Results by Title
books about Motion pictures and history
After the Post–Cold War: The Future of Chinese History
Duke University Press, 2018
Library of Congress DS779.43.D35 2018
In After the Post–Cold War eminent Chinese cultural critic Dai Jinhua interrogates history, memory, and the future of China as a global economic power in relation to its socialist past, profoundly shaped by the Cold War. Drawing on Marxism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory, Dai examines recent Chinese films that erase the country’s socialist history to show how such erasure resignifies socialism’s past as failure and thus forecloses the imagining of a future beyond that of globalized capitalism. She outlines the tension between China’s embrace of the free market and a regime dependent on a socialist imprimatur. She also offers a genealogy of China’s transformation from a source of revolutionary power into a fountainhead of globalized modernity. This narrative, Dai contends, leaves little hope of moving from the capitalist degradation of the present into a radical future that might offer a more socially just world.
American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film
Rutgers University Press, 2005
Library of Congress PN1995.9.H5M43 2005 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
Hollywood has always been fascinated by America's past, but never more so than in the past fifteen years. Bringing exciting new perspectives to how and why Hollywood has sought to repicture American history, this book offers analysis of more than twenty mainstream contemporary films, including The Patriot, Amistad, Glory, Ride with the Devil, Cold Mountain, Saving Private Ryan, TheThin Red Line, Pearl Harbor, U-571, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Heaven and Earth, JFK, Nixon, Malcolm X, Ali, Black Hawk Down, and Three Kings.
Both authoritative and engaging, American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film is the first book to comprehensively explore the post-cold war period of filmmaking, and to navigate the complex ways that film mediates history-sometimes challenging or questioning, but more frequently reaffirming traditional interpretations. The authors consider why such films are becoming increasingly integral to the ambitions of a globally focused American film industry.
Structured by historical periods, chapters cover significant events and eras such as the American Revolution, slavery and the Civil War, World War II, the sixties and seventies, civil rights and black nationalism, the Vietnam War, and post-cold war global conflicts. The lessons learned from the examples will be illuminating for general readers and college students alike.
Change Mummified: Cinema, Historicity, Theory
University of Minnesota Press, 2001
Library of Congress PN1995.2.R66 2001 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
An innovative study of the intersections between history and film.
Exploring the modern category of history in relation to film theory, film textuality, and film history, Change Mummified makes a persuasive argument for the centrality of historicity to film as well as the special importance of film in historical culture. What do we make of the concern for recovering the past that is consistently manifested in so many influential modes of cinema, from Hollywood to documentary and postcolonial film? How is film related to the many modern practices that define themselves as configuring pastness in the present, such as architectural preservation, theme parks, and, above all, professional historical research? What is the relation of history in film to other media such as television and digital imaging? How does emphasizing the connection between film and modern historicity affect the theorization and historicization of film and modern media culture?
Pursuing the full implications of film as cultural production, Philip Rosen reconceptualizes modern historicity as a combination of characteristic epistemological structures on the one hand, and the social imperative to regulate or manage time on the other. Emphasizing a fundamental constellation of pursuit of the real, indexical signification and the need to control time, he interrogates a spectrum of film theory and film texts. His argument refocuses the category of temporality for film and cultural theory while rethinking the importance of historicity.
An original and sustained meditation on the historiographic status of cinematic signs, Change Mummified is both an intervention in film and media studies and an argument for the continuing necessity of modern historical thinking in its contradictions.
Philip Rosen is a professor of modern culture and media and of English at Brown University.
Cinematic Uses of the Past
University of Minnesota Press, 1996
Library of Congress PN1995.9.H5L36 1996 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
Cinematic Uses of the Past was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
From the first, cinema has sustained a romance with the past. The nature of this attachment, and what it reveals about our culture, is the subject of Marcia Landy's book. Cinematic Uses of the Past looks at British, American, Italian, and African films for what they can tell us about popular history and our cultural investment in certain images of the past.
Landy peruses six different moments in the history of cinema, employing the theories of Nietzsche and Gramsci. Her reading of these films explores their investments in history and memory in relation to ideas of nation, sexuality, gender, and race. Among the films she discusses are A Fistful of Dynamite, The Scarlet Empress, Dance with a Stranger, Holocaust, Schindler's List, Le camp de Thiaroye, Guelwaar, The Leopard, and Veronika Voss.
A thoroughly compelling reading of these emblematic films, Cinematic Uses of the Past is also a revealing interpretation of popular history, exposing the fragmentary, tentative, and invested nature of cultural memory.
Marcia Landy is professor of literature and film studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of several books, including Film, Politics, and Gramsci (Minnesota, 1995).
Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at U.S. History
University of Minnesota Press, 1997
Library of Congress PN1995.9.H5B87 1997 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
Our movies have started talking back to us, and Film Nation takes a close look at what they have to say. In movies like JFK and Forrest Gump, Robert Burgoyne sees a filmic extension of the debates that exercise us as a nation--debates about race and culture and national identity, about the nature and makeup of American history.
In analyses of five films that challenge the traditional myths of the nation-state--Glory, Thunderheart, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, and Forrest Gump--Burgoyne explores the reshaping of our collective imaginary in relation to our history. These movies, exploring the meaning of "nation" from below, highlight issues of power that underlie the narrative construction of nationhood. Film Nation exposes the fault lines between national myths and the historical experience of people typically excluded from those myths.
Throughout, Burgoyne demonstrates that these films, in their formal design, also preserve relics of the imaginary past they contest. Here we see how the "genre memory" of the western, the war film, and the melodrama shapes these films, creating a complex exchange between old concepts of history and the alternative narratives of historical experience that contemporary texts propose.
The first book to apply theories of nationalism and national identity to contemporary American films, Film Nation reveals the cinematic rewriting of history now taking place as a powerful attempt to rearticulate the cultural narratives that define America as a nation.
"The chief merit of Film Nation is that it outlines a study of an important but neglected period of American film--the 1980s--from a sophisticated historiographical perspective, a complex version of postmodernism and cultural studies. That is, it arises, conceptually speaking, from within the film studies orbit and takes advantage in a provocative, and in my view, compelling way, the resources and perspectives of contemporary critical theory more generally." Nick Brown
"Film Nation makes a real contribution to film studies by underscoring how much the 'war film' has been revived for the purpose of contemplating nationhood, and how, more implicitly, the idea of 'America' or even 'identity' has become increasingly problematic in the era of international democratic capitalism." Tom Conley
"A brilliant and elegant series of essays which demonstrate how the best contemporary historical films provide a powerful counternarrative to traditional history and help us to rethink the American past. Burgoyne's is by far the best book to date on the important relationship between American history and American film." Robert A. Rosenstone
Race and Nation in Glory
History vs. Folklore
Two Historical Trajectories
Racial Identity into National Identity
Native America, Thunderheart, and the National Imaginary
Reversing the Territorial Imaginary
The Western and the National Imaginary
The Western and its Tropes of Space and Nation
War and the Forging of Ethnic Community
National Identity, Gender Identity and the "Rescue Fantasy" in Born on the 4th of July
Melodrama and National Identity
The Critique of Masculinity as "Punitive Agency"
Imaging the Nation
Modernism and the Narrative of Nation in JFK
The Temporality of Trauma
The Imagined Community as Lost Object
Prosthetic Memory/National Memory: Forrest Gump
Memory and National Identity
Nation and Religion
Redefining the Sixties
Robert Burgoyne is professor of English and film studies at Wayne State University and is chair of the Department of English. He is the author of Bertolucci's 1900: A Narrative and Historical Analysis (1991) and coauthor, with Robert Stam and Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, of New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics (1992).
Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at U.S. History, Revised Edition
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
Library of Congress PN1995.9.H5B87 2010 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
Events of the past decade have dramatically rewritten the American national narrative, bringing to light an alternate history of nation, marked since the country’s origins by competing geopolitical interests, by mobility and migration, and by contending ethnic and racial groups.
In this revised and expanded edition of Film Nation, Robert Burgoyne analyzes films that give shape to the counternarrative that has emerged since 9/11—one that challenges the traditional myths of the American nation-state. The films examined here, Burgoyne argues, reveal the hidden underlayers of nation, from the first interaction between Europeans and Native Americans (The New World), to the clash of ethnic groups in nineteenth-century New York (Gangs of New York), to the haunting persistence of war in the national imagination (Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima) and the impact of the events of 9/11 on American identity (United 93 and World Trade Center).
Film Nation provides innovative readings of attempts by such directors as Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone to visualize historical events that have acquired a mythical aura in order to open up the past to the contemporary moment.
History by Hollywood, Second Edition
Robert Brent Toplin
University of Illinois Press, 2010
Library of Congress PN1995.9.H5T66 2010 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
This newly updated edition of History by Hollywood explores the question of what happens to history when Hollywood filmmakers get their hands on it. With a fresh look at recent films and television productions such as Titanic, Pearl Harbor, The Patriot, and John Adams, Robert Brent Toplin examines how filmmakers have interpreted American history through their movies. Toplin discusses how writers, producers, and directors become involved in making historical films, what influences their interpretations of the past, and the responses they make to the controversies their works excite. With a realistic appreciation of the challenges filmmakers face, he effectively measures the strengths and weaknesses of Hollywood's presentation of history in the films Mississippi Burning, JFK, Sergeant York, Missing, Bonnie and Clyde, Patton, All the President's Men, and Norma Rae.
The Leading Man: Hollywood and the Presidential Image
Peretti, Burton W
Rutgers University Press, 2012
Library of Congress PN1995.9.P678P47 2012 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
American presidents and Hollywood have interacted since the 1920s. This relationship has made our entertainment more political and our political leadership more aligned with the world of movies and movie stars.
In The Leading Man, Burton W. Peretti explores the development of the cinematic presidential image. He sets the scene in chapter 1 to show us how the chief executive, beginning with George Washington, was positioned to assume the mantle of cultural leading man. As an early star figure in the young republic, the president served as a symbol of national survival and wish fulfillment. The president, as head of government and head of state, had the potential to portray a powerful and charismatic role.
At the center of the story are the fourteen presidents of the cinematic era, from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama. Since the 1920s, the president, like the lead actor in a movie, has been given the central place on the political stage under the intense glare of the spotlight. Like other American men, future presidents were taught by lead movie actors how to look and behave, what to say, and how to say it. Some, like John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, took particular care to learn from the grooming, gestures, movements, and vocal inflections of film actors and applied these lessons to their political careers. Ronald Reagan was a professional actor. Bill Clinton, a child of the post–World War II Baby Boom, may have been the biggest movie fan of all presidents. Others, including Lyndon Johnson, showed little interest in movies and their lessons for politicians.
Presidents and other politicians have been criticized for cheapening their offices by hiring image and advertising consultants and staging their public events. Peretti analyzes the evolution and the significance of this interaction to trace the convoluted history of the presidential cinematic image. He demonstrates how movies have been the main force in promoting appearance and drama over the substance of governing, and how Americans’ lives today may be dominated by entertainment at the expense of their engagement as citizens.
Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History
Robert A. Rosenstone
Harvard University Press, 1998
Library of Congress PN1995.2.R67 1995 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658
Can filmed history measure up to written history? What happens to history when it is recorded in images, rather than words? Can images convey ideas and information that lie beyond words? Taking on these timely questions, Robert Rosenstone pioneers a new direction in the relationship between history and film. Rosenstone moves beyond traditional approaches, which examine the history of film as art and industry, or view films as texts reflecting their specific cultural contexts. This essay collection makes a radical venture into the investigation of a new concern: how a visual medium, subject to the conventions of drama and fiction, might be used as a serious vehicle for thinking about our relationship with the past.
Rosenstone looks at history films in a way that forces us to reconceptualize what we mean by "history." He explores the innovative strategies of films made in Africa, Latin America, Germany, and other parts of the world. He journeys into the history of film in a wide range of cultures, and expertly traces the contours of the postmodern historical film. In essays on specific films, including Reds, JFK, and Sans Soleil, he considers such issues as the relationship between fact and film and the documentary as visionary truth.
Theorists have for some time been calling our attention to the epistemological and literary limitations of traditional history. The first sustained defense of film as a way of thinking historically, this book takes us beyond those limitations.
Zaprudered: The Kennedy Assassination Film in Visual Culture
By Øyvind Vågnes
University of Texas Press, 2011
Library of Congress E842.9.V35 2011 | Dewey Decimal 973.922092
Winner, Peter C. Rollins Book Award, 2012
As the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination approaches, the traumatic aspects of the tragedy continue to haunt our perceptions of the 1960s. One reason for this lies in the home movie of the incident filmed by Abraham Zapruder, a bystander who became one of the twentieth century's most important accidental documentarians.
The first book devoted exclusively to the topic, Zaprudered traces the journey of the film and its effect on the world's collective imagination. Providing insightful perspective as an observer of American culture, Norwegian media studies scholar Øyvind Vågnes begins by analyzing three narratives that are projections of Zapruder's images: performance group Ant Farm's video The Eternal Frame, Don DeLillo's novel Underworld, and an episode from Seinfeld. Subsequent topics he investigates include Dealey Plaza's Sixth Floor Museum, Zoran Naskovski's installation Death in Dallas, assassin video games, and other artifacts of the ways in which the footage has made a lasting impact on popular culture and the historical imagination. Vågnes also explores the role of other accidental documentarians, such as those who captured scenes of 9/11.
Zapruder's footage has never yielded a conclusive account of what happened in Dealey Plaza. Zaprudered thoroughly examines both this historical enigma and its indelible afterimages in our collective imagination.