front cover of Public Enemies, Public Heroes
Public Enemies, Public Heroes
Screening the Gangster from Little Caesar to Touch of Evil
Jonathan Munby
University of Chicago Press, 1999
In this study of Hollywood gangster films, Jonathan Munby examines their controversial content and how it was subjected to continual moral and political censure.

Beginning in the early 1930s, these films told compelling stories about ethnic urban lower-class desires to "make it" in an America dominated by Anglo-Saxon Protestant ideals and devastated by the Great Depression. By the late 1940s, however, their focus shifted to the problems of a culture maladjusting to a new peacetime sociopolitical order governed by corporate capitalism. The gangster no longer challenged the establishment; the issue was not "making it," but simply "making do."

Combining film analysis with archival material from the Production Code Administration (Hollywood's self-censoring authority), Munby shows how the industry circumvented censure, and how its altered gangsters (influenced by European filmmakers) fueled the infamous inquisitions of Hollywood in the postwar '40s and '50s by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Ultimately, this provocative study suggests that we rethink our ideas about crime and violence in depictions of Americans fighting against the status quo.

front cover of Screening the Art World
Screening the Art World
Temenuga Trifonova
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
Unlike most studies of the relationship between cinema and art, which privilege questions of medium or institutional specificity and intermediality, Screening the Art World explores the ways in which artists and the art world more generally have been represented in cinema. Contributors address a rarely explored subject -art in cinema, rather than the art of cinema - by considering films across genres, historical periods and national cinemas in order to reflect on cinema’s fluctuating imaginary of ‘art’ and ‘the art world’. The book examines the intersection of art history with history in cinema, cinema’s simultaneous affirmation and denigration of the idea of art as ‘truth’ and what this means for cinema’s understanding of itself, the dominant, often contradictory ways in which artists have been represented on screen, and cinematic representations of the art world’s tenuous position between commercial good and cultural capital.

front cover of Screening the Beats
Screening the Beats
Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility
David Sterritt
Southern Illinois University Press, 2004

Film critic David Sterritt’s Screening the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility showcases the social and aesthetic viewpoints of lynchpin Beat writers Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg, juxtaposing their artistry with 1950s culture and achieving what Kerouac might have called a “bookmovie” riff. In clear prose, Sterritt captures the raw energy of the Beats and joins in their celebration of aesthetic freakishness. Tapping into the diversified spirit of the Beat Generation and its nuanced relationship with postwar American culture, Sterritt considers how the Beats variously foreground, challenge, and illuminate major issues in Hollywood and avant-garde film, critical and cultural theory, and music in the mass-media age.

Sterritt engages the creative and spiritual facets of the Beats, emulating their desire to evoke ephemeral aspects of human existence. Dealing with both high and low cultures as well as various subcultures, he highlights the complementary contributions to cultural creativity made by these authors. Screening the Beats grapples with paradoxes in Beat writing, in particular the conflict between spiritual purity and secular connectedness, which often materialized in the beatific bebop spontaneity, Zen-like transcendentalism, and plain hipster smarts that characterized the writings of Kerouac, Burroughs, and Ginsberg.

This interdisciplinary study tackles such topics as Ginsberg’s and Kerouac’s uses of racial and ethnic stereotypes prevalent in the popular movies of the 1950s era; the uses and limitations of improvisation as a creative tool in literature, jazz, and film; Kerouac’s use of cinematic metaphor to evoke Buddhist concepts; and intersections of the grotesque and carnivalesque in works as seemingly diverse as autobiographical novels by Kerouac, a radio play by Antonin Artaud, cultural theories of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and the boisterous lunacy of Three Stooges farce. Deftly threading literary, musical, and cinematic works with a colorful array of critical theories, Screening the Beats illuminates the relationship between American culture and the imaginative forces of the Beat Generation.


front cover of Screening The Body
Screening The Body
Tracing Medicine’s Visual Culture
Lisa Cartwright
University of Minnesota Press, 1995

front cover of Screening the Gothic
Screening the Gothic
By Lisa Hopkins
University of Texas Press, 2005

Filmmakers have long been drawn to the Gothic with its eerie settings and promise of horror lurking beneath the surface. Moreover, the Gothic allows filmmakers to hold a mirror up to their own age and reveal society's deepest fears. Franco Zeffirelli's Jane Eyre, Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet are just a few examples of film adaptations of literary Gothic texts. In this ground-breaking study, Lisa Hopkins explores how the Gothic has been deployed in these and other contemporary films and comes to some surprising conclusions. For instance, in a brilliant chapter on films geared to children, Hopkins finds that horror resides not in the trolls, wizards, and goblins that abound in Harry Potter, but in the heart of the family.

Screening the Gothic offers a radical new way of understanding the relationship between film and the Gothic as it surveys a wide range of films, many of which have received scant critical attention. Its central claim is that, paradoxically, those texts whose affiliations with the Gothic were the clearest became the least Gothic when filmed. Thus, Hopkins surprises readers by revealing Gothic elements in films such as Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park, as well as exploring more obviously Gothic films like The Mummy and The Fellowship of the Ring. Written in an accessible and engaging manner, Screening the Gothic will be of interest to film lovers as well as students and scholars.


front cover of Screening the Gothic in Australia and New Zealand
Screening the Gothic in Australia and New Zealand
Contemporary Antipodean Film and Television
Jessica Gildersleeve
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
The persistent popularity of the detective narrative, new obsessions with psychological and supernatural disturbances, as well as the resurgence of older narratives of mystery or the Gothic all constitute a vast proportion of contemporary film and television productions. New ways of watching film and television have also seen a reinvigoration of this ‘most domestic of media’. But what does this ‘domesticity’ of genre and media look like ‘Down Under’ in the twenty.first century? This collection traces representations of the Gothic on both the small and large screens in Australia and New Zealand in the twenty.first century. It attends to the development and mutation of the Gothic in these post. or neo.colonial contexts, concentrating on the generic innovations of this temporal and geographical focus.

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