This is the first biography of the important but long-forgotten American inventor Charles Francis Jenkins (1867-1934). Historian Donald G. Godfrey documents the life of Jenkins from his childhood in Indiana and early life in the West to his work as a prolific inventor whose productivity was cut short by an early death. Jenkins was an inventor who made a difference.
As one of America's greatest independent inventors, Jenkins's passion was to meet the needs of his day and the future. In 1895 he produced the first film projector able to show a motion picture on a large screen, coincidentally igniting the first film boycott among his Quaker viewers when the film he screened showed a woman's ankle. Jenkins produced the first American television pictures in 1923, and developed the only fully operating broadcast television station in Washington, D.C. transmitting to ham operators from coast to coast as well as programming for his local audience.
Godfrey's biography raises the profile of C. Francis Jenkins from his former place in the footnotes to his rightful position as a true pioneer of today's film and television. Along the way, it provides a window into the earliest days of both motion pictures and television as well as the now-vanished world of the independent inventor.
“It’s Magic Time!” That colorful promise began each performance at the Caffe Cino, the storied Greenwich Village coffeehouse that fostered the gay and alternative theatre movements of the 1960s and launched the careers of such stage mainstays as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Robert Heide, Harry Koutoukas, Robert Patrick, Robert Dahdah, Helen Hanft, Al Pacino, and Bernadette Peters. As Off-Off-Broadway productions enjoy a deserved resurgence, theatre historian and actor Wendell C. Stone reopens the Cino’s doors in this vibrant look at the earliest days of OOB.
Rife with insider interviews and rich with evocative photographs, Caffe Cino: The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway provides the first detailed account of Joe Cino’s iconic café theatre and its influence on American theatre. A hub of artistic innovation and haven for bohemians, beats, hippies, and gays, the café gave a much-sought outlet to voices otherwise shunned by mainstream entertainment. The Cino’s square stage measured only eight feet, but the dynamic ideas that emerged there spawned the numerous alternative theatre spaces that owe their origins to the risky enterprise on Cornelia Street.
In Californios, Anglos, and the Performance of Oligarchy in the U.S. West, author Andrew Gibb argues that the mid-nineteenth-century encounter between Anglos and californios— the Spanish-speaking elites who ruled Mexican California between 1821 and 1848—resulted not only in the Americanization of California but also the “Mexicanization” of Americans. Employing performance studies methodologies in his analysis of everyday and historical events, Gibb traces how oligarchy evolved and developed in the region.
This interdisciplinary study draws on performance studies, theatre historiography, and New Western History to identify how the unique power relations of historical California were constituted and perpetuated through public performances—not only traditional theatrical productions but also social events such as elite weddings and community dances—and historical events like the U.S. seizure of the city of Monterey, the feting of Commodore Stockton in San Francisco, and the Bear Flag Revolt.
Annette Michelson’s contributions to art and film criticism over the last three decades have been unparalleled. This volume honors her unique legacy with original essays by some of the many scholars who have been influenced by her work. Some continue her efforts to develop theoretical frameworks for understanding modernist art, while others practice her form of interdisciplinary criticism in relation to avant-garde and modernist art works and artists. Still others investigate and evaluate Michelson’s work itself. All in some way pay homage to her extraordinary contribution.
Sitcoms of the 1950s and 1960s are widely considered conformist in their depictions of gender roles and sexual attitudes. In Camp TV Quinlan Miller offers a new account of the history of American television that explains what campy meant in practical sitcom terms in shows as iconic as The Dick Van Dyke Show as well as in more obscure fare, such as The Ugliest Girl in Town. Situating his analysis within the era's shifts in the television industry and the coalescence of straightness and whiteness that came with the decline of vaudevillian camp, Miller shows how the sitcoms of this era overflowed with important queer representation and gender nonconformity. Whether through regular supporting performances (Ann B. Davis's Schultzy in The Bob Cummings Show), guest appearances by Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly, or scripted dialogue and situations, industry processes of casting and production routinely esteemed a camp aesthetic that renders all gender expression queer. By charting this unexpected history, Miller offers new ways of exploring how supposedly repressive popular media incubated queer, genderqueer, and transgender representations.
In The Captive Stage, Douglas A. Jones, Jr. argues that proslavery ideology remained the dominant mode of racial thought in the antebellum north, even though chattel slavery had virtually disappeared from the region by the turn of the nineteenth century—and that northerners cultivated their proslavery imagination most forcefully in their performance practices. Jones explores how multiple constituencies, ranging from early national artisans and Jacksonian wage laborers to patrician elites and bourgeois social reformers, used the stage to appropriate and refashion defenses of black bondage as means to affirm their varying and often conflicting economic, political, and social objectives. Joining performance studies with literary criticism and cultural theory, he uncovers the proslavery conceptions animating a wide array of performance texts and practices, such as the “Bobalition” series of broadsides, blackface minstrelsy, stagings of the American Revolution, reform melodrama, and abolitionist discourse. Taken together, he suggests, these works did not amount to a call for the re-enslavement of African Americans but, rather, justifications for everyday and state-sanctioned racial inequities in their post-slavery society. Throughout, The Captive Stage elucidates how the proslavery imagination of the free north emerged in direct opposition to the inclusionary claims black publics enacted in their own performance cultures. In doing so, the book offers fresh contexts and readings of several forms of black cultural production, including early black nationalist parades, slave dance, the historiography of the revolutionary era, the oratory of radical abolitionists and the black convention movement, and the autobiographical and dramatic work of ex-slave William Wells Brown.
In Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship, Yvonne Daniel provides a sweeping cultural and historical examination of diaspora dance genres. In discussing relationships among African, Caribbean, and other diasporic dances, Daniel investigates social dances brought to the islands by Europeans and Africans, including quadrilles and drum-dances as well as popular dances that followed, such as Carnival parading, Pan-Caribbean danzas,rumba, merengue, mambo, reggae, and zouk. Daniel reviews sacred dance and closely documents combat dances, such as Martinican ladja, Trinidadian kalinda, and Cuban juego de maní. In drawing on scores of performers and consultants from the region as well as on her own professional dance experience and acumen, Daniel adeptly places Caribbean dance in the context of cultural and economic globalization, connecting local practices to transnational and global processes and emphasizing the important role of dance in critical regional tourism.
Offers a new model for interpreting popular national culture through Uruguay's carnival theater troupes.
The murgas are troupes of performers, musicians, writers, and creators who, during Montevideo's Carnival, perform on the tablados, temporary stages built in the neighborhoods of Uruguay's capital city each year. Throughout the period of Uruguay's subjection to a brutal dictatorship and in the following era of "democratization," the murgas, envisioned originally as popular theater, were transformed into a symbol of social resistance, celebrated by many and perceived by others as menacing and subversive.
Focusing on the cultural practices of the lower classes and more specifically on the processes and productions of the murgas, Gustavo Remedi's Carnival Theater is a deeply thoughtful consideration of Uruguayan society's identity crisis and subsequent redefinition in the wake of the authoritarian-bureaucratic-technocratic regimes of the 1970s. A revealing work of cultural criticism, the book proposes a new set of criteria for the interpretation and critique of national culture.
Gustavo Remedi is associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Trinity College.
Amy Ferlazzo teaches at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Tom Conley University of Minnesota Press, 2006 Library of Congress PN1995.9.M28C66 2007 | Dewey Decimal 791.4362
Cartography and cinema are what might be called locational machinery. Maps and movies tell their viewers where they are situated, what they are doing, and, to a strong degree, who they are. In this groundbreaking work, eminent scholar Tom Conley establishes the ideological power of maps in classic, contemporary, and avant-garde cinema to shape the imaginary and mediated relations we hold with the world. Cartographic Cinema examines the affinities of maps and movies through comparative theory and close analysis of films from the silent era to the French New Wave to Hollywood blockbusters. In doing so, Conley reveals that most of the movies we see contain maps of various kinds and almost invariably constitute a projective apparatus similar to cartography. In addition, he demonstrates that spatial signs in film foster a critical relation with the prevailing narrative and mimetic registers of cinema. Conley convincingly argues that the very act of watching films, and cinema itself, is actually a form of cartography. Unlike its function in an atlas, a map in a movie often causes the spectator to entertain broader questions—not only about cinema but also of the nature of space and being.
Alfred Hitchcock is often held up as the prime example of the one-man filmmaker, conceiving and controlling all aspects of his films’ development—the archetype of genius over collaboration. An exhibition at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, however, put the lie to Hitchcock-as-auteur, presenting more than seventy-five sketches, designs, watercolors, paintings, and storyboards that, together, examine Hitchcock’s very collaborative filmmaking process. The four essays in this collection were written to accompany the exhibition and delve further into Hitchcock’s contributions to the collaborative process of art in film.
Scott Curtis considers the four functions of Hitchcock’s sketches and storyboards and how they undermine the impression of Hitchcock as a lone artist. Tom Gunning examines the visual vocabulary and cultural weight of Hitchcock’s movies. Bill Krohn focuses sharply on the film I Confess, tracking its making over a very cooperative path.
Finally, Jan Olsson draws on the television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, to show the ways that collaboration contributes to the formation of his well known public persona. Anchored by editor Will Schmenner’s introduction, this book represents an important contribution to Hitchcock scholarship and a provocative glimpse at his unsung strength as a collaborative artist.
Celluloid Activist is the biography of gay-rights giant Vito Russo, the man who wrote The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies, commonly regarded as the foundational text of gay and lesbian film studies and one of the first to be widely read.
But Russo was much more than a pioneering journalist and author. A founding member of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and cofounder of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), Russo lived at the center of the most important gay cultural turning points in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. His life as a cultural Zelig intersects a crucial period of social change, and in some ways his story becomes the story of a developing gay revolution in America. A frequent participant at “zaps” and an organizer of Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) cabarets and dances—which gave the New York gay and lesbian community its first social alternative to Mafia-owned bars—Russo made his most enduring contribution to the GAA with his marshaling of “Movie Nights,” the forerunners to his worldwide Celluloid Closet lecture tours that gave gay audiences their first community forum for the dissection of gay imagery in mainstream film. Biographer Michael Schiavi unravels Vito Russo’s fascinating life story, from his childhood in East Harlem to his own heartbreaking experiences with HIV/AIDS. Drawing on archival materials, unpublished letters and journals, and more than two hundred interviews, including conversations with a range of Russo’s friends and family from brother Charlie Russo to comedian Lily Tomlin to pioneering activist and playwright Larry Kramer, Celluloid Activistprovides an unprecedented portrait of a man who defined gay-rights and AIDS activism.
“Schiavi tells a compelling story in this biography—from his re-creation of life on the streets of East Harlem and in Greenwich Village of the 1960s and 1970s to the way he conveys Russo’s excitement about his film research and popular education to his account of the AIDS years in New York City.”—John D’Emilio, Italian American Review
“In [Schiavi’s] hands Russo’s life is both fascinating in its own right and a window into a larger milieu of activism during two critical decades.”—Italian American Review
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
Featuring a variety of disciplinary perspectives and analytical approaches, Celluloid Chains is the most comprehensive volume to date on films about slavery. This collection examines works from not only the United States but elsewhere in the Americas, and it attests to slavery’s continuing importance as a source of immense fascination for filmmakers and their audiences.
Each of the book’s fifteen original essays focuses on a particular film that directly treats the enslavement of Africans and their descendants in the New World. Beginning with an essay on the Cuban film El otro Francisco (1975), Sergio Giral’s reworking of a nineteenth-century abolitionist novel, the book proceeds to examine such works as the landmark miniseries Roots (1977), which sparked intense controversy over its authenticity; Werner Herzog’s Cobra Verde (1987), which raises questions about what constitutes a slavery film; Guy Deslauriers’s Passage du milieu (1999), a documentary-style reconstruction of what Africans experienced during the Middle Passage; and Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave (2013), which embodies the tensions between faithfully adapting a nineteenth-century slave narrative and bending it for modern purposes.
Films about slavery have shown a special power to portray the worst and best of humanity, and Celluloid Chains is an essential guide to this important genre.
RUDYARD J. ALCOCER holds the Forrest and Patsy Shumway Chair of Excellence in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of Time Travel in the Latin American and Caribbean Imagination: Re-reading History.
KRISTEN BLOCK is an associate professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is the author of Ordinary Lives in the Early Caribbean: Religion, Colonial Competition, and the Politics of Profit.
DAWN DUKE is an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is the author of Literary Passion, Ideological Commitment: Toward a Legacy of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian Women Writers.
Celluloid China: Cinematic Encounters with Culture and Society by Harry H. Kuoshu is a lucid introduction to the cinema of mainland China from the early 1930s to the early 1990s.
Emphasizing both film contexts and film texts, this study invites film scholars and students to a broad cinematic analysis that includes investigations of cultural, cross-cultural, intellectual, social, ethnic, and political issues. Such a holistic evaluation allows for a better understanding of both the genesis of a special kind of film art from the People’s Republic of China and the culture exemplified in those films.
The fifteen films include: Two Stage Sisters; Hibiscus Town; Farewell My Concubine; Street Angel; ThreeWomen; Human, Woman, Demon; Judou; Girl fromHunan; Sacrificed Youth; Horse Thief; Yellow Earth;Old Well; Red Sorghum; Black Cannon Incident; and Good Morning, Beijing.
Discussions of each film have an introduction, passages from the director’s own notes whenever available, and a scholarly article. Discussion questions are found in an appendix. Within its complete bibliography, the book also features a suggested reading list for Chinese film classes.
Celluloid China: Cinematic Encounters with Culture and Society is the first book to provide such an exhaustive study of the art and cultural context of Chinese cinema.
The five Cs of Arizona—copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and climate—formed the basis of the state’s livelihood and a readymade roster of subjects for films. With an eye on the developing national appetite for all things western, Charles and Lucile Herbert founded Western Ways Features in 1936 to document the landscape, regional development, and diverse cultures of Arizona, the U.S. Southwest, and northern Mexico.
Celluloid Pueblo tells the story of Western Ways Features and its role in the invention of the Southwest of the imagination. Active during a thirty-year period of profound growth and transformation, the Herberts created a dynamic visual record of the region, and their archival films now serve as a time capsule of the Sunbelt in the mid-twentieth century. Drawing upon a ten-year career with Fox, Western Ways owner-operator Charles Herbert brought a newshound’s sensibility and acute skill at in-camera editing to his southwestern subjects. The Western Ways films provided counternarratives to Hollywood representations of the West and established the regional identity of Tucson and the borderlands.
Jennifer L. Jenkins’s broad-sweeping book examines the Herberts’ work on some of the first sound films in the Arizona borderlands and their ongoing promotion of the Southwest. The book covers the filmic representation of Native and Mexican lifeways, Anglo ranching and leisure, Mexican missions and tourism, and postwar borderlands prosperity and progressivism. The story of Western Ways closely follows the boom-and-bust arc of the midcentury Southwest and the constantly evolving representations of an exotic—but safe and domesticated—frontier.
In the world of globalized media, provocative images trigger culture wars between traditionalists and cosmopolitans, between censors and defenders of free expression. But are images censored because of what they mean, what they do, or what they might become? And must audiences be protected because of what they understand, what they feel, or what they might imagine?
At the intersection of anthropology, media studies, and critical theory, Censorium is a pathbreaking analysis of Indian film censorship. The book encompasses two moments of moral panic: the consolidation of the cinema in the 1910s and 1920s, and the global avalanche of images unleashed by liberalization since the early 1990s. Exploring breaks and continuities in film censorship across colonial and postcolonial moments, William Mazzarella argues that the censors' obsessive focus on the unacceptable content of certain images and the unruly behavior of particular audiences displaces a problem that they constantly confront yet cannot directly acknowledge: the volatile relation between mass affect and collective meaning. Grounded in a close analysis of cinema regulation in the world's largest democracy, Censorium ultimately brings light to the elusive foundations of political and cultural sovereignty in mass-mediated societies.
In this rich, imaginative survey of variety musical theater, Gillian M. Rodger masterfully chronicles the social history and class dynamics of the robust, nineteenth-century American theatrical phenomenon that gave way to twentieth-century entertainment forms such as vaudeville and comedy on radio and television. Fresh, bawdy, and unabashedly aimed at the working class, variety honed in on its audience's fascinations, emerging in the 1840s as a vehicle to accentuate class divisions and stoke curiosity about gender and sexuality. Cross-dressing acts were a regular feature of these entertainments, and Rodger profiles key male impersonators Annie Hindle and Ella Wesner while examining how both gender and sexuality gave shape to variety. By the last two decades of the nineteenth century, variety theater developed into a platform for ideas about race and whiteness.
As some in the working class moved up into the middling classes, they took their affinity for variety with them, transforming and broadening middle-class values. Champagne Charlie and Pretty Jemima places the saloon keepers, managers, male impersonators, minstrels, acrobats, singers, and dancers of the variety era within economic and social contexts by examining the business models of variety shows and their primarily white, working-class urban audiences. Rodger traces the transformation of variety from sexualized entertainment to more family-friendly fare, a domestication that mirrored efforts to regulate the industry, as well as the adoption of aspects of middle-class culture and values by the shows' performers, managers, and consumers.
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.
During the tumultuous 1990s, as Russia struggled to shed the trappings of the Soviet empire, television viewing emerged as an enormous influence on Russian life. The number of viewers who routinely watch the nightly news in Russia matches the number of Americans who tune in to the Super Bowl, thus making TV coverage the prized asset for which political leaders intensely—and sometimes violently—compete. In this revised and expanded edition of Changing Channels, Ellen Mickiewicz provides many fascinating insights, describing the knowing ways in which ordinary Russians watch the news, skeptically analyze information, and develop strategies for dealing with news bias. Covering the period from the state-controlled television broadcasts at the end of the Soviet Union through the attempted coup against Gorbachev, the war in Chechnya, the presidential election of 1996, and the economic collapse of 1998, Mickiewicz draws on firsthand research, public opinion surveys, and many interviews with key players, including Gorbachev himself. By examining the role that television has played in the struggle to create political pluralism in Russia, she reveals how this struggle is both helped and hindered by the barrage of information, advertisements, and media-created personalities that populate the airwaves. Perhaps most significantly, she shows how television has emerged as the sole emblem of legitimate authority and has provided a rare and much-needed connection from one area of this huge, crisis-laden country to the next. This new edition of Changing Channels will be valued by those interested in Russian studies, politics, media and communications, and cultural studies, as well as general readers who desire an up-to-date view of crucial developments in Russia at the end of the twentieth century.
We live in an age of media saturation, where with a few clicks of the remote—or mouse—we can tune in to programming where the facts fit our ideological predispositions. But what are the political consequences of this vast landscape of media choice? Partisan news has been roundly castigated for reinforcing prior beliefs and contributing to the highly polarized political environment we have today, but there is little evidence to support this claim, and much of what we know about the impact of news media come from studies that were conducted at a time when viewers chose from among six channels rather than scores.
Through a series of innovative experiments, Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson show that such criticism is unfounded. Americans who watch cable news are already polarized, and their exposure to partisan programming of their choice has little influence on their political positions. In fact, the opposite is true: viewers become more polarized when forced to watch programming that opposes their beliefs. A much more troubling consequence of the ever-expanding media environment, the authors show, is that it has allowed people to tune out the news: the four top-rated partisan news programs draw a mere three percent of the total number of people watching television.
Overturning much of the conventional wisdom, Changing Minds or Changing Channels? demonstrate that the strong effects of media exposure found in past research are simply not applicable in today’s more saturated media landscape.
Will Dunne first brought the workshop experience down to the desk level with The Dramatic Writer’s Companion, offering practical exercises to help playwrights and screenwriters work through the problems that arise in developing their scripts. Now writers looking to further enhance their storytelling process can turn to Character, Scene, and Story.
Featuring forty-two new workshop-tested exercises, this sequel to The Dramatic Writer’s Companion allows writers to dig deeper into their scripts by fleshing out images, exploring characters from an emotional perspective, tapping the power of color and sense memory to trigger ideas, and trying other visceral techniques. The guide also includes a troubleshooting section to help tackle problem scenes. Writers with scripts already in progress will find they can think deeper about their characters and stories. And those who are just beginning to write will find the guidance they need to discover their best starting point. The guide is filled with hundreds of examples, many of which have been developed as both plays and films.
Character, Scene, and Story is fully aligned with the new edition of The Dramatic Writer’s Companion, with cross-references between related exercises so that writers have the option to explore a given topic in more depth. While both guides can stand alone, together they give writers more than one hundred tools to develop more vivid characters and craft stronger scripts.
Playwright, actor and director Charles Ludlam (1943–1987) helped to galvanize the Ridiculous style of theater in New York City starting in the 1960s. Decades after his death, his place in the chronicle of American theater has remained constant, but his influence has changed. Although his Ridiculous Theatrical Company shut its doors, the Ludlamesque Ridiculous has continued to thrive and remain a groundbreaking genre, maintaining its relevance and potency by metamorphosing along with changes in the LGBTQ community.
Author Sean F. Edgecomb focuses on the neo-Ridiculous artists Charles Busch, Bradford Louryk, and Taylor Mac to trace the connections between Ludlam’s legacy and their performances, using alternative queer models such as kinetic kinship, lateral historiography, and a new approach to camp. Charles Ludlam Lives! demonstrates that the queer legacy of Ludlam is one of distinct transformation—one where artists can reject faithful interpretations in order to move in new interpretive directions.
Charlie Chaplin, Director
Donna Kornhaber Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PN2287.C5K67 2014 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Charlie Chaplin was one of the cinema’s consummate comic performers, yet he has long been criticized as a lackluster film director. In this groundbreaking work—the first to analyze Chaplin’s directorial style—Donna Kornhaber radically recasts his status as a filmmaker. Spanning Chaplin’s career, Kornhaber discovers a sophisticated "Chaplinesque" visual style that draws from early cinema and slapstick and stands markedly apart from later, "classical" stylistic conventions. His is a manner of filmmaking that values space over time and simultaneity over sequence, crafting narrative and meaning through careful arrangement within the frame rather than cuts between frames. Opening up aesthetic possibilities beyond the typical boundaries of the classical Hollywood film, Chaplin’s filmmaking would profoundly influence directors from Fellini to Truffaut. To view Chaplin seriously as a director is to re-understand him as an artist and to reconsider the nature and breadth of his legacy.
Unlike William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and other great authors who have enjoyed continued success in Hollywood, Geoffrey Chaucer has largely been shunted to the margins of the cinematic world. Chaucer on Screen: Absence, Presence, and Adapting the Canterbury Tales, edited by Kathleen Coyne Kelly and Tison Pugh, investigates the various translations of Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales to film and television, tracing out how the legacies of the great fourteenth-century English poet have been revisited and reinterpreted through visual media. Contributors to this volume address the question of why Chaucer is so rarely adapted to the screen, and then turn to the occasional, often awkward, attempts to adapt his narratives, including such works as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s lyrical A Canterbury Tale (1944), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s still-controversial I racconti di Canterbury (1972), Bud Lee’s soft-core The Ribald Tales of Canterbury (1985), Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale (2001), and BBC television productions, among others. Chaucer on Screen aims to rethink some of the premises of adaptation studies and to erase the ideological lines between textual sources and visual reimaginings in the certainty that many pleasures, scholarly and otherwise, can found in multiple media across disparate eras.
On the afternoon of December 30, 1903, during a sold-out matinee performance, a fire broke out in Chicago’ s Iroquois Theatre. In the short span of twenty minutes, more than six hundred people were asphyxiated, burned, or trampled to death in a panicked mob’ s failed attempt to escape. In Chicago Death Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903, Nat Brandt provides a detailed chronicle of this horrific event to assess not only the titanic tragedy of the fire itself but also the municipal corruption and greed that kindled the flames beforehand and the political cover-ups hidden in the smoke and ash afterwards.
Advertised as “ absolutely fireproof,” the Iroquois was Chicago’ s most modern playhouse when it opened in the fall of 1903. With the approval of the city’ s building department, theater developers Harry J. Powers and William J. Davis opened the theater prematurely to take full advantage of the holiday crowds, ignoring flagrant safety violations in the process.
The aftermath of the fire proved to be a study in the miscarriage of justice. Despite overwhelming evidence that the building had not been completed, that fire safety laws were ignored, and that management had deliberately sealed off exits during the performance, no one was ever convicted or otherwise held accountable for the enormous loss of life.
Lavishly illustrated and featuring an introduction by Chicago historians Perry R. Duis and Cathlyn Schallhorn, ChicagoDeath Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903 is rich with vivid details about this horrific disaster, captivatingly presented in human terms without losing sight of the broader historical context.
Although the motion picture industry initially disparaged and feared television, by the late 1950s, studios saw the medium as a convenient dumping ground for thousands of films that had long been gathering dust in their vaults. As these films found their way to local TV stations, enterprising distributors grouped the titles by genre so programmers could showcase them accordingly. It was in this spirit that Chicago’s tradition of TV horror movie shows was born. Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows is the first comprehensive look at Chicago’s horror movie programs, from their inception in 1957 to the present.
If there was a moment during the sixties, seventies, or eighties that changed the history of the women’s film movement, B. Ruby Rich was there. Part journalistic chronicle, part memoir, and 100% pure cultural historical odyssey, Chick Flicks—with its definitive, the-way-it-was collection of essays—captures the birth and growth of feminist film as no other book has done.
For over three decades Rich has been one of the most important voices in feminist film criticism. Her presence at film festivals (such as Sundance, where she is a member of the selection committee), her film reviews in the Village Voice, Elle, Out, and the Advocate, and her commentaries on the public radio program “The World” have secured her a place as a central figure in the remarkable history of what she deems “cinefeminism.” In the hope that a new generation of feminist film culture might be revitalized by reclaiming its own history, Rich introduces each essay with an autobiographical prologue that describes the intellectual, political, and personal moments from which the work arose. Travel, softball, sex, and voodoo all somehow fit into a book that includes classic Rich articles covering such topics as the antiporn movement, the films of Yvonne Rainer, a Julie Christie visit to Washington, and the historically evocative film Maedchen in Uniform. The result is a volume that traces the development not only of women’s involvement in cinema but of one of its key players as well.
The first book-length work from Rich—whose stature and influence in the world of film criticism and theory continue to grow—Chick Flicks exposes unexplored routes and forgotten byways of a past that’s recent enough to be remembered and far away enough to be memorable.
From Lolita to The Sixth Sense, the figure of the child in cinematic works has been a contested site of symbolism and controversy. Childhood and Cinema examines how the child in film has ultimately been used to embody the anxieties and aspirations of modern life.
Vicky Lebeau investigates how films use children to probe such themes as sexuality, death, imagination, the terrors of childhood, and hope. The book ranges over the whole history of Western cinema, from the Lumière brothers’ 1895 Feeding the Baby to Walt Disney’s animation classics to Truffaut’s L’enfant sauvage and recent works such as Capturing the Friedmans and Kids. The figure of the child in film, Lebeau argues, is fundamentally ambivalent—always hovering on the edge between hope and despair, vulnerability and violence, or pleasure and trauma—and it ultimately offers a unique way of thinking about the significance of cinema itself.
By turns engaging, thought-provoking, and informative, Childhood and the Cinema challenges us to reconsider the child figure as a conduit for critical reflection on what it means to be human.
From 1855 until 1863, the Marsh Troupe of Juvenile Comedians, a professional acting company of approximately thirty children, entertained audiences with their nuanced performances of adult roles on stages around the globe. In Childhood and Nineteenth-Century American Theatre: The Work of the Marsh Troupe of Juvenile Actors, author Shauna Vey provides an insightful account not only of this unique antebellum stage troupe but also of contemporary theatre practices and the larger American culture, including shifts in the definition of childhood itself.
Looking at the daily work lives of five members of the Marsh Troupe—the father and manager, Robert Marsh, and four child performers, Mary Marsh, Alfred Stewart, Louise Arnot, and Georgie Marsh—Vey reveals the realities of the antebellum theatre and American society: the rise of the nineteenth-century impresario; the emerging societal constructions of girlhood and goodness; the realities of child labor; the decline of the apprenticeship model of actor training; shifts in gender roles and the status of working women; and changes in the economic models of theatre production, including the development of the stock company system.
Both a microhistory of a professional theatre company and its juvenile players in the decade before the Civil War and a larger narrative of cultural change in the United States, Childhood and Nineteenth-Century American Theatre sheds light on how childhood was idealized both on and off the stage, how the role of the child in society shifted in the nineteenth century, and the ways economic value and sentiment contributed to how children were viewed.
Among the films inspired by Orson Welles's lifelong involvement with Shakespeare, the greatest is Chimes at Midnight (1966). It is a masterly conflation of the Shakespearean history plays that feature Falstaff, the great comic figure played by Welles himself in the film. For Welles, the character was also potentially tragic: the doomed friendship between Falstaff and Prince Hal becomes an image of the end of an age. To this epic subject Welles brings the innovative film techniques that made him famous in Citizen Kane, The Lady from Shanghai,"and Touch of Evil.
This volume offers a complete continuity script of Chimes at Midnight, including its famous battle sequence. Each shot is described in detail and is keyed to the original Shakesperian sources, thus making the volume an invaluable guide to Welles as an adaptor and creator of texts. The first complete transcription of the continuity script of Chimes is accompanied by the editor's critical introduction on Welles's transformation of Shakespeare; a special interview with Keith Baxter, one of the film's principal actors, which discusses its production history; reviews and articles; and a biographical sketch of Welles, a filmography, and a bibliography.
Since 1984, Chinese cinema has been the most dramatic entry onto the international film scene. China into Film is the first book to look at contemporary Chinese cinema as a visual art and to illustrate the ways in which it has been shaped by centuries of Chinese tradition. Jerome Silbergeld looks at the significance of gender roles, the strategies of film-makers in coping with state censorship, the translation of novels into films, the continuing attachment of film-makers to melodrama, and cinematic critiques of Maoism and post-Maoist culture.
Abundantly illustrated with Chinese paintings as well as scenes from such internationally acclaimed films as Yellow Earth, Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern and Farewell My Concubine, China into Film reveals a cinematic form at once excitingly new and deeply imbedded in traditional Chinese visual culture.
Chinatown Film Culture provides the first comprehensive account of the emergence of film and moviegoing in the transpacific hub of San Francisco in the early twentieth century. Working with materials previously left in the margins of grand narratives of history, Kim K. Fahlstedt uncovers the complexity of a local entertainment culture that offered spaces where marginalized Chinese Americans experienced and participated in local iterations of modernity. At the same time, this space also fostered a powerful Orientalist aesthetic that would eventually be exported to Hollywood by San Francisco showmen such as Sid Grauman. Instead of primarily focusing on the screen-spectator relationship, Fahlstedt suggests that immigrant audiences' role in the proliferation of cinema as public entertainment in the United States saturated the whole moviegoing experience, from outside on the street to inside the movie theater. By highlighting San Francisco and Chinatown as featured participants rather than bit players, Chinatown Film Culture provides an historical account from the margins, alternative to the more dominant narratives of U.S. film history.
Irving Lowens Award, Society for American Music (SAM), 2019
Music in American Culture Award, American Musicological Society (AMS), 2018
Certificate of Merit for Best Historical Research in Recorded Country, Folk, Roots, or World Music, Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), 2018
Outstanding Achievement in Humanities and Cultural Studies: Media, Visual, and Performance Studies, Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS), 2019
The Chinatown opera house provided Chinese immigrants with an essential source of entertainment during the pre “World War II era. But its stories of loyalty, obligation, passion, and duty also attracted diverse patrons into Chinese American communities Drawing on a wealth of new Chinese- and English-language research, Nancy Yunhwa Rao tells the story of iconic theater companies and the networks and migrations that made Chinese opera a part of North American cultures. Rao unmasks a backstage world of performers, performance, and repertoire and sets readers in the spellbound audiences beyond the footlights. But she also braids a captivating and complex history from elements outside the opera house walls: the impact of government immigration policy; how a theater influenced a Chinatown's sense of cultural self; the dissemination of Chinese opera music via recording and print materials; and the role of Chinese American business in sustaining theatrical institutions. The result is a work that strips the veneer of exoticism from Chinese opera, placing it firmly within the bounds of American music and a profoundly American experience.
Chinese Connections is a valuable new anthology that provides a prismatic look at the cross-fertilization between Chinese film and global popular culture. Leading film scholars consider the influence of world cinema on China-related and Chinese-related cinema over the last five decades. Highlighting the neglected connections between Chinese films and American and European cinema, the editors and contributors examine popular works such as Ang Lee’s The Hulk and Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep to show the nexus of international film production and how national, political, social and sexual identities are represented in the Chinese diaspora.
With talent flowing back and forth between East and West, Chinese Connections explores how issues of immigration, class, race and economic displacement are viewed on a global level, ultimately providing a greater understanding of the impact of Chinese filmmaking at home and abroad.
Contributors include: Grace An, Aaron Anderson, Chris Berry, Evans Chan, Li-Mei Chang, Frances Gateward, Andrew Grossman, Peter Hitchcock, Chuck Kleinhans, Jenny Kwok Wah Lau, Helen Leung, Aaron Magnan-Park, Gayle Wald, Esther C.M. Yau, Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh, Xuelin Zhou and the editors.
The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens looks at the way in which issues of race and sexuality have become central concerns in cinema generated by and about Chinese communities in America after the mid-1990s. This companion volume to Marchetti's From Tian'anmen to Times Square looks specifically at the Chinese diaspora in relation to ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual identity as depicted in the cinema.
Examining films from the United States and Canada, as well as transnational co-productions, The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens includes analyses of films such as The Wedding Banquet and Double Happiness in addition to interviews with celebrated filmmakers such as Wayne Wang.
Marchetti also reflects on how Chinese identity is presented in a multitude of media forms, including commercial cinema, documentaries, experimental films, and hybrid digital media to offer a textured look at representations of the Chinese diasporic experience after Tian'anmen.
China’s profound influence on the avant-garde in the 20th century was nowhere more apparent than in the work of Ezra Pound, Bertolt Brecht, and the writers associated with the Parisian literary journal Tel quel. Chinese Dreams explores the complex, intricate relationship between various “Chinas”—as texts—and the nation/culture known simply as “China”—their context—within the work of these writers. Eric Hayot calls into question the very means of representing otherness in the history of the West and ultimately asks if it might be possible to attend to the political meaning of imagining the other, while still enjoying the pleasures and possibilities of such dreaming. The latest edition of this critically acclaimed book includes a new preface by the author.
“Lucid and accessible . . . an important contribution to the field of East-West comparative studies, Asian studies, and modernism.” —Comparative Literature Studies
“Instead of trying to decipher the indecipherable ‘China’ in Western literary texts and critical discourses, Hayot chose to show us why and how ‘China’ has remained, and will probably always be, an enchanting, ever-elusive dream. His approach is nuanced and refreshing, his analysis rigorous and illuminating.” —Michelle Yeh, University of California, Davis
Through the writings of noted Chinese philosophers, scholars, artists, and critics from the time of Confucius to the present, this rich compendium provides a fascinating guided tour of China's evolving conceptions of theater and performance. The book's more than sixty selections are arranged chronologically to provide a historical overview of four major periods: antiquity to the Song dynasty (fourth century B.C.E.-1279 C.E.); the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) and Ming dynasty (1368-1644); the Qing dynasty (1644-1911); and the rest of the twentieth century.
The writings collected here treat the origins, aesthetic principles, and functions of theater. Some are virtual manuals on playwriting and performance techniques; some describe the practices, conditions, and government policies concerning theatrical performance. Many of the selections forcefully dispute the myth that Chinese theater is valuable in performance but lacking in literature--the fact is that there is an equal, if not more prominent, emphasis on theme and content. What emerges from the writings in Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance from Confucius to the Present is a highly evolved and sophisticated aesthetic.
The texts are enhanced by Faye C. Fei's extensive introductions and annotative notes that provide essential background and contextual information. She has provided accurate and engagingly written translations of the texts, making the majority of them available in English for the first time. The anthology will appeal to teachers and students of theater and performance, artists interested in Chinese theater and arts, and scholars and historians of Asia. Literary critics, aestheticians, philosophers, and social scientists will also find the volume of interest, since Chinese conceptions of the theater and performance are closely connected to China's general outlook on the humanities.
Faye C. Fei is Assistant Professor of Dramatic Arts, Macalester College.
“The world outside has burst into the studio,” writes the influential dancer, teacher, and choreographer Daniel Nagrin. Many dancers want passionately to confront concrete, difficult subjects. But their formalistic training hasn’t prepared them for what they need to say. This book, the first on choreography approached through content rather than structure, is designed with them in mind.
Spiced with wit and strong opinions, Choreography and the Specific Image explores, in nineteen far-ranging essays, the art of choreography through the life’s work of an important artist. A career of performance, creativity, and teaching spanning five decades, Nagrin reveals the philosophy and strategy of his work with Helen Tamiris, a founder of modern American dance, and of Workgroup, his maverick improvisation company of the 1970s. During an era when many dancers were working with movement as abstraction, Nagrin turned instead toward movement as metaphor, in the belief that dance should be about something. In Choreography and the Specific Image, Nagrin shares with the next generation of dancers just how that turn was accomplished.
“It makes no sense to make dances unless you bring news,” he writes. “You bring something that a community needs, something from you: a vision, an insight, a question from where you are and what churns you up.” In a workbook following the essays, Nagrin lays out a wealth of clear, effective exercises to guide dancers toward such constructive self-discovery. Unlike all other choreography books, Nagrin addresses the concerns of both modern and commercial (show dance) choreographers. “The need to discover the inner life,” he maintains, “is what fires the motion.”
This is Nagrin’s third book of a trilogy, following Dance and the Specific Image: Improvisation and The Six Questions: Acting Technique for Dance Performance. Each focuses on a different aspect of dance—improvisation, performance, and choreography—engaging the specific image as a creative tool.
Part history, part philosophy, part nuts-and-bolts manual, Choreography and the Specific Image will be an indispensable resource for all those who care passionately about the world of dance, and the world at large.
Jack Anderson University of Iowa Press, 1997 Library of Congress GV1782.5.A53 1987 | Dewey Decimal 792.82
For over twenty years Jack Anderson has been writing about dance performances. His essays and reviews have appeared in daily newspapers, specialist monthlies, and critical quarterlies. For the last ten years he has been a dance critic for the New York Times.
In Choreography Observed, Jack Anderson has selected writings that focus most directly on choreographers and choreography in order to illuminate the delights and problems of dance and to reveal the nature of this nonverbal but intensely expressive art form.
His essays and reviews deal with individual choreographers from Bournonville, Petipa, and Fokine to Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Meredith Monk, and Pina Bausch; individual works are also discussed in detail, such as Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun,Antony Tudor's Pillar of Fire, Alvin Ailey's Flowers, and Kei Takei's Light. Other pieces focus on the Baroque dance revival, contemporary multimedia dance theatre, choreography for men, the complex relationship between ballet and modern dance, and how—and how not—to revive the classics.
No other book—especially no other selection from the work of a single critic—has dealt with choreography in such an original and focused way. Anderson brings his trained eye and wide experience in the arts to bear on dance while stressing the primacy of the choreographer as auteur. By refusing to get bogged down in highly technical terminology, he makes his insights available to a wide range of readers interested in expanding their understanding of this ever more popular art form.
Chris Marker is one of the most extraordinary and influential filmmakers of our time. In landmark films such as Letter from Siberia, La Jetée, Sans Soleil, and Level Five, he has overturned cinematic conventions by confounding the distinction between documentary and fiction, writing and visual recording, and the still and moving image. Yet these works are only the tip of the iceberg; Marker's career has also encompassed writing, photography, television, and digital multimedia.
Chris Marker is the first systematic examination of Marker's complete oeuvre. Here, Catherine Lupton traces the development and transformation of the artist's work from the late 1940s, when he began to work as a poet, novelist, and critic for the French journal Esprit, through the 1990s and the release of his most recent works, including Level Five and the CD-ROM Immemory. Lupton explicates Marker's work as a circular trajectory, with each project recycling and referring back to earlier works as well as to a host of adopted texts, always proceeding by oblique association and lateral digression. This trajectory, which Lupton outlines with great care and precision, is critical to understanding Marker's abiding obsession: the forms and operations of human memory. With this theme as her architecture, Lupton presents the most comprehensive and incisive analysis of Marker to date.
Incorporating historical events and cultural contexts that have informed each phase of Marker's career, Lupton gives readers access to an artist who stands outside of the mainstream and thus defies easy explanation. There is no better guide than Lupton's to this modern master's prolific and multidimensional career.
A pioneering figure in film studies, Christian Metz proposed countless new concepts for reflecting on cinema, rooted in his phenomenological structuralism. He also played a key role in establishing film studies as a scholarly discipline, making major contributions to its institutionalisation in universities worldwide. This book brings together a stellar roster of contributors to present a close analysis of Metz's writings, their theoretical and epistemological positions, and their ongoing influence today.
Jaimey Fisher University of Illinois Press, 2013 Library of Congress PN1998.3.P467F57 2013 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
In eleven feature films across two decades, Christian Petzold has established himself as the most critically celebrated director in contemporary Germany. The best-known and most influential member of the Berlin School, Petzold's career reflects the trajectory of German film from 1970s New German Cinema to more popular fare in the 1990s and back again to critically engaged and politically committed filmmaking.
In the first book-length study on Petzold in English, Jaimey Fisher frames Petzold's cinema at the intersection of international art cinema and sophisticated genre cinema. This approach places his work in the context of global cinema and invites comparisons to the work of directors like Pedro Almodovar and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who repeatedly deploy and reconfigure genre cinema to their own ends. These generic aspects constitute a cosmopolitan gesture in Petzold's work as he interprets and elaborates on cult genre films and popular genres, including horror, film noir, and melodrama. Fisher explores these popular genres while injecting them with themes like terrorism, globalization, and immigration, central issues for European art cinema. The volume also includes an extended original interview with the director about his work.
Lawrence of Arabia, The Miracle Worker, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate, Gypsy, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Longest Day, The Music Man, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, and more.
Most conventional film histories dismiss the early 1960s as a pallid era, a downtime between the heights of the classic studio system and the rise of New Hollywood directors like Scorsese and Altman in the 1970s. It seemed to be a moment when the movie industry was floundering as the popularity of television caused a downturn in cinema attendance. Cinema ’62 challenges these assumptions by making the bold claim that 1962 was a peak year for film, with a high standard of quality that has not been equaled since.
Stephen Farber and Michael McClellan show how 1962 saw great late-period work by classic Hollywood directors like John Ford, Howard Hawks, and John Huston, as well as stars like Bette Davis, James Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, and Barbara Stanwyck. Yet it was also a seminal year for talented young directors like Sidney Lumet, Sam Peckinpah, and Stanley Kubrick, not to mention rising stars like Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Peter O’Toole, and Omar Sharif. Above all, 1962—the year of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Manchurian Candidate—gave cinema attendees the kinds of adult, artistic, and uncompromising visions they would never see on television, including classics from Fellini, Bergman, and Kurosawa. Culminating in an analysis of the year’s Best Picture winner and top-grossing film, Lawrence of Arabia, and the factors that made that magnificent epic possible, Cinema ’62 makes a strong case that the movies peaked in the Kennedy era.
Jean-Louis Comolli’s six-part essay Technique and Ideologyhad a revolutionary effect on film theory and history when it first appeared in Cahiers du Cinéma in 1971. In 2009, Comolli revisited his earlier text, arguing that the present age, marked by the total dominance of media-filtered spectacle over image production, makes the need for an 'emancipated, critical spectator' more pressing than ever. In this volume, Daniel Fairfax presents annotated translations of these two texts to provide an overview of Comolli’s activity as both a theorist and a filmmaker.
Cinema and Modernity
Pomerance, Murray Rutgers University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PN1994.C4885 2006 | Dewey Decimal 791.43
The modern impulse gave us captivating technology and dark anxiety, rampant mobility and a world filled with strangers, the futuristic city and a fragmentation of experience. Motion pictures––the quintessence of modernism––entered into this cultural, technical, and philosophical richness with a vast public appeal and a jarring new vision of what life could be.
In Cinema and Modernity, Murray Pomerance brings together new essays by seventeen leading scholars to explore the complexity of the essential connection between film and modernity. Among the many films considered are Detour, Shock Corridor, The Last Laugh, Experiment in Terror, The Great Dictator, Leave Her to Heaven, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Eyes Wide Shut, Sunrise, The Crowd, The Shape of Things to Come, The War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Scarlet Street, Shadow of a Doubt, Stella Dallas, The Blue Angel, Sullivan’s Travels, and Catch Me If You Can.
Since the mid-1990s, a number of films from international filmmakers have experimented with increasingly complicated narrative strategies-including such hits as Run, Lola, Run, 21 Grams, and Memento. This book sets those films and others in context with earlier works that tried new narrative approaches, including Stage Fright and Hiroshima, Mon Amour, to show how they reveal the limitations of most of our usual tools for analysing film. In light of that, Steffen Hven argues for the deployment of an 'embodied' reconfiguration of the cinematic experience, one that allows us to rethink such core constituents of narrative understanding as cognition, emotion, and affect.
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.
The original foreign film—its sights and sounds—is available to all, but the viewer is utterly dependent on a translator and an untold number of technicians who produce the graphic text or disconnected speech through which we must approach the foreign film. A bad translation can ruin a film’s beauty, muddy its plot, and turn any joke sour.
In this wide-ranging work, Abé Mark Nornes examines the relationships between moving-image media and translation and contends that film was a globalized medium from its beginning and that its transnational traffic has been greatly influenced by interpreters. He discusses the translation of film theory, interpretation at festivals and for coproductions, silent era practice, “ talkies,” subtitling, and dubbing.
Nornes—who has written subtitles for Japanese cinema—looks at the ways misprision of theory translations produced stylistic change, how silent era lecturers contributed to the construction of national cinemas, how subtitlers can learn from anime fans, and how ultimately interpreters can be, in his terms, “traders or traitors.”
Abé Mark Nornes is associate professor of Asian languages and cultures and film and video studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Japanese Documentary Film (Minnesota, 2003) and Forest of Pressure (Minnesota, 2007).
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.
Cinema Beyond Film elaborates on the theoretical uses of two key terms—dispositif and episteme—in order to examine their relationship as well as their larger connections to film, technology, and modernity. Although both terms originate in the work of Foucault, dispositif (“device”) intrinsically links itself to the mechanics of movement and speed behind cinematics, while more generally referring to the mechanisms and structures that hold power in place. Episteme(“to know”), on the other hand, refers to the conditions and possibilities of knowledge and reception, more than to technological innovation. Each term is explored here in relation to the other, allowing this edited collection to assess the wide array of potential materialities that arise from the mechanics behind cinema and the changing face of its technology.
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.
By the middle of the twentieth century, Hollywood, formerly the one and only dream factory, found itself facing a host of media rivals for the public’s attention. In the 1980s, another competitor arrived in the form of the proto-Internet—a computer network as yet untested by all but research scientists, college students, the military, and a few thousand PC and modem owners. How did Hollywood respond to this nascent challenge? By dreaming about it, in a series of technological fantasies, from Tron to War Games to Lawnmower Man. The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals examines the meaning and effect of the movies’ attempts to reshape the shifting media landscape.
Paul Young looks at the American cinema’s imaginative constructions of three electronic media—radio, television, and the Internet—at the times when these media seemed to hold limitless possibilities. In doing so, he demonstrates that Hollywood is indelibly marked by the advent of each new medium, from the inclusion of sound in motion pictures to the use of digital graphics. But conversely, Young argues, the identities of the new media are themselves changed as Hollywood turns them to its own purposes and its own dreams.
Paul Young is professor of English and director of the film studies program at Vanderbilt University.
In the late 1960s, the cinema was pronounced dead. Television, like a Biblical Cain had slain his brother Abel. Some thirty years later, a remarkable reversal: rarely has the cinema been more popular. And yet, rarely has the cinema's future seemed more uncertain. Cinema Futures: Cain, Abel or Cable? presents a careful and forceful argument about predictions that tend to be made when new technologies appear. Examining the complex dynamics of convergence and divergence among the audio-visual media, the authors are realistic in their estimate of the future of the cinema's distinctive aesthetic identity, and robustly optimistic that the different social needs audiences bring to the public and domestic media will ensure their distinctiveness, as well as the necessary openness of cultural meaning and creative imput. The chief contributors include producers, historians, critics and journalists from several countries, creating a lively volume, rich in information and case studies, useful to media students and film scholars, as well as to anyone interested in better understanding the momentous changes transforming our worlds of sound and image.
As the largest producer of films in the world, Indian cinema is both a major industry and a distinctive art form that permeates daily life in that country and shapes emerging global cultures elsewhere. While much has been written on the history of Indian cinema, its iconography and aesthetics have yet to be analyzed as reflections of national and cultural identities. In this important new work, Rachel Dwyer and Divia Patel focus on the development of Bombay-based commercial cinema since 1913, exploring the symbolic role of settings and costumes in staging the nation and the function of makeup and hairstyles in defining notions of beauty, sexuality, and consumption. The authors also examine how factors such as ethnicity, modernization, and Westernization impact reception of film along caste, region, language, and religious lines.
The economic influence of advertising in actually determining film content and the dissemination of its imagery are also discussed. Film studies scholars recently have begun to investigate advertising in the film industry and this book makes an important contribution to this emerging subfield in its engagement with Indian cinema and the impact of advertising on the culture at large.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, Japanese avant-garde filmmakers intensely explored the shifting role of the image in political activism and media events. Known as the "season of politics," the era was filled with widely covered dramatic events from hijackings and hostage crises to student protests. This season of politics was, Yuriko Furuhata argues, the season of image politics. Well-known directors, including Oshima Nagisa, Matsumoto Toshio, Wakamatsu Kōji, and Adachi Masao, appropriated the sensationalized media coverage of current events, turning news stories into material for timely critique and intermedial experimentation. Cinema of Actuality analyzes Japanese avant-garde filmmakers' struggle to radicalize cinema in light of the intensifying politics of spectacle and a rapidly changing media environment, one that was increasingly dominated by television. Furuhata demonstrates how avant-garde filmmaking intersected with media history, and how sophisticated debates about film theory emerged out of dialogues with photography, television, and other visual arts.
Twenty years ago, noted film scholars Tom Gunning and André Gaudreault introduced the phrase “cinema of attractions” to describe the essential qualities of films made in the medium’s earliest days, those produced between 1895 and 1906. Now, The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded critically examines the term and its subsequent wide-ranging use in film studies.
The collection opens with a history of the term, tracing the collaboration between Gaudreault and Gunning, the genesis of the term in their attempts to explain the spectacular effects of motion that lay at the heart of early cinema, and the pair’s debts to Sergei Eisenstein and others. This reconstruction is followed by a look at applications of the term to more recent film productions, from the works of the Wachowski brothers to virtual reality and video games.
With essays by an impressive collection of international film scholars—and featuring contributions by Gunning and Gaudreault as well—The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded will be necessary reading for all scholars of early film and its continuing influence.
Cinema of Confinement
Thomas J. Connelly Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PN1995.9.I455C66 2019 | Dewey Decimal 791.43653
In this book, Thomas J. Connelly draws on a number of key psychoanalytic concepts from the works of Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Žižek, Joan Copjec, Michel Chion, and Todd McGowan to identify and describe a genre of cinema characterized by spatial confinement. Examining classic films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, as well as current films such as Room, Green Room, and 10 Cloverfield Lane, Connelly shows that the source of enjoyment of confined spaces lies in the viewer's relationship to excess.
Cinema of Confinement offers rich insights into the appeal of constricted filmic spaces at a time when one can easily traverse spatial boundaries within the virtual reality of cyberspace.
The Italian art cinema of the 1960s is known worldwide for its brilliance and vitality. Yet rarely has this cinema been considered in relation to the profound economic and cultural changes that transformed Italy during the sixties--described as the “economic miracle.” Angelo Restivo argues for a completely new understanding of that cinema as a negotiation between a national aesthetic tradition of realism and a nascent postmodern image culture. Restivo studies numerous films of the period, focusing mainly on the works of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michelangelo Antonioni. He finds that these auteurs’ films reworked the neorealist aesthetic developed in the 1940s and 1950s, explored issues brought to the fore by the subsequent consumer boom, and presaged developments central to both critical theory and the visual arts in the 1980s and 1990s. Drawing on the theories of Lacan, Zizek, Benjamin, Foucault, Jameson, and Deleuze, he shines new light on such films as Pasolini’s Accattone and Teorema, and Antonioni’s Red Desert and Blow-Up. Restivo’s model for understanding the relationship of the 1960s Italian art film to its cultural contexts also has implications that extend to the developing national cinemas of countries such as Brazil and Taiwan. The Cinema of Economic Miracles will interest scholars and students in all areas of film studies, especially those studying theories of the image, national cinema theory, and Italian cinema, and to those engaged in poststructuralist theory, philosophy, and comparative literature.
Filmmakers have often encouraged us to regard people with physical disabilities in terms of pity, awe, humor, or fearas "Others" who somehow deserve to be isolated from the rest of society. In this first history of the portrayal of physical disability in the movies, Martin Norden examines hundreds of Hollywood movies (and notable international ones), finds their place within mainstream society, and uncovers the movie industry's practices for maintaining the status quokeeping people with disabilities dependent and "in their place."
Norden offers a dazzling array of physically disabled characters who embody or break out of the stereotypes that have both influenced and been symptomatic of societys fluctuating relationship with its physically disabled minority. He shows us "sweet innocents" like Tiny Tim, "obsessive avengers" like Quasimodo, variations on the disabled veteran, and many others. He observes the arrival of a new set of stereotypes tied to the growth of science and technology in the 1970s and 1980s, and underscores movies like My Left Foot and The Waterdance that display a newfound sensitivity. Nordens in-depth knowledge of disability history makes for a particularly intelligent and sensitive approach to this long-overlooked issue in media studies.
One of the most prolific and respected directors of Japanese cinema, Naruse Mikio (1905–69) made eighty-nine films between 1930 and 1967. Little, however, has been written about Naruse in English, and much of the writing about him in Japanese has not been translated into English. With The Cinema of Naruse Mikio, Catherine Russell brings deserved critical attention to this under-appreciated director. Besides illuminating Naruse’s contributions to Japanese and world cinema, Russell’s in-depth study of the director sheds new light on the Japanese film industry between the 1930s and the 1960s.
Naruse was a studio-based director, a company man renowned for bringing films in on budget and on time. During his long career, he directed movies in different styles of melodrama while displaying a remarkable continuity of tone. His films were based on a variety of Japanese literary sources and original scripts; almost all of them were set in contemporary Japan. Many were “women’s films.” They had female protagonists, and they depicted women’s passions, disappointments, routines, and living conditions. While neither Naruse or his audiences identified themselves as “feminist,” his films repeatedly foreground, if not challenge, the rigid gender norms of Japanese society. Given the complex historical and critical issues surrounding Naruse’s cinema, a comprehensive study of the director demands an innovative and interdisciplinary approach. Russell draws on the critical reception of Naruse in Japan in addition to the cultural theories of Harry Harootunian, Miriam Hansen, and Walter Benjamin. She shows that Naruse’s movies were key texts of Japanese modernity, both in the ways that they portrayed the changing roles of Japanese women in the public sphere and in their depiction of an urban, industrialized, mass-media-saturated society.
Mai Elizabeth Zetterling (1925–94) is among the most exceptional postwar female filmmakers. Born in Sweden, she lived in England and France for most of her life, making her directorial debut in 1964 with the Swedish art film Loving Couples after a fraught transition from working in front of the camera as a successful actress.
Critics have compared her work to that of Ingmar Bergman, Luis Buñuel, and Federico Fellini, but Zetterling had a distinct style—alternately radical and reactionary—that straddled the gendered divide between high art and mass culture. Tackling themes of sexuality, isolation, and creativity, her documentaries, short and feature films, and television works are visually striking. Her oeuvre provoked controversy and scandal through her sensational representations of reproduction and motherhood.
Mariah Larsson provides a lively and authoritative take on Zetterling's legacy and complicated position within film and women's history. A Cinema of Obsession provides necessary perspective on how the breadth of an artist's collected works keeps gatekeepers from recognizing their achievements, and questions why we still distinguish between national and global visual cultures and the big and small screens in the #MeToo era.
Sergei Parajanov (1924–90) flouted the rules of both filmmaking and society in the Soviet Union and paid a heavy personal price. An ethnic Armenian in the multicultural atmosphere of Tbilisi, Georgia, he was one of the most innovative directors of postwar Soviet cinema. Parajanov succeeded in creating a small but marvelous body of work whose style embraces such diverse influences as folk art, medieval miniature painting, early cinema, Russian and European art films, surrealism, and Armenian, Georgian, and Ukrainian cultural motifs.
The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov is the first English-language book on the director's films and the most comprehensive study of his work. James Steffen provides a detailed overview of Parajanov's artistic career: his identity as an Armenian in Georgia and its impact on his aesthetics; his early films in Ukraine; his international breakthrough in 1964 with Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors; his challenging 1969 masterpiece, The Color of Pomegranates, which was reedited against his wishes; his unrealized projects in the 1970s; and his eventual return to international prominence in the mid-to-late 1980s with The Legend of the Surami Fortress and Ashik-Kerib. Steffen also provides a rare, behind-the-scenes view of the Soviet film censorship process and tells the dramatic story of Parajanov's conflicts with the authorities, culminating in his 1973–77 arrest and imprisonment on charges related to homosexuality.
Ultimately, the figure of Parajanov offers a fascinating case study in the complicated dynamics of power, nationality, politics, ethnicity, sexuality, and culture in the republics of the former Soviet Union.
When The Cinema, or The Imaginary Man first appeared in 1956, the movies and the moviegoing experience were generally not regarded as worthy of serious scholarly consideration. Yet, French critic and social theorist Edgar Morin perceived in the cinema a complex phenomenon capable of illuminating fundamental truths about thought, imagination, and human nature - which allowed him to connect the mythic universe of gods and spirits present within the most primitive societies to the hyperreality emanating from the images projected on the screen. Now making its English-language debut, this audacious, provocative work draws on insights from poets, filmmakers, anthropologists, and philosophers to restore to the cinema the sense of magic first enjoyed at the dawn of the medium. Morin's inquiry follows two veins of investigation. The first focuses on the cinematic image as the nexus between the real and the imaginary; the second examines the cinema's re-creation of the archaic universe of doubles and ghosts and its power to possess, to bewitch, to nourish dreams, desires, and aspirations. "We experience the cinema in a state of double consciousness," Morin writes, "an astonishing phenomenon where the illusion of reality is inseparable from the awareness that it is really an illusion."
Imagine attending a fascinating film forum among a distinguished and varied panel of cinema legends. An afternoon or evening where contemporary filmmakers from around the world--Kazakhstan, Turkey, Macedonia, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Egypt, Cameroon, Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, Japan, the People's Republic of China, Mexico, Poland, the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, and France--gather together to discuss how they arrive at the creative choices that bring their film projects to life.
Can't spare the time from work or class? Travel expense too great? What? You can't even find such a collaborative event?
Then imagine curling up with a good book, maybe a shot of espresso in hand, and becoming engrossed in the exciting and informative conversation that Elena Oumano has ingeniously crafted from her personal and individual interviews with these artists. Straying far from the usual choppy question-and-answer format, Cinema Today saves you from plowing through another tedious read, in which the same topics and issues are directed to each subject, over and over-an experience that is like being trapped in a revolving door.
Oumano stops that revolving door by following a lively symposium-in-print format, with the filmmakers' words and thoughts grouped together under various key cinema topics. It is as though these experts are speaking to each other and you are their audience--collectively they reflect on and explore issues and concerns of modern filmmaking, from the practical to the aesthetic, including the process, cinematic rhythm and structure, and the many aspects of the media: business, the viewer, and cinema's place in society. Whether you are a movie lover, a serious student of cinema, or simply interested in how we communicate in today's global village through films that so profoundly affect the world, Cinema Today is for you.
Cinema without Reflection traces an implicit film theory in Jacques Derrida’s oeuvre, especially in his frequent invocation of the myth of Echo and Narcissus. Derrida’s reflections on the economies of image and sound that reverberate in this story, along with the spectral dialectics of love, mirrors, and poiesis, serve as the basis for a theory of cinema that Derrida perhaps secretly imagined.
Following Derrida’s interventions on Echo and Narcissus across his thought on the visual arts, Akira Mizuta Lippit seeks to return to a theory of cinema adrift in Derrida’s philosophy.
Forerunners is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital works. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.
"One of the sharpest and most productive analyses of our contemporaneity and the place of cinema within it and of our new historical relations as spectators to the imaginary universe on the movie screen. This is a study that will be of intense interest to film theorists and historians, cultural critics, mass media analysts, and anyone concerned with the complicated place of culture in our world today."--Dana Polan, English and Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh
How have modern advertising techniques, the widespread use of VCRs, conglomerate takeovers of studios and film archives, cable TV, and media coverage of the Vietnam war changed the ways we watch movies? And how, in turn, have those different habits and patterns of viewing changed the ways in which films address their viewers? Drawing on a wide variety of American and European films and on many theoretical models, Timothy Corrigan investigates what he calls "a cinema without walls," taking a close look at particular films in order to see how we watch them differently in the post-Vietnam era. He examines cult audiences, narrative structure, genre films (road movies, in particular), and contemporary politics as they engage new models of film making and viewing. He thus provides a rare, serious attempt to deal with contemporary movies. Corrigan discusses filmmakers from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, including Martin Scorsese, Raoul Ruiz, Michael Cimino, Alexander Kluge, Francis Ford Coppola, Stephen Frears, and Wim Wenders. He offers detailed analyses of films such as Platoon; Full Metal Jacket; 9-1/2 Weeks; The Singing Detective; Choose Me; After Hours; Badlands; The King of Comedy; Paris, Texas; and My Beautiful Laundrette. Orchestrating this diversity, Corrigan provides a critical basis for making sense of contemporary film culture and its major achievements.
The hero stands on stage in high-definition 3-D while doubled on a crude pixel screen in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Alien ships leave Earth by dissolving at the conclusion of Arrival. An illusory death spiral in Vertigo transitions abruptly to a studio set, jolting the spectator. These are a few of the startling visual moments that Garrett Stewart examines in Cinemachines, a compelling, powerful, and witty book about the cultural and mechanical apparatuses that underlie modern cinema.
Engaging in fresh ways with revelatory special effects in the history of cinematic storytelling—from Buster Keaton’s breaching of the film screen in Sherlock Jr. to the pixel disintegration of a remotely projected hologram in Blade Runner 2049—Stewart’s book puts unprecedented emphasis on technique in moving image narrative. Complicating and revising the discourse on historical screen processes, Cinemachines will be crucial reading for anyone interested in the evolution of the movies from a celluloid to a digital medium.
The cinemas of Eastern and Central Europe have been moving away from earlier Cold War perspectives and iconographies toward identifications more closely linked to a redefined Europe. Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 studies the shifts in the dynamics between film production, exhibition, and reception in Eastern bloc countries as they moved from state-sponsored systems toward the free market.
The contributors and editors of this exciting volume examine the interrelations between thematic, aesthetic, and infrastructural changes; the globalization of the international cinema marketplace; and the problems and promises arising from the privatization of national cinemas.
Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 also addresses the strategies employed for preserving national cinemas and cultures through an analysis of films from the Czech and Slovak republics, the former German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslavia. The study provides a picture of Eastern European cinema at a critical juncture as well as its connections to the emergent world of transnational media.
Contributors include Barton Byg, Alexandra Foamente, Andrew Horton, Dina Iordanova, Ewa Mazierska, Bohdan Y. Nebesio, and Bogdan Stefanescu,
The cinema has been the pre-eminent popular art form of the 20th century. In Cinemas of the World, James Chapman examines the relationship between film and society in the modern world: film as entertainment medium, film as a reflection of national cultures and preoccupations, film as an instrument of propaganda. He also explores two interrelated issues that have recurred throughout the history of cinema: the economic and cultural hegemony of Hollywood on the one hand, and, on the other, the attempts of film-makers elsewhere to establish indigenous national cinemas drawing on their own cultures and societies.
Chapman examines the rise to dominance of Hollywood cinema in the silent and early sound periods. He discusses the characteristic themes of American movies from the Depression to the end of the Cold War especially those found in the western and film noir – genres that are often used as vehicles for exploring issues central to us society and politics. He looks at national cinemas in various European countries in the period between the end of the First World War and the end of the Second, which all exhibit the formal and aesthetic properties of modernism. The emergence of the so-called "new cinemas" of Europe and the wider world since 1960 are also explored.
"Chapman is a tough-thinking, original writer . . . an engaging, excellent piece of work."—David Lancaster, Film and History
Dogs have been part of motion pictures since the movies began. They have been featured onscreen in various capacities, from any number of “man’s best friends” (Rin Tin Tin, Asta, Toto, Lassie, Benji, Uggie, and many, many more) to the psychotic Cujo. The contributors to Cinematic Canines take a close look at Hollywood films and beyond in order to show that the popularity of dogs on the screen cannot be separated from their increasing presence in our lives over the past century.
The representation and visualization of dogs in cinema, as of other animals, has influenced our understanding of what dogs “should” do and be, for us and with us. Adrienne L. McLean expertly shepherds these original essays into a coherent look at “real” dogs in live-action narrative films, from the stars and featured players to the character and supporting actors to those pooches that assumed bit parts or performed as extras. Who were those dogs, how were they trained, what were they made to do, how did they participate as characters in a fictional universe? These are a just a few of the many questions that she and the outstanding group of scholars in this book have addressed.
Often dogs are anthropomorphized in movies in ways that enable them to reason, sympathize, understand and even talk; and our shaping of dogs into furry humans has had profound effects on the lives of dogs off the screen. Certain breeds of dog have risen in popularity following their appearance in commercial film, often to the detriment of the dogs themselves, who rarely correspond to their idealized screen versions. In essence, the contributors in Cinematic Canines help us think about and understand the meanings of the many canines that appear in the movies and, in turn, we want to know more about those dogs due in no small part to the power of the movies themselves.
Eschewing the idea of film reviewer-as-solitary-expert, Jonathan Rosenbaum continues to advance his belief that a critic's ideal role is to mediate and facilitate our public discussion of cinema. Portraits and Polemics presents debate as an important form of cinematic encounter whether one argues with filmmakers themselves, on behalf of their work, or with one's self. Rosenbaum takes on filmmakers like Chantal Akerman, Richard Linklater, Manoel De Oliveira, Mark Rappaport, Elaine May, and Béla Tarr. He also engages, implicitly and explicitly, with other writers, arguing with Pauline Kael--and Wikipedia--over Jacques Demy, with the Hollywood Reporter and Variety reviewers of Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control, with David Thomson about James L. Brooks, and with many American and English film critics about misrepresented figures from Jerry Lewis to Yasujiro Ozu to Orson Welles. Throughout, Rosenbaum mines insights, pursues pet notions, and invites readers to join the fray.
Godard. Fuller. Rivette. Endfield. Tarr. In his celebrated career as a film critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum has undertaken wide-ranging dialogues with many of the most daring and important auteurs of our time. Cinematic Encounters collects more than forty years of interviews that embrace Rosenbaum's vision of film criticism as a collaboration involving multiple voices. Rosenbaum accompanies Orson Welles on a journey back to Heart of Darkness , the unmade film meant to be Welles's Hollywood debut. Jacques Tati addresses the primacy of décor and soundtrack in his comedic masterpiece PlayTime, while Jim Jarmusch explains the influence of real and Hollywoodized Native Americans in Dead Man. By arranging the chapters chronologically, Rosenbaum invites readers to pursue thematic threads as if the discussions were dialogues between separate interviews. The result is a rare gathering of filmmakers trading thoughts on art and process, on great works and false starts, and on actors and intimate moments.
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 most prolific ethnographic filmmaker in the world, a pioneer of cinéma vérité and one of the earliest ethnographers of African societies, Jean Rouch (1917-) remains a controversial and often misunderstood figure in histories of anthropology and film. By examining Rouch's neglected ethnographic writings, Paul Stoller seeks to clarify the filmmaker's true place in anthropology.
A brief account of Rouch's background, revealing the ethnographic foundations and intellectual assumptions underlying his fieldwork among the Songhay of Niger in the 1940s and 1950s, sets the stage for his emergence as a cinematic griot, a peripatetic bard who "recites" the story of a people through provocative imagery. Against this backdrop, Stoller considers Rouch's writings on Songhay history, myth, magic and possession, migration, and social change. By analyzing in depth some of Rouch's most important films and assessing Rouch's ethnography in terms of his own expertise in Songhay culture, Stoller demonstrates the inner connection between these two modes of representation.
Stoller, who has done more fieldwork among the Songhay than anyone other than Rouch himself, here gives the first full account of Rouch the griot, whose own story scintillates with important implications for anthropology, ethnography, African studies, and film.
Hamlet has inspired four outstanding film adaptations that continue to delight a wide and varied audience and to offer provocative new interpretations of Shakespeare’s most popular play. Cinematic Hamlet contains the first scene-by-scene analysis of the methods used by Laurence Olivier, Franco Zeffirelli, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Almereyda to translate Hamlet into highly distinctive and remarkably effective films.
Applying recent developments in neuroscience and psychology, Patrick J. Cook argues that film is a medium deploying an abundance of devices whose task it is to direct attention away from the film’s viewing processes and toward the object represented. Through careful analysis of each film’s devices, he explores the ways in which four brilliant directors rework the play into a radically different medium, engaging the viewer through powerful instinctive drives and creating audiovisual vehicles that support and complement Shakespeare’s words and story.
Cinematic Hamlet will prove to be indispensable for anyone wishing to understand how these films rework Shakespeare into the powerful medium of film.
"This book makes an important contribution to the field of Asian film criticism, Indian film history, cultural studies, and gender studies. The Cinematic ImagiNation provides readers with valuable insight into the relationships between nation-building, gender, sexuality, the family, and popular cinema, using post-Independence India as a case study."
--Gina Marchetti, author of Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction
India produces more films than any other country in the world, and these works are avidly consumed by non-Western cultures in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and by the Indian communities in Australia, Britain, the Caribbean Islands, and North America. Jyotika Virdi focuses on how this dominant medium configures the "nation" in post-Independence Hindi cinema. She scrutinizes approximately thirty films that have appeared since 1950 and demonstrates how concepts of the nation form the center of this cinema's moral universe. As a kind of storytelling, Indian cinema provides a fascinating account of social history and cultural politics, with the family deployed as a symbol of the nation. Virdi demonstrates how the portrayal of the nation as a mythical community in Hindi films collapses under the weight of its own contradictions--irreconcilable differences that encompass gender, sexuality, family, class, and religious communities. Through these film narratives, the author traces transactions among the various constituencies that struggle, accommodate, coexist uneasily, or reconstitute each other over time, and, in the process, reveal the topography of postcolonial culture.
What might the cinema tell us about how and why the prospect of cloning disturbs our most profound ideas about gender, sexuality, difference, and the body? In The Cinematic Life of the Gene, the pioneering feminist film theorist Jackie Stacey argues that as a cultural technology of imitation, cinema is uniquely situated to help us theorize “the genetic imaginary,” the constellation of fantasies that genetic engineering provokes. Since the mid-1990s there has been remarkable innovation in genetic engineering and a proliferation of films structured by anxieties about the changing meanings of biological and cultural reproduction. Bringing analyses of several of these films into dialogue with contemporary cultural theory, Stacey demonstrates how the cinema animates the tropes and enacts the fears at the heart of our genetic imaginary. She engages with film theory; queer theories of desire, embodiment, and kinship; psychoanalytic theories of subject formation; and debates about the reproducibility of the image and the shift from analog to digital technologies.
Stacey examines the body-horror movies Alien: Resurrection and Species in light of Jean Baudrillard’s apocalyptic proclamations about cloning and “the hell of the same,” and she considers the art-house thrillers Gattaca and Code 46 in relation to ideas about imitation, including feminist theories of masquerade, postcolonial conceptualizations of mimicry, and queer notions of impersonation. Turning to Teknolust and Genetic Admiration, independent films by feminist directors, she extends Walter Benjamin’s theory of aura to draw an analogy between the replication of biological information and the reproducibility of the art object. Stacey suggests new ways to think about those who are not what they appear to be, the problem of determining identity in a world of artificiality, and the loss of singularity amid unchecked replication.
“Cinema brings the industrial revolution to the eye,” writes Jonathan Beller, “and engages spectators in increasingly dematerialized processes of social production.” In his groundbreaking critical study, cinema is the paradigmatic example of how the act of looking has been construed by capital as “productive labor.” Through an examination of cinema over the course of the twentieth century, Beller establishes on both theoretical and historical grounds the process of the emergent capitalization of perception. This process, he says, underpins the current global economy. By exploring a set of films made since the late 1920s, Beller argues that, through cinema, capital first posits and then presupposes looking as a value-productive activity. He argues that cinema, as the first crystallization of a new order of media, is itself an abstraction of assembly-line processes, and that the contemporary image is a politico-economic interface between the body and capitalized social machinery. Where factory workers first performed sequenced physical operations on moving objects in order to produce a commodity, in the cinema, spectators perform sequenced visual operations on moving montage fragments to produce an image. Beller develops his argument by highlighting various innovations and film texts of the past century. These innovations include concepts and practices from the revolutionary Soviet cinema, behaviorism, Taylorism, psychoanalysis, and contemporary Hollywood film. He thus develops an analysis of what amounts to the global industrialization of perception that today informs not only the specific social functions of new media, but also sustains a violent and hierarchical global society.
A timely contribution to the fields of film history, visual cultures, and globalization studies, Cinematic Prophylaxis provides essential historical information about how the representation of biological contagion has affected understandings of the origins and vectors of disease. Kirsten Ostherr tracks visual representations of the contamination of bodies across a range of media, including 1940s public health films; entertainment films such as 1950s alien invasion movies and the 1995 blockbuster Outbreak; television programs in the 1980s, during the early years of the aids epidemic; and the cyber-virus plagued Internet. In so doing, she charts the changes—and the alarming continuities—in popular understandings of the connection between pathologized bodies and the global spread of disease.
Ostherr presents the first in-depth analysis of the public health films produced between World War II and the 1960s that popularized the ideals of world health and taught viewers to imagine the presence of invisible contaminants all around them. She considers not only the content of specific films but also their techniques for making invisible contaminants visible. By identifying the central aesthetic strategies in films produced by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and other institutions, she reveals how ideas about racial impurity and sexual degeneracy underlay messages ostensibly about world health. Situating these films in relation to those that preceded and followed them, Ostherr shows how, during the postwar era, ideas about contagion were explicitly connected to the global circulation of bodies. While postwar public health films embraced the ideals of world health, they invoked a distinct and deeply anxious mode of representing the spread of disease across national borders.
Cinematic Uses of the Past
Marcia Landy 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).
This book argues that there are constitutive links between early twentieth-century German and French film theory and practice, on the one hand, and vitalist conceptions of life in biology and philosophy, on the other. By considering classical film-theoretical texts and their filmic objects in the light of vitalist ideas percolating in scientific and philosophical texts of the time, Cinematic Vitalism reveals the formation of a modernist, experimental and cinematic strand of vitalism in and around the movie theater. The book focuses on the key concepts including rhythm, environment, mood, and development to show how the cinematic vitalism articulated by film theorists and filmmakers maps out connections among human beings, milieus, and technologies that continue to structure our understanding of film.
During Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s glory days, the studio’s famous Arthur Freed Unit made an extraordinary string of dazzling musicals. One of its very best was The Pirate. Based on a successful 1942 Broadway production, the film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. It showcased some of the brightest work of these three gifted moviemakers and entranced many critics and viewers with exotic set décor and costumes, brilliant Technicolor application, stunning dance routines, and a clever plot about an actor who pretends to be a famous pirate to win the love of a fanciful island girl.
The Cinematic Voyage ofThe Pirate: Kelly, Garland, and Minnelli at Work follows the model of Hess and Dabholkar’s previous study of Singin’ in the Rain. Drawing on exhaustive research in archives, memoirs, interviews, and newspaper coverage, it takes the reader from the original conception of the story in the mind of a German playwright named Ludwig Fulda, through S. N. Behrman’s Broadway production starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, to the arduous task of crafting a suitable screenplay at MGM. Behind-the-scenes issues such as Garland’s personal problems during the making of the film and the shaping of the film by Minnelli and Kelly are among the many subjects detailed here.
While the initial reception of The Pirate reinforced hopes for its success, many audiences did not understand the film’s tongue-in-cheek aspect, and some critical reviews were mixed. This shaded the perception of the film and its significance. As this careful study shows, The Pirate was a commercial and critical success despite some early misperceptions. The movie made a small profit for MGM, and the film grew in public appeal over time.
The Pirate has been studied by film historians, gender studies scholars, and film studies professionals since it was released in 1948. The Cinematic Voyage ofThe Pirate contributes to a growing literature asserting the importance of single-film production history and the significance of the film musical in the golden age of Hollywood.
Keating, Patrick Rutgers University Press Library of Congress TR848.C53 2014 | Dewey Decimal 778.5309
How does a film come to look the way it does? And what influence does the look of a film have on our reaction to it? The role of cinematography, as both a science and an art, is often forgotten in the chatter about acting, directing, and budgets. The successful cinematographer must have a keen creative eye, as well as expert knowledge about the constantly expanding array of new camera, film, and lighting technologies. Without these skills at a director’s disposal, most movies quickly fade from memory. Cinematography focuses on the highlights of this art and provides the first comprehensive overview of how the field has rapidly evolved, from the early silent film era to the digital imagery of today.
The essays in this volume introduce us to the visual conventions of the Hollywood style, explaining how these first arose and how they have subsequently been challenged by alternative aesthetics. In order to frame this fascinating history, the contributors employ a series of questions about technology (how did new technology shape cinematography?), authorship (can a cinematographer develop styles and themes over the course of a career?), and classicism (how should cinematographers use new technology in light of past practice?). Taking us from the hand-cranked cameras of the silent era to the digital devices used today, the collection of original essays explores how the art of cinematography has been influenced not only by technological advances, but also by trends in the movie industry, from the rise of big-budget blockbusters to the spread of indie films.
The book also reveals the people behind the camera, profiling numerous acclaimed cinematographers from James Wong Howe to Roger Deakins. Lavishly illustrated with over 50 indelible images from landmark films, Cinematography offers a provocative behind-the-scenes look at the profession and a stirring celebration of the art form. Anyone who reads this history will come away with a fresh eye for what appears on the screen because of what happens behind it.
They obsess over the nuances of a Douglas Sirk or Ingmar Bergman film; they revel in books such as François Truffaut's Hitchcock; they happily subscribe to the Sundance Channel—they are the rare breed known as cinephiles. Though much has been made of the classic era of cinephilia from the 1950s to the 1970s, Cinephilia documents the latest generation of cinephiles and their use of new technologies. With the advent of home theaters, digital recording devices, online film communities, cinephiles today pursue their dedication to film outside of institutional settings. A radical new history of film culture, Cinephilia breaks new ground for students and scholars alike.
This engaging memoir follows the life and career of circus performer Tiny Kline (1891-1964) from the burlesque house to the circus tent, and on to Disneyland and the silver screen. While working for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Kline became well known for her signature "slide for life" stunt, an "iron jaw" act in which she slid to the ground while dangling from trapeze rigging by her teeth. Kline renewed her spectacular acrobatics at the age of seventy when she played Tinker Bell in the "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks show at Disneyland. In that same year, she also began writing her life story.
Extensively annotated by Janet M. Davis, this memoir documents twentieth-century changes in popular amusements, while providing fresh insight into circus personalities such as John Ringling, acrobat Lillian Leitzel, and big cat trainer Mabel Stark, as well as mainstream entertainers like Florenz Ziegfeld, John Philip Sousa, and others. Kline also provides intimate details about the daily machinations at the circus, including fascinating accounts of its sexual politics, racial dynamics, risky nature, and labor relations.
This book--which presents a course of lectures Cavell presented several times toward the end of his teaching career at Harvard--links masterpieces of moral philosophy and classic Hollywood comedies to fashion a new way of looking at our lives and learning to live with ourselves.
Lester D. Friedman University of Illinois Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN1998.3.S65F75 2006 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Steven Spielberg is the director or producer of over one third of the thirty highest grossing films of all time, yet most film scholars dismiss him as little more than a modern P. T. Barnum--a technically gifted and intellectually shallow showman who substitutes spectacle for substance. To date, no book has attempted to analyze the components of his worldview, the issues which animate his most significant works, the roots of his immense acceptance, and the influence his vast spectrum of imaginative products exerts on the public consciousness.
In Citizen Spielberg, Lester D. Friedman fills that void with a systematic analysis of the various genres in which the director has worked, including science fiction (E.T.), adventure (Raiders trilogy), race films (The Color Purple, Amistad), and war films (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List). Friedman concludes that Spielberg’s films present a sustained artistic vision combined with a technical flair matched by few other filmmakers, and makes a compelling case for Spielberg to be considered as a major film artist.
In Citizen Spy, Michael Kackman investigates how media depictions of the slick, smart, and resolute spy have been embedded in the American imagination. Looking at secret agents on television and the relationships among networks, producers, government bureaus, and the viewing public in the 1950s and 1960s, Kackman explores how Americans see themselves in times of political and cultural crisis.
During the first decade of the Cold War, Hollywood developed such shows as I Led 3 Lives and Behind Closed Doors with the approval of federal intelligence agencies, even basing episodes on actual case files. These “documentary melodramas” were, Kackman argues, vehicles for the fledgling television industry to proclaim its loyalty to the government, and they came stocked with appeals to patriotism and anti-Communist vigilance.
As the rigid cultural logic of the Red Scare began to collapse, spy shows became more playful, self-referential, and even critical of the ideals professed in their own scripts. From parodies such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Get Smart to the more complicated global and political situations of I Spy and Mission: Impossible, Kackman situates espionage television within the tumultuous culture of the civil rights and women’s movements and the war in Vietnam. Yet, even as spy shows introduced African-American and female characters, they continued to reinforce racial and sexual stereotypes.
Bringing these concerns to the political and cultural landscape of the twenty-first century, Kackman asserts that the roles of race and gender in national identity have become acutely contentious. Increasingly exclusive definitions of legitimate citizenship, heroism, and dissent have been evident through popular accounts of the Iraq war. Moving beyond a snapshot of television history, Citizen Spy provides a contemporary lens to analyze the nature—and implications—of American nationalism in practice.
Michael Kackman is assistant professor in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas, Austin.
In Citizens on Stage, James F. McGlew studies the political constructions of Athenian public and private life in the late fifth and early fourth centuries B.C.E., a period in which democracy underwent several important changes. It saw the emergence of new ideas of political participation--some supportive of democracy, others hostile--that were particularly significant in reshaping images of citizenship.
Old Comedy gives Citizens on Stage its chronological backbone; the beginning and end of Aristophanes' career roughly define the period on which the book concentrates. Reading and interpreting comedy provides a model for reading Athenian politics itself. McGlew argues that the plays of Old Comedy, with their fantastic stories of common individuals triumphing over the various social and political dilemmas of democratic Athens, interpreted the relationship of private life and political activity for an Athenian audience, dramatically reaffirming the ties between citizens' personal desires and the will of the collective body. In particular, McGlew argues that comedy transforms private fantasies of personal power and pleasures--what seem most to keep the individual audience members apart--into a collective possession and touchstone of democratic citizen identity.
Citizens on Stage focuses primarily on the democratic citizen and on contemporary representations of him as a decision maker. McGlew shows that the democratic individual, sometimes idealized, sometimes despised, was a dominant concern of the literature and politics of late fifth- and early fourth-century Athens. This book will appeal to students of ancient theater and drama, Athenian politics and democracy, and the relationships between theater and politics. Social historians will also find it an invaluable resource.
James F. McGlew is Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Classical Studies, Iowa State University.
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.
New York, more than any other city, has held a special fascination for filmmakers and viewers. In every decade of Hollywood filmmaking, artists of the screen have fixated upon this fascinating place for its tensions and promises, dazzling illumination and fearsome darkness.
The glittering skyscrapers of such films as On the Town have shadowed the characteristic seedy streets in which desperate, passionate stories have played out-as in Scandal Sheet and The Pawnbroker. In other films, the city is a cauldron of bright lights, technology, empire, egotism, fear, hunger, and change--the scenic epitome of America in the modern age.
From Street Scene and Breakfast at Tiffany's to Rosemary's Baby, The Warriors, and 25th Hour, the sixteen essays in this book explore the cinematic representation of New York as a city of experience, as a locus of ideographic characters and spaces, as a city of moves and traps, and as a site of allurement and danger. Contributors consider the work of Woody Allen, Blake Edwards, Alfred Hitchcock, Gregory La Cava, Spike Lee, Sidney Lumet, Vincente Minnelli, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Andy Warhol, and numerous others.
Judith Mayne University of Illinois Press, 2005 Library of Congress PN1998.3.D465M39 2005 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and passionate filmmakers working in France today, Claire Denis has continued to make beautiful and challenging films since the 1988 release of her first feature, Chocolat. Judith Mayne's comprehensive study of these films traces Denis's career and discusses her major feature films in rich detail.
Born in Paris but having grown up in Africa, Denis explores in her films the legacies of French colonialism and the complex relationships between sexuality, gender, and race. From the adult woman who observes her past as a child in Cameroon to the Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in Paris and watches a serial killer to the disgraced French Foreign Legionnaire attempting to make sense of his past, the subjects of Denis's films continually revisit themes of watching, bearing witness, and making contact, as well as displacement, masculinity, and the migratory subject.
Studies of "Classic Hollywood" typically treat Hollywood films released from 1930 to 1960 as a single interpretive mass. Veronica Pravadelli complicates this idea. Focusing on dominant tendencies in box office hits and Oscar-recognized classics, she breaks down the so-called classic period into six distinct phases that follow Hollywood's amazingly diverse offerings from the emancipated females of the "Transition Era" and the traditional men and women of the conservative 1930s that replaced it to the fantastical Fifties movie musicals that arose after anti-classic genres like film noir and women's films.
Pravadelli sets her analysis apart by paying particular attention to the gendered desires and identities exemplified in the films. Availing herself of the significant advances in film theory and modernity studies that have taken place since similar surveys first saw publication, she views Hollywood through strategies as varied as close textural analysis, feminism, psychoanalysis, film style and study of cinematic imagery, revealing the inconsistencies and antithetical traits lurking beneath Classic Hollywood's supposed transparency.
Stephen Prince has written the first book to examine the interplay between the aesthetics and the censorship of violence in classic Hollywood films from 1930 to 1968, the era of the Production Code, when filmmakers were required to have their scripts approved before they could start production. He explains how Hollywood's filmmakers designed violence in response to the regulations of the Production Code and regional censors. Graphic violence in today's movies actually has its roots in these early films. Hollywood's filmmakers were drawn to violent scenes and "pushed the envelope" of what they could depict by manipulating the Production Code Administration (PCA).
Prince shows that many choices about camera position, editing, and blocking of the action and sound were functional responses by filmmakers to regulatory constraints, necessary for approval from the PCA and then in surviving scrutiny by state and municipal censor boards.
This book is the first stylistic history of American screen violence that is grounded in industry documentation. Using PCA files, Prince traces the negotiations over violence carried out by filmmakers and officials and shows how the outcome left its traces on picture and sound in the films.
Almost everything revealed by this research is contrary to what most have believed about Hollywood and film violence. With chapters such as "Throwing the Extra Punch" and "Cruelty, Sadism, and the Horror Film," this book will become the defining work on classical film violence and its connection to the graphic mayhem of today's movies.