At last, for those who adapt literature into scripts, a how-to book that illuminates the process of creating a stageworthy play. Page to Stage describes the essential steps for constructing adaptations for any theatrical venue, from the college classroom to a professionally produced production. Acclaimed director Vincent Murphy offers students in theater, literary studies, and creative writing a clear and easy-to-use guidebook on adaptation. Its step-by-step process will be valuable to professional theater artists as well, and for script writers in any medium. Murphy defines six essential building blocks and strategies for a successful adaptation, including theme, dialogue, character, imagery, storyline, and action. Exercises at the end of each chapter lead readers through the transformation process, from choosing their material to creating their own adaptations. The book provides case studies of successful adaptations, including The Grapes of Wrath (adaptation by Frank Galati) and the author's own adaptations of stories by Samuel Beckett and John Barth. Also included is practical information on building collaborative relationships, acquiring rights, and getting your adaptation produced.
Painting the City Red illuminates the dynamic relationship between the visual media, particularly film and theater, and the planning and development of cities in China and Taiwan, from the emergence of the People’s Republic in 1949 to the staging of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Yomi Braester argues that the transformation of Chinese cities in recent decades is a result not only of China’s abandonment of Maoist economic planning in favor of capitalist globalization but also of a shift in visual practices. Rather than simply reflect urban culture, movies and stage dramas have facilitated the development of new perceptions of space and time, representing the future city variously as an ideal socialist city, a metropolis integrated into the global economy, and a site for preserving cultural heritage.
Drawing on extensive archival research, interviews with leading filmmakers and urban planners, and close readings of scripts and images, Braester describes how films and stage plays have promoted and opposed official urban plans and policies as they have addressed issues such as demolition-and-relocation plans, the preservation of vernacular architecture, and the global real estate market. He shows how the cinematic rewriting of historical narratives has accompanied the spatial reorganization of specific urban sites, including Nanjing Road in Shanghai; veterans’ villages in Taipei; and Tiananmen Square, centuries-old courtyards, and postmodern architectural landmarks in Beijing. In Painting the City Red, Braester reveals the role that film and theater have played in mediating state power, cultural norms, and the struggle for civil society in Chinese cities.
Is there a link between the colonization of Palestinian lands and the enclosing of Palestinian minds? The Palestinian Idea argues that it is precisely through film and media that hope can occasionally emerge amidst hopelessness, emancipation amidst oppression, freedom amidst apartheid. Greg Burris employs the work of Edward W. Said, Jacques Rancière, and Cedric J. Robinson in order to locate Palestinian utopia in the heart of the Zionist present.
He analyzes the films of prominent directors Annemarie Jacir (Salt of This Sea, When I Saw You) and Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) to investigate the emergence and formation of Palestinian identity. Looking at Mais Darwazah’s documentary My Love Awaits Me By the Sea, Burris considers the counterhistories that make up the Palestinian experience—stories and memories that have otherwise been obscured or denied. He also examines Palestinian (in)visibility in the global media landscape, and how issues of Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity are illustrated through social media, staged news spectacles, and hip hop music.
Julie Taylor Duke University Press, 1998 Library of Congress GV1796.T3T39 1998 | Dewey Decimal 793.33
Tango. A multidimensional expression of Argentine identity, one that speaks to that nation’s sense of disorientation, loss, and terror. Yet the tango mesmerizes dancers and audiences alike throughout the world. In Paper Tangos, Julie Taylor—a classically trained dancer and anthropologist—examines the poetics of the tango while describing her own quest to dance this most dramatic of paired dances. Taylor, born in the United States, has lived much of her adult life in Latin America. She has spent years studying the tango in Buenos Aires, dancing during and after the terror of military dictatorships. This book is at once an account of a life lived crossing the borders of two distinct and complex cultures and an exploration of the conflicting meanings of tango for women who love the poetry of its movement yet feel uneasy with the roles it bestows on the male and female dancers. Drawing parallels among the violences of the Argentine Junta, the play with power inherent in tango dancing, and her own experiences with violence both inside and outside the intriguing tango culture, Taylor weaves the line between engaging memoir and insightful cultural critique. Within the contexts of tango’s creative birth and contemporary presentations, this book welcomes us directly into the tango subculture and reveals the ways that personal, political, and historical violence operate in our lives. The book’s experimental design includes photographs on every page, which form a flip-book sequence of a tango. Not simply a book for tango dancers and fans, Paper Tangos will reward students of Latin American studies, cultural studies, anthropology, feminist studies, dance studies, and the art of critical memoir.
Observing the activities of urban folk dance enthusiasts in Slovakia, Joseph Grim Feinberg sets out to scrutinize the processes by which "authentic folklore" is identified, talked about, represented, reconstructed, reenacted, and revived.
In Slovakia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe after World War II, Communist governments promoted folklore revivals and staged performances of song and dance as representations of "the people." When the Communists fell from power in Slovakia in 1989, folklore was also discredited in the eyes of many. By the early twenty-first century, however, a new generation launched a movement to revive folklore's reputation and reintroduce it to a broad public.
Weaving together personal narrative, ethnographic analysis, and philosophical reflection, Feinberg examines the aspirations and difficulties of young folk dance devotees as they recognize that authenticity is more easily prized than achieved. He sheds new light on the problems of specialized performance and broad participation, the uneasy relationship between folklore and the public sphere, and the paradoxical pursuit of authenticity in the modern world.
From its earliest days, the cinema has enjoyed a special kinship with the railroad, a mutual attraction based on similar ways of handling speed, visual perception, and the promise of a journey. Parallel Tracks is the first book to explore and explain this relationship in both historical and theoretical terms, blending film scholarship with railroad history. Describing the train as a mechanical double for the cinema, Lynne Kirby gives her romantic topic a compelling twist. She views the railroad/cinema romance in light of the technological and cultural instability underlying modernity and presents the railroad and cinema as complementary experiences that shaped the modern world and its subjects—the passengers and spectators who traveled through that world. In wide-ranging and provocative analyses of dozens of silent films—icons of film history like The General and The Great Train Robbery as well as many that are rarely discussed—Kirby examines how trains and rail travel embodied concepts of spectatorship and mobility grounded in imperialism and the social, sexual, and racial divisions of modern Western culture. This analysis at the same time provides a detailed and largely unexamined history of the railroad in silent filmmaking. Kirby also devotes special attention to the similar ways in which the railroad and cinema structured the roles of men and women. As she demonstrates, these representations have had profound implications for the articulation of gender in our culture, a culture in some sense based on the machine as embodied by the train and the camera/projector. Ultimately, this book reveals the profound and parallel impact that the railroad and the cinema have had on Western society and modern urban industrial culture. Parallel Tracks will be eagerly awaited by those involved in cinema studies, American studies, feminist theory, and the cultural study of modernity.
In October 1990, the Library of Congress announced its list of twenty-five culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant films to be added to the National Film Registry. The River, written and directed by Pare Lorentz in 1937, was inducted along with Scorsese's Raging Bull and Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.
Originally published in 1967, Pare Lorentz and the Documentary Film was the first book devoted exclusively to the works of Lorentz. Robert L. Snyder focuses on the films Lorentz made for the United State Film Service--The River, The Plow That Broke the Plains, and The Fight for Life. With the exception of a few vintage World War I training films, these three films were the first made by the government for general viewing by the American public.
It was Lorentz's idea to produce a series of films about the pressing problems facing the nation during the Great Depression--drought, floods, poverty, and slums. With an initial budget of $6,000 and the enormous drive and energy of a young director who had never made a motion picture, the beignnings were anything but auspicious. The results, however, were sensational and often made national headlines.
In spite of inadequate budgets, bureaucratic red tape, and professional jealousies, Lorentz developed new filming techniques and set new standards in his documentaries. Snyder has written a perceptive account of the production of these classic films and the contemporary reaction to them, along with a critical evaluation of each work. This is an important book for anyone interested in documentary film and the history of the Depression era.
In Paris in the Dark Eric Smoodin takes readers on a journey through the streets, cinemas, and theaters of Paris to sketch a comprehensive picture of French film culture during the 1930s and 1940s. Drawing on a wealth of journalistic sources, Smoodin recounts the ways films moved through the city, the favored stars, and what it was like to go to the movies in a city with hundreds of cinemas. In a single week in the early 1930s, moviegoers might see Hollywood features like King Kong and Frankenstein, the new Marlene Dietrich and Maurice Chevalier movies, and any number of films from Italy, Germany, and Russia. Or they could frequent the city's ciné-clubs, which were hosts to the cinéphile subcultures of Paris. At other times, a night at the movies might result in an evening of fascist violence, even before the German Occupation of Paris, while after the war the city's cinemas formed the space for reconsolidating French film culture. In mapping the cinematic geography of Paris, Smoodin expands understandings of local film exhibition and the relationships of movies to urban space.
Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–75) was one of the most important Italian intellectuals of the post–World War II era. An astonishing polymath—poet, novelist, literary critic, political polemicist, screenwriter, and film director—he exerted profound influence on Italian culture up to his untimely death at the age of fifty-three. This revised edition of what the New York Times Book Review has called “the standard Pasolini biography” introduces the artist to a new generation of readers.
Based on extensive interviews with those who knew Pasolini, both friends and enemies, admirers and detractors, Pasolini Requiem chronicles his growth from poet in the provinces to Italy’s leading “civil poet”; his flight to Rome in 1950; the scandalous success of his two novels and political writing; and his transition to film, where he started as a contributor to the golden age of Italian cinema and ended with the shocking Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Pasolini’s tragic and still unsolved murder has remained a subject of contentious debate for four decades. The enduring fascination with who committed the crime—and why—reflects his vital stature in Italy’s political and social history.
Updated throughout and with a new afterword covering the efforts to reopen the investigation—and the legal maelstrom surrounding Pasolini’s demise—this edition of Pasolini Requiem is a riveting account of one of the twentieth century’s most controversial, ever-present iconoclasts.
Acknowledged as one of the greatest filmmakers of this or any other time, Bergman has with few exceptions written his own screenplays—an uncommon practice in the film industry—and for this practice critics refer to him as a "literary" filmmaker: In this work, Gado examines virtually the entire range of Bergman's literary output. While treating the matter of the visual presentation of Bergman's films, Gado concentrates on story and narrative and their relationship to Bergman's personal history.
Gado concludes that whatever the outward appearance of Bergman's works, they contain an elementary psychic fantasy that links them all, revealing an artist who hoped to be a dramatist, "the new Strindberg," and who saw the camera as an extension of his pen.
Passionate Amateurstells a new story about modern theater: the story of a romantic attachment to theater’s potential to produce surprising experiences of human community. It begins with one of the first great plays of modern European theater—Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in Moscow—and then crosses the 20th and 21st centuries to look at how its story plays out in Weimar Republic Berlin, in the Paris of the 1960s, and in a spectrum of contemporary performance in Europe and the United States. This is a work of historical materialist theater scholarship, which combines a materialism grounded in a socialist tradition of cultural studies with some of the insights developed in recent years by theorists of affect, and addresses some fundamental questions about the social function and political potential of theater within modern capitalism. Passionate Amateurs argues that theater in modern capitalism can help us think afresh about notions of work, time, and freedom. Its title concept is a theoretical and historical figure, someone whose work in theater is undertaken within capitalism, but motivated by a love that desires something different. In addition to its theoretical originality, it offers a significant new reading of a major Chekhov play, the most sustained scholarly engagement to date with Benjamin’s “Program for a Proletarian Children’s Theatre,” the first major consideration of Godard’s La chinoise as a “theatrical” work, and the first chapter-length discussion of the work of The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, an American company rapidly gaining a profile in the European theater scene.
Passionate Amateurscontributes to the development of theater and performance studies in a way that moves beyond debates over the differences between theater and performance in order to tell a powerful, historically grounded story about what theater and performance are for in the modern world.
Pulitzer-prizewinning playwright August Wilson, author of Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and The Piano Lesson, among other dramatic works, is one of the most well respected American playwrights on the contemporary stage. The founder of the Black Horizon Theater Company, his self-defined dramatic project is to review twentieth-century African American history by creating a play for each decade.
Theater scholar and critic Harry J. Elam examines Wilson's published plays within the context of contemporary African American literature and in relation to concepts of memory and history, culture and resistance, race and representation. Elam finds that each of Wilson's plays recaptures narratives lost, ignored, or avoided to create a new experience of the past that questions the historical categories of race and the meanings of blackness.
Harry J. Elam, Jr. is Professor of Drama at Stanford University and author of Taking It to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka (The University of Michigan Press).
In Past Forward: French Cinema and the Post-Colonial Heritage, author Dayna Oscherwitz focuses on the world of French films with a new lens. Drawing upon a wealth of research and the examination of popular French movies, Oscherwitz offers fresh perspectives not only on the unique importance of motion pictures and their indelible influence on French character, but on current debates regarding individual and collective memory. Past Forward traces the development and ascension of the French heritage film—those historical and costume dramas focusing on prestigious French subjects, events, and settings. These motion pictures, preeminent during a period of globalization and fear over the affects of immigration in 1980s France, quickly came to embody a specific version of French national and collective identity: one that idealized the past, condemned the present, and created an institutional form of memory. Oscherwitz presents the intriguing notion that French heritage films are not exclusively expressions of nationalism and nostalgia as has commonly been asserted. On the contrary, although these movies were born out of a perceived loss of French culture, their ambivalence toward traditional hallmarks of nationalism opens them up to new interpretation. Also in contrast to typical conceptions, the author suggests that these heritage films are far from cinematic bastions of multicultural backlash; instead, she argues, popular culture has in its own fashion reinserted the history of colonialism and immigration into the national past, thus reimagining heritage itself.
Against this backdrop, Oscherwitz goes on to investigate the multicultural worlds of beur and banlieue movies—cinema seemingly in direct contrast with the heritage film—offering the theory that these films serve as a “countermemory” to an institutionalized one and provide alternative models of collective memory and identity. Through careful analysis of several examples, Oscherwitz demonstrates how these two seemingly different realms—heritage and multicultural cinema—are far from mutually exclusive in the construction of French identity.
Throughout the volume, numerous well-known French movies are reexamined, inviting new interpretations of and challenging old views through investigations of familiar cinematic works. Past Forward is arevolutionary volume that boldly reimagines our ideas about French film and its role in communicating history and memory.
Actor and singer Paul Robeson's performances in Othello, Show Boat, and The Emperor Jones made him famous, but his midcentury appearances in support of causes ranging from labor and civil rights to antilynching and American warmongering made him notorious. When Robeson announced at the 1949 Paris Peace Conference that it was "unthinkable" for blacks to go to war against the Soviet Union, the mainstream American press declared him insane.
Notions of Communism, blackness, and insanity were interchangeably deployed during the Cold War to discount activism such as Robeson's, just a part of an array of social and cultural practices that author Tony Perucci calls the Cold War performance complex. Focusing on two key Robeson performances---the concerts in Peekskill, New York, in 1949 and his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956---Perucci demonstrates how these performances and the government's response to them are central to understanding the history of Cold War culture in the United States. His book provides a transformative new perspective on how the struggle over the politics of performance in the 1950s was also a domestic struggle over freedom and equality. The book closely examines both of these performance events as well as artifacts from Cold War culture---including congressional documents, FBI files, foreign policy papers, the popular literature on mental illness, and government propaganda films---to study the operation of power and activism in American Cold War culture.
George Kouvaros University of Illinois Press, 2007 Library of Congress PN1998.3.S358K68 2008 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
As the first full-length study on Paul Schrader's films, this book examines the different styles of his work and the multiple influences on which it draws. A defining feature of Schrader's career is his capacity to engage in a range of collaborations and production contexts while returning to a consistent set of themes, character types, and dramatic scenarios. Going beyond the affirmation of a directorial vision, Schrader creates a cinema driven by issues of obsession, memory, and the difficult nature of experience. Representative of a new generation of American writer-directors of the 1970s, Schrader's films highlight the tension between old and new ways of telling a story and between the maintenance of commercial formulas and openness to individual expression.
George Kouvaros draws on a personal interview conducted with Schrader and the director's prior commentary to trace common motivations and impulses behind such well-known films as Light Sleeper, American Gigolo, Affliction, Auto Focus, Taxi Driver, and Patty Hearst. Kouvaros reads Schrader's films not only in terms of a number of important themes such as male obsession and estrangement, but also in regard to harder to define issues that include melancholia, trauma, and the complex linkages of violence and guilt that bind individuals to places and each other.
Paul Thomas Anderson
George Toles University of Illinois Press, 2016 Library of Congress PN1998.3.A5255T86 2016 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Since his explosive debut with the indie sensation Hard Eight , Paul Thomas Anderson has established himself as one of contemporary cinema's most exciting artists. His 2002 feature Punch-Drunk Love radically reimagined the romantic comedy. Critics hailed There Will Be Blood as a key film of the new millennium. In The Master , Anderson jarred audiences with dreamy amorphousness and a departure from conventional story mechanics. Acclaimed film scholar and screenwriter George Toles approaches these three films in particular, and Anderson's oeuvre in general, with a focus on the role of emergence and the production of the unaccountable. Anderson, Toles shows, is an artist obsessed with history, workplaces, and environments but also intrigued by spaces as projections of the people who dwell within. Toles follows Anderson from the open narratives of Boogie Nights and Magnolia through the pivot that led to his more recent films, Janus-faced masterpieces that orbit around isolated central characters--and advance Anderson's journey into allegory and myth. Blending penetrative analysis with a deep knowledge of filmic storytelling, Paul Thomas Anderson tours an important filmmaker's ever-deepening landscape of disconnection.
Joanna Mansbridge University of Michigan Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3572.O294Z53 2014 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
Paula Vogel’s plays, including the Pulitzer–prizewinning How I Learned to Drive, initiate a conversation with contemporary culture, staging vexed issues like domestic violence, pornography, and AIDS. She does not write "about" these concerns, but instead examines how they have become framed as “issues”–as sensationalized topics–focusing on the histories and discourses that have defined them and the bodies that bear their meanings. Mobilizing campy humor, keen insight, and nonlinear structure, her plays defamiliarize the identities and issues that have been fixed as "just the way things are." Vogel crafts collage-like playworlds that are comprised of fragments of history and culture, and that are simultaneously inclusive and alienating, familiar and strange, funny and disturbing. At the center of these playworlds are female characters negotiating with the images and discourses that circumscribe their lives and bodies.
In this, the first book-length study of Vogel and her work, Joanna Mansbridge explores how Vogel’s plays speak back to the canon, responding to and rewriting works by William Shakespeare, Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, and David Mamet, rearranging their plots, revising their conflicts, and recasting their dramatis personae. The book examines the theories shaping the playwright and her plays, the production and reception of her work, and the aesthetic structure of each play, grounding the work in cultural materialist, feminist and queer theory, and theater and performance studies scholarship.
The book that re-established Peckinpah's reputation—now thoroughly revised and updated! When critics hailed the 1995 re-release of Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece, The Wild Bunch, it was a recognition of Paul Seydor's earlier claim that this was a milestone in American film, perhaps the most important since Citizen Kane. Peckinpah: The Western Films first appeared in 1980, when the director's reputation was at low ebb. The book helped lead a generation of readers and filmgoers to a full and enduring appreciation of Peckinpah's landmark films, locating his work in the central tradition of American art that goes all the way back to Emerson, Hawthorne, and Melville. In addition to a new section on the personal significance of The Wild Bunch to Peckinpah, Seydor has added to this expanded, revised edition a complete account of the successful, but troubled, efforts to get a fully authorized director's cut released. He describes how an initial NC-17 rating of the film by the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings board nearly aborted the entire project. He also adds a great wealth of newly discovered biographical detail that has surfaced since the director's death and includes a new chapter on Noon Wine, credited with bringing Peckinpah's television work to a fitting resolution and preparing his way for The Wild Bunch.
This edition stands alone in offering full treatment of all versions of Peckinpah's Westerns. It also includes discussion of all fourteen episodes of Peckinpah's television series, The Westerner, and a full description of the versions of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid now (or formerly) in circulation, including an argument that the label "director's cut" on the version in release by Turner is misleading. Additionally, the book's final chapter has been substantially rewritten and now includes new information about Peckinpah's background and sources.
Written exclusively for this collection by today’s leading Peckinpah critics, the nine essays in Peckinpah Today explore the body of work of one of America’s most important filmmakers, revealing new insights into his artistic process and the development of his lasting themes. Edited by Michael Bliss, this book provides groundbreaking criticism of Peckinpah’s work by illuminating new sources, from modified screenplay documents to interviews with screenplay writers and editors.
Included is a rare interview with A. S. Fleischman, author of the screenplay for The Deadly Companions, the film that launched Peckinpah’s career in feature films. The collection also contains essays by scholar Stephen Prince and Paul Seydor, editor of the controversial special edition of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. In his essay on Straw Dogs, film critic Michael Sragow reveals how Peckinpah and co-scriptwriter David Zelag Goodman transformed a pulp novel into a powerful film. The final essay of the collection surveys Peckinpah’s career, showing the dark turn that the filmmaker’s artistic path took between his first and last films. This comprehensive approach reinforces the book’s dawn-to-dusk approach, resulting in a fascinating picture of a great filmmaker’s work.
In a time when Mormons appear to have larger roles in everything from political conflict to television shows and when Mormon-related topics seem to show up more frequently in the news, eight scholars take a close look at Mormonism in popular media: film, television, theater, and books.
Some contributors examine specific works, including the Tony-winning play Angels in America, the hit TV series Big Love, and the bestselling books Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith and The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint. Others consider the phenomena of Mormon cinema and Mormon fiction; the use of the Mormon missionary as a stock character in films; and the noticeably prominent presence of Mormons in reality television shows.
In 1904, political operator and gambling boss Robert T. Motts opened the Pekin Theater in Chicago. Dubbed the "Temple of Music," the Pekin became one of the country's most prestigious African American cultural institutions, renowned for its all-black stock company and school for actors, an orchestra able to play ragtime and opera with equal brilliance, and a repertoire of original musical comedies.
A missing chapter in African American theatrical history, Bauman's saga presents how Motts used his entrepreneurial acumen to create a successful black-owned enterprise. Concentrating on institutional history, Bauman explores the Pekin's philosophy of hiring only African American staff, its embrace of multi-racial upper class audiences, and its ready assumption of roles as diverse as community center, social club, and fundraising instrument.
The Pekin's prestige and profitability faltered after Motts' death in 1911 as his heirs lacked his savvy, and African American elites turned away from pure entertainment in favor of spiritual uplift. But, as Bauman shows, the theater had already opened the door to a new dynamic of both intra- and inter-racial theater-going and showed the ways a success, like the Pekin, had a positive economic and social impact on the surrounding community.
Of the 15,000 nursing homes in the United States, how many are places you’d want to visit, much less live in? Now that people are living longer and more of the population are elderly, this question is more important than ever, particularly for people with disabilities. We must transform long-term care into an experience we and our loved ones can face without dread. It can be done. The Penelope Project shows how by taking readers on an ambitious journey to create a long-term care community that engages its residents in challenging, meaningful art-making.
At Milwaukee’s Luther Manor, a team of artists from the University of Wisconsin’s theatre department and Sojourn Theatre Company, university students, staff, residents, and volunteers traded their bingo cards for copies of The Odyssey. They embarked on a two-year project to examine this ancient story from the perspective of the hero who never left home: Penelope, wife of Odysseus. Together, the team staged a play that engaged everyone and transcended the limits not just of old age and disability but also youth, institutional regulations, and disciplinary boundaries.
Inviting readers to see through the eyes of residents, students, artists, staff, family members, and experts in the fields of education, long-term care, and civically engaged arts practice, this book underscores the essential role of the arts and humanities in living richly. Waiting, as Penelope waited, need not be a time of loss and neglect. The Penelope Project boldly dreams of how to make late life a time of growth and learning. If you dream of improving people’s lives through creative endeavors, this book provides practical advice.
This book explores responses to Tang Xianzu's classic play The Peony Pavilion (Mudan ting) from three distinct segments of its public-literati playwrights; professional performers of Kun opera; and quite recently, directors and audiences outside China. Catherine Swatek first examines two adaptations of the play by Tang's contemporaries, which point to the unconventionality of the original work. She goes on to explore how the play has been changed in later adaptations, up to its most recent productions by Peter Sellars and Chen Shi-Zheng in the United States and Europe.
Catherine Swatek is Associate Professor, University of British Columbia. She has published several articles on premodern Chinese drama and on female representation in Chinese opera.
During the past thirty years, Native American dance has emerged as a visible force on concert stages throughout North America. In this first major study of contemporary Native American dance, Jacqueline Shea Murphy shows how these performances are at once diverse and connected by common influences.
Demonstrating the complex relationship between Native and modern dance choreography, Shea Murphy delves first into U.S. and Canadian federal policies toward Native performance from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, revealing the ways in which government sought to curtail authentic ceremonial dancing while actually encouraging staged spectacles, such as those in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows. She then engages the innovative work of Ted Shawn, Lester Horton, and Martha Graham, highlighting the influence of Native American dance on modern dance in the twentieth century. Shea Murphy moves on to discuss contemporary concert dance initiatives, including Canada’s Aboriginal Dance Program and the American Indian Dance Theatre.
Illustrating how Native dance enacts, rather than represents, cultural connections to land, ancestors, and animals, as well as spiritual and political concerns, Shea Murphy challenges stereotypes about American Indian dance and offers new ways of recognizing the agency of bodies on stage.
Jacqueline Shea Murphy is associate professor of dance studies at the University of California, Riverside, and coeditor of Bodies of the Text: Dance as Theory, Literature as Dance.
When Dave Hickey was twelve, he rode the surfer’s dream: the perfect wave. And, like so many things in life we long for, it didn’t quite turn out----he shot the pier and dashed himself against the rocks of Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, which just about killed him.
Fortunately, for Hickey and for us, he survived, and continues to battle, decades into a career as one of America’s foremost critical iconoclasts, a trusted, even cherished no-nonsense voice commenting on the all-too-often nonsensical worlds of art and culture. Perfect Wave brings together essays on a wide range of subjects from throughout Hickey’s career, displaying his usual breadth of interest and powerful insight into what makes art work, or not, and why we care. With Hickey as our guide, we travel to Disneyland and Vegas, London and Venice. We discover the genius of Karen Carpenter and Waylon Jennings, learn why Robert Mitchum matters more than Jimmy Stewart, and see how the stillness of Antonioni speaks to us today. Never slow to judge—or to surprise us in doing so—Hickey powerfully relates his wincing disappointment in the later career of his early hero Susan Sontag, and shows us the appeal to our commonality that we’ve been missing in Norman Rockwell. With each essay, the doing is as important as what’s done; the pleasure of reading Dave Hickey lies nearly as much in spending time in his company as in being surprised to find yourself agreeing with his conclusions.
Bookended by previously unpublished personal essays that offer a new glimpse into Hickey’s own life—including the aforementioned slam-bang conclusion to his youthful surfing career—Perfect Wave is not a perfect book. But it’s a damn good one, and a welcome addition to the Hickey canon.
Diana Taylor Duke University Press, 2016 Library of Congress NX456.5.P38T3913 2016
"Performance" has multiple and often overlapping meanings that signify a wide variety of social behaviors. In this invitation to reflect on the power of performance, Diana Taylor explores many of its uses and iterations: artistic, economic, sexual, political, and technological performance; the performance of everyday life; and the gendered, sexed, and racialized performance of bodies. This book performs its argument. Images and texts interact to show how performance is at once a creative act, a means to comprehend power, a method of transmitting memory and identity, and a way of understanding the world.
This timely collaboration by three prominent scholars of media-based performance presents a new model for understanding and analyzing theater and performance created and experienced where time-based, live events, and mediated technologies converge–particularly those works conceived and performed explicitly within the context of contemporary digital culture.
Performance and Media introduces readers to the complexity of new media-based performances and how best to understand and contextualize the work. Each author presents a different model for how best to approach this work, while inviting readers to develop their own critical frameworks, i.e., taxonomies, to analyze both past and emerging performances. Performance and Media capitalizes on the advantages of digital media and online collaborations, while simultaneously creating a responsive and integrated resource for research, scholarship, and teaching. Unlike other monographs or edited collections, this book presents the concept of multiple taxonomies as a model for criticism in a dynamic and rapidly changing field.
Unresolved pasts tend to return. In the aftermath of state-perpetrated injustice, a façade of peace can suddenly give way. In such circumstances, the voices and visions of artists can help us see what otherwise evades perception. Performance and the Afterlives of Injustice considers key works by contemporary South African performing artists Brett Bailey, Gregory Maqoma, Mamela Nyamza, Robyn Orlin, Jay Pather, and Sello Pesa as well as choreographer Faustin Linyekula from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their performances demonstrate that post-apartheid and postcolonial framings of change have exceeded their limits. What is needed are new analytics with greater agility and a capacity to handle the elliptical returns of history, the resurfacings of atrocities thought to be past, while also holding history’s remains in dynamic tension with the promise of a future that is otherwise. What aesthetic strategies do artists use to activate and shape live performance’s unique corporeality and sociability as a medium, its distinctive capacities for expressing and representing volatile content? How, and how well, do various aesthetic strategies work?
Embodied performance in South Africa has particular potency because apartheid was so centrally focused on the body: classifying bodies into racial categories, legislating where certain bodies could move and which bathrooms and drinking fountains certain bodies could use, and how different bodies carried meaning. The majority of artists analyzed here are people of color, a necessary corrective to the white-dominated nature of South African performance scholarship. As the artists featured here imagine new forms, they are helping audiences see the contemporary moment as it is: an important intervention in a country long predicated on denial. They are also helping to conjure, anticipate, and dream a world that is otherwise. The book will be of particular interest to scholars of African studies, black performance, dance studies, transitional justice, as well as theater and performance studies.
Performance Constellations maps transnational protest movements and the dynamics of networked expressive behavior in the streets and online, as people struggle to be heard and effect long-term social justice. Its case studies explore collective political action in Latin America, including the Zapatistas in the mid-’90s, protests during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, the 2011 Chilean student movement, the 2014–2015 mobilizations for the disappeared Ayotzinapa students, and the 2018 transnational reproductive rights movement. The book analyzes uses of space, time, media communication, and corporeality in protests such as virtual sit-ins, flash mobs, scarfazos, and hashtag campaigns, arguing that these protests not only challenge hegemonic power but are also socially transformative. While other studies have focused either on digital activism or on street protests, Performance Constellations shows that they are in fact integrally entwined. Zooming in on protest movements and art-activism in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and putting contemporary insurgent actions in dialogue with their historical precedents, the book demonstrates how, even in moments of extreme duress, social actors in Latin America have taken up public and virtual space to intervene politically and to contest dominant powers.
Performance in America demonstrates the vital importance of the performing arts to contemporary U.S. culture. Looking at a series of specific performances mounted between 1994 and 2004, well-known performance studies scholar David Román challenges the belief that theatre, dance, and live music are marginal art forms in the United States. He describes the crucial role that the performing arts play in local, regional, and national communities, emphasizing the power of live performance, particularly its immediacy and capacity to create a dialogue between artists and audiences. Román draws attention to the ways that the performing arts provide unique perspectives on many of the most pressing concerns within American studies: questions about history and politics, citizenship and society, and culture and nation.
The performances that Román analyzes range from localized community-based arts events to full-scale Broadway productions and from the controversial works of established artists such as Tony Kushner to those of emerging artists. Román considers dances produced by the choreographers Bill T. Jones and Neil Greenberg in the mid-1990s as new aids treatments became available and the aids crisis was reconfigured; a production of the Asian American playwright Chay Yew’s A Beautiful Country in a high-school auditorium in Los Angeles’s Chinatown; and Latino performer John Leguizamo’s one-man Broadway show Freak. He examines the revival of theatrical legacies by female impersonators and the resurgence of cabaret in New York City. Román also looks at how the performing arts have responded to 9/11, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and the second war in Iraq. Including more than eighty illustrations, Performance in America highlights the dynamic relationships among performance, history, and contemporary culture through which the past is revisited and the future reimagined.
For more than five centuries, the Plaza Mayor (or Zócalo) in Mexico City has been the site of performances for a public spectatorship. During the period of colonial rule, performances designed to ensure loyalty to the Spanish monarchy were staged there, but over time, these displays gave way to staged demonstrations of resistance. Today, the Zócalo is a site for both official government-sponsored celebrations and performances that challenge the state. Performance in the Zócalo examines the ways that this city square has achieved symbolic significance over the centuries, and how national, ethnic, and racial identity has been performed there.
A saying in Mexico City is “quien domina el centro, domina el país” (whoever dominates the center, dominates the country) as the Zócalo continues to act as the performative embodiment of Mexican society. This book highlights how particular performances build upon each other by recycling past architectures and performative practices for new purposes. Ana Martínez discusses the singular role of collective memory in creating meaning through space and landmarks, providing a new perspective and further insight into the problem of Mexico’s relationship with its own past. Rather than merely describe the commemorations, she traces the relationship between space and the invention of a Mexican imaginary. She also explores how indigenous communities, Mexico’s alienated subalterns, performed as exploited objects, exotic characters, and subjects with agency. The book’s dual purposes are to examine the Zócalo as Mexico’s central site of performance and to unmask, without homogenizing, the official discourse regarding Mexico’s natives. This book will be of interest for students and scholars in theater studies, Mexican Studies, Cultural Geography, Latinx and Latin American Studies.
Recently in the field of theatre studies there has been an increasing amount of debate and dissonance regarding the borders of its territory, its methodologies, subject matter, and scholarly perspectives. The nature of this debate could be termed "political" and, in fact, concerns "the performance of power"—the struggle over power relations embedded in texts, methodologies, and the academy itself.
This striking new collection of nineteen divergent essays represents this performance of power and the way in which the recent convergence of new critical theories with historical studies has politicized the study of the theatre. Neither play text, performance, nor scholarship and teaching can safely reside any longer in the "free," politically neutral, self-signifying realm of the aesthetic. Politicizing theatrical discourse means that both the hermeneutics and the histories of theatre reveal the role of ideology and power dynamics.
New strategies and concepts—and a vital new phase of awareness—appear in these illuminating essays. A variety of historical periods, from the Renaissance through the Victorian and up to the most contemporary work of the Wooster group, illustrate the ways in which contemporary strategies do not require contemporary texts and performances but can combine with historical methods and subjects to produce new theatrical discourse.
Placing the disciplines of performance studies and surveillance studies in a timely critical dialogue, Performance, Transparency, and the Cultures of Surveillance not only theorizes how surveillance performs but also how the technologies and corresponding cultures of surveillance alter the performance of everyday life. This exploration draws upon a rich array of examples from theatre, performance, and the arts, all of which provide vivid illustration of the book’s central argument: that the rise of the surveillance society coincides with a profound collapse of democratic oversight and transparency—a collapse that, in turn, demands a radical rethinking of how performance practitioners conceptualize art and its political efficacy. The book thus makes the case that artists and critics must reexamine—indeed, must radically redefine—their notions of performance if they are to mount any meaningful counter to the increasingly invasive surveillance society.
Visitors to Cuba will notice that Afro-Cuban figures and references are everywhere: in popular music and folklore shows, paintings and dolls of Santería saints in airport shops, and even restaurants with plantation themes. In Performing Afro-Cuba, Kristina Wirtz examines how the animation of Cuba’s colonial past and African heritage through such figures and performances not only reflects but also shapes the Cuban experience of Blackness. She also investigates how this process operates at different spatial and temporal scales—from the immediate present to the imagined past, from the barrio to the socialist state.
Wirtz analyzes a variety of performances and the ways they construct Cuban racial and historical imaginations. She offers a sophisticated view of performance as enacting diverse revolutionary ideals, religious notions, and racial identity politics, and she outlines how these concepts play out in the ongoing institutionalization of folklore as an official, even state-sponsored, category. Employing Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotopes”—the semiotic construction of space-time—she examines the roles of voice, temporality, embodiment, imagery, and memory in the racializing process. The result is a deftly balanced study that marries racial studies, performance studies, anthropology, and semiotics to explore the nature of race as a cultural sign, one that is always in process, always shifting.
Performing America provides fresh perspectives on the development of visions of both America and "America"--that is, the actual community and the constructed concept--on a variety of theatrical stages. It explores the role of theater in the construction of American identity, highlighting the tension between the desire to categorize American identity and the realization that such categorical uniformity may neither be desirable nor possible.
The topics covered include the links between politics and the stage during the Federalist period, the appropriation of "Indian" artifacts, an exploration of early gender roles, and the metaphorical connections between the theater and western expansion. Other essays treat vaudeville's artistically colonized cultures; Chautauqua's attempt to homogenize culture and commercialize American ideals; W. E. B. Du Bois's pageant, The Star of Ethiopia, as a strategy for constructing "African-American" as "Other" in an attempt to promote a vision of black nationalism; and how theater was used to help immigrants form a new sense of community while joining the resident culture.
The collection then turns to questions of how various ethnic minorities through their recent theatrical work have struggled to argue their identities, especially in relation to the dominant white culture. Two final essays offer critiques of contrasting aspects of the American male.
Throughout, the collection addresses questions of marginality and community, exclusion and inclusion, colonialism and imperialism, heterogeneity and homogeneity, conflict and negotiation, repression and opportunity, failure and success, and, above all, the relationship of American stages at large. It will appeal to readers of a wide range of disciplines including history, American culture, gender studies, and theater studies.
Jeffrey D. Mason is Professor of Theatre, California State University, Bakersfield. J. Ellen Gainor is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and Women's Studies, Cornell University.
A field-shaping anthology by top cultural critics and practitioners representing a wide range of disciplines and art forms, Performing Brazil is the first book to bring together studies of the many and varied manifestations of Brazilian performance in and beyond their country of origin. Arguing that diverse forms of performance are best understood when presented in tandem, it offers new takes on better-known forms, such as carnival and capoeira, as well as those studied less often, including gender acts, curatorial practice, political protest, and the performance of Brazil in the United States.
The contributors to the volume are Maria José Somerlate Barbosa, Eric A. Galm, Annie McNeill Gibson, Ana Paula Höfling, Benjamin Legg, Bryan McCann, Simone Osthoff, Fernando de Sousa Rocha, Cristina F. Rosa, Alessandra Santos, and Lidia Santos.
Performing Flight sheds new light on moments in the history of U.S. aviation and spaceflight in the US through the lens of performance studies, from pioneering aviator Bessie Coleman to the future of private space tourism. Performance has consistently shaped public perception of the enterprise of flight and has guaranteed its success as a mode of entertainment, travel, research, and warfare. Scott Magelssen’s book reveals the fundamental connections between performance and human aviation and space travel over the past 100 years, beginning with the early professional aerial entertainers known as barnstormers (named after itinerant 19th century theater troupes) to the performative history of the Enola Gay and its pilot Paul Tibbets, who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, thus ushering in the atomic age. The book also explores the phenomenon of “the pilot voice;” the creation of the American Astronaut, on whose performative success the Cold War, the Space Race, and funding of the Space Program all depended; and the emerging industry of space tourism, which through performative strategies works to cement its importance as both manifest destiny and an escape route from a failed planet. The final chapters address the four hijacked flights of 9/11/2001 and how they have been represented in discourse and memorials. In each case, the book effectively and imaginatively demonstrates the ways in which performance and flight have been inextricably linked.
When it first appeared in the early 1970s, glam rock not only caused a stir among audiences and performers, it also stood counterculture and psychedelic rock on their heads. Glam rock was outrageous and overtly theatrical, and its unforgettable characters-adorned with flamboyant costumes and heavy makeup and accompanied by elaborately constructed sets-were personified by performers such as Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, and Suzi Quatro. A sea change in rock performance had occurred.
Yet glam was as much about substance as style, and Performing Glam Rock delves into the many ways glam paved the way for new explorations of identity in terms of gender, sexuality, and performance. Philip Auslander positions glam historically and examines it as a set of performance strategies, exploring the ways in which glam rock-while celebrating the showmanship of 1950s rock and roll-began to undermine rock's adherence to the ideology of authenticity in the late 1960s.
In this important study of a too-often-overlooked phenomenon, Auslander takes a fresh look at the genius of the glam movement and introduces glam to a new generation of performance enthusiasts and scholars alike.
Philip Auslander is Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and author of numerous books, including Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture and Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance. He is editor of the major reference work Performance: Critical Concepts and coeditor, with Carrie Sandahl, of Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance.
In his examination of the ways in which theatre participates in the ongoing representations of and debates about the past, Freddie Rokem concentrates on the ways in which theatre after World War II has presented different aspects of the French Revolution and the Holocaust, showing us that by “performing history” actors bring the historical past and the theatrical present together.
In Performing Identities on the Restoration Stage, Cynthia Lowenthal explores identity—especially masculinity and femininity, English and “foreign,” middle-class and aristocratic—as it is enacted, idealized, deployed, and redefined on the late-seventeenth-century British stage. Particular emphasis is placed on the ways the theatre contributed to new and often shifting early modern definitions of the boundaries of nation, status, and gender.
The first portion of the book focuses on the playwrights’ presentations of idealized men and the comic ridicule of male bodies and behaviors that fall short of the ideal. Of special interest are those moments when playwrights use stereotypes of national character, particularly the Spaniards and Turks, as examples of the worst in male behavior, judgments that are always inflected with elements of class or status inconsistency.
The second portion of Lowenthal’s discussion focuses on playwrights’ attempts to redefine the idealized woman. Lowenthal investigates the ways that an extratheatrical discourse surrounding the actresses, one that essentialized them as sexual bodies demanding scrutiny and requiring containment, also serves to secure for them an equally essential aristocratic status. Anchored by Manley’s Royal Mischief, Lowenthal’s reading reveals that even a woman playwright’s attempts to represent female subjectivity or interiority at odds with the surfaces of the body are doomed to return to those same surfaces.
By focusing on a new, early modern lability of identity and by reading less canonical women playwrights, such as Manley and Pix, alongside established male playwrights such as Dryden and Wycherley, Performing Identities on the Restoration Stage yields both a more accurate and a more compelling picture of the cultural dynamics at work on the early modern stage.
In Performing Loss: Rebuilding Community through Theater and Writing, author Jodi Kanter explores opportunities for creativity and growth within our collective responses to grief. Performing Loss provides teachers, students, and others interested in performance with strategies for reading, writing, and performing loss as communities— in the classroom, the theater, and the wider public sphere.
From an adaptation of Jose Saramago’ s novel Blindness to a reading of Suzan-Lori Parks’ s The America Play, from Kanter’ s own experience creating theater with terminally ill patients and federal prisoners to a visual artist’ s response to September 11th, Kanter shows in practical, replicable detail how performing loss with community members can transform experiences of isolation and paralysis into experiences of solidarity and action.
Drawing on academic work in performance, cultural studies, literature, sociology, and anthropology, Kanter considers a range of responses to grief in historical context and goes on to imagine newer, more collaborative, and more civically engaged responses. Performing Loss describes Kanter’ s pedagogical and artistic processes in lively and vivid detail, enabling the reader to use her projects as models or to adapt the techniques to new communities, venues, and purposes. Kanter demonstrates through each example the ways in which writing and performing can create new possibilities for mourning and living together.
Performing Queer Latinidad highlights the critical role that performance played in the development of Latina/o queer public culture in the United States during the 1990s and early 2000s, a period when the size and influence of the Latina/o population was increasing alongside a growing scrutiny of the public spaces where latinidad could circulate. Performances---from concert dance and street protest to the choreographic strategies deployed by dancers at nightclubs---served as critical meeting points and practices through which LGBT and other nonnormative sex practitioners of Latin American descent (individuals with greatly differing cultures, histories of migration or annexation to the United States, and contemporary living conditions) encountered each other and forged social, cultural, and political bonds. At a time when latinidad ascended to the national public sphere in mainstream commercial and political venues and Latina/o public space was increasingly threatened by the redevelopment of urban centers and a revived anti-immigrant campaign, queer Latinas/os in places such as the Bronx, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, and Rochester, NY, returned to performance to claim spaces and ways of being that allowed their queerness and latinidad to coexist. These social events of performance and their attendant aesthetic communication strategies served as critical sites and tactics for creating and sustaining queer latinidad.
In 1971, Canada became the first country to adopt an official policy of multiculturalism. Performing the Intercultural City explores how Toronto—a representative global city in this multicultural country—stages diversity through its many intercultural theater companies and troupes. The book begins with a theoretical introduction to theatrical interculturalism. Subsequent chapters outline the historical and political context within which intercultural performance takes place; examine the ways in which Indigenous, Filipino, and Afro-Caribbean Canadian theater has developed play structures based on culturally specific forms of expression; and explore the ways that intercultural companies have used intermediality, modernist form, and intercultural discourse to mediate across cultures. Performing the Intercultural City will appeal to scholars, artists, and the theater-going public, including those in theater and performance studies, urban studies, critical multiculturalism studies, diaspora studies, critical cosmopolitanism studies, critical race theory, and cultural studies.
The American Progressive Era, which spanned from the 1880s to the 1920s, is generally regarded as a dynamic period of political reform and social activism. In Performing the Progressive Era, editors Max Shulman and Chris Westgate bring together top scholars in nineteenth- and twentieth-century theatre studies to examine the burst of diverse performance venues and styles of the time, revealing how they shaped national narratives surrounding immigration and urban life. Contributors analyze performances in urban centers (New York, Chicago, Cleveland) in comedy shows, melodramas, Broadway shows, operas, and others. They pay special attention to performances by and for those outside mainstream society: immigrants, the working-class, and bohemians, to name a few. Showcasing both lesser-known and famous productions, the essayists argue that the explosion of performance helped bring the Progressive Era into being, and defined its legacy in terms of gender, ethnicity, immigration, and even medical ethics.
Since the moment after the fall of the Berlin Wall, important German theater artists have created plays and productions about unification. Some have challenged how German history is written, while others opposed the very act of storytelling. Performing Unification examines how directors, playwrights, and theater groups including Heiner Müller, Frank Castorf, and Rimini Protokoll have represented and misrepresented the past, confronting their nation’s history and collective identity. Matt Cornish surveys German-language history plays from the Baroque period through the documentary theater movement of the 1960s to show how German identity has always been contested, then turns to performances of unification after 1989. Cornish argues that theater, in its structures and its live gestures, on pages, stages, and streets, helps us to understand the past and its effect on us, our relationships with others in our communities, and our futures. Engaging with theater theory from Aristotle through Bertolt Brecht and Hans-Thies Lehmann’s “postdramatic” theater, and with theories of history from Hegel to Walter Benjamin and Hayden White, Performing Unification demonstrates that historiography and dramaturgy are intertwined.
In her landmark study Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre, Jill Dolan departed from historical writings on utopia, which suggest that social reorganization and the redistribution of wealth are utopian efforts, to argue instead that utopia occurs in fragmentary “utopian moments,” often found embedded within performance. While Dolan focused on the utopian performative within a theatrical context, this volume, edited by Rachel Bowditch and Pegge Vissicaro, expands her theories to encompass performance in public life—from diasporic hip-hop battles, Chilean military parades, commemorative processions, Blackfoot powwows, and post-Katrina Mardi Gras to the Philadelphia Mummers Parade, Festas Juninas in Brazil, the Renaissance Fairs in Arizona, and neoburlesque competitions.
How do these performances rehearse and enact visions of a utopic world? What can the lens of utopia and dystopia illuminate about the potential of performing bodies to transform communities, identities, values, and beliefs across time? Performing Utopia not only answers these questions, but offers a diverse collection of case studies focusing on utopias, dystopias, and heterotopias enacted through the performing body.
What does it mean to perform whiteness in the postcolonial era? To answer this question—crucial for understanding the changing meanings of race in the twenty-first century—Megan Lewis examines the ways that members of South Africa’s Afrikaner minority have performed themselves into, around, and out of power from the colonial period to the postcolony. The nation’s first European settlers and in the twentieth century the architects of apartheid, since 1994 Afrikaners have been citizens of a multicultural, multilingual democracy. How have they enacted their whiteness in the past, and how do they do so now when their privilege has been deflated?
Performing Whitely examines the multiple speech acts, political acts, and theatrical acts of the Afrikaner volk or nation in theatrical and public life, including pageants, museum sites, film, and popular music as well as theatrical productions. Lewis explores the diverse ways in which Afrikaners perform whitely, and the tactics they use, including nostalgia, melodrama, queering, abjection, and kitsch. She first investigates the way that apartheid’s architects leveraged whiteness in support of their nation-building efforts in the early twentieth century. In addition to re-enacting national pilgrimages of colonial-era migrations and building massive monuments at home, Afrikaner nationalists took their show to the United States, staging critical events of the Boer War at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. A case study of the South African experience, Performing Whitely also offers parables for global whitenesses in the postcolonial era.
A new exploration of how digital media assert the relevance of dance in a wired world
How has the Internet changed dance? Dance performances can now be seen anywhere, can be looped endlessly at user whim, and can integrate crowds in unprecedented ways. Dance practices are evolving to explore these new possibilities. In Perpetual Motion, Harmony Bench argues that dance is a vital part of civil society and a means for building participation and community. She looks at how, after 9/11, it became a crucial way of recuperating the common character of public spaces. She explores how crowdsourcing dance contributes to the project of performing a common world, as well as the social relationships forged when we look at dance as a gift in the era of globalization. Throughout, she asks how dance brings people together in digital spaces and what dance’s digital travels might mean for how we experience and express community.
From original research on dance today to political economies of digital media to the philosophy of dance, Perpetual Motion provides an ambitious, invigorating look at a commonly shared practice.
This extensively illustrated book examines Greenaway's vision from a number of perspectives and traces a shift of sensibility in his work. David Pascoe examines not only Greenaway's films, but also his paintings, exhibitions and installations.
"[Pascoe] tirelessly explicates the numerology and mytho-mania that are the film-maker's organising principles"—The Guardian
"A supremely intelligent, utterly tuned-in, definitive exploration of the ultimate British auteur's back catalogue, helpfully illustrated at every opportunity. . . illuminating"—Empire
Allen S. Weiss Duke University Press, 1995 Library of Congress ML3877.W45 1995 | Dewey Decimal 791.44
The alienation of the self, the annihilation of the body, the fracturing, dispersal, and reconstruction of the disembodied voice: the themes of modernism, even of modern consciousness, occur as a matter of course in the phantasmic realm of radio. In this original work of cultural criticism, Allen S. Weiss explores the meaning of radio to the modern imagination. Weaving together cultural and technological history, aesthetic analysis, and epistemological reflection, his investigation reveals how radiophony transforms expression and, in doing so, calls into question assumptions about language and being, body and voice. Phantasmic Radio presents a new perspective on the avant-garde radio experiments of Antonin Artaud and John Cage, and brings to light fascinating, lesser-known work by, among others, Valère Novarina, Gregory Whitehead, and Christof Migone. Weiss shows how Artaud’s "body without organs" establishes the closure of the flesh after the death of God; how Cage’s "imaginary landscapes" proffer the indissociability of techne and psyche; how Novarina reinvents the body through the word in his "theater of the ears." Going beyond the art historical context of these experiments, Weiss describes how, with their emphasis on montage and networks of transmission, they marked out the coordinates of modernism and prefigured what we now recognize as the postmodern.
Even people familiar with cinema believe there is no such thing as a Soviet Holocaust film. The Phantom Holocaust tells a different story. The Soviets were actually among the first to portray these events on screens. In 1938, several films exposed Nazi anti-Semitism, and a 1945 movie depicted the mass execution of Jews in Babi Yar. Other significant pictures followed in the 1960s. But the more directly filmmakers engaged with the Holocaust, the more likely their work was to be banned by state censors. Some films were never made while others came out in such limited release that the Holocaust remained a phantom on Soviet screens.
Focusing on work by both celebrated and unknown Soviet directors and screenwriters, Olga Gershenson has written the first book about all Soviet narrative films dealing with the Holocaust from 1938 to 1991. In addition to studying the completed films, Gershenson analyzes the projects that were banned at various stages of production.
The book draws on archival research and in-depth interviews to tell the sometimes tragic and sometimes triumphant stories of filmmakers who found authentic ways to represent the Holocaust in the face of official silencing. By uncovering little known works, Gershenson makes a significant contribution to the international Holocaust filmography.
Defying industry logic and gender expectations, women started flocking to see horror films in the early 1940s. The departure of the young male audience and the surprise success of the film Cat People convinced studios that there was an untapped female audience for horror movies, and they adjusted their production and marketing strategies accordingly.
Phantom Ladies reveals the untold story of how the Hollywood horror film changed dramatically in the early 1940s, including both female heroines and female monsters while incorporating elements of “women’s genres” like the gothic mystery. Drawing from a wealth of newly unearthed archival material, from production records to audience surveys, Tim Snelson challenges long-held assumptions about gender and horror film viewership.
Examining a wide range of classic horror movies, Snelson offers us a new appreciation of how dynamic this genre could be, as it underwent seismic shifts in a matter of months. Phantom Ladies, therefore, not only includes horror films made in the early 1940s, but also those produced immediately after the war ended, films in which the female monster was replaced by neurotic, psychotic, or hysterical women who could be cured and domesticated. Phantom Ladies is a spine-tingling, eye-opening read about gender and horror, and the complex relationship between industry and audiences in the classical Hollywood era.
The Phenomenology of Dance
Maxine Sheets-Johnstone Temple University Press, 2015 Library of Congress GV1595.S5 2015 | Dewey Decimal 793.301
When The Phenomenology of Dance was first published in 1966, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone asked: “When we look at a dance, what do we see?” Her questions, about the nature of our experience of dance and the nature of dance as a formed and performed art, are still provocative and acutely significant today. Sheets-Johnstone considers dance as an aesthetic mode of expression, and integrates theories of dance into philosophical discussions of the nature of movement.
Back in print after nearly 20 years, The Phenomenology of Dance provides an informed approach to teaching dance and to dance education, appreciation, criticism, and choreography. In addition to the foreword by Merce Cunningham from the original edition, and the preface from the second edition, this fiftieth anniversary edition includes an in-depth introduction that critically and constructively addresses present-day scholarship on movement and dance.
Annette Insdorf University of Illinois Press, 2012 Library of Congress PN1998.3.K3828I58 2012 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
American director Philip Kaufman is hard to pin down: a visual stylist who is truly literate, a San Franciscan who often makes European films, he is an accessible storyteller with a sophisticated touch. Celebrated for his vigorous, sexy, and reflective cinema, Kaufman is best known for his masterpiece The Unbearable Lightness of Being and the astronaut saga The Right Stuff. His latest film, Hemingway & Gellhorn(premiering May 2012 on HBO), stars Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen.
In this study, Annette Insdorf argues that the stylistic and philosophical richness of Kaufman's cinema makes him a versatile auteur. She demonstrates Kaufman's skill at adaptation, how he finds the precise cinematic device for a story drawn from seemingly unadaptable sources, and how his eye translates the authorial voice from books that serve as inspiration for his films. Closely analyzing his movies to date (including Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Wanderers, and Quills), Insdorf links them by exploring the recurring and resonant themes of sensuality, artistic creation, codes of honor, and freedom from manipulation. While there is no overarching label or bold signature that can be applied to his oeuvre, she illustrates the consistency of themes, techniques, images, and concerns that permeates all of Kaufman's works.
On the surface, The Philosophical Hitchcock: Vertigo and the Anxieties of Unknowingness, is a close reading of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece Vertigo. This, however, is a book by Robert B. Pippin, one of our most penetrating and creative philosophers, and so it is also much more. Even as he provides detailed readings of each scene in the film, and its story of obsession and fantasy, Pippin reflects more broadly on the modern world depicted in Hitchcock’s films. Hitchcock’s characters, Pippin shows us, repeatedly face problems and dangers rooted in our general failure to understand others—or even ourselves—very well, or to make effective use of what little we do understand. Vertigo, with its impersonations, deceptions, and fantasies, embodies a general, common struggle for mutual understanding in the late modern social world of ever more complex dependencies. By treating this problem through a filmed fictional narrative, rather than discursively, Pippin argues, Hitchcock is able to help us see the systematic and deep mutual misunderstanding and self-deceit that we are subject to when we try to establish the knowledge necessary for love, trust, and commitment, and what it might be to live in such a state of unknowingness.
A bold, brilliant exploration of one of the most admired works of cinema, The Philosophical Hitchcock will lead philosophers and cinephiles alike to a new appreciation of Vertigo and its meanings.
All performers know that "tuning up the body" is necessary to maximize performance. A person's mannerisms, habitual patterns of movement, and posture can block the capacity for expression, often without the performer even noticing. Physical Expression and the Performing Artist offers an organized approach to movement for actors, conductors, dancers, singers, musicians---for performers of any kind.
Capturing the energy of the popular workshops presented by master movement teacher Jerald Schwiebert, the book draws from the wisdom of hatha yoga, tai chi, and Pilates as well as from the teachings of Stanislavski, Structural Integration (Rolfing), Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Laban to provide a fresh and accessible approach to movement. More than 300 anatomical drawings help readers pinpoint specific muscles, joints, and actions as they explore the capacity of the performer's physical instrument, the components of dynamic movement, and the anatomy of expression. The book's many detailed exercises bring awareness of habitual and inefficient movement and introduce the steps necessary for more efficient movement patterns in all parts of the body. This book will prove indispensable in movement courses and as a resource guide for professionals seeking to take their performances to the next level.
Moving pictures existed for over a decade before anything resembling a star system appeared. Then, within the space of a very few years, American cinema went from being completely devoid of stars to being completely dependent on them. Picture Personalities is an invaluable account of this crucial development in cinema and modern culture.
Conventional wisdom attributes the rise of the star system to the charisma of individual performers or to the public's desire to idolize an appealing star. In Picture Personalities, Richard deCordova argues that the fledgling movie industry and the press conspired to develop the star system, along with a system of discourse to support it.
How actors became stars and how they began to assume public identities distinct from their fictional roles was closely tied to the journalistic discourse of the period, produced by the trade press, newspapers, general periodicals, fan magazines, publicity stills, posters, and other material. DeCordova shows how the studios worked to fabricate moral images of the stars' marriages and personal lives and how a series of star scandals in the 1920s challenged those images and brought about changes in the conventions of representing stars. A new foreword by Corey K. Creekmur enhances this first paperback edition.
In Picturing American Modernity, Kristen Whissel investigates the relationship between early American cinema and the experience of technological modernity. She demonstrates how between the late 1890s and the eve of the First World War moving pictures helped the U.S. public understand the possibilities and perils of new forms of “traffic” produced by industrialization and urbanization. As more efficient ways to move people, goods, and information transformed work and leisure at home and contributed to the expansion of the U.S. empire abroad, silent films presented compelling visual representations of the spaces, bodies, machines, and forms of mobility that increasingly defined modern life in the United States and its new territories.
Whissel shows that by portraying key events, achievements, and anxieties, the cinema invited American audiences to participate in the rapidly changing world around them. Moving pictures provided astonishing visual dispatches from military camps prior to the outbreak of fighting in the Spanish-American War. They allowed audiences to delight in images of the Pan-American Exposition, and also to mourn the assassination of President McKinley there. One early film genre, the reenactment, presented spectators with renditions of bloody battles fought overseas during the Philippine-American War. Early features offered sensational dramatizations of the scandalous “white slave trade,” which was often linked to immigration and new forms of urban work and leisure. By bringing these frequently distant events and anxieties “near” to audiences in cities and towns across the country, the cinema helped construct an American national identity for the machine age.
Here, Jay Ruby—a founder of visual anthropology—distills his thirty-year exploration of the relationship of film and anthropology. Spurred by a conviction that the ideal of an anthropological cinema has not even remotely begun to be realized, Ruby argues that ethnographic filmmakers should generate a set of critical standards analogous to those for written ethnographies. Cinematic artistry and the desire to entertain, he argues, can eclipse the original intention, which is to provide an anthropological representation of the subjects.
The book begins with analyses of key filmmakers (Robert Flaherty, Robert Garner, and Tim Asch) who have striven to generate profound statements about human behavior on film. Ruby then discusses the idea of research film, Eric Michaels and indigenous media, the ethics of representation, the nature of ethnography, anthropological knowledge, and film and lays the groundwork for a critical approach to the field that borrows selectively from film, communication, media, and cultural studies. Witty and original, yet intensely theoretical, this collection is a major contribution to the field of visual anthropology.
Women held more positions of power in the silent film era than at any other time in American motion picture history. Marion Leonard broke from acting to cofound a feature film company. Gene Gauntier, the face of Kalem Films, also wrote the first script of Ben-Hur. Helen Holmes choreographed her own breathtaking on-camera stunt work. Yet they and the other pioneering filmmaking women vanished from memory. Using individual careers as a point of departure, Jane M. Gaines charts how women first fell out of the limelight and then out of the film history itself. A more perplexing event cemented their obscurity: the failure of 1970s feminist historiography to rediscover them. Gaines examines how it happened against a backdrop of feminist theory and her own meditation on the limits that historiography imposes on scholars. Pondering how silent era women have become absent in the abstract while present in reality, Gaines sees a need for a theory of these artists' pasts that relates their aspirations to those of contemporary women. A bold journey through history and memory, Pink-Slipped pursues the still-elusive fate of the influential women in the early years of film.
Pittsburgh has a rich and diverse theatrical tradition, from early frontier performances by officers stationed at Fort Pitt through experimental theater at the end of the twentieth century. Pittsburgh in Stages offers the first comprehensive history of theater in Pittsburgh, placing it within the context of cultural development in the city and the history of theater nationally.
By the time the first permanent theater was built in 1812, Pittsburgh had already established itself as a serious patron of the theatrical arts. The city soon hosted New York and London-based traveling companies, and gained a national reputation as a proving ground for touring productions. By the early twentieth century, numerous theaters hosted 'popular-priced' productions of vaudeville and burlesque, and theater was brought to the masses. Soon after, Pittsburgh witnessed the emergence of myriad community-based theater groups and the formation of the Federation of Non-Commercial Theatres and the New Theater League, guilds designed to share resources among community producers. The rise of local theater was also instrumental to the growth of African American theatrical groups. Though victims of segregation, their art flourished, and was only later recognized and blended into Pittsburgh's theatrical melting pot.
Pittsburgh in Stages relates the significant influence and interpretation of urban socioeconomic trends in the theatrical arts and the role of the theater as an agent of social change. Dividing Pittsburgh's theatrical history into distinct eras, Lynne Conner details the defining movements of each and analyzes how public tastes evolved over time. She offers a fascinating study of regional theatrical development and underscores the substantial contribution of regional theater in the history of American theatrical arts.
From its Broadway debut to the Oscar-winning film to countless amateur productions, West Side Story is nothing less than an American touchstone—an updating of Shakespeare vividly realized in a rapidly changing postwar New York.
That vision of postwar New York is at the heart of Julia L. Foulkes’s A Place for Us. A lifelong fan of the show, Foulkes became interested in its history when she made an unexpected discovery: scenes for the iconic film version were shot on the demolition site destined to become part of the Lincoln Center redevelopment area—a crowning jewel of postwar urban renewal. Foulkes interweaves the story of the creation of the musical and film with the remaking of the Upper West Side and the larger tale of New York’s postwar aspirations. Making unprecedented use of director and choreographer Jerome Robbins’s revelatory papers, she shows the crucial role played by the political commitments of Robbins and his fellow gay, Jewish collaborators, Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents. Their determination to evoke life in New York as it was actually lived helped give West Side Story its unshakable sense of place even as it put forward a vision of a new, vigorous, determinedly multicultural American city.
Beautifully written and full of surprises for even the most dedicated West Side Story fan, A Place for Us is a revelatory new exploration of an American classic.
In this richly textured multidisciplinary work, Steven Mullaney examines the cultural situation of popular drama in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Relying upon a dynamic model of cultural production, Mullaney defines an original and historically grounded perspective on the emergence of popular theater and illustrates the critical, revisionary role it played in the symbolic economy of Renaissance England.
Combining literary, historical, and broadly conceived cultural analysis, he investigates, among other topics, the period's exhaustive "rehearsal" of other cultures and its discomfiting apprehensions of the self; the politics of vanished forums for ideological production such as the wonder-cabinet and the leprosarium; the cultural poetics of royal entries; and the incontinent, uncanny language of treason. As Mullaney demonstrates, Shakespearean drama relied upon and embodied the marginal license of the popular stage and, as a result, provides us with powerful readings of the shifting bases of power, license, and theatricality in Elizabethan and Jacobean England.
"A major study, not merely of selected Shakespearean plays but of the very conditions of the possibility of Renaissance drama." --Louis Montrose, University of California, San Diego
"Mullaney's rich and engaged reading of the place of Shakespeare's stage represents the texture of early modern life and its cultural productions in the vivid tradition of annales history and brilliantly exemplifies his theoretical call for a poetics of culture." -- Shakespeare Quarterly
"Mullaney marshals an impressive range of cultural representations which, taken together, will undoubtedly force a reconsideration of the semiotics of the Elizabethan stage." --Times Higher Education Supplement
". . . something of a dramatic feat in cultural studies: literary critic Mullaney calls in a cast ranging from Clifford Geertz and Pierre Bourdieu to Raymond Williams, Mary Douglas, and Michel Foucault." --Contemporary Sociology
Steven Mullaney is Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan.
Planet Auschwitz explores the diverse ways in which the Holocaust influences and shapes science fiction and horror film and television by focusing on notable contributions from the last fifty years. The supernatural and extraterrestrial are rich and complex spaces with which to examine important Holocaust themes - trauma, guilt, grief, ideological fervor and perversion, industrialized killing, and the dangerous afterlife of Nazism after World War II. Planet Auschwitz explores why the Holocaust continues to set the standard for horror in the modern era and asks if the Holocaust is imaginable here on Earth, at least by those who perpetrated it, why not in a galaxy far, far away? The pervasive use of Holocaust imagery and plotlines in horror and science fiction reflects both our preoccupation with its enduring trauma and our persistent need to “work through” its many legacies.
In Planet Hong Kong David Bordwell trains virtually every critical weapon in the cinema studies arsenal on a film industry that has, ironically, been marginalized by its own popular success. Film scholars will be grateful for its theoretical breadth and acuity; film fans will be happy with the graceful way Bordwell weaves into his chapters an extraordinary amount of telling anecdote; and filmmakers will be thrilled with his wonderfully revealing frame-by-frame analyses of Hong Kong cinema's most exemplary moments.
Table of Contents:
1. All Too Extravagant, Too Gratuitously Wild Hong Kong and/as/or Hollywood 2. Local Heroes Two Dragons: Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan 3. The Chinese Connections 4. Once upon a Time in the West Enough to Make Strong Men Weep: John Woo 5. Made in Hong Kong A Chinese Feast: Tsui Hark 6. Formula, Form, and Norm Whatever You Want: Wong Jing 7. Plots, Slack and Stretched 8. Motion Emotion: The Art of the Action Movie Three Martial Masters: Zhang Che, Lau Kar-Leung, King Hu 9. Avant-Pop Cinema Romance On Your Menu: Chungking Express
Further Reading Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: One of our most inventive film scholars, Bordwell takes on one of the most over-the-top cinemas. For 20 years, the Hong Kong film industry was one of the world's most commercially successful and prolific. Recently Western critics have begun to recognize it as possessing a level of creativity almost equal to its financial success--despite its deep roots in genre traditions aimed at a mass audience, Bordwell examines how these elements interact in Hong Kong films to produce an art that is at the same time both popular and significant. He outlines the history, economics, and production techniques of the Hong Kong studios, particularly focussing on the genres that are most closely associated with their success (the kung-fu film, the swordplay epic, the gangster film, and the urban comedy)...By rooting his analyses in detailed readings of the film texts, he is able to convey--as much as mere words can--how this audaciously visceral cinema works...Bordwell is not well known outside academic film circles, but he should be; perhaps this volume will give him the exposure he deserves.
"Bordwell's volume is the most comprehensive Western work on its topic to date. Bordwell first considers how the Hong Kong industry has functioned in its local context, then examines how it captured the East Asian market and achieved cult status in the West...[Bordwell] demonstrates that academic film scholarship can itself be fun, spirited, and of interest to a broad audience."
--Neal Baker, Library Journal
"The wildly popular Hong Kong cinema at last inspires an informed analysis. David Bordwell is the most valuable and readable film scholar in America. He makes a persuasive case for Hong Kong movies as great entertainment and sometimes great art."
--Roger Ebert, Pulitzer-prize winning film critic, Chicago Sun-Times
"Planet Hong Kong offers an exuberant appreciation of the life and times of Hong Kong's highly commercial--and rapidly-cut--cinema."
--Alissa Quart, Lingua Franca
"David Bordwell unpacks the shameless delights of Hong Kong cinema with one eye on the vitality of pop culture and the other on surprises and discoveries which redraw the map of film form and grammar. Here, the road of excess really does lead to the palace of wisdom."
--Tony Rayns, film critic, Sight and Sound
"In Planet Hong Kong David Bordwell trains virtually every critical weapon in the cinema studies arsenal on a film industry that has, ironically, been marginalized by its own popular success. Film scholars will be grateful for its theoretical breadth and acuity; film fans will be happy with the graceful way Bordwell weaves into his chapters an extraordinary amount of telling anecdote; and filmmakers will be thrilled with his wonderfully revealing frame-by-frame analyses of Hong Kong cinema's most exemplary moments."
--James Schamus, producer and writer, The Ice Storm, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Ride with the Devil and the forthcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
"This is the first serious attempt by a distinguished American film academic in dissecting the popular aesthetics and entertainment precepts of the Hong Kong film industry. Planet Hong Kong will certainly be an important work in the growing literature on Hong Kong cinema."
--Stephen Teo, author of Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions
"Through rigorous and colorful analysis, Bordwell situates Hong Kong within the mainstream of world film history and, more specifically, as a parallel to a tradition most readers will already be familiar with: Hollywood. Planet Hong Kong will be extremely precious for film students and film scholars alike."
Reviews of this book: The wildly popular Hong Kong cinema at last inspires an informed analysis. David Bordwell is the most valuable and readable film scholar in America. He makes a persuasive case for Hong Kong movies as great entertainment and sometimes great art. --Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize-winning flint critic, Chicago Sun-Times
Reviews of this book: A must-read for film students as well as Hong Kong movie fans. And for Hong Kong's moviegoers quick to dismiss mass-market productions as too commercial, uninspired or just plain lowbrow, Planet Hong Kong offers inspiration for a rethink on Hong Kong's homegrown film industry. --Tim Youngs, dotlove.com
Reviews of this book: When new acolytes of Hong Kong cinema sit down to describe it, normally dry writers get juiced on the energy of the films...They want to convey in words the jolt of discovery, the ecstasy of cultdom...Even a relatively staid critic such as structuralist guru David Bordwell seems to be typing in his shorts, with a beer on his desk, in Planet Hong Kong...Combining the study of film form and movie economics, analysis and field work, [he] cogently evokes what separates Hong Kong's buccaneer directors from Hollywood's current storytellers. --Richard Corliss, Time Magazine
Reviews of this book: Rather than simply labeling Hong Kong action movies 'over-the-top,' [Bordwell] offers a close reading of the way they tend to use 'technical tricks'...calling attention to the use of the zoom lens and sound editing as rhythmic devices, rather than simple means of imparting information or telling a story...For all his emphasis on visual style, Bordwell also does justice to the important role of Hong Kong's stars. --Steve Erickson, Senses of Cinema
Reviews of this book: David Bordwell is a scholar who writes as a fan. He is in love with the crazy rip-roaring, vulgar confusion that is Hong Kong cinema, but he also knows how and why it works and explains it in words the layman can understand. --The Economist
Reviews of this book: [This book] is among the best of the recent batch of books on Hong Kong cinema. Much of this ground has been covered before, but Bordwell applies his formalist approach to a broad range of films while never losing sight of the crazy energy that makes them so likeable in the first place. --Film Comment
Reviews of this book: The most sober and thorough book yet on the topic. --Paul F. Duke, Variety
Reviews of this book: A valuable book...vividly written and set out in short, punchy chapters with handsome and well-used film stills...Never inclined to interpret films through a social, political or psychological lens, Bordwell prefers to get at the industry, the systems, craft and style that sustain Hong Kong filmmakers. In a sense, he is after the everydayness of an amazingly vital and driven film colony...What fuels Planet Hong Kong and makes it special is Bordwell's critical belief that any self-sustaining commercial cinema is a particular art in itself, and one astonishingly rare in the history of the medium. A film book this good is likewise almost as rare. --Bart Testa, Globe & Mail
Reviews of this book: Bordwell has written the first informed analysis of one of the greatest success stories in cinema history: Hong Kong, dominant force in Asian film making and an enormous influence on movies around the world...Bordwell loves Hong Kong movies and writes about them with enthusiasm and flair...[He] never loses sight of the fact that Hong Kong's movies, like Hollywood's, are an immensely successful transcultural, popular-culture art form--almost a contradiction in terms--epitomizing the mystery of the movies. --R. D. Sears, Choice
Reviews of this book: Beijing Opera meets hyper-Eisenstein in this sublime orchestration of rapid (constructive) editing, percussive rhythms and patterns of stasis and dynamic movement. This more than anything is Bordwell's great contribution to the study of Hong Kong cinema, and the reason why this is essential reading. --Poshek Fu and David Desser, Scope
Reviews of this book: Planet Hong Kong is...like a conversation with a good friend. Bordwell's voice is personable and intelligent, and he makes history and film more palatable than The Cinema of Hong Kong does for the novice. Bordwell focuses on the art of entertainment...In doing so, the effects are understood beyond language and cultural barriers. --Okden Johnny, Pacific Reader
Hardworking actor, playwright, and stage manager Harry Watkins (1825–94) was also a prolific diarist. For fifteen years Watkins regularly recorded the plays he saw, the roles he performed, the books he read, and his impressions of current events. Performing across the U.S., Watkins collaborated with preeminent performers and producers, recording his successes and failures as well as his encounters with celebrities such as P. T. Barnum, Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin Forrest, Anna Cora Mowatt, and Lucy Stone. His is the only known diary of substantial length and scope written by a U.S. actor before the Civil War—making Watkins, essentially, the antebellum equivalent of Samuel Pepys. Theater historians Amy E. Hughes and Naomi J. Stubbs have selected, edited, and annotated excerpts from the diary in an edition that offers a vivid glimpse of how ordinary people like Watkins lived, loved, struggled, and triumphed during one of the most tumultuous periods in U.S. history. The selections in A Player and a Gentleman are drawn from a more expansive digital archive of the complete diary. The book, like its digital counterpart, will richly enhance our knowledge of antebellum theater culture and daily life in the U.S. during this period.
In recent decades, what could be considered a gamification of the world has occurred, as the ties between games and activism, games and war, and games and the city grow ever stronger. In this book, Anne-Marie Schleiner explores a concept she calls 'ludic mutation', a transformative process in which the player, who is expected to engage in the preprogramed interactions of the game and accept its imposed subjective constraints, seizes back some of the power otherwise lost to the game itself. Crucially, this power grab is also relevant beyond the game because players then see the external world as material to be reconfigured, an approach with important ramifications for everything from social activism to contemporary warfare.
Playing Doctor is an engaging and highly perceptive history of the medical TV series from its inception to the present day. Turow offers an inside look at the creation of iconic doctor shows as well as a detailed history of the programs, an analysis of changing public perceptions of doctors and medicine, and an insightful commentary on how medical dramas have both exploited and shaped these perceptions.
Drawing on extensive interviews with creators, directors, and producers, Playing Doctor is a classic in the field of communications studies. This expanded edition includes a new introduction placing the book in the contemporary context of the health care crisis, as well as new chapters covering the intervening twenty years of television programming. Turow uses recent research and interviews with principals in contemporary television doctor shows such as ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, and Scrubs to illuminate the extraordinary ongoing cultural influence of medical shows. Playing Doctor situates the television vision of medicine as a limitless high-tech resource against the realities underlying the health care debate, both yesterday and today.
Whether we regard it as the collected inscriptions of an earlier oral tradition or as the divinely authored source text of liturgical ritual, the Bible can be understood as a sacred performance text, a framework for an instructional theater that performs the shared moral and ethical values of a community. It’s not surprising, then, that playwrights have turned to the Bible as a source for theatrical adaptation. Biblical texts have inspired more than 100 Broadway plays and musicals, ranging from early spectacles like Ben-Hur (1899) to more familiar works such as Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. What happens when a culture’s most sacred text enters its most commercial performance venue?
Playing God focuses on eleven financially and/or critically successful productions, as well as a few notable Broadway flops that highlight the difficulties in adapting the Old and New Testaments for the stage. The book is informed by both performance studies and theater history, combining analysis of play-scripts with archival research into the actual circumstances of production and reception. Biblical plays, Henry Bial argues, balance religious and commercial considerations through a complex blend of spectacle, authenticity, sincerity, and irony. Though there is no magic formula for a successful adaptation, these four analytical lenses help explain why some biblical plays thrive while others have not.
"Scrupulously researched, critically acute, and written with care, Playing Underground will become a classic account of an era of hard-won free expression."
"At last---a book documenting the beginnings of Off-Off Broadway theater. Playing Underground is an insightful, illuminating, and honest appraisal of this important period in American theater."
-Rosalyn Drexler, author of Art Does (Not!) Exist and Occupational Hazard
"An epic movie of an epic movement, Playing Underground is a book the world has waited for without knowing it. How precisely it captures the evolution of our revolution! I am amazed by the book's scope and scale, and I bless its author especially for giving two greats, Paul Foster and H. M. Koutoukas, their proper, polar places, and for memorializing such unjustly forgotten masterpieces as Irene Fornes's Molly's Dream and Jeff Weiss's A Funny Walk Home. Stephen Bottoms's vivid evocation of the grand adventure of Off-Off Broadway has woken and broken my heart. It is difficult to believe that he was not there alongside me to breathe the caffeine-nicotine-alkaloid-steeped air."
-Robert Patrick, author of Kennedy's Children and Temple Slave
Few books address the legendary age of 1960s off-off Broadway theater. Fortunately, Stephen Bottoms fills that gap with Playing Underground---the first comprehensive history of the roots of off-off Broadway.
This is a theater whose legacy is still felt today: it was the launching pad for many leading contemporary theater artists, including Sam Shepard, Maria Irene Fornes, and others, and it was a pivotal influence on improv comedy and shows like Saturday Night Live.
Off-off Broadway groups such as the Living Theatre, La Mama, and Caffe Cino captured the spirit of nontraditional theater with their edgy, unscripted, boundary-crossing subjects. Yet, as Bottoms discovers, there is no one set of truths about off-off Broadway to uncover; the entire scene was always more a matter of competing perceptions than a singular, concrete reality.
No other author has managed to illuminate this shifting tableau as Bottoms does. Through interviews with dozens of the era's leading playwrights, performers, directors, and critics, he unearths a countercultural theater movement that was both influential and transforming-yet ephemeral and quintessentially of its moment.
Playing Underground will be a definitive work on the subject, offering a complete picture of an important but little-studied period in American theater.
Playing with Memories is the first collection of scholarly essays on the work of internationally acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin. It offers extensive perspectives on his career to date, from the early experimentation of The Dead Father (1986) to the intensely intimate revelations of My Winnipeg (2007). Featuring new and updated essays from American, Canadian, and Australian scholars, collaborators, and critics, as well as an in-depth interview with Maddin, this collection explores the aesthetics and politics behind Maddin’s work, firmly situating his films within ongoing cultural debates about postmodernism, genre, and national identity.
Plays by French and Francophone Women presents eight recent plays by contemporary French and francophone women writers. The plays vary in style and form from the satirical to the poetic, from the comedic one-woman show to the potential multi-media esoteric production, and have been written by French, Qué becois, Acadian, and Caribbean francophone writers. The editors have provided informative headnotes to introduce each play, then faithful translations rendered with an ear toward production in English. A general introduction to the volume situates each work within the broader context of contemporary French-language theater by women. The volume also includes an annotated bibliography by Cynthia Running-Johnson of thirty-one additional plays by women in French.
Featured plays and playwrights are The Scent of Sulphur by S. Corinna Bille; When Fairies Thirst by Denise Boucher; Island Memories by Ina Césaire; Warmth: A Bloodsong by Chantal Chawaf; The Goddess Lar or Centuries of Women by Andrée Chedid; The Name of Oedipus: Song of the Forbidden Body by Hélène Cixous; The Table: Womenspeak by Michèle Foucher; and The Rabble by Antonine Maillet.
Plays, Movies, and Critics
Jody McAuliffe, ed. Duke University Press, 1993 Library of Congress PN2020.P57 1993 | Dewey Decimal 792
This exceptional collection explores the mutual concerns of dramatic theater, film, and those who comment on them. Plays, Movies, and Critics opens with an original play by Don DeLillo. In the form of an interview, DeLillo's short play works as a kind of paradigm of the theatrical or cinematic event and serves as a keynote for the volume. DeLillo's interview play is accompanied in this collection by interviews with theater director Roberta Levitow, Martin Scorsese, and film/theater critic Stanley Kauffmann. Other contributions include a critical look at the current American theater scene, analyses of the place of politics in the careers of G. B. Shaw and Luigi Pirandello, a compelling reading of Chekhov's "The Seagull", a detailed inquiry into the obsessions that energize the works of Sam Shepard, provocative reinterpretations of the films Mean Streets and The Sheltering Sky, and a translation of André Bazin's important piece on theology and film.
Contributors. André Bazin, Robert Brustein, Bert Cardullo, Anthony DeCurtis, Don DeLillo, Jesse Ward Engdhal, Richard Gilman, Jim Hosney, Mame Hunt, Jonathan Kalb, Stanley Kauffmann, Jody McAuliffe, Mary Ann Frese Witt, Jacquelyn Wollman, David Wyatt
David Garrick’s accomplishments as an actor, manager, and theatrical innovator brought him great fame and fortune, and his ideas influenced not only his own age but succeeding ages as well. Yet as a playwright, a part of the elegant combination of talents that was David Garrick, he has never achieved the critical reputation he richly deserves, in main because of the unavailability of texts and the lack of proper assessment of the historic importance of his plays in the English theatre.
This first complete edition makes available to scholars and students all the plays of Garrick in well edited texts, with commentary and notes.
Contents: Macbeth. A Tragedy, 1744; Romeo and Juliet, 1748; The Fairies. An Opera, 1755; Catherine and Petruchio. A Comedy, 1756; Florizel and Perdita. A Dramatic Pastoral, 1756; The Tempest. An Opera, 1756; and King Lear. A Tragedy, 1756.
This is the first comprehensive play-by-play analysis of the drama of David Storey, one of the most acclaimed and innovative, sometimes controversial, writers in the British theatre since World War II. Grouping the plays according to theme, Hutchings demonstrates that the central focus in the drama of David Storey is the devaluation of traditional rituals in contemporary life and the disintegration of the family. A playwright attuned to the poetry in the ordinary, to the profundity, subtle eloquence, and dramatic tension in the mundane, Storey explores the ways people cope, or fail to cope, with complexity, with uncertainty, with constant, bewildering flux. He writes about groups—families (In Celebration, The Farm), rugby teams (The Changing Room), and construction crews (The Contractor). In his plays, individuals seek to overcome isolation and integrate themselves into a significant assemblage that transcends the self.
Hutchings notes that Storey frequently deals with working-class parents who cannot "understand their grown children’s anxieties, their discontentedness with life, their unstable marriages, and their inability to enjoy the benefits of the education and advantages they labored so hard for so many years to provide."
Storey understands and sympathizes with parents who have paid to educate their children out of their own spheres. He saw it happen in his own family, knew the disapproval of his father: "What else could my father think when, nearing sixty, he came home each day from the pit exhausted, shattered by fatigue, to find me—a young man ideally physically equipped to do the job which now left him totally prostrated—painting a picture of flowers, or writing a poem about a cloud. There was, and there is, no hope of reconciliation."
Hutchings supplements his thematic analysis of Storey’s plays by interweaving into his text 90 percent of a major interview with the playwright, the only such comprehensive interview in existence. Storey, who believes that readers "ought to be chary of all interviews," discusses alleged literary influences on his work, the current state of British theatre, and his reactions to critics. He also provides insight into various productions and performances in his work.
Josefina Niggli (1910–1983) was one of the most successful Mexican American writers of the early twentieth century. Born of European parents and raised in Mexico, she spent most of her adult life in the United States, and in her plays and novels she aimed to portray authentic Mexican experiences for English-speaking audiences. Niggli crossed borders, cultures, and genres, and her life and work prompt interesting questions about race, class, gender, modernity, ethnic and national identity, and the formation of literary canons.
Although Niggli is perhaps best known for her fiction and folk plays, this anthology recovers her historical dramas, most of which have been long out of print or were never published. These plays are deeply concerned with the aftermath of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, imagining its implications for Mexico, Mexican Americans, and U.S.-Mexico relations. Included are Mexican Silhouettes (1928), Singing Valley (1936), The Cry of Dolores (1936), The Fair God (1936), Soldadera (1938), This is Villa! (1939), and The Ring of General Macias (1943). These works reflect on the making of history and often portray the Revolution through the lens of women’s experiences.
Also included in this volume are an extensive critical introduction to Niggli, a chronology of her life and writings, plus letters and reviews by, to, and about Josefina Niggli. that provide illuminating context for the plays.
Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Outstanding Book, selected by the Public Library Association
“The Best of the Best of the University Presses: Books You Should Know About” presented at the 2008 American Library Association Annual Conference
The "magic" of words is something many people refer to without qualification or, often, attention. In this pathbreaking collection, John Harold Leavitt has assembled five essays that explore the places where magic and words most clearly intersect: in prophetic or inspired acts of speech and writing.
Based on rich ethnographic work in Western and non-Western cultures, the essays represent distinct approaches to the topic, from one person's account of her interactions with a possessing spirit to another's world-spanning statement on prophetic poetics. Each contributor challenges easy assumptions that poetic texts are crafted works, products of skill rather than inspiration, while prophetic speech and writing are best understood as spontaneous performance rather than formal art.
As a whole the collection aims to reorient the anthropological study of possession and oracular experiences toward an awareness of the word, and to draw the attention of literary critics to "inspired" poetry. It will also appeal to readers in performance studies and comparative religion.
Contributors are Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, James Fernandez, Paul Friedrich, John Leavitt, Dennis Tedlock, Margaret Trawick.
John Harold Leavitt is Professor of Anthropology, University of Montreal.
Point of Sale offers the first significant attempt to center media retail as a vital component in the study of popular culture. It brings together fifteen essays by top media scholars with their fingers on the pulse of both the changes that foreground retail in a digital age and the history that has made retail a fundamental part of the culture industries. The book reveals why retail matters as a site of transactional significance to industries as well as a crucial locus of meaning and interactional participation for consumers. In addition to examining how industries connect books, DVDs, video games, lifestyle products, toys, and more to consumers, it also interrogates the changes in media circulation driven by the collision of digital platforms with existing retail institutions. By grappling with the contexts in which we buy media, Point of Sale uncovers the underlying tensions that define the contemporary culture industries.
The golden age of radio is often recalled as a time when the medium unified the nation, when families gathered around the radios in homes across the country to listen to live, commercially sponsored network broadcasts. In Points on the Dial, Alexander Russo revises our understanding of radio’s past by revealing the hidden histories of production, distribution, and reception practices during this era, which extended from the 1920s into the 1950s. Russo brings to light a tiered broadcasting system with intermingling but distinct national, regional, and local programming forms, sponsorship patterns, and methods of program distribution. Examining a wide range of practices, including regional networking, sound-on-disc transcription, the use of station representatives, spot advertising, and programming aimed at homes with several radios, he not only recasts our understanding of the relationship between national networks and local stations but also charts the development of new ways of listening—often distractedly rather than attentively—that set the stage for radio in the second half of the twentieth century.
Among the most influential poets of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes is perhaps best remembered for the innovative use of jazz rhythms in his writing. While his poetry and essays received much public acclaim and scholarly attention, Hughes’ dramas are relatively unknown. Only five of the sixty-three plays Hughes scripted alone or collaboratively have been published (in 1963).
Published here, for the first time, are four of Hughes’ most poignant, poetic, and political dramas, Scottsboro Limited, Harvest (also known as Blood on the Fields), Angelo Herndon Jones, and De Organizer. Each play reflects Hughes’ remarkable professionalism as a playwright as well as his desire to dramatize the social history of the African American experience, especially in the context of the labor movements of the 1930s and their attempts to attract African American workers. Hughes himself counted prominent members of these leftist groups among his close friends and patrons; he formed a theater group with Whittaker Chambers, prompting an FBI investigation of Hughes and his writing in the 1930s. These plays, while easily read as idealistic propaganda pieces for the left, are nonetheless reflective of Hughes’ other more influential and studied works.
The first scholar to offer a systematic study of Hughes’ plays, Susan Duffy provides an informed introduction as well as a detailed analysis of each of the four plays. Duffy also establishes that De Organizer, a collaboration with noted jazz pianist and composer James P. Johnson (who also wrote its score) was indeed performed by the Labor Stage.
By making these forgotten texts available, and by presenting them within a scholarly discussion of 1930s leftist political movements, Duffy seeks to spark a renewed interest in Langston Hughes as an American playwright and political figure.
The Politics of Fame
Burns, Eric Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress E161.B87 2019 | Dewey Decimal 306.0973
Celebrities can come from many different realms: film, music, politics, sports. But what do all these major celebrities have in common? What elevates them to the status of household names while their equally talented peers remain in relative obscurity? Is it just a question of charisma, or does fame depend more on the collective fantasies of fans than the actual accomplishments of celebrities?
In search of answers, cultural historian Eric Burns delves deep into the biographies of some of the most famous figures in American history, from Benjamin Franklin to Fanny Kemble, Elvis Presley to Gene Tierney, and Michael Jordan to Oprah Winfrey. Through these case studies, he considers the evolution of celebrity throughout the ages. More controversially, he questions the very status of fame in the twenty-first century, an era in which thousands of minor celebrities have seen their fifteen minutes in the spotlight.
The Politics of Fame is a provocative and entertaining look at the lives and afterlives of America’s most beloved celebrities as well as the mad devotion they inspired. It raises important questions about what celebrity worship reveals about the worshippers—and about the state of the nation itself
Rarely are the off-screen lives of actors examined for evidence of deep thinking or good citizenship. Still more rarely do the internal workings of labor unions attract public scrutiny. Nevertheless, as David Prindle shows in his examination of democracy in the Screen Actors Guild, this actors’ union has for over 50 years been an arena for idealistic, yet intense and hardboiled political maneuvering.
In The Politics of Glamour, readers become aware of the seriousness and political commitment displayed by people whom the general public has generally admired more for their artistic skills. After reading this account of politics among America’s screen royalty, no one could wonder about where Ronald Reagan, a former SAG president, received his political training.
Besides analyzing the politics of SAG, however, the author follows a good story wherever it leads. The reader can expect to learn something about the political economy of Hollywood and the American labor movement, the value of celebrity within the acting community, the impact of technological change, and even a bit of gossip.
The Politics of Reproduction: Adoption, Abortion and Surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism uniquely brings together three sites of reproduction and reproductive politics to demonstrate their entanglement in creating or restricting options for family-making. The original essays in this collection—which draw from a wide range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives—are attentive to neoliberalism’s reshaping of economies and intimacies to better understand the politics of reproduction. By looking at particular instances (surrogacy in Mexico, forced sterilization in Peru, and racialized biopolitics in post-Katrina Mississippi, among other sites), The Politics of Reproduction focuses on the effects of a radically altered economic landscape on individual choice-making. As a whole, the volume critically engages the question of choice to better understand the costs of a political and ideological climate that encourages, even demands, individual solutions to intractable social problems. Whose choices are amplified in the use of new biomedical technologies and assisted reproduction? Why and how are we discouraged from understanding the economic motivations behind the “choice” to surrender a baby for adoption or to become a surrogate or to seek an abortion? Attentive to the historical, cultural, and ideological conjunctures of reproductive politics, The Politics of Reproduction makes a distinctive contribution to feminist analyses of the specific challenges posed by neoliberalism to reproductive possibilities, politics, and justice in the contemporary moment.
Combining how-to information with voices of working artists, Poor Dancer's Almanac is an essential resource tool and source of inspiration for all independent artists—choreographers, performance artists, dancers producers, managers. Created in 1975 and revised again in 1984 this handbook has come to serve as one of the most crucial references for the arts community. In the most up-to-date and comprehensive edition yet, a broad range of issues affecting performers and producers is addressed, interwoven with newly added, more personal contributions from major figures in the performance world. Organized and compiled by Dance Theater Workshop in New York and authored by more than fifty leading professionals in the field, Poor Dancer's Almanac offers in-depth discussions of everything from personal livelihood to professional career development, from medical care, housing, and unemployment insurance to management, touring, and legal issues. Each chapter is followed by an appendix containing extensive and varied listings, giving names and addresses for finding internship programs, videotaping, flooring, grant-writing, and reference publications. Although centered on New York the Almanac includes lists of resources and contacts for many other states—California, Washington D.C, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, and Ohio. An entirely new section has been added dealing with health issues and the crisis of AIDS. In personal anecdotes and essays various performers offer their own insights and stories—both of struggles and of successes—to bring to life the practical realities of working in the arts. We hear from Merce Cunningham, Eric Bogosian, Karen Finley, Paul Zaloom, and Bill T. Jones, among others. Illustrated with original drawings by Janie Geiser, this thoroughly revised and updated edition of the Poor Dancer's Almanac will continue to serve as one of the leading sources for those concerned with managing life and work in the performing arts.
In Popular Trauma Culture, Anne Rothe argues that American Holocaust discourse has a particular plot structure—characterized by a melodramatic conflict between good and evil and embodied in the core characters of victim/survivor and perpetrator—and that it provides the paradigm for representing personal experiences of pain and suffering in the mass media. The book begins with an analysis of Holocaust clichés, including its political appropriation, the notion of vicarious victimhood, the so-called victim talk rhetoric, and the infusion of the composite survivor figure with Social Darwinism. Readers then explore the embodiment of popular trauma culture in two core mass media genres: daytime TV talk shows and misery memoirs.
Rothe conveys how victimhood and suffering are cast as trauma kitsch on talk shows like Oprah and as trauma camp on modern-day freak shows like Springer. The discussion also encompasses the first scholarly analysis of misery memoirs, the popular literary genre that has been widely critiqued in journalism as pornographic depictions of extreme violence. Currently considered the largest growth sector in book publishing worldwide, many of these works are also fabricated. And since forgeries reflect the cultural entities that are most revered, the book concludes with an examination of fake misery memoirs.
Populism and Performance in the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela explains how supporters of the emergent socialism of Hugo Chávez negotiated terms of national belonging and participatory democracy through performance. By foregrounding populism as an embodied act, Angela Marino draws attention to repertoires of populism that contributed to what is arguably the most significant social movement in the Americas since the Cuban Revolution.
Based on ethnographic and archival research, Marino focuses on performances of the devil figure, tracing this beloved trickster through religious fiestas, mid-century theater and film, and other media as it both antagonizes and unifies a movement against dictatorship and neoliberalism. She then demonstrates that performance became a vehicle through which cultural producers negotiated boundaries of inclusion and exclusion in ways that overcame the simplistic logic of good versus evil, us versus them. The result is a nuanced insight into the process of building political mobilization out of crisis and through monumental times of change.
The book will interest readers of Latin American politics, cultural studies, political science, and performance studies by providing a vital record of the revolution, with valuable insights into its internal dynamics and lessons towards building a populist movement of the left in contentious times.
Tim Dean, Steven Ruszczycky and David Squires, eds. Duke University Press, 2014 Library of Congress HQ471.P57 2014
While sexually explicit writing and art have been around for millennia, pornography—as an aesthetic, moral, and juridical category—is a modern invention. The contributors to Porn Archives explore how the production and proliferation of pornography has been intertwined with the emergence of the archive as a conceptual and physical site for preserving, cataloguing, and transmitting documents and artifacts. By segregating and regulating access to sexually explicit material, archives have helped constitute pornography as a distinct genre. As a result, porn has become a site for the production of knowledge, as well as the production of pleasure.
The essays in this collection address the historically and culturally varied interactions between porn and the archive. Topics range from library policies governing access to sexually explicit material to the growing digital archive of "war porn," or eroticized combat imagery; and from same-sex amputee porn to gay black comic book superhero porn. Together the pieces trace pornography as it crosses borders, transforms technologies, consolidates sexual identities, and challenges notions of what counts as legitimate forms of knowledge. The collection concludes with a valuable resource for scholars: a list of pornography archives held by institutions around the world.
Contributors. Jennifer Burns Bright, Eugenie Brinkema, Joseph Bristow, Robert Caserio, Ronan Crowley, Tim Dean, Robert Dewhurst, Lisa Downing, Frances Ferguson, Loren Glass, Harri Kahla, Marcia Klotz, Prabha Manuratne, Mireille Miller-Young, Nguyen Tan Hoang, John Paul Ricco, Steven Ruszczycky, Melissa Schindler, Darieck Scott, Caitlin Shanley, Ramon Soto-Crespo, David Squires, Linda Williams
Porn is big business. By some estimates, it grosses more revenue per year than the entire "legitimate" film and entertainment industry. Most large hotel chains offer pay-for-view adult movies, many video stores have adult movie rental sections, and Internet porn sites have proliferated by the thousands. With porn so ubiquitous in mainstream American culture, why is it that when "respectable" people talk about this phenomenon, they act puzzled, as if they cannot imagine who would watch such worthless and meaningless smut?
In this collection of path-breaking essays, thirteen respected scholars bring critical insights to the reality of porn and what it can tell us about ourselves sexually, culturally, and economically. Moving beyond simplistic feminist and religious positions that cast these films as categorical evils-a collective preserve of sexual perversion, misogyny, pedophilia, and racism-the contributors to this volume raise the bar of the debate and push porn studies into intriguing new territory.
The essays are divided into two sections. The first reprints important debates on the topic and traces the evolution of pornographic film, including comparing its development to that of Hollywood cinema. The second part presents new essays that consider current trends in the field, including pornography's expansion into new technologies.
This book separates this compelling genre from the sensation and shame that have long surrounded and obscured it. It will be of interest to general readers and film scholars alike.
Silent cinema and contemporaneous literature explored themes of mesmerism, possession, and the ominous agency of corporate bodies that subsumed individual identities. At the same time, critics accused film itself of exerting a hypnotic influence over spellbound audiences. Stefan Andriopoulos shows that all this anxiety over being governed by an outside force was no marginal oddity, but rather a pervasive concern in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Tracing this preoccupation through the period’s films—as well as its legal, medical, and literary texts—Andriopoulos pays particular attention to the terrifying notion of murder committed against one’s will. He returns us to a time when medical researchers described the hypnotized subject as a medium who could be compelled to carry out violent crimes, and when films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler famously portrayed the hypnotist’s seemingly unlimited power on the movie screen. Juxtaposing these medicolegal and cinematic scenarios with modernist fiction, Andriopoulos also develops an innovative reading of Kafka’s novels, which center on the merging of human and corporate bodies.
Blending theoretical sophistication with scrupulous archival research and insightful film analysis, Possessed adds a new dimension to our understanding of today’s anxieties about the onslaught of visual media and the expanding reach of vast corporations that seem to absorb our own identities.
A study of how film has continually intervened in our sense of perception, with far-ranging insights into the current state of lived experience
How has cinema transformed our senses, and how does it continue to do so? Positing film as a stage in the long coevolution of human consciousness and visual technology, Postcinematic Vision offer a fresh perspective on the history of film while providing startling new insights into the so-called divide between cinematic and digital media.
Starting with the argument that film viewing has long altered neural circuitry in our brains, Roger F. Cook proceeds to reevaluate film’s origins, as well as its merger with digital imaging in the 1990s. His animating argument is that film has continually altered the relation between media and human perception, challenging the visual nature of modern culture in favor of a more unified, pan-sensual way of perceiving. Through this approach, he makes original contributions to our understanding of how mediation is altering lived experience.
Along the way, Cook provides important reevaluations of well-known figures such as Franz Kafka, closely reading cinematic passages in the great author’s work; he reassesses the conventional wisdom that Marshall McLuhan was a technological determinist; and he lodges an original new reading of The Matrix. Full of provocative and far-reaching ideas, Postcinematic Vision is a powerful work that helps us see old concepts anew while providing new ideas for future investigation.
The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe was supposed to bring about the “end of history” with capitalism and liberal democracy achieving decisive victories. Europe would now integrate and reconcile with its past. However, the aftershocks of the financial crisis of 2008—the rise in right-wing populism, austerity politics, and mass migration—have shown that the ideological divisions which haunted Europe in the twentieth century still remain. It is within this context that Post-Communist Malaise revives discourses of political modernism and revisits debates from Marxism and seventies film theory. Analyzing work of Theo Angelopoulos, Vera Chytilová, Srdjan Dragojevic, Jean-Luc Godard, Miklós Jancsó, Emir Kusturica, Dušan Makavejev, Cristi Puiu, Jan Švankmajer, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Béla Tarr, the book focuses on how select cinemas from Eastern Europe and the Balkans critique the neoliberal integration of Europe whose failures fuel the rise of nationalism and right-wing politics. By politicizing art cinema from the regions, Post-Communist Malaise asks fundamental questions about film, aesthetics, and ideology. It argues for the utopian potential of the materiality of cinematic time to imagine a new political and cultural organization for Europe.
Media representations and practices that have emerged out of contemporary wars have been well documented by a wide array of books and articles. These treatments, however, have been less attentive to how cultural constructions of military personnel and war itself figure in the depiction of the incursions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Post-Feminist War, Mary Douglas Vavrus argues that all of these identity categories are integral to our understanding of those fighting, saved, or victimized by war. She considers two important questions: how the construction of gender, race, and class in media are productive of régimes of truth regarding war and military life, and how such constructions may also intensify militarism. By examining news and documentary media produced since September 11, 2001, Vavrus demonstrates that news narratives that include women use feminism selectively in gender equality narratives, which tend to reinforce historically resonant gender, race, and class identity constructions. She ultimately asserts that such reporting advances post-feminism, which, in tandem with banal militarism, subtly pushes military solutions for an array of problems women and girls face.
Kolb discusses postmodern architectural styles and theories within the context of philosophical ideas about modernism and postmodernism. He focuses on what it means to dwell in a world and within a history and to act from or against a tradition.
Now in paperback, Fredric Jameson’s most wide-ranging work seeks to crystalize a definition of ”postmodernism”. Jameson’s inquiry looks at the postmodern across a wide landscape, from “high” art to “low” from market ideology to architecture, from painting to “punk” film, from video art to literature.
With Post-Theory, David Bordwell and Noël Carroll challenge the prevailing practices of film scholarship. Since the 1970s, film scholars have been searching for a unified theory that will explain all sorts of films, their production, and their reception; the field has been dominated by structuralist Marxism, varieties of cultural theory, and the psychoanalytic ideas of Freud and Lacan. Bordwell and Carroll ask, why not employ many theories tailored to specific goals, rather than searching for a unified theory? Post-Theory offers fresh directions for understanding film, presenting new essays by twenty-seven scholars on topics as diverse as film scores, audience response, and the national film industries of Russia, Scandinavia, the U.S., and Japan. They use historical, philosophical, psychological, and feminist methods to tackle such basic issues as: What goes on when viewers perceive a film? How do filmmakers exploit conventions? How do movies create illusions? How does a film arouse emotion? Bordwell and Carroll have given space not only to distinguished film scholars but to non-film specialists as well, ensuring a wide variety of opinions and ideas on virtually every topic on the current agenda of film studies. Full of stimulating essays published here for the first time, Post-Theory promises to redefine the study of cinema.