically, Los Angeles and its exhibition market have been central to the international success of Latin American cinema. Not only was Los Angeles a site crucial for exhibition of these films, but it became the most important hub in the western hemisphere for the distribution of Spanish language films made for Latin American audiences. Cinema between Latin America and Los Angeles builds upon this foundational insight to both examine the considerable, ongoing role that Los Angeles played in the history of Spanish-language cinema and to explore the implications of this transnational dynamic for the study and analysis of Latin American cinema before 1960. The volume editors aim to flesh out the gaps between Hollywood and Latin America, American imperialism and Latin American nationalism in order to produce a more nuanced view of transnational cultural relations in the western hemisphere.
From Al Jolson in blackface to Song of the South, there is a long history of racism in Hollywood film. Yet as early as the 1930s, movie studios carefully vetted their releases, removing racially offensive language like the “N-word.” This censorship did not stem from purely humanitarian concerns, but rather from worries about boycotts from civil rights groups and loss of revenue from African American filmgoers.
Cinema Civil Rights presents the untold history of how Black audiences, activists, and lobbyists influenced the representation of race in Hollywood in the decades before the 1960s civil rights era. Employing a nuanced analysis of power, Ellen C. Scott reveals how these representations were shaped by a complex set of negotiations between various individuals and organizations. Rather than simply recounting the perspective of film studios, she calls our attention to a variety of other influential institutions, from protest groups to state censorship boards.
Scott demonstrates not only how civil rights debates helped shaped the movies, but also how the movies themselves provided a vital public forum for addressing taboo subjects like interracial sexuality, segregation, and lynching. Emotionally gripping, theoretically sophisticated, and meticulously researched, Cinema Civil Rights presents us with an in-depth look at the film industry’s role in both articulating and censoring the national conversation on race.
Film is often used to represent the natural landscape and, increasingly, to communicate environmentalist messages. Yet behind even today’s “green” movies are ecologically unsustainable production, distribution, and consumption processes. Noting how seemingly immaterial moving images are supported by highly durable resource-dependent infrastructures, The Cinematic Footprint traces the history of how the “hydrocarbon imagination” has been central to the development of film as a medium.
Nadia Bozak’s innovative fusion of film studies and environmental studies makes provocative connections between the disappearance of material resources and the emergence of digital media—with examples ranging from early cinema to Dziga Vertov’s prescient eye, from Chris Marker’s analog experiments to the digital work of Agnès Varda, James Benning, and Zacharias Kunuk. Combining an analysis of cinema technology with a sensitive consideration of film aesthetics, The Cinematic Footprint offers a new perspective on moving images and the natural resources that sustain them.
The volume is the first-ever book-length study of the cinematic representation of Paris in the films of German èmigrè filmmakers, many of whom fled there as a refuge from Hitler. In coming to Paris—a privileged site in terms of production, exhibition, and film culture—these experienced professionals also encountered resistance: hostility toward Germans, anti-Semitism, and boycotts from a French industry afraid of losing jobs to foreigners. Phillips juxtaposes the cinematic portrayal of Paris in the films of Robert Siodmak, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Max Ophüls, Anatol Litvak, and others with the wider social and cultural debates about the city in cinema.
Ben Urwand Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PN1993.5.G3U79 2013 | Dewey Decimal 791.4309730943
To continue doing business in Germany, Hollywood studios agreed not to make films attacking Nazis or condemning persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this collaboration and the cast of characters it drew in, ranging from Goebbels to Louis B. Mayer. At the center was Hitler himself--obsessed with movies and their power to shape public opinion.
Bollywood movies have been long known for their colorful song-and-dance numbers and knack for combining drama, comedy, action-adventure, and music. But when India entered the global marketplace in the early 1990s, its film industry transformed radically. Production and distribution of films became regulated, advertising and marketing created a largely middle-class audience, and films began to fit into genres like science fiction and horror. In this bold study of what she names New Bollywood, Sangita Gopal contends that the key to understanding these changes is to analyze films’ evolving treatment of romantic relationships.
Gopalargues that the form of the conjugal duo in movies reflects other social forces in India’s new consumerist and global society. She takes a daring look at recent Hindi films and movie trends—the decline of song-and-dance sequences, the upgraded status of the horror genre, and the rise of the multiplex and multi-plot—to demonstrate how these relationships exemplify different formulas of contemporary living. A provocative account of how cultural artifacts can embody globalization’s effects on intimate life, Conjugations will shake up the study of Hindi film.
There has been a significant surge in recent Argentine cinema, with an explosion in the number of films made in the country since the mid-1990s. Many of these productions have been highly acclaimed by critics in Argentina and elsewhere. What makes this boom all the more extraordinary is its coinciding with a period of severe economic crisis and civil unrest in the nation. Offering the first in-depth English-language study of Argentine fiction films of the late twentieth century and early twenty-first, Joanna Page explains how these productions have registered Argentina’s experience of capitalism, neoliberalism, and economic crisis. In different ways, the films selected for discussion testify to the social consequences of growing unemployment, rising crime, marginalization, and the expansion of the informal economy.
Page focuses particularly on films associated with New Argentine Cinema, but she also discusses highly experimental films and genre movies that borrow from the conventions of crime thrillers, Westerns, and film noir. She analyzes films that have received wide international recognition alongside others that have rarely been shown outside Argentina. What unites all the films she examines is their attention to shifts in subjectivity provoked by political or economic conditions and events. Page emphasizes the paradoxes arising from the circulation of Argentine films within the same global economy they so often critique, and she argues that while Argentine cinema has been intent on narrating the collapse of the nation-state, it has also contributed to the nation’s reconstruction. She brings the films into dialogue with a broader range of issues in contemporary film criticism, including the role of national and transnational film studies, theories of subjectivity and spectatorship, and the relationship between private and public spheres.
Death of the Moguls is a detailed assessment of the last days of the “rulers of film.” Wheeler Winston Dixon examines the careers of such moguls as Harry Cohn at Columbia, Louis B. Mayer at MGM, Jack L. Warner at Warner Brothers, Adolph Zukor at Paramount, and Herbert J. Yates at Republic in the dying days of their once-mighty empires. He asserts that the sheer force of personality and business acumen displayed by these moguls made the studios successful; their deaths or departures hastened the studios’ collapse. Almost none had a plan for leadership succession; they simply couldn't imagine a world in which they didn’t reign supreme.
Covering 20th Century-Fox, Selznick International Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, Republic Pictures, Monogram Pictures and Columbia Pictures, Dixon briefly introduces the studios and their respective bosses in the late 1940s, just before the collapse, then chronicles the last productions from the studios and their eventual demise in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He details such game-changing factors as the de Havilland decision, which made actors free agents; the Consent Decree, which forced the studios to get rid of their theaters; how the moguls dealt with their collapsing empires in the television era; and the end of the conventional studio assembly line, where producers had rosters of directors, writers, and actors under their command.
Complemented by rare, behind-the-scenes stills, Death of the Moguls is a compelling narrative of the end of the studio system at each of the Hollywood majors as television, the de Havilland decision, and the Consent Decree forced studios to slash payrolls, make the shift to color, 3D, and CinemaScope in desperate last-ditch efforts to save their kingdoms. The aftermath for some was the final switch to television production and, in some cases, the distribution of independent film.
Avatar. Inception. Jurassic Park. Lord of the Rings. Ratatouille. Not only are these some of the highest-grossing films of all time, they are also prime examples of how digital visual effects have transformed Hollywood filmmaking. Some critics, however, fear that this digital revolution marks a radical break with cinematic tradition, heralding the death of serious realistic movies in favor of computer-generated pure spectacle.
Digital Visual Effects in Cinema counters this alarmist reading, by showing how digital effects–driven films should be understood as a continuation of the narrative and stylistic traditions that have defined American cinema for decades. Stephen Prince argues for an understanding of digital technologies as an expanded toolbox, available to enhance both realist films and cinematic fantasies. He offers a detailed exploration of each of these tools, from lighting technologies to image capture to stereoscopic 3D. Integrating aesthetic, historical, and theoretical analyses of digital visual effects, Digital Visual Effects in Cinema is an essential guide for understanding movie-making today.
The period 1907–1913 marks a crucial transitional moment in American cinema. As moving picture shows changed from mere novelty to an increasingly popular entertainment, fledgling studios responded with longer running times and more complex storytelling. A growing trade press and changing production procedures also influenced filmmaking. In Early American Cinema in Transition, Charlie Keil looks at a broad cross-section of fiction films to examine the formal changes in cinema of this period and the ways that filmmakers developed narrative techniques to suit the fifteen-minute, one-reel format.
Keil outlines the kinds of narratives that proved most suitable for a single reel’s duration, the particular demands that time and space exerted on this early form of film narration, and the ways filmmakers employed the unique features of a primarily visual medium to craft stories that would appeal to an audience numbering in the millions. He underscores his analysis with a detailed look at six films: The Boy Detective; The Forgotten Watch; Rose O’Salem-Town; Cupid’s Monkey Wrench; Belle Boyd, A Confederate Spy; and Suspense.
This volume features new work on cinema in early twentieth-century Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Republican China. Looking beyond relatively well-studied cities like Shanghai, these essays foreground cinema’s relationship with imperialism and colonialism and emphasize the rapid development of cinema as a sociocultural institution. These essays examine where films were screened; how cinema-going as a social activity adapted from and integrated with existing social norms and practices; the extent to which Cantonese opera and other regional performance traditions were models for the development of cinematic conventions; the role foreign films played in the development of cinema as an industry in the Republican era; and much more.
Early Puerto Rican Cinema and Nation Building focuses on the processes of Puerto Rican national identity formation as seen through the historical development of cinema on the island between 1897 and 1940. Anchoring her work in archival sources in film technology, economy, and education, Naida García-Crespo argues that Puerto Rico’s position as a stateless nation allows for a fresh understanding of national cinema based on perceptions of productive cultural contributions rather than on citizenship or state structures. This book aims to contribute to recently expanding discussions of cultural networks by analyzing how Puerto Rican cinema navigates the problems arising from the connection and/or disjunction between nation and state. The author argues that Puerto Rico’s position as a stateless nation puts pressure on traditional conceptions of national cinema, which tend to rely on assumptions of state support or a bounded nation-state. She also contends that the cultural and business practices associated with early cinema reveal that transnationalism is an integral part of national identities and their development. García-Crespo shows throughout this book that the development and circulation of cinema in Puerto Rico illustrate how the “national” is built from transnational connections.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and space aliens like the Transformers share a surprising connection along with James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Rocky Balboa. These beloved icons played active roles in movie and television projects set in the state of Nevada. Long time state film commissioner and movie reviewer Holabird explores the blending of icons and Nevada, along with her personal experiences of watching movies, talking with famous people, and showing off a diverse range of stunning and iconic locations like Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Area 51.
Holabird shows how Nevada’s flash, flair, and fostering of the forbidden provided magic for singers, sexpots, and strange creatures from other worlds. She also gives readers an insider’s look into moviemaking in Nevada by drawing on her extensive experience as a film commissioner. This is a unique take on film history and culture, and Holabird explores eighteen film genres populated by one-of-a-kind characters with ties to Nevada. Along with being a film history of the state of Nevada written by a consummate insider, the book is a fun mixture of research, personal experiences, and analysis about how Nevada became the location of choice for a broad spectrum of well-known films and characters.
Has European cinema, in the age of globalization, lost contact not only with the world at large, but with its own audiences? Between the thriving festival circuit and the obligatory late-night television slot, is there still a public or a public sphere for European films? Can the cinema be the appropriate medium for a multicultural Europe and its migrating multitudes? Is there a division of representational labor, with Hollywood providing stars and spectacle, the Asian countries exotic color and choreographed action, and Europe a sense of history, place and memory?
This collection of essays by an acclaimed film scholar examines how independent filmmaking in Europe has been reinventing itself since the 1990s, faced by renewed competition from Hollywood and the challenges posed to national cinemas by the fall of the Wall in 1989. Elsaesser reassesses the debates and presents a broader framework for understanding the forces at work since the 1960s. These include the interface of "world cinema" and the rise of Asian cinemas, the importance of the international film festival circuit, the role of television, and the changing aesthetics of auteur cinema. New audiences have different allegiances, and new technologies enable networks to reshape identities, but European cinema still has an important function in setting critical and creative agendas, even as its economic and institutional bases are in transition.
Exposing the Film Apparatus
Edited by Giovanna Fossati and Annie van den Oever Amsterdam University Press, 2016 Library of Congress TR878.E97 2016 | Dewey Decimal 777.0284
Film archives have long been dedicated to preserving movies, and they’ve been nimble in recent years in adapting to the changing formats and technologies through which cinema is now created and presented. This collection makes the case for a further step: the need to see media technologies themselves as objects of conservation, restoration, presentation, and research, in both film archives and film studies. Contributors with a wide range of expertise in the film and media world consider the practical and theoretical challenges posed by such conservation efforts and consider their potential to generate productive new possibilities in research and education in the field.
Received an Honorable Mention for the 2017 British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) Best Monograph Award
From Shortbus to Shame and from Oldboy to Irreversible, film festival premieres regularly make international headlines for their shockingly graphic depictions of sex and violence. Film critics and scholars alike often regard these movies as the work of visionary auteurs, hailing directors like Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier as heirs to a tradition of transgressive art. In this provocative new book, Mattias Frey offers a very different perspective on these films, exposing how they are also calculated products, designed to achieve global notoriety in a competitive marketplace.
Paying close attention to the discourses employed by film critics, distributors, and filmmakers themselves, Extreme Cinema examines the various tightropes that must be walked when selling transgressive art films to discerning audiences, distinguishing them from generic horror, pornography, and Hollywood product while simultaneously hyping their salacious content. Deftly tracing the links between the local and the global, Frey also shows how the directors and distributors of extreme art house fare from both Europe and East Asia have significant incentives to exaggerate the exotic elements that would differentiate them from Anglo-American product.
Extreme Cinema also includes original interviews with the programmers of several leading international film festivals and with niche distributors and exhibitors, giving readers a revealing look at how these institutions enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the “taboo-breakers” of art house cinema. Frey also demonstrates how these apparently transgressive films actually operate within a strict set of codes and conventions, carefully calibrated to perpetuate a media industry that fuels itself on provocation.
John W. Cones, whose real goal is to stimulate a long-term film industry reform movement, shows how the financial control of the film industry in the hands of the major studios and distributors actually translates into creative control of the industry.
Cones discusses the pros and cons of the debate relating to the industry’s so-called net profit problem and the way in which the distribution deal plays an integral part in that problem. He then breaks down five major film finance/distribution scenarios, explaining various distribution deals and suggesting ways of negotiating distribution.
Critically examining the specific terms of the distribution deal itself, Cones covers gross receipts exclusions, distributor fees, and distribution expenses. He also investigates the various forms of interest, issues of production costs, matters of creative control, and general contractual provisions.
For handy reference, Cones includes an extensive checklist for negotiating any feature film distribution deal. The list deals with distribution fees, distribution expenses, interest, production costs, creative control issues, general contractual provisions, distributor commitments, and the limits of negotiating. His nine appendixes present a "Motion Picture Industry Overview," "Profit Participation Audit Firms," "ADI (Top 50) Market Rankings," an "AFMA Member List, 1992–1993," a "Production-Financing/Distribution Agreement," a "Negative Pickup Distribution Agreement," a "Distribution Rights Acquisition Agreement," a "Distribution Agreement (Rent-a-Distributor Deal)," and a "Foreign Distribution Agreement."
Cones wrote this book for independent producers, executive and associate producers and their representatives, directors, actors, screenwriters, members of talent guilds, distributors, and entertainment, antitrust, and securities attorneys. Securities issuers and dealers, investment bankers, and money finders, investors, and financiers of every sort also will be interested. In addition, Cones suggests and hopes that the book will interest "Congress, their research staff, government regulators at the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and law enforcement officials such as the Los Angeles District Attorney and the U.S. Justice Department."
In Film Blackness Michael Boyce Gillespie shifts the ways we think about black film, treating it not as a category, a genre, or strictly a representation of the black experience but as a visual negotiation between film as art and the discursivity of race. Gillespie challenges expectations that black film can or should represent the reality of black life or provide answers to social problems. Instead, he frames black film alongside literature, music, art, photography, and new media, treating it as an interdisciplinary form that enacts black visual and expressive culture. Gillespie discusses the racial grotesque in Ralph Bakshi's Coonskin (1975), black performativity in Wendell B. Harris Jr.'s Chameleon Street (1989), blackness and noir in Bill Duke's Deep Cover (1992), and how place and desire impact blackness in Barry Jenkins's Medicine for Melancholy (2008). Considering how each film represents a distinct conception of the relationship between race and cinema, Gillespie recasts the idea of black film and poses new paradigms for genre, narrative, aesthetics, historiography, and intertextuality.
Movies, stars, auteurs, critics, and the sheer excitement of cinema come together in film festivals as quintessential constellations of art, business, and glamour. Yet, how well do we actually understand the forces and meanings that these events embody?
Film Festivals offers the first comprehensive overview of the history, people, films, and multiple functions of the festival world. From Sundance to Hong Kong, from the glitter of Cannes to edgier festivals that challenge boundaries or foster LGBTQ cultural production, film festivals celebrate art, promote business, bring cinema to diverse audiences, and raise key issues about how we see our world. Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong situates festivals within changing global practices of film, including their important ties to both Hollywood and independent cinema. She explores how these events have become central in the construction of cinema knowledge as well as the behind-the-scene mechanics of finance, distribution, and evaluation. By linking general structures and connections to specific films and auteurs, Wong addresses the components and creation of film festivals that continue to reshape filmmaking as art and business.
Looking back through the prism of the severe economic crisis for filmmaking in the 1980s, The Film Industry in Brazil explores the unusual relationship between the state-supported industry, which often produced politically radical films, and the authoritarian regime that had held sway for twenty years. To ground his analysis, Johnson covers the early years of the film industry, 1898-1930; attempts at industrialization during the 1930s and 1940s; film industry congresses and government film boards, 1950-1966; the National Film Institute, 1966-1975; and the expansion of the state's role from 1969 through 1980.
Well-conceived, carefully researched and documented, Johnson's study fills a major gap in film studies by tracing the development of this industry in Brazil, focusing specifically on its relationship to the state.
This book uses the potent case study of contemporary Taiwanese queer romance films to address the question of how capitalism in Taiwan has privileged the film industry at the expense of the audience's freedom to choose and respond to culture on its own terms. Interweaving in-depth interviews with filmmakers, producers, marketers, and spectators, Ya-Fong Mon takes a biopolitical approach to the question, showing how the industry uses investments in techno-science, ancillary marketing, and media convergence to seduce and control the sensory experience of the audience-yet that control only extends so far: volatility remains a key component of the film-going experience.
The Flash of Capital analyzes the links between Japan’s capitalist history and its film history, illuminating what these connections reveal about film culture and everyday life in Japan. Looking at a hundred-year history of film and capitalism, Eric Cazdyn theorizes a cultural history that highlights the spaces where film and the nation transcend their customary borders—where culture and capital crisscross—and, in doing so, develops a new way of understanding historical change and transformation in modern Japan and beyond. Cazdyn focuses on three key moments of historical contradiction: colonialism, post-war reconstruction, and globalization. Considering great classics of Japanese film, documentaries, works of science fiction, animation, and pornography, he brings to light cinematic attempts to come to terms with the tensions inherent in each historical moment—tensions between the colonizer and the colonized, between the individual and the collective, and between the national and the transnational. Paying close attention to political context, Cazdyn shows how formal inventions in the realms of acting, film history and theory, thematics, documentary filmmaking, and adaptation articulate a struggle to solve implacable historical problems. This innovative work of cultural history and criticism offers explanations of historical change that challenge conventional distinctions between the aesthetic and the geopolitical.
What is the work of film in the age of transnational production? To answer that question, Randall Halle focuses on the film industry of Germany, one of Europe's largest film markets and one of the world's largest film-producing nations. In the 1990s Germany experienced an extreme transition from a state-subsidized mode of film production that was free of anxious concerns about profit and audience entertainment to a mode dominated by private interest and big capital. At the same time, the European Union began actively drawing together the national markets of Germany and other European nations, sublating their individual significances into a synergistic whole. This book studies these changes broadly, but also focuses on the transformations in their particular national context. It balances film politics and film aesthetics, tracing transformations in financing along with analyses of particular films to describe the effects on the film object itself. Halle concludes that we witness currently the emergence of a new transnational aesthetic, a fundamental shift in cultural production with ramifications for communal identifications, state cohesion, and national economies.
Hollywood has long been associated with scandal--with covering it up, with managing its effects, and, in some cases, with creating and directing it. In putting together Headline Hollywood, Adrienne McLean and David Cook approach the relationship between Hollywood and scandal from a fresh perspective. The contributors consider some of the famous transgressions that shocked Hollywood and its audiences during the last century, and explore the changing meaning of scandal over time by zeroing in on issues of power: Who decides what crimes and misdemeanors should be circulated for public consumption and titillation? What makes a Hollywood scandal scandalous? What are the uses of scandal? The essays are arranged chronologically to show how Hollywood scandals have evolved relative to changing moral and social orders. This collection will prove essential to the field of film studies as well as to anyone interested in the character and future direction of American culture. Contributors are Mark Lynn Anderson, Cynthia Baron, James Castonguay, Nancy Cook, Mary Desjardins, Lucy Fischer, Lee Grieveson, Erik Hedling, Peter Lehman, William Luhr, Adrienne L. McLean, Susan McLeland, and Sam Stoloff. Adrienne L. McLean is an assistant professor of film studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. David A. Cook is a professor of film and media studies at Emory University. He is the author of A History of Film Narrative.
"Michele Hilmes has produced
an excellent introduction to a most important subject. This is an invaluable
work for both scholars and students that places film, radio, and television
within the context of the national culture experience."
--- American Historical Review
"Hilmes is one of the few historians
of broadcasting to move beyond a political economy of the media. . . . Her work
should serve as a model for future histories of broadcasting."
--- Journal of Communication
"All media historians will
find this work a critical addition to their bookshelves."
--- American Journalism
"A major addition to media
--- Journalism History
Hollywood cinema and Los Angeles cannot be understood apart. Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles traces the interaction of the real city, its movie business, and filmed image, focusing on the crucial period from the construction of the first studios in the 1910s to the decline of the studio system fifty years later.
As Los Angeles gradually became one of the ten largest cities in the world, the film industry made key contributions to its rapid growth and frequent crises in economic, social, political and cultural life. Whether filmmakers engaged with the real city on location or recreated it on a studio set, Los Angeles shaped the films that were made there and circulated influentially worldwide. The book pays particular attention to early cinema, slapstick comedy, movies about the movies and film noir, which are each explored in new ways, with an emphasis on urban and architectural space and its representation, as well as filmmaking style and technique. Including many previously unpublished photographs and new historical evidence, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles gives us a never-before-seen view of the City of Angels.
Rebecca Prime documents the untold story of the American directors, screenwriters, and actors who exiled themselves to Europe as a result of the Hollywood blacklist. During the 1950s and 1960s, these Hollywood émigrés directed, wrote, or starred in almost one hundred European productions, their contributions ranging from crime film masterpieces like Du rififi chez les hommes (1955, Jules Dassin, director) to international blockbusters like The Bridge on the RiverKwai (1957, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, screenwriters) and acclaimed art films like The Servant (1963, Joseph Losey, director).
At once a lively portrait of a lesser-known American “lost generation” and an examination of an important transitional moment in European cinema, the book offers a compelling argument for the significance of the blacklisted émigrés to our understanding of postwar American and European cinema and Cold War relations. Prime provides detailed accounts of the production and reception of their European films that clarify the ambivalence with which Hollywood was regarded within postwar European culture. Drawing upon extensive archival research, including previously classified material, Hollywood Exiles in Europe suggests the need to rethink our understanding of the Hollywood blacklist as a purely domestic phenomenon. By shedding new light on European cinema’s changing relationship with Hollywood, the book illuminates the postwar shift from national to transnational cinema.
Hollywood Independents explores the crucial period from 1948 to 1962 when independent film producers first became key components of the modern corporate entertainment industry. Denise Mann examines the impact of the radically changed filmmaking climate—the decline of the studios, the rise of television, and the rise of potent talent agencies like MCA—on a group of prominent talent-turned-producers including Burt Lancaster, Joseph Mankiewicz, Elia Kazan, and Billy Wilder.
In order to show how these newly independent filmmakers negotiated through an increasingly fraught, reactionary creative atmosphere, Mann analyzes the reflexive portraits of their altered working conditions in such films as A Face in the Crowd, Sweet Smell of Success, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? These artists, she shows, took on the corporate middle-managers at television networks and talent agencies as a way of challenging the status quo without risking censorship or blacklisting.
This period saw the evolution of film production from the studio-governed system to one of entrepreneurs. Out of this new arrangement, which encouraged greater creative freedom, emerged a nascent form of independent art cinema that sowed the seeds of the Hollywood Renaissance that followed.
Denise Mann is associate professor of film, TV and digital media at UCLA. She is coeditor of Private Screenings: Television and the Female Consumer (Minnesota, 1992).
Hollywood has a long tradition of bringing in emigre directors from around the world, dating back to the silent era. Today, as the film industry is ever more global, the people who make blockbuster movies seemingly reflect this tradition, hailing from many countries across the world. But that fact hides a fundamental difference, one that Melis Behlil examines in Hollywood is Everywhere: today's Hollywood studios are themselves transnational, with ownership structures and financial arrangements that stretch far beyond the borders of the United States. Seen in that context, today's international directors are less analogous to the emigre talent of the past than to ordinary transnational employees of other major global corporations.
Hollywood culture has been dismissed as insignificant for so long that film buffs and critics might be forgiven for forgetting that for two decades an unprecedented interaction of social and cultural forces shaped American film. In this probing account of how a generation of industry newcomers attempted to use the modernist art of the cinema to educate the public in anti-Fascist ideals, Saverio Giovacchini traces the profound transformation that took place in the film industry from the 1930's to the 1950's. Rejecting the notion that European emigres and New Yorkers sought a retreat from politics or simply gravitated toward easy money, he contends that Hollywood became their mecca precisely because they wanted a deeper engagement in the project of democratic modernism.
Seeing Hollywood as a forcefield, Giovacchini examines the social networks, working relationships, and political activities of artists, intellectuals, and film workers who flocked to Hollywood from Europe and the eastern United States before and during the second world war. He creates a complex and nuanced portrait of this milieu, adding breadth and depth to the conventional view of the era's film industry as little more than an empire for Jewish moguls or the major studios. In his rendering Hollywood's newcomers joined with its established elite to develop a modernist aesthetic for film that would bridge popular and avant-garde sensibilities; for them, realism was the most effective vehicle for conveying their message and involving a mass audience in the democratic struggle for process.
Location shooting has always been a vital counterpart to soundstage production, and at times, the primary form of Hollywood filmmaking. But until now, the industrial and artistic development of this production practice has been scattered across the margins of larger American film histories. Hollywood on Location is the first comprehensive history of location shooting in the American film industry, showing how this mode of filmmaking changed Hollywood business practices, production strategies, and visual style from the silent era to the present. The contributors explore how location filmmaking supplemented and later, supplanted production on the studio lots. Drawing on archival research and in-depth case studies, the seven contributors show how location shooting expanded the geography of American film production, from city streets and rural landscapes to far-flung territories overseas, invoking a new set of creative, financial, technical, and logistical challenges. Whereas studio filmmaking sought to recreate nature, location shooting sought to master it, finding new production values and production economies that reshaped Hollywood’s modus operandi.
Thomas Edison invented his motion picture system in New Jersey in the 1890s, and within a few years most American filmmakers could be found within a mile or two of the Hudson River. They planted themselves here because they needed the artistic and entrepreneurial energy that D. W. Griffith realized New York had in abundance. But as the going rate for land and labor skyrocketed and their business grew more industrialized, most of them moved out. The way most historians explain it, the role of New York in the development of American film ends here.
In Hollywood on the Hudson, Richard Koszarski rewrites an important part of the history of American cinema. During the 1920s and 1930s, film industry executives had centralized the mass production of feature pictures in a series of gigantic film factories scattered across Southern California, while maintaining New York as the economic and administrative center. But as Koszarski reveals, many writers, producers, and directors also continued to work here, especially if their independent vision was too big for the Hollywood production line.
East Coast filmmakers-Oscar Micheaux, Rudolph Valentino, Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur, Paul Robeson, Gloria Swanson, Max Fleischer, and others-quietly created a studio system without back-lots, long-term contracts or seasonal production slates. They substituted "newsreel photography" for Hollywood glamour, targeted niche audiences instead of middle-American families, ignored accepted dramatic conventions, and pushed the boundaries of motion picture censorship. Rebellious and unconventional, they saw the New York studios as laboratories, not factories-and used them to pioneer the development of new technologies (from talkies to television), new genres, new talent, and ultimately, an entirely new vision of commercial cinema.
Hollywood's Road to Riches
David Waterman Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PN1993.5.U6W39 2005 | Dewey Decimal 384.830973
Combining historical and economic analysis, this book shows how, beginning in the 1950s, a largely predictable business has been transformed into a volatile and complex multimedia enterprise now commanding over 80 percent of the world's film business. At the same time, the book asks how the economic forces leading to this success--the forces of audience demand, technology, and high risk--have combined to change the kinds of movies Hollywood produces.
What does it mean for someone or something to be Hungarian? People in Hungary grappled with this far-reaching question in the wake of the losses and transformation brought by World War I. Because the period also saw the rise of cinema, audiences, filmmakers, critics, and officials often looked at films with an eye to that question, too. Did the Hungary seen on screen represent the Hungary they knew from everyday life? And-crucially-did the major role played by Jewish Hungarians in the film industry make the sector and its creations somehow Jewish rather than Hungarian? Jews, it was soon decided, could not really be Hungarian, and acts of Parliament soon barred them from taking major roles in cinema production. This book tells the troubled story of that period in Hungarian cinematic history, taking it up through World War II.
Movies are both art and commerce, creative expressions of national/cultural interests and preoccupations and part of a global entertainment market. The past century has witnessed a transformation of the movies from popular novelties into highly valued cultural icons and commodities that have promoted national identity and specific political agendas, while also affecting international trade.
This comprehensive history of the international movie industry from its inception in 1895 to the present features nineteen original essays by international scholars who examine the film industries of nineteen countries and six continents. Each chapter in The International Movie Industry focuses on a specific national movie industry’ s economic and related social, aesthetic, technological, and political/ideological development within an international context during the last century. The result is a global history of the movie industry over the last one hundred years.
Unlike the more forthrightly mythic origins of other urban centers—think Rome via Romulus and Remus or Mexico City via the god Huitzilopochtli—Los Angeles emerged from a smoke-and-mirrors process that is simultaneously literal and figurative, real and imagined, material and metaphorical, physical and textual. Through penetrating analysis and personal engagement, Vincent Brook uncovers the many portraits of this ever-enticing, ever-ambivalent, and increasingly multicultural megalopolis. Divided into sections that probe Los Angeles’s checkered history and reflect on Hollywood’s own self-reflections, the book shows how the city, despite considerable remaining challenges, is finally blowing away some of the smoke of its not always proud past and rhetorically adjusting its rear-view mirrors.
Part I is a review of the city’s history through the early 1900s, focusing on the seminal 1884 novel Ramona and its immediate effect, but also exploring its ongoing impact through interviews with present-day Tongva Indians, attendance at the 88th annual Ramona pageant, and analysis of its feature film adaptations.
Brook deals with Hollywood as geographical site, film production center, and frame of mind in Part II. He charts the events leading up to Hollywood’s emergence as the world’s movie capital and explores subsequent developments of the film industry from its golden age through the so-called New Hollywood, citing such self-reflexive films as Sunset Blvd.,Singin’ in the Rain, and The Truman Show.
Part III considers LA noir, a subset of film noir that emerged alongside the classical noir cycle in the 1940s and 1950s and continues today. The city’s status as a privileged noir site is analyzed in relation to its history and through discussions of such key LA noir novels and films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Crash.
In Part IV, Brook examines multicultural Los Angeles. Using media texts as signposts, he maps the history and contemporary situation of the city’s major ethno-racial and other minority groups, looking at such films as Mi Familia (Latinos), Boyz N the Hood (African Americans), Charlotte Sometimes (Asians), Falling Down (Whites), and The Kids Are All Right (LGBT).
The Law of the Looking Glass: Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939 reveals the complex relationship between nationhood, national language, and national cinema in Europe before World War II. Author Sheila Skaff describes how the major issues facing the region before World War I, from the relatively slow pace of modernization to the desire for national sovereignty, shaped local practices in film production, exhibition, and criticism. She goes on to analyze local film production, practices of spectatorship in large cities and small towns, clashes over language choice in intertitles, and controversy surrounding the first synchronized sound experiments before World War I. Skaff depicts the creation of a national film industry in the newly independent country, the golden years of the silent cinema, the transition from silent to sound film—and debates in the press over this transition—as well as the first Polish and Yiddish “talkies.” She places particular importance on conflicts in majority-minority relations in the region and the types of collaboration that led to important films such as The Dybbuk and The Ghosts.
The Law of the Looking Glass: Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939 is the first comprehensive history of the country’s film industry before World War II. This history is characterized by alternating periods of multilingual, multiethnic production, on the one hand, and rejection of such inclusiveness, on the other. Through it all, however, runs a single unifying thread: an appreciation for visual imagery.
In Media Heterotopias Hye Jean Chung challenges the widespread tendency among audiences and critics to disregard the material conditions of digital film production. Drawing on interviews with directors, producers, special effects supervisors, and other film industry workers, Chung traces how the rhetorical and visual emphasis on seamlessness masks the social, political, and economic realities of global filmmaking and digital labor. In films such as Avatar (2009), Interstellar (2014), and The Host (2006)—which combine live action footage with CGI to create new hybrid environments—filmmaking techniques and "seamless" digital effects allow the globally dispersed labor involved to go unnoticed by audiences. Chung adapts Foucault's notion of heterotopic spaces to foreground this labor and to theorize cinematic space as a textured, multilayered assemblage in which filmmaking occurs in transnational collaborations that depend upon the global movement of bodies, resources, images, and commodities. Acknowledging cinema's increasingly digitized and globalized workflow, Chung reconnects digitally constructed and composited imagery with the reality of production spaces and laboring bodies to highlight the political, social, ethical, and aesthetic stakes in recognizing the materiality of collaborative filmmaking.
In the early decades of the twentieth-century, Main Street was the heart of Los Angeles’s Mexican immigrant community. It was also the hub for an extensive, largely forgotten film culture that thrived in L.A. during the early days of Hollywood. Drawing from rare archives, including the city’s Spanish-language newspapers, Colin Gunckel vividly demonstrates how this immigrant community pioneered a practice of transnational media convergence, consuming films from Hollywood and Mexico, while also producing fan publications, fiction, criticism, music, and live theatrical events.
Mexico on Main Street locates this film culture at the center of a series of key debates concerning national identity, ethnicity, class, and the role of Mexicans within Hollywood before World War II. As Gunckel shows, the immigrant community’s cultural elite tried to rally the working-class population toward the cause of Mexican nationalism, while Hollywood sought to position them as part of a lucrative transnational Latin American market. Yet ironically, both Hollywood studios and Mexican American cultural elites used the media to present negative depictions of working-class Mexicans, portraying their behaviors as a threat to middle-class respectability. Rather than simply depicting working-class immigrants as pawns of these power players, however, Gunckel reveals their active participation in the era’s film culture.
Gunckel’s innovative approach combines media studies, urban history, and ethnic studies to reconstruct a distinctive, richly layered immigrant film culture. Mexico on Main Street demonstrates how a site-specific study of cultural and ethnic issues challenges our existing conceptions of U.S. film history, Mexican cinema, and the history of Los Angeles.
Throughout Disney's phenomenally successful run in the entertainment industry, the company has negotiated the use of cutting-edge film and media technologies that, J. P. Telotte argues, have proven fundamental to the company's identity. Disney's technological developments include the use of stereophonic surround sound for Fantasia, experimentation with wide-screen technology, inaugural adoption of three-strip Technicolor film, and early efforts at fostering depth in the animated image. Telotte also chronicles Disney's partnership with television, development of the theme park, and depiction of technology in science fiction narratives. An in-depth discussion of Disney's shift into digital filmmaking with its Pixar partnership and an emphasis on digital special effects in live-action films, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, also highlight the studio's historical investment in technology. By exploring the technological context for Disney creations throughout its history, The Mouse Machine illuminates Disney's extraordinary growth into one of the largest and most influential media and entertainment companies in the world. Hardback is unjacketed.
Histories of women in Hollywood usually recount the contributions of female directors, screenwriters, designers, actresses, and other creative personnel whose names loom large in the credits. Yet, from its inception, the American film industry relied on the labor of thousands more women, workers whose vital contributions often went unrecognized.
Never Done introduces generations of women who worked behind the scenes in the film industry—from the employees’ wives who hand-colored the Edison Company’s films frame-by-frame, to the female immigrants who toiled in MGM’s backrooms to produce beautifully beaded and embroidered costumes. Challenging the dismissive characterization of these women as merely menial workers, media historian Erin Hill shows how their labor was essential to the industry and required considerable technical and interpersonal skills. Sketching a history of how Hollywood came to define certain occupations as lower-paid “women’s work,” or “feminized labor,” Hill also reveals how enterprising women eventually gained a foothold in more prestigious divisions like casting and publicity.
Poring through rare archives and integrating the firsthand accounts of women employed in the film industry, the book gives a voice to women whose work was indispensable yet largely invisible. As it traces this long history of women in Hollywood, Never Done reveals the persistence of sexist assumptions that, even today, leave women in the media industry underpraised and underpaid.
The New American Cinema
Jon Lewis, ed. Duke University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PN1993.5.U6N47 1998 | Dewey Decimal 384.830973
This collection of essays provides the first comprehensive survey of Hollywood and independent films from the mid-sixties to the present. Deliberately eclectic and panoramic, The New American Cinema brings together thirteen leading film scholars who present a range of theoretical, critical, and historical perspectives on this rich and pivotal era in American cinema. The essays are divided into three sections: "Movies and Money," "Cinema and Culture," and "Independents and Independence." The first section focuses on the economics of the industry and analyzes the connection between the film business and the finished product. Topics include a look at the economic conditions that made the seventies’ auteur renaissance possible, the distribution of studio and independent films, and the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions that have come to characterize the new Hollywood. The second part of The New American Cinema deals with the political and cultural significance of war and Vietnam films (Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July); "male rampage" films (Rambo, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard); women’s psychothrillers (The Silence of the Lambs); special effects pictures (2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars); and historical re-presentations (Oliver Stone’s JFK). The final section casts a keen eye on films produced and exhibited outside the commercial mainstream, examining the financial realities of "indie" films; the influence of independent filmmaker John Cassavetes on Coppola, Altman, and Scorsese; the stereotyping of African Americans in mainstream cinema; and the films of independent women filmmakers.
From the 1905 opening of the wildly popular, eponymous Nickelodeon in the city's downtown to the subsequent outgrowth of nickel theaters in nearly all of its neighborhoods, Pittsburgh proved to be perfect for the movies. Its urban industrial environment was a melting pot of ethnic, economic, and cultural forces—a “wellspring” for the development of movie culture—and nickelodeons offered citizens an inexpensive respite and handy escape from the harsh realities of the industrial world. Nickelodeon City provides a detailed view inside the city's early film trade, with insights into the politics and business dealings of the burgeoning industry. Drawing from the pages of the Pittsburgh Moving Picture Bulletin, the first known regional trade journal for the movie business, Michael Aronson profiles the major promoters in Pittsburgh, as well as many lesser-known ordinary theater owners, suppliers, and patrons. He examines early film promotion, distribution, and exhibition, and reveals the earliest forms of state censorship and the ensuing political lobbying and manipulation attempted by members of the movie trade. Aronson also explores the emergence of local exhibitor-based cinema, in which the exhibitor assumed control of the content and production of film, blurring the lines between production, consumption, and local and mass media. Nickelodeon City offers a fascinating and intimate view of a city and the socioeconomic factors that allowed an infant film industry to blossom, as well as the unique cultural fabric and neighborhood ties that kept nickelodeons prospering even after Hollywood took the industry by storm.
This is the first study of Hollywood by an anthropologist. Jorja Prover examines how different groups of individuals, separated from one another superficially by ethnicity, race, and sex, function as writers in Hollywood. She describes the white “majority” Hollywood writers and explores their concerns and creative processes, and then discusses other writers who, until recently, have been virtually invisible in the entertainment industry—women, the physically challenged, gays, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians. In detailing their efforts at gaining professional acceptance, these writers introduce new, previously unmentioned issues involving access, advancement, talent, sexual harassment, and discrimination.
A young poet is killed by her lover, a politician, in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Soon afterward, across India in Bombay, an idealistic journalist is hired by a movie director to write a Bollywood screenplay about the murdered poet. Research for the script takes the writer, Binod, back to Bihar, where he and his cousin Rabinder were raised. While the high-minded Binod struggles to turn the poet’s murder into a steamy tale about small towns, desire, and intrigue, Rabinder sits in a Bihari jail cell, having been arrested for distributing pornography through a cybercafé. Rabinder dreams of a career in Bollywood filmmaking, and, unlike his cousin, he is not burdened by ethical scruples. Nobody Does the Right Thing is the story of these two cousins and the ways that their lives unexpectedly intertwine. Set in the rural villages of Bihar and the metropolises of Bombay and Delhi, the novel is packed with telling details and anecdotes about life in contemporary India. At the same time, it is a fictional investigation into how narratives circulate and vie for supremacy through gossip, cinema, popular fiction, sensational journalism, and the global media.
Richard Stern Northwestern University Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3569.T39P28 2001 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Ez Keneret and Wendell Spear are Hollywood veterans who have committed the only sin in the movie business: they've grown old. Having been cast aside, they face their obsolescence and the harsh reality that the art they appreciate (and profit from) is just a business powered by money and celebrity. While Spear is consoled and comforted by his granddaughter, Keneret centers his comeback film on Leet de Loor, a stunning but painfully wooden "actress" he discovers in Fiji.
Even people familiar with cinema believe there is no such thing as a Soviet Holocaust film. The Phantom Holocaust tells a different story. The Soviets were actually among the first to portray these events on screens. In 1938, several films exposed Nazi anti-Semitism, and a 1945 movie depicted the mass execution of Jews in Babi Yar. Other significant pictures followed in the 1960s. But the more directly filmmakers engaged with the Holocaust, the more likely their work was to be banned by state censors. Some films were never made while others came out in such limited release that the Holocaust remained a phantom on Soviet screens.
Focusing on work by both celebrated and unknown Soviet directors and screenwriters, Olga Gershenson has written the first book about all Soviet narrative films dealing with the Holocaust from 1938 to 1991. In addition to studying the completed films, Gershenson analyzes the projects that were banned at various stages of production.
The book draws on archival research and in-depth interviews to tell the sometimes tragic and sometimes triumphant stories of filmmakers who found authentic ways to represent the Holocaust in the face of official silencing. By uncovering little known works, Gershenson makes a significant contribution to the international Holocaust filmography.
Moving pictures existed for over a decade before anything resembling a star system appeared. Then, within the space of a very few years, American cinema went from being completely devoid of stars to being completely dependent on them. Picture Personalities is an invaluable account of this crucial development in cinema and modern culture.
Conventional wisdom attributes the rise of the star system to the charisma of individual performers or to the public's desire to idolize an appealing star. In Picture Personalities, Richard deCordova argues that the fledgling movie industry and the press conspired to develop the star system, along with a system of discourse to support it.
How actors became stars and how they began to assume public identities distinct from their fictional roles was closely tied to the journalistic discourse of the period, produced by the trade press, newspapers, general periodicals, fan magazines, publicity stills, posters, and other material. DeCordova shows how the studios worked to fabricate moral images of the stars' marriages and personal lives and how a series of star scandals in the 1920s challenged those images and brought about changes in the conventions of representing stars. A new foreword by Corey K. Creekmur enhances this first paperback edition.
Lewis, Jon Rutgers University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PN1995.9.P7P745 2016 | Dewey Decimal 791.43023
Of all the job titles listed in the opening and closing screen credits, producer is certainly the most amorphous. There are businessmen (and women)-producers, writer-director- and movie-star-producers; producers who work for the studio; executive producers whose reputation and industry clout alone gets a project financed (though their day-to-day participation in the project may be negligible). The job title, regardless of the actual work involved, warrants a great deal of prestige in the film business; it is the credited producers, after all, who collect the Oscar for Best Picture. But what producers do and what they don’t or won’t do varies from project to project.
Producing is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the roles that producers have played in Hollywood, from the dawn of the twentieth century to the present day. It introduces readers to the colorful figures who helped to define and reimagine the producer’s role, including inventors like Thomas Edison, moguls like Darryl F. Zanuck, entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, and mavericks like Roger Corman. Readers also get an inside look at the less glamorous jobs producers have often performed: shepherding projects through many years of development, securing financial backers, and supervising movie shoots.
The latest book in the acclaimed Behind the Silver Screen series, Producing includes essays written by seven film scholars, each an expert in a different period of cinema history. Together, they give readers a full picture of how the art and business of producing films has changed over time—and how the producer’s myriad job duties continue to evolve in the digital era.
Producing Bollywood offers an unprecedented look inside the social and professional worlds of the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry and explains how it became "Bollywood," the global film phenomenon and potent symbol of India as a rising economic powerhouse. In this rich and entertaining ethnography Tejaswini Ganti examines the changes in Hindi film production from the 1990s until 2010, locating them in Hindi filmmakers' efforts to accrue symbolic capital, social respectability, and professional distinction, and to manage the commercial uncertainties of filmmaking. These efforts have been enabled by the neoliberal restructuring of the Indian state and economy since 1991. This restructuring has dramatically altered the country's media landscape, which quickly expanded to include satellite television and multiplex theaters. Ganti contends that the Hindi film industry's metamorphosis into Bollywood would not have been possible without the rise of neoliberal economic ideals in India. By describing dramatic transformations in the Hindi film industry's production culture, daily practices, and filmmaking ideologies during a decade of tremendous social and economic change in India, Ganti offers valuable new insights into the effects of neoliberalism on cultural production in a postcolonial setting.
In Production Culture, John Thornton Caldwell investigates the cultural practices and belief systems of Los Angeles–based film and video production workers: not only those in prestigious positions such as producers and directors but also many “below-the-line” laborers, including gaffers, editors, and camera operators. Caldwell analyzes the narratives and rituals through which workers make sense of their labor and critique the film and TV industry as well as the culture writ large. As a self-reflexive industry, Hollywood constantly exposes itself and its production processes to the public; workers’ ideas about the industry are embedded in their daily practices and the media they create. Caldwell suggests ways that scholars might learn from the industry’s habitual self-scrutiny.
Drawing on interviews, observations of sets and workplaces, and analyses of TV shows, industry documents, economic data, and promotional materials, Caldwell shows how film and video workers function in a transformed, post-network industry. He chronicles how workers have responded to changes including media convergence, labor outsourcing, increasingly unstable labor and business relations, new production technologies, corporate conglomeration, and the proliferation of user-generated content. He explores new struggles over “authorship” within collective creative endeavors, the way that branding and syndication have become central business strategies for networks, and the “viral” use of industrial self-reflexivity to motivate consumers through DVD bonus tracks, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and “making-ofs.” A significant, on-the-ground analysis of an industry in flux, Production Culture offers new ways of thinking about media production as a cultural activity.
In 1994, not long after South Africa made its historic transition to multiracial democracy, the nation’s first black-majority government determined that film had the potential to promote social cohesion, stimulate economic development, and create jobs. In 1999 the new National Film and Video Foundation was charged with fostering a vibrant, socially engaged, and self-sufficient film industry. What are the results of this effort to create a truly national cinematic enterprise? Projecting Nation: South African Cinemas after 1994 answers that question by examining the ways in which national and transnational forces have shaped the representation of race and nation in feature-length narrative fiction films. Offering a systematic analysis of cinematic texts in the context of the South African film industry, author Cara Moyer-Duncan analyzes both well-known works like District 9 (2009) and neglected or understudied films like My Shit Father and My Lotto Ticket (2008) to show how the ways filmmakers produce cinema and the ways diverse audiences experience it—whether they watch major releases in theaters in predominantly white suburban enclaves or straight-to-DVD productions in their own homes—are informed by South Africans’ multiple experiences of nation in a globalizing world.
When the 2016 Oscar acting nominations all went to whites for the second consecutive year, #OscarsSoWhite became a trending topic. Yet these enduring racial biases afflict not only the Academy Awards, but also Hollywood as a whole. Why do actors of color, despite exhibiting talent and bankability, continue to lag behind white actors in presence and prominence?
Reel Inequality examines the structural barriers minority actors face in Hollywood, while shedding light on how they survive in a racist industry. The book charts how white male gatekeepers dominate Hollywood, breeding a culture of ethnocentric storytelling and casting. Nancy Wang Yuen interviewed nearly a hundred working actors and drew on published interviews with celebrities, such as Viola Davis, Chris Rock, Gina Rodriguez, Oscar Isaac, Lucy Liu, and Ken Jeong, to explore how racial stereotypes categorize and constrain actors. Their stories reveal the day-to-day racism actors of color experience in talent agents’ offices, at auditions, and on sets. Yuen also exposes sexist hiring and programming practices, highlighting the structural inequalities that actors of color, particularly women, continue to face in Hollywood.
This book not only conveys the harsh realities of racial inequality in Hollywood, but also provides vital insights from actors who have succeeded on their own terms, whether by sidestepping the system or subverting it from within. Considering how their struggles impact real-world attitudes about race and diversity, Reel Inequality follows actors of color as they suffer, strive, and thrive in Hollywood.
Reel Pleasures brings the world of African moviehouses and the publics they engendered to life, revealing how local fans creatively reworked global media—from Indian melodrama to Italian westerns, kung fu, and blaxploitation films—to speak to local dreams and desires. In it, Laura Fair zeroes in on Tanzanians’ extraordinarily dynamic media cultures to demonstrate how the public and private worlds of film reception brought communities together and contributed to the construction of genders, generations, and urban citizenship over time.
Radically reframing the literatures on media exhibition, distribution, and reception, Reel Pleasures demonstrates how local entrepreneurs and fans worked together to forge the most successful cinema industry in colonial sub-Saharan Africa. The result is a major contribution to the literature on transnational commodity cultures.
Reel World explores what happens to life when everything begins to look and feel like cinema. Drawing on years of fieldwork with Tamil filmmakers, artists, musicians, and craftsmen in the south Indian movie studios of "Kollywood," Anand Pandian examines how ordinary moments become elements of a cinematic world. With inventive, experimental, and sometimes comical zeal, Pandian pursues the sensory richness of cinematic experience and the adventure of a writing true to these sensations. Thinking with the visceral power of sound and image, his stories also broach deeply philosophical themes such as desire, time, wonder, and imagination. In a spirit devoted to the turbulence and uncertainty of genesis, Reel World brings into focus an ecology of creative process: the many forces, feelings, beings, and things that infuse human endeavors with transformative potential.
For over a century, movies have played an important role in our lives, entertaining us, often provoking conversation and debate. Now, with the rise of digital cinema, audiences often encounter movies outside the theater and even outside the home. Traditional distribution models are challenged by new media entrepreneurs and independent film makers, usergenerated video, film blogs, mashups, downloads, and other expanding networks.
Reinventing Cinema examines film culture at the turn of this century, at the precise moment when digital media are altering our historical relationship with the movies. Spanning multiple disciplines, Chuck Tryon addresses the interaction between production, distribution, and reception of films, television, and other new and emerging media.Through close readings of trade publications, DVD extras, public lectures by new media leaders, movie blogs, and YouTube videos, Tryon navigates the shift to digital cinema and examines how it is altering film and popular culture.
Audiences love the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but beyond the red carpet and behind the velvet curtain exists a legion of individuals who make showbiz work: agents. Whether literary, talent, or indie film, agents are behind the scenes brokering power, handling mediation, and doing the deal-making that keeps Hollywood spinning. In Representing Talent, Violaine Roussel explores the little-known but decisive work of agents, turning the spotlight on how they help produce popular culture.
The book takes readers behind the scenes to observe the day-to-day activities of agents, revealing their influence on artistic careers and the prospects of Hollywood’s forthcoming projects. Agents are crucial to understanding how creative and economic power are intertwined in Hollywood today. They play a key role in the process by which artistic worth and economic value are evaluated and attributed to people and projects. Roussel’s fieldwork examines what “having relationships” really means for agents, and how they perform the relationship work that’s at the heart of their professional existence and success. Representing Talent helps us to understand the players behind the definition of entertainment itself, as well as behind its current transformations.
Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies No. 65
The Research Guide to Japanese Film Studies provides a snapshot of all the archival and bibliographic resources available to students and scholars of Japanese cinema. Among the nations of the world, Japan has enjoyed an impressively lively print culture related to cinema. The first film books and periodicals appeared shortly after the birth of cinema, proliferating wildly in the 1910s with only the slightest pause in the dark days of World War II. The numbers of publications match the enormous scale of film production, but with the lack of support for film studies in Japan, much of it remains as uncharted territory, with few maps to negotiate the maze of material.
This book is the first all-embracing guide ever published for approaching the complex archive for Japanese cinema. It lists all the libraries and film archives in the world with significant collections of film prints, still photographs, archival records, books, and periodicals. It provides a comprehensive, annotated bibliography of the core books and magazines for the field. And it supplies hints for how to find and access materials for any research project. Above and beyond that, Nornes and Gerow’s Research Guide to Japanese Film Studies constitutes a comprehensive overview of the impressive dimensions and depth of the print culture surrounding Japanese film, and a guideline for future research in the field. This is an essential book for anyone seriously thinking about Japan and its cinema.
The early years of film were dominated by competition between inventors in America and France, especially Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers . But while these have generally been considered the foremost pioneers of film, they were not the only crucial figures in its inception. Telling the story of the white-hot years of filmmaking in the 1890s, Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema seeks to restore Robert Paul, Britain’s most important early innovator in film, to his rightful place.
From improving upon Edison’s Kinetoscope to cocreating the first movie camera in Britain to building England’s first film studio and launching the country’s motion-picture industry, Paul played a key part in the history of cinema worldwide. It’s not only Paul’s story, however, that historian Ian Christie tells here. Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema also details the race among inventors to develop lucrative technologies and the jumbled culture of patent-snatching, showmanship, and music halls that prevailed in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Both an in-depth biography and a magnificent look at early cinema and fin-de-siècle Britain, Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema is a first-rate cultural history of a fascinating era of global invention, and the revelation of one of its undervalued contributors.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, America imagined itself young and in love in Europe. And Hollywood films of the era reflected this romantic allure. From a young and naïve Audrey Hepburn falling in love with Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday to David Lean’s Summertime, featuring Katherine Hepburn’s sexual adventure in Venice, these glossy travelogue romances were shot on location, and established an exciting new genre for Hollywood.
As Robert Shandley shows in Runaway Romances, these films were not only indicative of the ideology of the American-dominated postwar world order, but they also represented a shift in Hollywood production values. Eager to capture new audiences during a period of economic crisis, Hollywood’s European output utilized the widescreen process to enhance cinematic experience. The films—To Catch a Thief, Three Coins in the Fountain, and Funny Face among them—enticed viewers to visit faraway places for romantic escapades. In the process, these runaway romances captured American fantasies for a brief, but intense, period that ended as audiences grew tired of Old World splendors, and entered into a new era of sexual awakening.
Horton, Andrew Rutgers University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PN1996.S38 2014 | Dewey Decimal 808.23
Screenwriters often joke that “no one ever paid a dollar at a movie theater to watch a screenplay.” Yet the screenplay is where a movie begins, determining whether a production gets the “green light” from its financial backers and wins approval from its audience. This innovative volume gives readers a comprehensive portrait of the art and business of screenwriting, while showing how the role of the screenwriter has evolved over the years.
Reaching back to the early days of Hollywood, when moonlighting novelists, playwrights, and journalists were first hired to write scenarios and photoplays, Screenwriting illuminates the profound ways that screenwriters have contributed to the films we love. This book explores the social, political, and economic implications of the changing craft of American screenwriting from the silent screen through the classical Hollywood years, the rise of independent cinema, and on to the contemporary global multi-media marketplace. From The Birth of a Nation (1915), Gone With the Wind (1939), and Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) to Chinatown (1974), American Beauty (1999), and Lost in Translation (2003), each project began as writers with pen and ink, typewriters, or computers captured the hopes and dreams, the nightmares and concerns of the periods in which they were writing.
As the contributors take us behind the silver screen to chronicle the history of screenwriting, they spotlight a range of key screenplays that changed the game in Hollywood and beyond. With original essays from both distinguished film scholars and accomplished screenwriters, Screenwriting is sure to fascinate anyone with an interest in Hollywood, from movie buffs to industry professionals.
The most famous stage actress of the nineteenth century, Sarah Bernhardt enjoyed a surprising renaissance when the 1912 multi-reel film Queen Elizabeth vaulted her to international acclaim. The triumph capped her already lengthy involvement with cinema while enabling the indefatigable actress to reinvent herself in an era of technological and generational change. Placing Bernhardt at the center of the industry's first two decades, Victoria Duckett challenges the perception of her as an anachronism unable to appreciate film's qualities. Instead, cinema's substitution of translated title cards for her melodic French deciphered Bernhardt for Anglo-American audiences. It also allowed the aging actress to appear in the kinds of longer dramas she could no longer physically sustain onstage. As Duckett shows, Bernhardt contributed far more than star quality. Her theatrical practice on film influenced how the young medium changed the visual and performing arts. Her promoting of experimentation, meanwhile, shaped the ways audiences looked at and understood early cinema. A leading-edge reappraisal of a watershed era, Seeing Sarah Bernhardt tells the story of an icon who bridged two centuries--and changed the very act of watching film.
In Hollywood, we hear, it’s all about the money. It’s a ready explanation for why so few black films get made—no crossover appeal, no promise of a big payoff. But what if the money itself is color-coded? What if the economics that governs film production is so skewed that no film by, about, or for people of color will ever look like a worthy investment unless it follows specific racial or gender patterns? This, Monica Ndounou shows us, is precisely the case. In a work as revealing about the culture of filmmaking as it is about the distorted economics of African American film, Ndounou clearly traces the insidious connections between history, content, and cash in black films.
How does history come into it? Hollywood’s reliance on past performance as a measure of potential success virtually guarantees that historically underrepresented, underfunded, and undersold African American films devalue the future prospects of black films. So the cycle continues as it has for nearly a century. Behind the scenes, the numbers are far from neutral. Analyzing the onscreen narratives and off-screen circumstances behind nearly two thousand films featuring African Americans in leading and supporting roles, including such recent productions as Bamboozled, Beloved, and Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Ndounou exposes the cultural and racial constraints that limit not just the production but also the expression and creative freedom of black films. Her wide-ranging analysis reaches into questions of literature, language, speech and dialect, film images and narrative, acting, theater and film business practices, production history and financing, and organizational history.
By uncovering the ideology behind profit-driven industry practices that reshape narratives by, about, and for people of color, this provocative work brings to light existing limitations—and possibilities for reworking stories and business practices in theater, literature, and film.
A Short History of Film
Dixon, Wheeler Winston Rutgers University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PN1993.5.A1D53 2013 | Dewey Decimal 791.437
A Short History of Film, Second Edition, provides a concise and accurate overview of the history of world cinema, detailing the major movements, directors, studios, and genres from 1896 through 2012. Accompanied by more than 250 rare color and black-and-white stills—including many from recent films—the new edition is unmatched in its panoramic view, conveying a sense of cinema's sweep in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as it is practiced in the United States and around the world.
Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster present new and amended coverage of the industry in addition to updating the birth and death dates and final works of notable directors. Their expanded focus on key films brings the book firmly into the digital era and chronicles the death of film as a production medium.
The book takes readers through the invention of the kinetoscope, the introduction of sound and color between the two world wars, and ultimately the computer-generated imagery of the present day. It details significant periods in world cinema, including the early major industries in Europe, the dominance of the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s and 1940s, and the French New Wave of the 1960s. Attention is given to small independent efforts in developing nations and the more personal independent film movement that briefly flourished in the United States, the significant filmmakers of all nations, and the effects of censorship and regulation on production everywhere. In addition, the authors incorporate the stories of women and other minority filmmakers who have often been overlooked in other texts.
Engaging and accessible, this is the best one-stop source for the history of world film available for students, teachers, and general audiences alike.
A Short History of Film
Dixon, Wheeler Winston Rutgers University Press, 2008 Library of Congress PN1993.5.A1D53 2008 | Dewey Decimal 791.437
The history of international cinema is now available in a concise, conveniently sized, and affordable volume. Succinct yet comprehensive, A Short History of Film provides an accessible overview of the major movements, directors, studios, and genres from the 1880s to the present. More than 250 rare stills and illustrations accompany the text, bringing readers face to face with many of the key players and films that have marked the industry.
Beginning with precursors of what we call moving pictures, Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster lead a fast-paced tour through the invention of the kinetoscope, the introduction of sound and color between the two world wars, and ultimately the computer generated imagery of the present day. They detail significant periods in world cinema, including the early major industries in Europe, the dominance of the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s and 1940s, and the French New Wave of the 1960s. Special attention is also given to small independent efforts in developing nations and the corresponding more personal independent film movement that briefly flourished in the United States, the significant filmmakers of all nations, censorship and regulation and how they have affected production everywhere, and a wide range of studios and genres. Along the way, the authors take great care to incorporate the stories of women and other minority filmmakers who have often been overlooked in other texts.
Compact and easily readable, this is the best one-stop source for the history of world film available to students, teachers, and general audiences alike.
With more than 250 images, new information on international cinema—especially Polish, Chinese, Russian, Canadian, and Iranian filmmakers—an expanded section on African-American filmmakers, updated discussions of new works by major American directors, and a new section on the rise of comic book movies and computer generated special effects, this is the most up to date resource for film history courses in the twenty-first century.
Stardust Monuments spotlights the enduring efforts to memorialize and canonize the history and meaning of Hollywood and American film culture. In this engaging analysis, Alison Trope explores the tensions between art and commerce as they intersect in a range of nonprofit and for-profit institutions and products. An insightful tour of Hollywood’s past, present, and future, Stardust Monuments examines the establishment of film libraries and museums beginning in the mid 1930s, the many failed attempts to open a Hollywood museum ranging from the 1960s to today, and the more successful recent corporate efforts to use Hollywood’s past in theme restaurants and parks, classic movie channels, and DVD boxed sets. This fascinating narrative details the ongoing struggle to champion and codify Hollywood’s legacy, a struggle engaged in by Hollywood stars and corporate executives, as well as memorabilia collectors and users of IMDb.
In May of 1976, documentary filmmaker and proclaimed socialist Raymundo Gleyzer mysteriously disappeared in Buenos Aires. Like many political activists, Gleyzer was the target of a brutalizing military junta that had recently assumed power. Amazingly, within a few decades, leftist filmmakers would be celebrated as intellectual vanguards in this same city.
In Transition Cinema, Jessica Stites Mor documents the critical role filmmakers, the film industry, and state regulators played in Argentina’s volatile transition to democracy. She shows how, during different regimes, the state moved to either inhibit or facilitate film production and its content, distribution, and exhibition. She also reveals the strategies the film industry employed to comply with, or circumvent these regulations.
Stites Mor divides the transition period into three distinct generations, each defined by a major political event and the reactions to these events in film. The first generation began with the failed civil uprising in Córdoba in 1969, and ended with the 1976 military takeover. During military rule, repressive censorship spurred underground exhibitions, and allied filmmakers with the Peronist left and radical activists. The second generation arose after the return of civilian rule in 1983. Buenos Aires became the center for state-level cultural programs that included filmmakers in debates over human rights and collective memory campaigns. In 1989, a third generation of filmmaking emerged, with new genres such as cine piquetero (picketer cinema) that portrayed a variety of social movements and brought them into the public eye. By the new millennium, Argentine filmmakers had gained the attention and financial support of international humanitarian and film industry organizations.
In this captivating study, Stites Mor examines how populist movements, political actors, filmmakers, government, and industry institutions all became deeply enmeshed in the project of Argentina’s transition cinema. She demonstrates how film emerged as the chronicler of political struggles in a dialogue with the past, present, and future, whose message transcended both cultural and national borders.
Known for its elaborate spectacle of music, dance, costumes, and fantastical story lines, Bollywood cinema is a genre that foregrounds narrative rupture, indeterminacy, and bodily sensation. In Untimely Bollywood, Amit S. Rai argues that the fast-paced, multivalent qualities of contemporary Bollywood cinema are emblematic of the changing conditions of media consumption in a globalizing India. Through analyses of contemporary media practices, Rai shifts the emphasis from a representational and linear understanding of the effects of audiovisual media to the multiple, contradictory, and evolving aspects of media events. He uses the Deleuzian concept of assemblage as a model for understanding the complex clustering of technological, historical, and physical processes that give rise to contemporary media practices. Exploring the ramifications of globalized media, he sheds light on how cinema and other popular media organize bodies, populations, and spaces in order to manage the risky excesses of power and sensation and to reinforce a liberalized postcolonial economy.
Rai recounts his experience of attending the first showing of a Bollywood film in a single-screen theater in Bhopal: the sensory experience of the exhibition space, the sound system, the visual style of the film, the crush of the crowd. From that event, he elicits an understanding of cinema as a historically contingent experience of pleasure, a place where the boundaries of identity and social spaces are dissolved and redrawn. He considers media as a form of contagion, endlessly mutating and spreading, connecting human bodies, organizational structures, and energies, thus creating an inextricable bond between affect and capital. Expanding on the notion of media contagion, Rai traces the emerging correlation between the postcolonial media assemblage and capitalist practices, such as viral marketing and the development of multiplexes and malls in India.
In Where Histories Reside Priya Jaikumar examines eight decades of films shot on location in India to show how attending to filmed space reveals alternative timelines and histories of cinema. In this bold “spatial” film historiography, Jaikumar outlines factors that shape India's filmed space, from state bureaucracies and commercial infrastructures to aesthetic styles and neoliberal policies. Whether discussing how educational shorts from Britain and India transform natural landscapes into instructional lessons or how Jean Renoir’s The River (1951) presents a universal human condition through the particularities of place, Jaikumar demonstrates that the history of filming a location has always been a history of competing assumptions, experiences, practices, and representational regimes. In so doing, she reveals that addressing the persistent question of “what is cinema?” must account for an aesthetics and politics of space.
The Writers is the only comprehensive qualitative analysis of the history of writers and writing in the film, television, and streaming media industries in America. Featuring in-depth interviews with over fifty writers—including Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, and Frank Pierson—The Writers delivers a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at the role and rights of writers in Hollywood and New York over the past century.