This unique book is a graphic novel and performance poem, a mixed-media musical cartoon, an animated feature film come to life. Lee Breuer’s La Divina Caricatura is in the pataphysical tradition of Alfred Jarry—if Jarry had been a Dante fan. In this play we meet unforgettable characters: Rose the Dog, who thinks she is a woman; her lover John, a junkie filmmaker; Ponzi Porco, PhD, a pig in love with the New York Times; and the Warrior Ant, who, to impress his father, Trotsky the Termite, declares the “perpetual revolution” of the bugs of the fifth world. Each a soul on its own pilgrimage, seldom with a Virgil or a Beatrice to guide them, they often try to guide each other, only to get more lost. A dazzling, comic, potent mix of ideas and character, invention and reality, the plays in La Divina Caricatura reinvigorate the stage for our time.
L.A. Private Eyes
Dahlia Schweitzer Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS374.D4S394 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.087209979494
L.A. Private Eyes examines the tradition of the private eye as it evolves in films, books, and television shows set in Los Angeles from the 1930’s through the present day. It takes a closer look at narratives—both on screen and on the printed page—in which detectives travel the streets of Los Angeles, uncovering corruption, moral ambiguity, and greed with the conviction of urban cowboys, while always ultimately finding truth and redemption. With a review of Los Angeles history, crime stories, and film noir, L.A. Private Eyes explores the metamorphosis of the solitary detective figure and the many facets of the genre itself, from noir to mystery, on the screen. While the conventions of the genre may have remained consistent and recognizable, the points where they evolve illuminate much about our changing gender and power roles.
Titanic. Two Moon Junction. A Night in Heaven. Sirens. Henry & June. 9 Songs. Lady Chatterley. And more. A new "body guy" genre has emerged in film during the last twenty years-a working-class man of the earth or bohemian artist awakens and fulfills the sexuality of a beautiful, intelligent woman frequently married or engaged to a sexually incompetent, educated, upper-class man. This body guy exhibits a masterful athletic, penile-centered sexual performance that enlivens and transforms the previously discontented woman's life.
Peter Lehman and Susan Hunt relate a host of wide-ranging films to a literary tradition dating back to D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover and an emerging body culture of our time. Through an engaging and compelling narrative, they argue that the hero's body, lovemaking style, and penis-revealed through extensive male nudity-celebrate conformity to norms of masculinity and male sexuality. Simultaneously, these films denigrate the vital, creative, erotic world of the mind. Just when women began to successfully compete with men in the workplace, these movies, if you will, unzip the penis as the one thing women do not have but want and need for their fulfillment.
But Lehman and Hunt also find signs of a yearning for alternative forms of sexual and erotic pleasure in film, embracing diverse bodies and vibrant minds. Lady Chatterley's Legacy in the Movies shows how filmmakers, spectators, and all of us can be empowered to dethrone the body guy, his privileged body, and preferred style of lovemaking, replacing it with a wide range of alternatives.
Out of a small, hand-to-mouth women’s theater collective called the WOW Café located on the lower east side of Manhattan there emerged some of the most important theater troupes and performance artists of the 1980s and 1990s. Appearing on the cultural scene at a critical turning point in both the women’s movement and feminist theory, WOW put a witty, hilarious, gender-bending, and erotically charged aesthetic on stage for women in general and lesbians in particular. Featured performers included the Split Britches Company, the Five Lesbian Brothers, Carmelita Tropicana, Holly Hughes, Lisa Kron, Deb Margolin, Reno, Peggy Shaw, and Lois Weaver. For three decades the WOW Café Theatre has nurtured fledgling women writers, designers, and performers who continue to create important performance work. Lady Dicks and Lesbian Brothers offers the first critical history of the WOW Café, based on dozens of interviews with WOW performers and other participants, newspaper reviews of the earliest productions, and unpublished photographs, and suggests why the collective has had such amazing longevity and an enduring legacy.“A rich and detailed picture of a particular historical moment that has now passed . . . Davy’s longstanding association with this world pays off handsomely—it is impossible to imagine that anyone could write a more informative portrait.”
—Charlotte Canning, University of Texas at Austin
"The intention of my work is to dislodge assumptions about the fixity of the three-dimensional body."—Deborah Hay
Her movements are uncharacteristic, her words subversive, her dances unlike anything done before—and this is the story of how it all works. A founding member of the famed Judson Dance Theater and a past performer in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Deborah Hay is well known for choreographing works using large groups of trained and untrained dancers whose surprising combinations test the limits of the art. Lamb at the Altar is Hay’s account of a four-month seminar on movement and performance held in Austin, Texas, in 1991. There, forty-four trained and untrained dancers became the human laboratory for Hay’s creation of the dance Lamb, lamb, lamb . . . , a work that she later distilled into an evening-length solo piece, Lamb at the Altar. In her book, in part a reflection on her life as a dancer and choreographer, Hay tells how this dance came to be. She includes a movement libretto (a prose dance score) and numerous photographs by Phyllis Liedeker documenting the dance’s four-month emergence. In an original style that has marked her teaching and writing, Hay describes her thoughts as the dance progresses, commenting on the process and on the work itself, and ultimately creating a remarkable document on the movements—precise and mysterious, mental and physical—that go into the making of a dance. Having replaced traditional movement technique with a form she calls a performance meditation practice, Hay describes how dance is enlivened, as is each living moment, by the perception of dying and then involves a freeing of this perception from emotional, psychological, clinical, and cultural attitudes into movement. Lamb at the Altar tells the story of this process as specifically practiced in the creation of a single piece.
Lana and Lilly Wachowski
Cael M. Keegan University of Illinois Press, 2018 Library of Congress PN1998.3.W33K44 2018 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092273
Lana and Lilly Wachowski have redefined the technically and topically possible while joyfully defying audience expectations. Visionary films like The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas have made them the world's most influential transgender media producers, and their coming out retroactively put trans* aesthetics at the very center of popular American culture. Cáel M. Keegan views the Wachowskis films as an approach to trans* experience that maps a transgender journey and the promise we might learn "to sense beyond the limits of the given world." Keegan reveals how the filmmakers take up the relationship between identity and coding (be it computers or genes), inheritance and belonging, and how transgender becoming connects to a utopian vision of a post-racial order. Along the way, he theorizes a trans* aesthetic that explores the plasticity of cinema to create new social worlds, new temporalities, and new sensory inputs and outputs. Film comes to disrupt, rearrange, and evolve the cinematic exchange with the senses in the same manner that trans* disrupts, rearranges, and evolves discrete genders and sexes.
Unlike the more forthrightly mythic origins of other urban centers—think Rome via Romulus and Remus or Mexico City via the god Huitzilopochtli—Los Angeles emerged from a smoke-and-mirrors process that is simultaneously literal and figurative, real and imagined, material and metaphorical, physical and textual. Through penetrating analysis and personal engagement, Vincent Brook uncovers the many portraits of this ever-enticing, ever-ambivalent, and increasingly multicultural megalopolis. Divided into sections that probe Los Angeles’s checkered history and reflect on Hollywood’s own self-reflections, the book shows how the city, despite considerable remaining challenges, is finally blowing away some of the smoke of its not always proud past and rhetorically adjusting its rear-view mirrors.
Part I is a review of the city’s history through the early 1900s, focusing on the seminal 1884 novel Ramona and its immediate effect, but also exploring its ongoing impact through interviews with present-day Tongva Indians, attendance at the 88th annual Ramona pageant, and analysis of its feature film adaptations.
Brook deals with Hollywood as geographical site, film production center, and frame of mind in Part II. He charts the events leading up to Hollywood’s emergence as the world’s movie capital and explores subsequent developments of the film industry from its golden age through the so-called New Hollywood, citing such self-reflexive films as Sunset Blvd.,Singin’ in the Rain, and The Truman Show.
Part III considers LA noir, a subset of film noir that emerged alongside the classical noir cycle in the 1940s and 1950s and continues today. The city’s status as a privileged noir site is analyzed in relation to its history and through discussions of such key LA noir novels and films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Crash.
In Part IV, Brook examines multicultural Los Angeles. Using media texts as signposts, he maps the history and contemporary situation of the city’s major ethno-racial and other minority groups, looking at such films as Mi Familia (Latinos), Boyz N the Hood (African Americans), Charlotte Sometimes (Asians), Falling Down (Whites), and The Kids Are All Right (LGBT).
Films located in the American West and the Western as a cinematic genre have endured throughout the history of moviemaking. Today, this tradition of battles between good versus evil, populists versus profiteers, and man versus nature may have been largely assimilated and transformed into action adventures with car chases replacing mounted posses, yet the genre remains popular with audiences. In studies of the Hollywood Western, the importance of landscape itself, the idyllic or treacherous environment portrayed in these films, often receives supporting-role status. Without the land, however, American national mythmaking would not exist.
The essays in this volume scrutinize the special place of nature and landscape in films—including silent, documentary, and feature length film—that are specifically American and Western. The films discussed here go beyond the stereotypical sagebrush setting. Although many of the films closely fit the standard conventions of the Western, others demonstrate the fluidity of the genre. The wildness of the western environment as a central fact of the American mythos encompasses far more than a brief period of national history or a specific geographical location.
Elinor Fuchs and Una Chaudhuri, Editors University of Michigan Press, 2002 Library of Congress PN2020.L32 2002 | Dewey Decimal 792
Land/Scape/Theater proposes landscape as a necessary paradigm for understanding modern theater's increasingly spatialized aesthetic as well as its engagement with the cultural meanings of place and space.
Embracing subjects as diverse as the "landscape dramaturgy" of Suzan-Lori Parks, Artaud's trip to the Sierra Madre,Gertrude Stein's landscape theory and practice, Guillermo Gomez-Peña's "border subjects," and Bayreuth and Disneyland as cultic sites, Land/Scape/Theater draws on a broad range of theory, dramatic texts, and performance. All aspects of modern theater, these essays suggest, including the bedrock Aristotelian constituents of plot and character, have a landscape dimension that often goes unrecognized.
With its broad theoretical range and cross-disciplinary reach, Land/Scape/Theater will interest theater theorists and practitioners and cultural studies specialists, including historians of landscape. Theater students, scholars, teachers, directors, designers, and actors will find here a new framework and a new vocabulary for understanding both theater and the larger culture.
What happens – sociologically, linguistically, educationally, politically – when more than one language is in regular use in a community? How do speakers handle these languages simultaneously, and what influence does this language contact have on the languages involved?
Although most people in the world use more than one language in everyday life, the approach to the study of language has usually been that monolingualism is the norm. The recent interest in bilingualism and language contact has led to a number of new approaches, based on research in communities in many different parts of the world. This book draws together this diverse research, looking at examples from many different situations, to present the topic in any easily accessible form.
Language contact is looked at from four distinct perspectives. The authors consider bilingual societies; bilingual speakers; language use in the bilingual community; finally language itself (do languages change when in contact with each other? Can they borrow rules of grammar, or just words? How can new languages emerge from language contact?). The result is a clear, concise synthesis offering a much-needed overview of this lively area of language study.
The constellation of Hollywood stars burned brightly in the 1950s, even as the industry fell on hard economic times. Major artists of the 1940s--James Stewart, Jerry Lewis, and Gregory Peck--continued to exert a magical appeal but the younger generation of moviegoers was soon enthralled by an emerging cast, led by James Dean and Marlon Brando. They, among others, ushered in a provocative acting style, "the Method," bringing hard-edged, realistic performances to the screen. Adult-oriented small-budget dramas were ideal showcases for Method actors, startlingly realized when Brando seized the screen in On the Waterfront. But, with competition from television looming, Hollywood also featured film-making of epic proportion--Ben-Hur and other cinema wonders rode onto the screen with amazing spectacle, making stars of physically impressive performers such as Charlton Heston.
Larger Than Life offers a comprehensive view of the star system in 1950s Hollywood and also in-depth discussions of the decade's major stars, including Montgomery Clift, Judy Holliday, Jerry Lewis, James Mason, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Jayne Mansfield, and Audrey Hepburn.
Lars von Trier
Linda Badley University of Illinois Press, 2011 Library of Congress PN1998.3.T747B34 2010 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Scandinavia's foremost living auteur and the catalyst of the Dogme95 movement, Lars von Trier is arguably world cinema's most confrontational and polarizing figure. Willfully devastating audiences, he takes risks few filmmakers would conceive, mounting projects that somehow transcend the grand follies they narrowly miss becoming. Challenging conventional limitations and imposing his own rules, he restlessly reinvents the film language. The Danish director has therefore cultivated an insistently transnational cinema, taking inspiration from sources that range from the European avant-garde to American genre films.
This volume provides a stimulating overview of Trier's career while focusing on the more recent work, including his controversial Gold Heart Trilogy (Breaking the Waves, The Idiots, and Dancer in the Dark), the as-yet unfinished USA Trilogy (Dogville and Manderlay), and individual projects such as the comedy The Boss of It All and the incendiary horror psychodrama Antichrist. Closely analyzing the films and their contexts, Linda Badley draws on a range of cultural references and critical approaches, including genre, gender, and cultural studies, performance theory, and trauma culture. Two revealing interviews that Trier granted during crucial stages of Antichrist's development are also included.
The Last “Darky” establishes Bert Williams, the comedian of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, as central to the development of a global black modernism centered in Harlem’s Renaissance. Before integrating Broadway in 1910 via a controversial stint with the Ziegfeld Follies, Williams was already an international icon. Yet his name has faded into near obscurity, his extraordinary accomplishments forgotten largely because he performed in blackface. Louis Chude-Sokei contends that Williams’s blackface was not a display of internalized racism nor a submission to the expectations of the moment. It was an appropriation and exploration of the contradictory and potentially liberating power of racial stereotypes.
Chude-Sokei makes the crucial argument that Williams’s minstrelsy negotiated the place of black immigrants in the cultural hotbed of New York City and was replicated throughout the African diaspora, from the Caribbean to Africa itself. Williams was born in the Bahamas. When performing the “darky,” he was actually masquerading as an African American. This black-on-black minstrelsy thus challenged emergent racial constructions equating “black” with African American and marginalizing the many diasporic blacks in New York. It also dramatized the practice of passing for African American common among non-American blacks in an African American–dominated Harlem. Exploring the thought of figures such as Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Claude McKay, Chude-Sokei situates black-on-black minstrelsy at the center of burgeoning modernist discourses of assimilation, separatism, race militancy, carnival, and internationalism. While these discourses were engaged with the question of representing the “Negro” in the context of white racism, through black-on-black minstrelsy they were also deployed against the growing international influence of African American culture and politics in the twentieth century.
The French Connection, The Last Picture Show, M.A.S.H., Harold and Maude—these are only a few of the iconic films made in the United States during the 1970s. Originally considered a "lost generation," the 1970s are increasingly recognized as a crucial turning point in American filmmaking, and many films from the era have resurfaced from oblivion to become a reference for new directorial talents. The Last Great American Picture Show explores this pivotal era in American film history with a collection of essays by scholars and writers that firmly situates the decade as the time of the emergence of "New Hollywood."
Sam Peckinpah, Arthur Penn, Peter Bogdanovich, Monte Hellman, Bob Rafelson, Hal Ashy, Robert Altman, and James Tobac: these legendary directors developed innovative techniques, gritty aesthetics, and a modern sensibility in American film. Here, contributors compellingly argue that the cinema of today's major directors—Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Robert Zemeckis—could not have come into existence without the groundbreaking works produced by the directors of the 1970s. A wholly engaging and long-overdue investigation of this important era in American film, The Last Great American Picture Show reveals how the films of the 1970s transformed the American social consciousness and influenced filmmaking worldwide.
Critics have largely neglected the colour films of French film director Robert Bresson (1901—99). To correct that oversight, this studypresents a revised and revitalised Bresson, comparing his style to innovations in abstract painting after World War II, exploring hisaffinities with such avant-garde traditions as surrealism, constructivism, and minimalism, and illustrating how his embodied style leadsto a complex form of intermediality. Through that analysis, Raymond Watkins shows clearly that Bresson still has a good deal to teach us about cinema’s distinctive ability to draw on painting, photography, sculpture, and the plastic arts in general.
Latent Destinies examines the formation of postmodern sensibilities and their relationship to varieties of paranoia that have been seen as widespread in this century. Despite the fact that the Cold War has ended and the threat of nuclear annihilation has been dramatically lessened by most estimates, the paranoia that has characterized the period has not gone away. Indeed, it is as if—as O’Donnell suggests—this paranoia has been internalized, scattered, and reiterated at a multitude of sites: Oklahoma City, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Bosnia, the White House, the United Nations, and numerous other places. O’Donnell argues that paranoia on the broadly cultural level is essentially a narrative process in which history and postmodern identity are negotiated simultaneously. The result is an erasure of historical temporality—the past and future become the all-consuming, self-aware present. To explain and exemplify this, O’Donnell looks at such books and films as Libra, JFK, The Crying of Lot 49, The Truman Show, Reservoir Dogs, Empire of the Senseless, Oswald’s Tale, The Executioner’s Song, Underworld, The Killer Inside Me, and Groundhog Day. Organized around the topics of nationalism, gender, criminality, and construction of history, Latent Destinies establishes cultural paranoia as consonant with our contradictory need for multiplicity and certainty, for openness and secrecy, and for mobility and historical stability. Demonstrating how imaginative works of novels and films can be used to understand the postmodern historical condition, this book will interest students and scholars of American literature and cultural studies, postmodern theory, and film studies.
Latin American Documentary Filmmaking is the first volume written in English to explore Latin American documentary filmmaking with extensive and intelligent analysis. David William Foster, the leading authority on Latin American urban cultural production, provides rich, new interpretations on the production of gender, political persecution, historical conflicts, and exclusion from the mainstream in many of Latin America’s most important documentary films.
Foster provides a series of detailed examinations of major texts of Latin American filmmaking, discussing their textual production and processes of meaning. His analysis delves deeply into the world of Latin American film and brings forth a discourse of structure that has previously been absent from the fields of filmmaking and Latin American studies. This volume provides perspective on diverse and methodological approaches, pulling from a wide scope of cinematic traditions. Using his own critical readings and research, Foster presents his findings in terms that are accessible to non-Spanish speakers and Latin American film enthusiasts.
A much-needed contribution to the field of Latin American documentary film, Foster’s research and perspective will be a valuable source for those interested in film studies, gender studies, and culture.
Like their Hollywood counterparts, Latin American film and TV melodramas have always been popular and highly profitable. The first of its kind, this anthology engages in a serious study of the aesthetics and cultural implications of Latin American melodramas. Written by some of the major figures in Latin American film scholarship, the studies range across seventy years of movies and television within a transnational context, focusing specifically on the period known as the "Golden Age" of melodrama, the impact of classic melodrama on later forms, and more contemporary forms of melodrama. An introductory essay examines current critical and theoretical debates on melodrama and places the essays within the context of Latin American film and media scholarship.
Contributors are Luisela Alvaray, Mariana Baltar, Catherine L. Benamou, Marvin D’Lugo, Paula Félix-Didier, Andrés Levinson, Gilberto Perez, Darlene J. Sadlier, Cid Vasconcelos, and Ismail Xavier.
This book explores the role film and television stardom has played in establishing, reinforcing, and challenging popular ethnic notions of Latina/os in the United States since the silent film era of the 1920s. In addition to documenting the importance of Latina and Latino stars to American film and television history, Mary C. Beltrán focuses on key moments in the construction of "Hollywood Latinidad" by analyzing the public images of these stars as promoted by Hollywood film studios, television networks, producers, and the performers themselves. Critically surveying the careers of such film and television stars as Dolores Del Rio, Desi Arnaz, Rita Moreno, Freddie Prinze, Edward James Olmos, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Lopez, Latina/o Stars in U.S. Eyes also addresses the impact of the rise in Latina and Latino media producers and the current status of Latina/o stardom.
Latinx Theater in the Times of Neoliberalism traces how Latinx theater in the United States has engaged with the policies, procedures, and outcomes of neoliberal economics in the Americas from the 1970s to the present.
Patricia A. Ybarra examines IMF interventions, NAFTA, shifts in immigration policy, the escalation of border industrialization initiatives, and austerity programs. She demonstrates how these policies have created the conditions for many of the most tumultuous events in the Americas in the last forty years, including dictatorships in the Southern Cone; the 1994 Cuban Rafter Crisis; femicides in Juárez, Mexico; the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico; and the rise of narcotrafficking as a violent and vigorous global business throughout the Americas.
Latinx artists have responded to these crises by writing and developing innovative theatrical modes of representation about neoliberalism. Ybarra analyzes the work of playwrights María Irene Fornés, Cherríe Moraga, Michael John Garcés, Caridad Svich, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Victor Cazares, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Tanya Saracho, and Octavio Solis. In addressing histories of oppression in their home countries, these playwrights have newly imagined affective political and economic ties in the Americas. They also have rethought the hallmark movements of Latin politics in the United States—cultural nationalism, third world solidarity, multiculturalism—and their many discontents.
From Sister Wives and Big Love to The Book of Mormon on Broadway, Mormons and Mormonism are pervasive throughout American popular media. In Latter-day Screens, Brenda R. Weber argues that mediated Mormonism contests and reconfigures collective notions of gender, sexuality, race, spirituality, capitalism, justice, and individualism. Focusing on Mormonism as both a meme and an analytic, Weber analyzes a wide range of contemporary media produced by those within and those outside of the mainstream and fundamentalist Mormon churches, from reality television to feature films, from blogs to YouTube videos, and from novels to memoirs by people who struggle to find agency and personhood in the shadow of the church's teachings. The broad archive of mediated Mormonism contains socially conservative values, often expressed through neoliberal strategies tied to egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-actualization, but it also offers a passionate voice of contrast on behalf of plurality and inclusion. In this, mediated Mormonism and the conversations on social justice that it fosters create the pathway toward an inclusive, feminist-friendly, and queer-positive future for a broader culture that uses Mormonism as a gauge to calibrate its own values.
Francis Beckett Haus Publishing, 2006 Library of Congress PN2598.O55B43 2005
In the 1930s he established himself as a wide-ranging Shakespearean actor. His marriage in 1940 to Vivien Leigh (his second wife) seemed to complete the image of the romantic star. From the mid-40s he excelled in directing himself in Shakespeare on film, such as his dramatically-shot Henry V (1944), with its timely excesses of patriotism. When the new wave of British drama began in the late 1950s, Olivier was immediately part of it. As an actor of such wide range, and a successful producer and director, Olivier was a natural choice to bring the National Theatre into existence in 1963. Together with his new wife Joan Plowright (they had married in 1961), he built up a brilliant company and repertoire at the Old Vic. Olivier became the first actor to be given a peerage.
The Law of the Looking Glass: Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939 reveals the complex relationship between nationhood, national language, and national cinema in Europe before World War II. Author Sheila Skaff describes how the major issues facing the region before World War I, from the relatively slow pace of modernization to the desire for national sovereignty, shaped local practices in film production, exhibition, and criticism. She goes on to analyze local film production, practices of spectatorship in large cities and small towns, clashes over language choice in intertitles, and controversy surrounding the first synchronized sound experiments before World War I. Skaff depicts the creation of a national film industry in the newly independent country, the golden years of the silent cinema, the transition from silent to sound film—and debates in the press over this transition—as well as the first Polish and Yiddish “talkies.” She places particular importance on conflicts in majority-minority relations in the region and the types of collaboration that led to important films such as The Dybbuk and The Ghosts.
The Law of the Looking Glass: Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939 is the first comprehensive history of the country’s film industry before World War II. This history is characterized by alternating periods of multilingual, multiethnic production, on the one hand, and rejection of such inclusiveness, on the other. Through it all, however, runs a single unifying thread: an appreciation for visual imagery.
American presidents and Hollywood have interacted since the 1920s. This relationship has made our entertainment more political and our political leadership more aligned with the world of movies and movie stars.
In The Leading Man, Burton W. Peretti explores the development of the cinematic presidential image. He sets the scene in chapter 1 to show us how the chief executive, beginning with George Washington, was positioned to assume the mantle of cultural leading man. As an early star figure in the young republic, the president served as a symbol of national survival and wish fulfillment. The president, as head of government and head of state, had the potential to portray a powerful and charismatic role.
At the center of the story are the fourteen presidents of the cinematic era, from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama. Since the 1920s, the president, like the lead actor in a movie, has been given the central place on the political stage under the intense glare of the spotlight. Like other American men, future presidents were taught by lead movie actors how to look and behave, what to say, and how to say it. Some, like John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, took particular care to learn from the grooming, gestures, movements, and vocal inflections of film actors and applied these lessons to their political careers. Ronald Reagan was a professional actor. Bill Clinton, a child of the post–World War II Baby Boom, may have been the biggest movie fan of all presidents. Others, including Lyndon Johnson, showed little interest in movies and their lessons for politicians.
Presidents and other politicians have been criticized for cheapening their offices by hiring image and advertising consultants and staging their public events. Peretti analyzes the evolution and the significance of this interaction to trace the convoluted history of the presidential cinematic image. He demonstrates how movies have been the main force in promoting appearance and drama over the substance of governing, and how Americans’ lives today may be dominated by entertainment at the expense of their engagement as citizens.
The fifth title in the Rutgers Films in Print Series, "Letter from an Unknown Woman" is directed by Max Ophuls and based on the novella by Stefan Zweig. It is the story of Lisa, a young girl who rejects the constricting life of her small town and family in order to dedicate her life to a musician, Stefan. The film's elegant fin-de-siecle Viennese setting, lyrical camera work, dispassionate and ironic point of view, and fine performances by Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan elevate what could have been a mere tearjerker into one of Ophuls's finest works.
This volume provides a detailed transcription of the 1948 film. Notes appended to the film's continuity script detail all the significant differences between the finished film and the shooting script.
Wexman's introductions to each of the book's sections discuss the history of the film's reception and provide an overview of the central issues the film has raised. A cross section of commentary by well-known critics attests to the film's enduring position as a central text for cinema study. These essays acknowledge the film's significance as a preeminent example of Ophuls's art, as an important woman's film, and as a representative of the classic Hollywood style. A biographical sketch of Ophuls, the entire Zweig novella, a bibliography and other background materials are also included.
Liberating Hollywood examines the professional experiences and creative output of women filmmakers during a unique moment in history when the social justice movements that defined the 1960s and 1970s challenged the enduring culture of sexism and racism in the U.S. film industry. Throughout the 1970s feminist reform efforts resulted in a noticeable rise in the number of women directors, yet at the same time the institutionalized sexism of Hollywood continued to create obstacles to closing the gender gap. Maya Montañez Smukler reveals that during this era there were an estimated sixteen women making independent and studio films: Penny Allen, Karen Arthur, Anne Bancroft, Joan Darling, Lee Grant, Barbara Loden, Elaine May, Barbara Peeters, Joan Rivers, Stephanie Rothman, Beverly Sebastian, Joan Micklin Silver, Joan Tewkesbury, Jane Wagner, Nancy Walker, and Claudia Weill. Drawing on interviews conducted by the author, Liberating Hollywood is the first study of women directors within the intersection of second wave feminism, civil rights legislation, and Hollywood to investigate the remarkable careers of these filmmakers during one of the most mythologized periods in American film history.
Shahrazad, the legendary fictional storyteller who spun the tales of the 1,001 Arabian Nights, has long been rendered as a silent exotic beauty by Western film and fiction adaptations. Now, she talks back to present a new image of Muslim women.
In Liberating Shahrazad, Suzanne Gauch analyzes how postcolonial writers and filmmakers from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia have reclaimed the storyteller in order to portray Muslim women in ways that highlight their power to shape their own destinies. Gauch looks at Maghrebian works that incorporate Shahrazad’s storytelling techniques into unexpected and unforeseen narratives. Highlighting the fluid nature of storytelling, Gauch demonstrates how these new depictions of Shahrazad—from artists such as Moufida Tlatli, Fatima Mernissi, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Assia Djebar, Leïla Sebbar—navigate the demands of a global marketplace, even as they reshape the stories told about the Islamic world.
In the face of both rising fundamentalism and proliferating Western media representations of Arab and Muslim women as silent, exploited, and uneducated victims, Gauch establishes how contemporary works of literature and film revive the voice of a long-silenced Shahrazad—and, ultimately, overthrow oppressive images of Muslim women. Suzanne Gauch is assistant professor of English and women’s studies at Temple University.
Through virtuoso readings of significant works of American film, television, and fiction, Phillip E. Wegner demonstrates that the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 fostered a unique consciousness and represented a moment of immense historical possibilities now at risk of being forgotten in the midst of the “war on terror.” Wegner argues that 9/11 should be understood as a form of what Jacques Lacan called the “second death,” an event that repeats an earlier “fall,” in this instance the collapse of the Berlin Wall. By describing 9/11 as a repetition, Wegner does not deny its significance. Rather, he argues that it was only with the fall of the towers that the symbolic universe of the Cold War was finally destroyed and a true “new world order,” in which the United States assumed disturbing new powers, was put into place.
Wegner shows how phenomena including the debate on globalization, neoliberal notions of the end of history, the explosive growth of the Internet, the efflorescence of new architectural and urban planning projects, developments in literary and cultural production, new turns in theory and philosophy, and the rapid growth of the antiglobalization movement came to characterize the long nineties. He offers readings of some of the most interesting cultural texts of the era: Don DeLillo’s White Noise; Joe Haldeman’s Forever trilogy; Octavia Butler’s Parable novels; the Terminator films; the movies Fight Club, Independence Day, Cape Fear, and Ghost Dog; and the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In so doing, he illuminates fundamental issues concerning narrative, such as how beginnings and endings are recognized and how relationships between events are constructed.
In Lighting the Shakespearean Stage, 1567–1642,R. B. Graves examines the lighting of early modern English drama from both historical and aesthetic perspectives. He traces the contrasting traditions of sunlit amphitheaters and candlelit hall playhouses, describes the different lighting techniques, and estimates the effect of these techniques both indoors and outdoors.
Graves discusses the importance of stage lighting in determining the dramatic effect, even in cases where the manipulation of light was not under the direct control of the theater artists. He devotes a chapter to the early modern lighting equipment available to English Renaissance actors and surveys theatrical lighting before the construction of permanent playhouses in London. Elizabethan stage lighting, he argues, drew on both classical and medieval precedents.
Lights! Camera! Arkansas! traces the roles played by Arkansans in the first century of Hollywood’s film industry, from the first cowboy star, Broncho Billy Anderson, to Mary Steenburgen, Billy Bob Thornton, and many others. The Arkansas landscape also plays a starring role: North Little Rock’s cameo in Gone with the Wind, Crittenden County as a setting for Hallelujah (1929), and various locations in the state’s southeastern quadrant in 2012’s Mud are all given fascinating exploration.
Robert Cochran and Suzanne McCray screened close to two hundred films—from laughable box-office bombs to laudable examples of filmmaking -- in their research for this book. They’ve enhanced their spirited chronological narrative with an appendix on documentary films, a ratings section, and illustrations chosen by Jo Ellen Maack of the Old State House Museum, where Lights! Camera! Arkansas! debuted as an exhibit curated by the authors in 2013. The result is a book sure to entertain and inform those interested in Arkansas and the movies for years to come.
Bathing beauty Esther Williams, bombshell Jane Russell, exotic Carmen Miranda, chanteuse Lena Horne, and talk-show fixture Zsa Zsa Gabor are rarely hailed as great actors or as naturalistic performers. Those terms of praise are given to male stars like Marlon Brando and James Dean, whose gritty dramas are seen as a departure from the glossy spectacles in which these stars appeared. Like a Natural Woman challenges those assumptions, revealing the skill and training that went into the work of these five actresses, who employed naturalistic performance techniques, both onscreen and off.
Bringing a fresh perspective to film history through the lens of performance studies, Kirsten Pullen explores the ways in which these actresses, who always appeared to be “playing themselves,” responded to the naturalist notion that actors should create authentic characters by drawing from their own lives. At the same time, she examines how Hollywood presented these female stars as sex objects, focusing on their spectacular bodies at the expense of believable characterization or narratives.
Pullen not only helps us appreciate what talented actresses these five women actually were, but also reveals how they sought to express themselves and maintain agency, even while meeting the demands of their directors, studios, families, and fans to perform certain feminine roles. Drawing from a rich collection of classic films, publicity materials, and studio archives, Like a Natural Woman lets us take a new look at both Hollywood acting techniques and the performance of femininity itself.
The New Hollywood era of the late 1960s and early 1970s has become one of the most romanticized periods in motion picture history, celebrated for its stylistic boldness, thematic complexity, and the unshackling of directorial ambition. The Limits of Auteurism aims to challenge many of these assumptions. Beginning with the commercial success of Easy Rider in 1969, and ending two years later with the critical and commercial failure of that film’s twin progeny, The Last Movie and The Hired Hand, Nicholas Godfrey surveys a key moment that defined the subsequent aesthetic parameters of American commercial art cinema.
The book explores the role that contemporary critics played in determining how the movies of this period were understood and how, in turn, strategies of distribution influenced critical responses and dictated the conditions of entry into the rapidly codifying New Hollywood canon. Focusing on a small number of industrially significant films, this new history advances our understanding of this important moment of transition from Classical to contemporary modes of production.
For three decades, Paul Arthur has been a leading observer and critic as well as a direct participant in America’s avant-garde cinema. In A Line of Sight, he provides a sweeping new account of the extravagant energies of American experimental cinema since 1965.
Balancing close analysis of both major and lesser-known films with detailed examinations of their production, distribution, and exhibition, Arthur addresses the avant-garde’s cultural significance while offering a timely reconsideration of accepted critical categories and artistic options. Rather than treating American avant-garde cinema as a series of successive artistic breakthroughs, A Line of Sight emphasizes the importance of social and institutional networks, material exchanges, and historical disruptions and continuities. Throughout, Arthur pays close attention to themes and visual practices neglected or underrepresented in previous studies, scrutinizing portraiture as a vehicle for projecting dissident identities, highlighting the essay film and the contemporary city symphony, and assessing the contributions of regional and African American filmmaking to the avant-garde. He also explores thematic and formal questions that have been central to the avant-garde achievement: experimental film's relationship with mainstream narrative cinema and postwar American painting as well as the legacy of sixties’s counterculture; the uses and theoretical implications of found footage and the allegorizing of technology; and the schism between a poetic, expressive cinema and the antisubjective, rationalist bias of structural filmmaking.
Amid the current resurgence of experimental filmmakers and the emergence of a new audience for their work, A Line of Sight reaffirms the extraordinary breadth and diversity of the avant-garde tradition in America.
Lines of Activity investigates the cultural life of the Hull-House Settlement of Chicago, one of the most significant reform institutions of the Progressive Era, from its founding in 1889 through its growth into a major social service institution. The study focuses specifically on the role of performance--not only theatrical representation, but also athletics, children's games, story-telling, festivals, living museums, and the practices of everyday life--to demonstrate how such cultural rituals could propel social activism at Hull-House and paradoxically serve as vehicles for both cultural expression and cultural assimilation.
This groundbreaking book demonstrates how performance analysis can contribute to the historical study of American reform as well as to critical inquiry on the arts and social change. She develops connections between performativity and sex/gender difference by interpreting Hull-House as a sphere of queer kinship and alternative gender performance. Lines of Activity also engages a variety of debates on the nature of historical representation, and the role of "theory" in historical writing.
As the notion of "performance historiography" gains currency, Jackson's study exposes the gender politics of such scholarly trends. By selecting the Progressive Era and Hull-House as arenas of inquiry, Jackson foregrounds how past discourses of domesticity, pragmatism, transnationalism, and environmentalism already contain performance-centered notions of identity, space, and community. Through these and other arguments, Lines of Activity reveals the intimate connection between a history of Hull-House performance and the performance of Hull-House history.
Shannon Jackson is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and of Dramatic Art and Dance, University of California, Berkeley.
For six years Maya Stovall staged Liquor Store Theatre, included in the Whitney Biennial in 2017, a conceptual art and anthropology video project in which she danced near the liquor stores in her Detroit neighborhood as a way to start conversations with her neighbors. In this book of the same name, Stovall uses the project as a point of departure for understanding everyday life in Detroit and the possibilities for ethnographic research, art, and knowledge creation. Her conversations with her neighbors—which touch on everything from economics, aesthetics, and sex to the political and economic racism that undergirds Detroit’s history—bring to light rarely acknowledged experiences of longtime Detroiters. In these exchanges, Stovall enacts an innovative form of ethnographic engagement that offers new modes of integrating the social sciences with the arts in ways that exceed what either approach can achieve on its own.
We live in an age of lists, from magazine features to online clickbait. This book situates the list in a long tradition, asking key questions about the list as a cultural and communicative form. What, Liam Cole Young asks, can this seemingly innocuous form tell us about historical and contemporary media environments and logistical networks? Connecting German theories of cultural techniques to Anglo-American approaches that address similar issues, List Cultures makes a major contribution to debates about New Materialism and the post-human turn.
The postcolonial spread of democratic ideals such as freedom and equality has taken place all over the world despite the widespread cultural differences that would seem to inhibit such change. In her new book, Literatures of Liberation: Non-European Universalisms and Democratic Progress, Mukti Lakhi Mangharam questions how these “universalisms” came to be and suggests that these elements were not solely the result of Europe-based Enlightenment ideals. Instead, they also arose in context-specific forms throughout the world (particularly in the Global South), relatively independently from Enlightenment concepts. These translatable yet distinct cognitive frameworks, or “contextual universalisms,” as she argues, were central to the spread of modern democratic principles in response to the relentless expansion of capital.
In this way, she posits that these universalisms reconceptualize democratic ideals not as Western imports into precolonial societies but as regional phenomena tied to local relations of power and resistance. In charting these alternative democratic trajectories, Mangharam examines oft-overlooked regional and vernacular literary forms and provides a fresh approach to current theorizations of postcolonial and world literatures.
Edited, with an introduction by Gerald Peary; Tino T. Balio, Series Editor University of Wisconsin Press, 1981 Library of Congress PN1997.L589 | Dewey Decimal 791.4372
Little Caesar, a 1931 Hollywood gangster classic, is viewed in revivals today with nearly as much audience enthusiasm as it enjoyed a half-century ago, in the depths of the Great Depression.
In general, the Hollywood film industry responded to the dark economic conditions of the 1930s with escapist and non-topical films. The fascinating exception was the gangster film, through which the studios joined in the debate over the spiritual and economic health of the nation. Little Caesar, considered by many to be an architype of the genre, is one of the most memorable dramatizations of the discontent and alienation, the deep anxiety and hostility shared by millions of Americans during those dark years.
Think about some commercially successful film masterpieces--The Manchurian Candidate. Seven Days in May. Seconds. Then consider some lesser known, yet equally compelling cinematic achievements--The Fixer. The Gypsy Moths. Path to War. These triumphs are the work of the best known and most highly regarded Hollywood director to emerge from live TV drama in the 1950s--five-time Emmy-award-winner John Frankenheimer.
Although Frankenheimer was a pioneer in the genre of political thrillers who embraced the antimodernist critique of contemporary society, some of his later films did not receive the attention they deserved. Many claimed that at a midpoint in his career he had lost his touch. World-renowned film scholars put this myth to rest in A Little Solitaire, which offers the only multidisciplinary critical account of Frankenheimer's oeuvre. Especially emphasized is his deep and passionate engagement with national politics and the irrepressible need of human beings to assert their rights and individuality in the face of organizations that would reduce them to silence and anonymity.
From Edward R. Murrow to "Sixty Minutes" and CNN, the television news correspondent has become a fixture of American journalism in the latter half of the twentieth century. The correspondent's role has changed, however, as centralized control, changing technology, "infotainment," and profit margin have influenced the way that television networks operate and television news is reported.
In spite of the flood of literature dealing with the American television networks, the evening anchors, and prime-time personalities, little has been written about the "the foot soldier of network news." Live from the Trenches fills that gap, providing the first examination of television news correspondents and their work, with much of the analysis coming from the correspondents themselves.
The correspondents: Jim Bittermann, a former ABC Paris correspondent, has been the CNN Paris correspondent since 1996. He received a National News Emmy for his coverage of the 1988 Sudan famine. Chris Bury, correspondent for "Nightline" since 1993, has covered foreign and domestic stories from Waco to Whitewater. Michael Murrie, after a dozen years in television news at KSDK in St. Louis, is an associate professor and director of the Telecommunications Master's Program for the Department of Radio-Television at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Roger O'Neil, NBC News Denver bureau chief and correspondent since 1983, was the lead reporter for NBC during the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh. Walter C. Rodgers, bureau chief and correspondent in Jerusalem, joined CNN in 1993 as the Berlin correspondent. Prior to joining CNN, he worked for ABC for twelve years. Marlene Sanders broke barriers for women throughout her career and has won three Emmies. As a correspondent at ABC News in 1964, she was the first woman to anchor a prime-time network newscast. George Strait is the primary ABC News correspondent for medical and health news. Among his many awards are the Alfred I. duPont Award and Gold Medal Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Ed Turner is CNN's first editor-at-large. Based in Washington, he represents the CNN News Group globally. Garrick Utley joined CNN in 1997 after thirty years covering more than seventy countries for ABC.
Lives in Play explores the centrality of life narratives to women’s drama and performance from the 1970s to the present moment. In the early days of second-wave feminism, the slogan was “The personal is the political.” These autobiographical and biographical “true stories” have the political impact of the real and have also helped a range of feminists tease out the more complicated aspects of gender, sex, and sexuality in a Western culture that now imagines itself as “postfeminist.”
The book’s scope is broad, from performance artists like Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, and Bobby Baker to playwrights like Suzan-Lori Parks, Maria Irene Fornes, and Sarah Kane. The book links the narrative tactics and theatrical approaches of biography
and autobiography and shows how theater artists use life writing strategies to advance women’s rights and remake women’s representations. Lives in Play will appeal to scholars in performance studies, women’s studies, and literature, including those in the growing field of auto/biography studies.
“ A fresh perspective and wide-ranging analysis of changes in feminist theater for the past thirty years . . . a most welcome addition to the literature on theater, in particular scholarship on feminist practices.”
“Helps sustain an important history by reviving works of feminist theater and performance and giving them a new and refreshing context and theorical underpinning . . . considering 1970s performance art alongside more conventional play production.”
With a legacy stretching back into legend and folklore, the vampire in all its guises haunts the film and fiction of the twentieth century and remains the most enduring of all the monstrous threats that roam the landscapes of horror. In The Living and the Undead, Gregory A. Waller shows why this creature continues to fascinate us and why every generation reshapes the story of the violent confrontation between the living and the undead to fit new times.
Examining a broad range of novels, stories, plays, films, and made-for-television movies, Waller focuses upon a series of interrelated texts: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897); several film adaptations of Stoker's novel; F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922); Richard Matheson's I Am Legend (1954); Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot (1975); Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979); and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1979). All of these works, Waller argues, speak to our understanding and fear of evil and chaos, of desire and egotism, of slavish dependence and masterful control. This paperback edition of The Living and the Undead features a new preface in which Waller positions his analysis in relation to the explosion of vampire and zombie films, fiction, and criticism in the past twenty-five years.
Recent media events like the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, the beating of Rodney King and its aftermath, and the murder trial of O.J. Simpson have trained our collective eye on the televised spectacle of race. Living Color combines media studies, cultural studies, and critical race theory to investigate the representation of race on American TV. Ranging across television genres, historical periods, and racial formations, Living Color—as it positions race as a key element of television’s cultural influence—moves the discussion out of a black-and-white binary and illustrates how class, gender, and sexuality interact with images of race. In addition to essays on representations of "Oriental" performers and African Americans in the early years of television, this collection also examines how the celebrity of the late MTV star Pedro Zamora countered racist and homophobic discourses; reveals how news coverage on drug use shifted from the white middle-class cocaine user in the early 1980s to the black "crack mother" of the 1990s; and takes on TV coverage of the Rodney King beating and the subsequent unrest in Los Angeles. Other essays consider O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, comparing television’s treatment of Simpson to that of Michael Jackson, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Clarence Thomas and look at the racism directed at Asian Americans by the recurring "Dancing Itos" on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show.
Robin Veder’s The Living Line is a radical reconceptualization of the development of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American modernism. The author illuminates connections among the histories of modern art, body cultures, and physiological aesthetics in early-twentieth-century American culture, fundamentally altering our perceptions about art and the physical, and the degree of cross-pollination in the arts. The Living Line shows that American producers and consumers of modernist visual art repeatedly characterized their aesthetic experience in terms of kinesthesia, the sense of bodily movement. They explored abstraction with kinesthetic sensibilities and used abstraction to achieve kinesthetic goals. In fact, the formalist approach to art was galvanized by theories of bodily response derived from experimental physiological psychology and facilitated by contemporary body cultures such as modern dance, rhythmic gymnastics, physical education, and physical therapy. Situating these complementary ideas and exercises in relation to enduring fears of neurasthenia, Veder contends that aesthetic modernism shared industrial modernity’s objective of efficiently managing neuromuscular energy. In a series of finely grained and interconnected case studies, Veder demonstrates that diverse modernists associated with the Armory Show, the Société Anonyme, the Stieglitz circle (especially O’Keeffe), and the Barnes Foundation participated in these discourses and practices and that “kin-aesthetic modernism” greatly influenced the formation of modern art in America and beyond. This daring and completely original work will appeal to a broad audience of art historians, historians of the body, and American culture in general.
Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890–1930 demonstrates that popular lynching plays were mechanisms through which African American communities survived actual and photographic mob violence. Often available in periodicals, lynching plays were read aloud or acted out by black church members, schoolchildren, and families. Koritha Mitchell shows that African Americans performed and read the scripts in community settings to certify to each other that lynch victims were not the isolated brutes that dominant discourses made them out to be. Instead, the play scripts often described victims as honorable heads of household being torn from model domestic units by white violence.
In closely analyzing the political and spiritual uses of black theatre during the Progressive Era, Mitchell demonstrates that audiences were shown affective ties in black families, a subject often erased in mainstream images of African Americans. Examining lynching plays as archival texts that embody and reflect broad networks of sociocultural activism and exchange in the lives of black Americans, Mitchell finds that audiences were rehearsing and improvising new ways of enduring in the face of widespread racial terrorism. Images of the black soldier, lawyer, mother, and wife helped readers assure each other that they were upstanding individuals who deserved the right to participate in national culture and politics. These powerful community coping efforts helped African Americans band together and withstand the nation's rejection of them as viable citizens.
An eclectic mix of art, theatre, dance, politics, experimentation, and ritual,community-based performance has become an increasingly popular art movement in the United States. Forged by the collaborative efforts of professional artists and local residents, this unique field brings performance together with a range of political, cultural, and social projects, such as community-organizing, cultural self-representation, and education. Local Acts presents a long-overdue survey of community-based performance from its early roots, through its flourishing during the politically-turbulent 1960s, to present-day popular culture. Drawing on nine case studies, including groups such as the African American Junebug Productions, the Appalachian Roadside Theater, and the Puerto Rican Teatro Pregones, Jan Cohen-Cruz provides detailed descriptions of performances and processes, first-person stories, and analysis. She shows how the ritual side of these endeavors reinforces a sense of community identification while the aesthetic side enables local residents to transgress cultural norms, to question group habits, and to incorporate a level of craft that makes the work accessible to individuals beyond any one community. The book concludes by exploring how community-based performance transcends even national boundaries, connecting the local United States with international theater and cultural movements.
2017 Theatre Library Association Freedley Award Finalist
If one went looking for the tipping point in the prelude to the American Revolution, it would not be the destruction of the tea in Boston Harbor, or the blockade of Boston by British warships, or even the gathering of the first Continental Congress; rather, it was the Congress’s decision in late October of 1774 to close the theatres. In this remarkable feat of historical research, Odai Johnson pieces together the surviving fragments of the story of the first professional theatre troupe based in the British North American colonies. In doing so, he tells the story of how colonial elites came to decide they would no longer style themselves British gentlemen, but instead American citizens.
London in a Box chronicles the enterprise of David Douglass, founder and manager of the American Theatre, from the 1750s to the climactic 1770s. The ambitious Scotsman’s business was teaching provincial colonials to dress and behave as genteel British subjects. Through the plays he staged, the scenery and costumes, and the bearing of his actors, he displayed London fashion and London manners. He counted among his patrons the most influential men in America, from British generals and governors to local leaders, including the avid theatre-goers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. By 1774, Douglass operated a monopoly of theatres in six colonies and the Anglophone Caribbean, from Jamaica to Charleston and northward to New York City. (Boston remained an impregnable redoubt against theatre.)
How he built this network of patrons and theatres and how it all went up in flames as the revolution began is the subject of this witty history. A treat for anyone interested in the world of the American Revolution and an important study for historians of the period.
Today’s celebrity charity work has deep historical roots. In the 1880s and 1890s, the stars of fin-de-siècle London’s fashionable stage culture—particularly the women—transformed theatre’s connection with fundraising. They refreshed, remolded, and reenergized celebrity charity work at a time when organized benevolence and women’s public roles were also being transformed. In the process, actresses established a model and set of practices that persist today among the stars of both London’s West End and Hollywood.
In the late nineteenth century, theatre’s fundraising for charitable causes shifted from male-dominated and private to female-directed and public. Although elite women had long been involved in such enterprises, they took on more authority in this period. At the same time, regular, high-profile public charity events became more important and much more visible than private philanthropy. Actresses became key figures in making the growing number of large and heavily publicized fundraisers successful. By 1920, the attitude was “Get an actress first. If you can’t get an actress, then get a duchess.” Actresses’ star power, their ability to orchestrate large events quickly, and their skill at performing a kind of genteel extortion made them essential to this model of charity. Actresses also benefited from this new role. Taking a prominent, public, offstage position was crucial in making them, individually and collectively, respectable professionals.
Author Catherine Hindson reveals this history by examining the major types of charity events at the turn of the twentieth century, including fundraising matinees, charity bazaars and costume parties, theatrical tea and garden parties, and benefit performances. Her study concludes with a look at the involvement of actresses in raising funds for British soldiers serving in the Anglo-Boer War and the First World War.
Long Suffering productively links avant-garde performance practices with religious histories in the United States, setting contemporary performances of endurance art within a broader context of prophetic religious discourse in the United States. Its focus is on the work of Ron Athey, Linda Montano, and John Duncan, American artists whose performances involve extended periods of suffering. These unsettling performances can disturb, shock, or frighten audiences, leaving them unsure how to respond. The book examines how these artists work at the limits of the personal and the interpersonal, inflicting suffering on themselves and others, transforming audiences into witnesses, straining social relations, and challenging definitions of art and of ethics. By performing the death of self at the heart of trauma, strategies of endurance signal artists’ attempts to visualize, legitimize, and testify to the persistent experience of being wounded. The artworks discussed find their foundations in artists’ early experiences of religion and connections with the work of reformers from Angelina Grimké to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who also used suffering as a strategy to highlight social injustice and call for ethical, social, and political renewal.
In The Long Take, Lutz Koepnick posits extended shot durations as a powerful medium for exploring different modes of perception and attention in our fast-paced world of mediated stimulations. Grounding his inquiry in the long takes of international filmmakers such as Béla Tarr, Tsai Ming-liang, Abbas Kiarostami, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Michael Haneke, Koepnick reveals how their films evoke wondrous experiences of surprise, disruption, enchantment, and reorientation. He proceeds to show how the long take has come to thrive in diverse artistic practices across different media platforms: from the work of photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto to the screen-based installations of Sophie Calle and Tacita Dean, from experimental work by Francis Alÿs and Janet Cardiff to durational images in contemporary video games.
Deeply informed by film and media theory, yet written in a fluid and often poetic style, The Long Take goes far beyond recent writing about slow cinema. In Koepnick’s account, the long take serves as a critical hallmark of international art cinema in the twenty-first century. It invites viewers to probe the aesthetics of moving images and to recalibrate their sense of time. Long takes unlock windows toward the new and unexpected amid the ever-mounting pressures of 24/7 self-management.
In recent years, the media landscape in the United States has followed a pattern similar to that of the physical landscape by becoming increasingly suburbanized. Although it is a far cry from reality, the fantasy of a perfect suburban life still exists in the collective imagination of millions of Americans. This dream of suburban perfection is built around a variety of such ideologically conservative values and ideals as the importance of tradition, the centrality of the nuclear family, the desire for a community of like-minded neighbors, the need for clearly defined gender roles, and the belief that with hard work and determination, anyone can succeed.
Building on the relationships between suburban life and American identity, Look Closer examines and interprets recent narratives that challenge the suburban ideal to reveal how directors and producers are mobilizing the spaces of suburbia to tell new kinds of stories about America. David R. Coon argues that the myth of suburban perfection, popularized by postwar sitcoms and advertisements, continues to symbolize a range of intensely debated issues related to tradition, family, gender, race, and citizenship. Through close examinations of such films as American Beauty, The Truman Show, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as such television series as Desperate Housewives, Weeds, and Big Love, the book demonstrates how suburbia is used to critique the ideologies that underpin the suburban American Dream.
Theater is, first and foremost, a visual art; Looking Into the Abyss examines the ways in which the visual theater affects our understanding of the dramatic event. Arnold Aronson, an internationally prominent historian and theorist of theater set design, opens with an overview of scenographic concepts, including postmodern design and the use of new media in the theater, and continues with analyses of the work of specific designers (including Richard Foreman and David Rockwell) and scenographic responses to playwrights like Chekhov and Tony Kushner. These essays serve to open a dialogue that will bring the physical aspect of theater back into its proper place: an element as integral to the performance as the spoken word, and they will inspire theater-goers to become more aware of their role as seers of the theater.
Arnold Aronson is Professor of Theater, Columbia University. He is author of American Avant-Garde Theatre: A History; Architect of Dreams: The Theatrical Vision of Joseph Urban; American Set Design; and The History and Theory of Environmental Scenography.
Film scholarship has long been dominated by textual interpretations of specific films. Looking Past the Screen advances a more expansive American film studies in which cinema is understood to be a social, political, and cultural phenomenon extending far beyond the screen. Presenting a model of film studies in which films themselves are only one source of information among many, this volume brings together film histories that draw on primary sources including collections of personal papers, popular and trade journalism, fan magazines, studio publications, and industry records.
Focusing on Hollywood cinema from the teens to the 1970s, these case studies show the value of this extraordinary range of historical materials in developing interdisciplinary approaches to film stardom, regulation, reception, and production. The contributors examine State Department negotiations over the content of American films shown abroad; analyze the star image of Clara Smith Hamon, who was notorious for having murdered her lover; and consider film journalists’ understanding of the arrival of auteurist cinema in Hollywood as it was happening during the early 1970s. One contributor chronicles the development of film studies as a scholarly discipline; another offers a sociopolitical interpretation of the origins of film noir. Still another brings to light Depression-era film reviews and Production Code memos so sophisticated in their readings of representations of sexuality that they undermine the perception that queer interpretations of film are a recent development. Looking Past the Screen suggests methods of historical research, and it encourages further thought about the modes of inquiry that structure the discipline of film studies.
Contributors. Mark Lynn Anderson, Janet Bergstrom, Richard deCordova, Kathryn Fuller-Seeley, Sumiko Higashi, Jon Lewis, David M. Lugowski, Dana Polan, Eric Schaefer, Andrea Slane, Eric Smoodin, Shelley Stamp
Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood reveals two 1950s: an era glorified in Hollywood movies and a darker reality reflected in the esoteric films of the decade. Renowned film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon turns to the margins—the television shows and films of a hidden Hollywood—to offer an authentic view of the 1950s that counters the Tinsel-town version. Dixon examines the lost films and directors of the decade. Contrasting traditional themes of love, marriage, and family, Dixon’s 1950s film world unveils once-taboo issues of rape, prostitution, and gangs. Television shows such as Captain Midnight and Ramar of the Jungle are juxtaposed with the cheerful world of I Love Lucy and Howdy Doody. Highlighting directors including Herbert L. Strock, Leslie Martinson, Arnold Laven, and Charles Haas, Dixon provides new insights on the television series Racket Squad, Topper, and The Rifleman and the teen films I Was a Teenage Werewolf and High School Confidential.
Geared for scholars and students of film and pop culture, Lost in the Fifties includes twenty-five photos—many previously unpublished—and draws on rare interviews with key directors, actors, and producers. The volume provides the first detailed profile of the most prolific producer in Hollywood history, Sam Katzman, and his pop culture classics Rock Around the Clock and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers. Dixon profiles, for the first time, B-movie phenomenon Fred F. Sears, who directed more than fifty touchstone films of a generation, including the noir thriller Chicago Syndicate, the criminal career story Cell 2455 Death Row, and the 3-D color western The Nebraskan. Also profiled is Ida Lupino, the only woman to direct in Hollywood in the 1950s, who tackled issues of bigamy, teenage pregnancy, and sports corruption in The Bigamist, The Hitch-Hiker, Outrage, Never Fear, Not Wanted, and Hard, Fast and Beautiful, when no major studio would touch such controversial topics. Dixon also looks at the era’s social guidance films, which instructed adolescents in acceptable behavior, proper etiquette, and healthy hygiene.
In a nuanced exploration of how Western cinema has represented East Asia as a space of radical indecipherability, Homay King traces the long-standing association of the Orient with the enigmatic. The fantasy of an inscrutable East, she argues, is not merely a side note to film history, but rather a kernel of otherness that has shaped Hollywood cinema at its core. Through close readings of The Lady from Shanghai, Chinatown, Blade Runner, Lost in Translation, and other films, she develops a theory of the “Shanghai gesture,” a trope whereby orientalist curios and décor become saturated with mystery. These objects and signs come to bear the burden of explanation for riddles that escape the Western protagonist or cannot be otherwise resolved by the plot. Turning to visual texts from outside Hollywood which actively grapple with the association of the East and the unintelligible—such as Michelangelo Antonioni’s Chung Kuo: Cina, Wim Wenders’s Notebook on Cities and Clothes, and Sophie Calle’s Exquisite Pain—King suggests alternatives to the paranoid logic of the Shanghai gesture. She argues for the development of a process of cultural “de-translation” aimed at both untangling the psychic enigmas prompting the initial desire to separate the familiar from the foreign, and heightening attentiveness to the internal alterities underlying Western subjectivity.
Lothario’s Corpse unearths a performance history, on and off the stage, of Restoration libertine drama in Britain’s eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While standard theater histories emphasize libertine drama’s gradual disappearance from the nation’s acting repertory following the dispersal of Stuart rule in 1688, Daniel Gustafson traces its persistent appeal for writers and performers wrestling with the powers of the emergent liberal subject and the tensions of that subject with sovereign absolutism. With its radical, absolutist characters and its scenarios of aristocratic license, Restoration libertine drama became a critical force with which to engage in debates about the liberty-loving British subject’s relation to key forms of liberal power and about the troubling allure of lawless sovereign power that lingers at the heart of the liberal imagination. Weaving together readings of a set of literary texts, theater anecdotes, political writings, and performances, Gustafson illustrates how the corpse of the Restoration stage libertine is revived in the period’s debates about liberty, sovereign desire, and the subject’s relation to modern forms of social control. Ultimately, Lothario’s Corpse suggests the “long-running” nature of Restoration theatrical culture, its revived and revised performances vital to what makes post-1688 Britain modern.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Arguing for a sweeping new consideration of the shift from print to cinema as a governing system for organizing modern American social relations, this book uncovers an intimate connection between Hollywood romances of the silent era and the empowerment of a managerial class.
During the 1910s and 1920s, American movies told love stories through what rapidly became ubiquitous images. Again and again, silent features showed lovers separated by seeming happenstance and reunited as if by magical forces. Mark Garrett Cooper argues that this "magic" implies the expertise of the corporate movie studio with its hierarchies of professional experts. In other words, the Hollywood love story amounts to a managerial technique. Through close study of such films as Birth of a Nation, Enoch Arden, The Crowd, Why Change Your Wife? and The Jazz Singer, Love Rules shows how cinematic romance offers an object lesson in how to arrange American society-a lesson that implies that such work can be accomplished only by a managerial class.
Love Rules offers a boldly original account of how the Hollywood feature film supplanted the "imagined community" of print culture and, in doing so, played a key role in the transformation of American mass culture.
Mark Garrett Cooper is assistant professor of English at Florida State University.
Opening with David Mancuso's seminal “Love Saves the Day” Valentine's party, Tim Lawrence tells the definitive story of American dance music culture in the 1970s—from its subterranean roots in NoHo and Hell’s Kitchen to its gaudy blossoming in midtown Manhattan to its wildfire transmission through America’s suburbs and urban hotspots such as Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newark, and Miami.
Tales of nocturnal journeys, radical music making, and polymorphous sexuality flow through the arteries of Love Saves the Day like hot liquid vinyl. They are interspersed with a detailed examination of the era’s most powerful djs, the venues in which they played, and the records they loved to spin—as well as the labels, musicians, vocalists, producers, remixers, party promoters, journalists, and dance crowds that fueled dance music’s tireless engine.
Love Saves the Day includes material from over three hundred original interviews with the scene's most influential players, including David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Tom Moulton, Loleatta Holloway, Giorgio Moroder, Francis Grasso, Frankie Knuckles, and Earl Young. It incorporates more than twenty special dj discographies—listing the favorite records of the most important spinners of the disco decade—and a more general discography cataloging some six hundred releases. Love Saves the Day also contains a unique collection of more than seventy rare photos.
Marshaling his broad cinematic and cultural knowledge, editor Jan-Christopher Horak has compiled in Lovers of Cinema a groundbreaking group of articles on this neglected film period. With one exception, all are original to this volume, and many are the first to treat comprehensively such early filmmakers as Mary Ellen Bute, Theodore Huff, and Douglass Crockwell.
Also included in the book is a listing of all American avant-garde films produced in the years before World War II as well as a bibliography of the most relevant criticism, literature, and news accounts.
As the first collection of new work on sound and cinema in over a decade, Lowering the Boom addresses the expanding field of film sound theory and its significance in rethinking historical models of film analysis. The contributors consider the ways in which musical expression, scoring, voice-over narration, and ambient noise affect identity formation and subjectivity. Lowering the Boom also analyzes how shifting modulation of the spoken word in cinema results in variations in audience interpretation. Introducing new methods of thinking about the interaction of sound and music in films, this volume also details avant-garde film sound, which is characterized by a distinct break from the narratively based sound practices of mainstream cinema. This interdisciplinary, global approach to the theory and history of film sound opens the eyes and ears of film scholars, practitioners, and students to film's true audio-visual nature.
Gerd Gemünden University of Illinois Press, 2019 Library of Congress PN1998.3.M36855G46 2019 | Dewey Decimal 791.43023309282
Films like Zama and The Headless Woman have made Lucrecia Martel a fixture on festival marquees and critic's best lists. Though often allied with mainstream figures and genre frameworks, Martel works within art cinema, and since her 2001 debut The Swamp she has become one of international film's most acclaimed auteurs.Gerd Gemünden offers a career-spanning analysis of a filmmaker dedicated to revealing the ephemeral, fortuitous, and endless variety of human experience. Martel's focus on sound, touch, taste, and smell challenge film's usual emphasis on what a viewer sees. By merging of these and other experimental techniques with heightened realism, she invites audiences into film narratives at once unresolved, truncated, and elliptical. Gemünden aligns Martel's filmmaking methods with the work of other international directors who criticize—and pointedly circumvent—the high-velocity speeds of today's cinematic storytelling. He also explores how Martel's radical political critique forces viewers to rethink entitlement, race, class, and exploitation of indigenous peoples within Argentinian society and beyond.
The turbulent years of the 1930s were of profound importance in the life of Spanish film director Luis Buñuel (1900–1983). He joined the Surrealist movement in 1929 but by 1932 had renounced it and embraced Communism. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), he played an integral role in disseminating film propaganda in Paris for the Spanish Republican cause. Luis Buñuel: The Red Years, 1929–1939 investigates Buñuel’s commitment to making the politicized documentary Land without Bread (1933) and his key role as an executive producer at Filmófono in Madrid, where he was responsible in 1935–36 for making four commercial features that prefigure his work in Mexico after 1946. As for the republics of France and Spain between which Buñuel shuttled during the 1930s, these became equally embattled as left and right totalitarianisms fought to wrest political power away from a debilitated capitalism.
Where it exists, the literature on this crucial decade of the film director’s life is scant and relies on Buñuel’s own self-interested accounts of that complex period. Román Gubern and Paul Hammond have undertaken extensive archival research in Europe and the United States and evaluated Buñuel’s accounts and those of historians and film writers to achieve a portrait of Buñuel’s “Red Years” that abounds in new information.