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27 eBooks

      Adaptations in the Franchise Era re-evaluates adaptation’s place in a popular culture marked by the movement of content and audiences across more media borders than ever before. While adaptation has historically been understood as the transfer of stories from one medium to another—more often than not, from novel to film—the growing interconnectedness of media and media industries in the early twenty-first century raises new questions about the form and function of adaptation as both a product and a process. Where does adaptation fit within massive franchises that span pages, stages, screens, and theme parks?

      Rising scholar Kyle Meikle illuminates adaptation’s enduring and essential role in the rise of franchises in the 2000s and 2010s. During that decade-and-a-half, adaptations set the foundation for multiplexed, multiplied film series, piloted streaming television’s forays into original programming, found their way into audiences’ hands in apps and video games, and went live in theatrical experiences on Broadway and beyond. The proliferation of adaptations was matched only by a proliferation of adaptation, as fans remixed and remade their favourite franchises online and off-. This volume considers how producers and consumers defined adaptations—and how adaptations defined themselves—through the endless intertextual play of the franchise era.

      Directing Screen Performances

      Author(s):

      Robert Klenner

      The core goal of Directing Screen Performances is to teach aspiring directors how to prepare and work with actors. Through a practical exploration of the major approaches to contemporary screen acting, you will learn how to formulate your own effective modes of communication to craft compelling performances.

      Directing performances for the screen starts well before the actor is cast and finishes well after the last slate is shot. In this book you will learn how to analyze a script, brief the casting director, rehearse the actors, decide on the visual treatment that enriches their performances, direct effectively on set and finesse the character in the edit. The director’s process is clearly defined and augmented with illustrations, photographs and graphics, and each chapter concludes with practical exercises to consolidate the new knowledge.

      European Cinema and Continental Philosophy

      Film as Thought Experiment

      Author(s):

      Thomas Elsaesser, David Martin-Jones, Sarah Cooper, Steve Choe, David Deamer, Janet Harbord, Kate Ince, Elena del Rio, William Brown and Kaya Davies Hayon

      This groundbreaking volume for the Thinking Cinema series focuses on the extent to which contemporary cinema contributes to political and philosophical thinking about the future of Europe’s core Enlightenment values. In light of the challenges of globalization, multi-cultural communities and post-nation state democracy, the book interrogates the borders of ethics and politics and roots itself in debates about post-secular, post-Enlightenment philosophy.

      By defining a cinema that knows that it is no longer a competitor to Hollywood (i.e. the classic self-other construction), Elsaesser also thinks past the kind of self-exoticism or auto-ethnography that is the perpetual temptation of such a co-produced, multi-platform ‘national cinema as world cinema’. Discussing key filmmakers and philosophers, like: Claire Denis and Jean-Luc Nancy; Aki Kaurismäki, abjection and Julia Kristeva; Michael Haneke, the paradoxes of Christianity and Slavoj Zizek; Fatih Akin, Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière, Elsaesser is able to approach European cinema and assesses its key questions within a global context. His combination of political and philosophical thinking will surely ground the debate in film philosophy for years to come.

      Global Animation Theory

      International Perspectives at Animafest Zagreb

      Editor(s):

      Franziska Bruckner, Nikica Gilić, Holger Lang, Daniel Šuljić and Hrvoje Turković

      Scanning historical and current trends in animation through different perspectives including art history, film, media and cultural studies is a prominent facet of today’s theoretical and historical approaches in this rapidly evolving field. Global Animation Theory offers detailed and diverse insights into the methodologies of contemporary animation studies, as well as the topics relevant for today’s study of animation. The contact between practical and theoretical approaches to animation at Animafest Scanner, is closely connected to host of this event, the World Festival of Animated Film Animafest Zagreb. It has given way to academic writing that is very open to practical aspects of animation, with several contributors being established not only as animation scholars, but also as artists. This anthology presents, alongside an introduction by the editors and a preface by well known animation scholar Giannalberto Bendazzi, 15 selected essays from the first three Animafest Scanner editions. They explore various significant aspects of animation studies, some of them still unknown to the English speaking communities.

      History and Film

      A Tale of Two Disciplines

      Author(s):

      Eleftheria Thanouli

      History and Film: A Tale of Two Disciplines addresses the representation of history in cinema, a much-argued debate on the need to understand cinematic history in its own terms and develop a certain vocabulary for discussing historical films, their relation to public history, and their impact on public historical consciousness. Eleftheria Thanouli does this by changing the agenda altogether - combining a macro-level perspective with a micro-level one in order to argue that cinematic history is the dominant form of historiography in the 20th century, as it succeeded in remediating and repurposing the key formal, rhetorical, and ideological practices of 19th-century professional historiography. With case studies ranging from The Thin Red Line and Life is Beautiful, to The Fog of War and The Last Bolshevik, Thanouli bridges the gap between history and film studies and lays the foundations for a new visual historiography.

      Money is Hollywood’s great theme—but money laundered into something else, something more. Money can be given a particular occasion and career, as box office receipts, casino winnings, tax credits, stock prices, lotteries, inheritances. Or money can become number, and numbers can be anything: pixels, batting averages, votes, likes. Through explorations of all these and more, J.D. Connor’s Hollywood Math and Aftermath provides a stimulating and original take on “the equation of pictures,” the relationship between Hollywood and economics since the 1970s.

      Touched off by an engagement with the work of Gilles Deleuze, Connor demonstrates the centrality of the economic image to Hollywood narrative. More than just a thematic study, this is a conceptual history of the industry that stretches from the dawn of the neoclassical era through the Great Recession and beyond. Along the way, Connor explores new concepts for cinema studies: precession and recession, pervasion and staking, ostension and deritualization.

      Enlivened by a wealth of case studies—from The Big Short and The Wolf of Wall Street to Equity and Blackhat, from Moneyball to 12 Years a Slave, Titanic to Lost, The Exorcist to WALLE, Déjà Vu to Upstream Color, Contagion to The Untouchables, Ferris Bueller to Pacific Rim, The Avengers to The VillageHollywood Math and Aftermath is a bravura portrait of the industry coming to terms with its own numerical underpinnings.

      The 1970s were a Golden Age for American film-making, with the emergence of such talents as Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas, De Palma and Altman. Ryan Gilbey now looks afresh at the remarkable movies of this era, and their gifted makers. Today these directors are sometimes lambasted as sell-outs or burn-outs, but their best films of the Seventies – from American Graffiti to The Conversation, Nashville to Carrie, Badlands to Taxi Driver – still feel as urgent and innovative as they did on first release, and still inspire young film-makers at a time when movies are once more depressingly formulaic.

      These directors cultivated a fascinating eclecticism, driven by creative hunger and insatiable imagination. But what in the American scene were they reacting against, and just as crucially, what were they celebrating (or pillaging from other sources)? Gilbey also considers directors who established a body of work in the Seventies (Woody Allen), who blossomed as the decade progressed (David Lynch, Jonathan Demme), or who were prominent figures without being prolific (Stanley Kubrick, Terrence Malick). He takes each film and assesses its place in history while also scrutinising it as if for the very first time - as if it were coming to a cinema near you this Friday…

      Materializing Memories

      Dispositifs, Generations, Amateurs

      Editor(s):

      Susan Aasman, Andreas Fickers and Joseph Wachelder

      A multitude of devices and technological tools now exist to make, share, and store memories and moments with family, friends, and even strangers. Memory practices such as home movies, which originated as the privilege of a few, well-to-do families, have now emerged as ubiquitous and immediate cultures of sharing. Departing from the history of home movies, this volume offers a sophisticated understanding of technologically mediated, mostly ritualized memory practices, from early beginnings in the fin-de-siècle to today.

      Departing from a longue durée perspective on home movie practices, Materializing Memories moves beyond a strict historical study to grapple with highly theorized fields, such as media studies, memory studies, and science and technology studies (STS). The contributors to this volume reflect on these different intellectual backgrounds and perspectives, but all chapters share a common framework by addressing practices of use, user configurations, and relevant media landscapes. Grasping the cultural dynamics of such multi-faceted practices requires a multidimensional conceptual approach, here achieved by centering around three concepts as central analytical lenses: dispositifs, generations, and amateurs.

      Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh

      Author(s):

      Mike Leigh

      Editor(s):

      Amy Raphael

      Five-time Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner, the only British director to have won the top prize at both Cannes (for Secrets & Lies ) and Venice (for Vera Drake), Mike Leigh is unquestionably one of world cinema’s pre-eminent figures. Now, in this definitive career-length interview, he reflects on all that has gone into the making of his unique body of work. Leigh’s work has always reflected its times, whether the harsh studies of Meantime and Naked or the humour of the now-legendary Abigail’s Party and Nuts in May. Above all, Leigh is an accomplished storyteller, and these films deal with universal themes: births, marriages and deaths, parenthood and failed relationships, families and their secrets and lies.

      Minghella on Minghella

      Author(s):

      Anthony Minghella

      Editor(s):

      Timothy Bricknell

      Anthony Minghella, the writer and director behind films like Truly Madly Deeply, The English Patient and The Talented Mr Ripley, here explores his own work and the art of film-making. He offers candid commentary and fascinating insights with chapters on subjects from the practical – ‘Writing’ or ‘The Business of Film’ – to the philosophical – ‘Structure’ or ‘Theories, Poetry and Mortality’.

      With a preface by Sydney Pollack, this book is essential for admirers of the director’s work, or indeed for anyone enthusiastic about cinema in general. Minghella on Minghella is an opportunity to know what went on behind the camera – and the eyes – of one of the genre’s greatest modern practitioners.

      New Nonfiction Film: Art, Poetics and Documentary Theory is the first book to offer a lengthy examination of the relationship between fiction and documentary from the perspective of art and poetics. The premise of the book is to propose a new category of nonfiction film that is distinguished from – as opposed to being conflated with – the documentary film in its multiple historical guises; a premise explored in case-studies of films by distinguished artists and filmmakers (Abbas Kiarostami, Ben Rivers, Chantal Akerman, Ben Russell Pat Collins and Gideon Koppel). The book builds a case for this new category of film, calling it the ‘new nonfiction film,’ and argues, in the process, that this kind of film works to dismantle the old distinctions between fiction and documentary film and therefore the axioms of Film and Cinema Studies as a discipline of study.

      On Film-making

      An introduction to the craft of the director

      Author(s):

      Alexander Mackendrick

      Editor(s):

      Paul Cronin

      An invaluable analysis of the director’s art and craft, from one of the most revered of all film school directors. Alexander ‘Sandy’ Mackendrick directed classic Ealing comedies plus a Hollywood masterpiece, Sweet Smell of Success. But after retiring from film-making in 1969, he then spent nearly 25 years teaching his craft at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.

      Mackendrick produced hundreds of pages of masterly handouts and sketches, designed to guide his students to a finer understanding of how to write a story, and then use those devices peculiar to cinema in order to tell that story as effectively as possible. Gathered and edited in this collection, Mackendrick’s teachings reveal that he had the talent not only to make great films, but also to articulate the process with a clarity and insight that will still inspire any aspirant film-maker.

      Paul Newman

      Author(s):

      Daniel O'Brien

      An in-depth study of one of Hollywood’s great leading men: philanthropist, model husband, world-class racing driver, and authentic silver-screen icon, one of the last and greatest living links between Hollywood’s golden age and its post-studio-system era.

      Newman’s best known films, including The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, are cherished the world over. Daniel O’Brien explores the lineage of Newman’s life, including his studies at New York’s fabled Actors Studio, his stunningly successful marriage to Joanne Woodward, the tragedy of his lost son, and his commitment to political activism and good causes.

      This cross-disciplinary volume, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Framed and Unframed, explores and complicates our understanding of Pasolini today, probing notions of otherness in his works, his media image, and his legacy. Over 40 years after his death Pier Paolo Pasolini continues to challenge and interest us, both in academic circles and in popular discourses. Today his films stand as lampposts of Italian cinematic production, his cinematic theories resonate broadly through academic circles, and his philosophical, essayistic, and journalistic writings—albeit relatively sparsely translated into other languages—are still widely influential. Pasolini has also become an image, a mascot, a face on tote bags, a graffiti image on walls, an adjective (pasolinian). The collected essays push us to consider and reconsider Pasolini, a thinker for the twenty-first century.

      Popular Music and the Moving Image in Eastern Europe

      Editor(s):

      Ewa Mazierska and Zsolt Győri

      Popular Music and the Moving Image in Eastern Europe is the first collection to discuss the ways in which popular music has been used cinematically, from musicals to music videos to documentary film, in Eastern Europe from 1945 to the present day. It argues that during the period of state socialism, moving image was an important tool of promoting music in the respective countries and creating popular cinema. Yet despite this importance, filmmakers who specialized in musicals lacked the social prestige of leading ‘auteurs’ and received little critical attention. The resulting scholarly prejudice towards pop culture created a severe shortage of critical studies of the genre.

      With the fall of state socialism – and with it, the need for economically viable film and media industries – brought about an unprecedented upsurge of films utilizing popular music, and a greater recognition of popular cinema as a legitimate object of study. Popular Music and the Moving Image in Eastern Europe fills the gap and demonstrates why the popular music-cinema interface needs to be theorized with respect to the political, ideological, and social forces invested in popular culture.

      Re-Viewing the Past: The Uses of History in the Cinema of Imperial Japan analyzes the complicated relationship between history films, audiences, reviewers and censors in Japan for the critically important years from 1925–1945. First contextualizing the history of the popular “Bakumatsu” period (1853–1868), the moment of Japan’s emergence as a modern nation, Sean O’Reilly paves the way for a reinterpretation of Japanese pre and postwar cinema. Setting a film in the Bakumatsu period offered ‘cultural breathing room’ to both filmmakers and viewers, offering a cinematic space where apolitical entertainment and now-forbidden themes like romance still reigned. Some filmmakers—and viewers—even conceived of these films as being a form of resistance against Japan’s growing militarism.

      Sensuous Cinema: The Body in Contemporary Maghrebi Film examines a cluster of recent films that feature Maghrebi(-French) people and position corporeality as a site through which subjectivity and self-other relations are constituted and experienced. These films are set in and between the countries of the Maghreb, France and, to a lesser degree, Switzerland, and often adopt a sensual aesthetic that prioritizes embodied knowledge, the interrelation of the senses and the material realities of emotional experience. However, despite the importance of the body in these films, no study to date has taken corporeality as its primary point of concern.

      This new addition to the Thinking Cinema series interweaves corporeal phenomenology with theological and feminist scholarship on the body from the Maghreb and the Middle East to examine how Maghrebi(-French) people of different genders, ethnicities, sexualities, ages and classes have been represented corporeally in contemporary Maghrebi and French cinemas. Via detailed textual and phenomenological analyses of films such as Red Satin (Amari 2002), Exiles (Gatlif 2004), Couscous (Kechiche 2007) and Salvation Army (Taïa 2014), Kaya Hayon Davies conveys the pivotal role that corporeality plays in articulating identity and the emotions in these films.

      Kaleem Aftab’s authorised biography of Lee chronicles his film work in definitive detail, but also explores the many social issues and controversies that the work has addressed and generated; also the inspirational affect Lee has had upon his own and subsequent generations of black film-makers (he gave Halle Berry her first break, and early lead roles to Denzel Washington and Samuel Jackson). Every one of Lee’s films has tackled a subject and caused a stir: from female sexuality in She’s Gotta Have It to New York race riots in Do the Right Thing and jazz in Mo’ Better Blues; interracial sex in Jungle Fever; revolutionary pan-Africanism in Malcolm X; the ‘War on Drugs’ in Clockers; Louis Farrakhan’s ‘Million Man March’ in Get on the Bus; black poverty and pro-basketball in He Got Game.

      As such Lee has made himself a spokesman on US race relations, but he is also an entrepreneur and a provocateur. This biography, prepared with Lee’s co-operation and with input from his friends, family and collaborators, tells the extraordinary life story of a true American original.

      The Animation Studies Reader

      Editor(s):

      Nichola Dobson, Annabelle Honess Roe, Amy Ratelle and Caroline Ruddell

      The Animation Studies Reader brings together both key writings within animation studies and new material in emerging areas of the field. The collection provides readers with seminal texts that ground animation studies within the contexts of theory and aesthetics, form and genre, and issues of representation. The first section collates key readings on animation theory, on how we might conceptualise animation, and on some of the fundamental qualities of animation. New material is also introduced in this section specifically addressing questions raised by the nature, style and materiality of animation. The second section outlines some of the main forms that animation takes, which includes discussions of genre. Although this section cannot be exhaustive, the material chosen is particularly useful as it provides samples of analysis that can illuminate some of the issues the first section of the book raises. The third section focuses on issues of representation and how the medium of animation might have an impact on how bodies, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity are represented. These representations can only be read through an understanding of the questions that the first two sections of the book raise; we can only decode these representations if we take into account form and genre, and theoretical conceptualisations such as visual pleasure, spectacle, the uncanny, realism etc.

      Despite creating an extensive and innovative body of work over the last 30 years, Aki Kaurismäki remains relatively neglected in Anglophone scholarship. This international collection of original essays aims to redress such neglect by assembling diverse critical inquiries into Kaurismäki’s oeuvre. The first anthology on Kaurismäki to be published in English, it offers a range of voices responding to his politically and aesthetically compelling cinema. Deploying various methodologies to explore multiple facets of his work, The Films of Aki Kaurismäki will come to be seen as the definitive book on Kaurismäki.

      The Films of Lenny Abrahamson: A Filmmaking of Philosophy of provides a comprehensive study of the films of contemporary, highly critically-appraised Irish director Lenny Abrahamson. As well as considering the aesthetics, cultural reflections and philosophical concerns in the better known work of this dynamic and profoundly original Irish filmmaker, it also looks at his short film – 3 Joes – and his little-seen student film Mendel.

      As the first sustained study of Abrahamson’s engaging and cinematically rich work, Barry Monahan’s book sheds light on the aesthetic wealth of the artist and connects his stylistic innovations to the context of his projects’ socio-cultural background, to his own influences in modern cinema – going beyond Irish film, to reflect upon the works of auteurs such as Bergman, Tarkovsky, Kubrick, and Kaurismäki among others – and to a broader reflection on what his canon has to contribute to the philosophy of cinema, art, and questions about human existence in the 21st century.

      The Grip of Film

      by Gordy LaSure

      Author(s):

      Richard Ayoade

      Richard Ayoade edits and annotates the meditations on film by that master of the medium, Gordy LaSure.

      You SLUG the guy. You KISS the dame. You TOTAL the car. That’s movies. And I love ‘em.

      Gordy LaSure’s passionate about film. He eats film, he drinks film, and sometimes he’ll even watch a film. But most of all he loves talking about film, and how they’d be a shit-ton better if only people would pull their asses out of their ears and listen to Gordy LaSure.

      The voyage of this book can be categorised as an attempt to understand How In Hell Film Works. Why are some films bad, and some films terrible? How come just a handful of films ( Titanic, Porky’s, Dirty Harry) are any good at all? Gordy’ll tell you How and Why, and he’ll give you a shot of Wherefore on the side. And he doesn’t shoot from the hip; he shoots from the gut.

      The Hitchcock Murders

      Author(s):

      Peter Conrad

      Alfred Hitchcock remains the most famous of film-makers. Why was he so successful in enticing us to share his fears and desires? Cultural critic Peter Conrad can date the start of his Hitchcock obsession to his first boyhood viewing of Hitchcock’s Psycho, one afternoon in Tasmania some forty years ago. The master’s grip upon his imagination has never slackened since. Now, Conrad explains how Hitchcock’s mastery of the mechanical art enabled him to unnerve us, shock us, in ways that no artist had previously managed. He shows how Hitchcock made the ordinary world seem fantastically fraught, and how his recurrent themes tapped our common fantasies. Thus Conrad proposes Hitchcock as ‘the greatest of the twentieth century’s surrealists, wickedly expert at erasing the border between actuality and our haunted, licentious dreams’.

      The Pitch

      Author(s):

      Eileen Quinn and Judy Counihan

      A lively, witty and confidence-inspiring guide through the pitch process, this unique book is aimed at every aspiring and practicing storyteller/film-maker setting out to turn their Big Idea into a reality.

      Based on a series of how-to lectures developed by the authors over the last decade and interwoven with interviews with many well-known film-makers, the book’s approach is two-fold. Firstly it looks at the requirements and psychology of buyers, and how successful sales techniques can be adapted to the film industry, providing a detailed analysis of the actual Pitch Process from preparation to delivery. Secondly it incorporates the experience of big name industry practitioners who relate their ‘best and worst’ pitch stories and advice, punctuated by a series of entertaining illustrations from the Guardian cartoonists and animators Berger and Wyse.

      Film students, artists, agents, distributors, script executives, and producers will find the insights of The Pitch utterly invaluable and refer to it again and again each time they go out to market their Big Ideas.

      Vocal Projections

      Voices in Documentary

      Editor(s):

      Annabelle Honess Roe and Maria Pramaggiore

      Vocal Projections: Voices in Documentary examines a previously neglected topic in the field of documentary studies: the political, aesthetic, and affective functions that voices assume. On topics ranging from the celebrity voice over to ventriloquism, from rockumentary screams to feminist vocal politics, these essays demonstrate myriad ways in which voices make documentary meaning beyond their expository, evidentiary and authenticating functions.

      The international range of contributors offers an innovative approach to the issues relating to voices in documentary. While taking account of the existing paradigm in documentary studies pioneered by Bill Nichols, in which voice is equated with political rhetoric and subjective representation, the contributors move into new territory, addressing current and emerging research in voice, sound, music and posthumanist studies.

      Wes Anderson’s Symbolic Storyworld presents a theoretical investigation of whatmakes the films of Wes Anderson distinctive. Chapter by chapter, it relentlessly pulls apart each of Anderson’s narratives to pursue the proposition that they all share the same deep underlying symbolic values – a common symbolic storyworld. Taking the polemical strategy of outlining and employing Claude Lévi-Strauss’s distinguished (and notorious) work on myth and kinship to analyze eight of Anderson’s films, Warren Buckland unearths the peculiar symbolic structure of each film, plus the circuits of exchange, tangible and intangible gift giving, and unusual kinship systems that govern the lives of Anderson’s characters. He also provides an analysis of Wes Anderson’s visual and aural style, identifying several distinctive traits of Anderson’s mise en scè.

      What does a movie producer actually do for a living? Is ‘producing’ any more than writing cheques and smoking fat cigars? Helen de Winter, herself an intrepid young producer, discovers a job that requires the combined skills of a wheeler-dealer, a diplomat, a stern but doting parent, and a clinical psychiatrist. The producers of everything from The Lord of the Rings and Bridget Jones’s Diary to The Constant Gardener and My Big Fat Greek Wedding talk to her about:

      How do you smell a hit?

      How do you raise adequate sums of other peoples’ money to get a film made?

      How do you handle feuds, fights, or even fatalities on set?

      And what can you do to drag the general public off the street and into cinemas to study the fruits of your labour?

      The results make enlightening reading, whether your interest lies in movies or money, or whether indeed what you really want to do is produce...