Adaptations have occurred regularly since the beginning of cinema, but little recognition has been given to avant-garde adaptations of literary or other texts. This compelling study corrects such omissions by detailing the theory and practice of alternative adaptation practices from major avant-garde directors.
Avant-Garde films are often relegated to the margins because they challenge our traditional notions of what film form and style can accomplish. Directors who choose to adapt previous material run the risk of severe critical dismay; making films that are highly subjective interpretations or representations of existing texts takes courage and foresight. An avant-garde adaptation provokes spectators by making them re-think what they know about film itself, just as much as the previous source material.
Adaptation and the Avant-Garde examines films by Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard, Guy Maddin, Jan Svankmajer and many others, offering illuminating insights and making us reconsider the nature of adaptation, appropriation, borrowing, and the re-imagining of previous sources.
There is no disputing that the coming of sound heralded a new era for adaptations. We take it for granted today that a film is enhanced by sound but it was not a view unanimously held in the early period of sound cinema. While there was a substantial degree of skepticism in the late 1920s and early 30s about the advantages of sound, what we would call technophobia today, the inclusion of speech in screen versions of literary and theatrical works, undeniably revised what it was to be an adaptation: words.
Focusing on promotional materials, Adaptations in the Sound Era tracks early attempts to promote sound through the elevation of words in adaptations in the early sound period. The popular appeal of these films clearly stands in opposition to academic regard for them and the book reflects on the presence and marketing of ‘words’ in a variety of adaptations, from the introduction of sound in the late 1920s to the mid 1930s. This book contextualizes a range of adaptations in relation to debates about ‘picturizations’ of books in the early sound era, including reactions to the talking adaptation by writers such as, Irwin Panofsky, Aldous Huxley and Graham Greene. Film adaptations of Shakespeare, Dickens, gothic fiction and biopics are also discussed in relation to their use and promotion of sound or, more precisely, words.
Traditional critics of film adaptation generally assumed a) that the written text is better than the film adaptation because the plot is more intricate and the language richer when pictorial images do not intrude; b) that films are better when particularly faithful to the original; c) that authors do not make good script writers and should not sully their imagination by writing film scripts; d) and often that American films lack the complexity of authored texts because they are sourced out of Hollywood. The ‘faithfulness’ view has by and large disappeared, and intertextuality is now a generally received notion, but the field still lacks studies with a postmodern methodology and lens.Exploring Hollywood feature films as well as small studio productions, Adaptation Theory and Criticism explores the intertextuality of a dozen films through a series of case studies introduced through discussions of postmodern methodology and practice. Providing the reader with informative background on theories of film adaptation as well as carefully articulated postmodern methodology and issues, Gordon Slethaug includes several case studies of major Hollywood productions and small studio films, some of which have been discussed before ( Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York, and Do the Right Thing) and some that have received lesser consideration ( Six Degrees of Separation, Smoke, Smoke Signals, Broken Flowers, and various Snow White narratives including Enchanted, Mirror Mirror, and Snow White and the Huntsman). Useful for both film and literary studies students, Adaptation Theory and Criticism cogently combines the existing scholarship and uses previous theories to engage readers to think about the current state of American literature and film.
Displacement does not only have an effect on groups’ and individuals’ ways of relating to their identity and their past but the knowledge and experience of it also has an impact on its representation. Looking at films that represent the experience of displacement in relation to Turkey’s minorities, Aesthetics of Displacement argues that there is a particular aesthetic continuity among the otherwise unrelated films. Ozlem Koksal focuses on films that bring taboo issues concerning the repression of minorities into visibility, arguing that the changing political and social conditions determine not only the types of stories told but also the ways in which these stories are told.
Focusing on aesthetic and narrative continuities, the films discussed include Ararat, Waiting for the Clouds and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia among others. Each film is examined in light of major historical event(s) and their context (political and social) as well as the impact these events had on the construction of both minority and Turkish identity.
Weimar cultural critics and intellectuals have repeatedly linked the dynamic movement of the cinema to discourses of life and animation. Correspondingly, recent film historians and theorists have taken up these discourses to theorize the moving image, both in analog and digital. But, many important issues are overlooked. Combining close readings of individual films with detailed interpretations of philosophical texts, all produced in Weimar Germany immediately following the Great War, Afterlives: Allegories of Film and Mortality in Early Weimar Germany shows how these films teach viewers about living and dying within a modern, mass mediated context.
Choe places relatively underanalyzed films such as F. W. Murnau’s The Haunted Castle and Arthur Robison’s Warning Shadows alongside Martin Heidegger’s early seminars on phenomenology, Sigmund Freud’s Reflections upon War and Death and Max Scheler’s critique of ressentiment. It is the experience of war trauma that underpins these correspondences, and Choe foregrounds life and death in the films by highlighting how they allegorize this opposition through the thematics of animation and stasis.
After the Fact studies the terrain of Holocaust documentaries subsequent to the turn of the twenty-first century. Until now most studies have centered primarily on canonical films such as Shoah and Night and Fog, but over the course of the last ten years filmmaking practices have altered dramatically. Changing techniques, diminishing communities of survivors, and the public's response to familiar, even iconic imagery, have all challenged filmmakers to radically revise and newly envision how they depict the Holocaust. Innovative styles have emerged, including groundbreaking techniques of incorporating archival footage, survivor testimony, and reenactment. Carrying wider implications for the fields of Film Studies, Jewish Studies, and Visual Studies, this book closely analyzes ten contemporary and internationally produced films, most of which have hardly been touched upon in the critical literature or elsewhere.
The history of Greek cinema is a rather obscure and unexamined affair. Greek cinema started slowly and then collapsed; for several years it struggled to reinvent itself, produced its first mature works, then collapsed completely and almost vanished. Because of such a complex historical trajectory no comprehensive survey of the development of Greek cinema has been written in English. This book is the first to explore its development and the contexts that defined it by focusing on its main films, personalities and theoretical discussions.
A History of Greek Cinema focuses on the early decades and the attempts to establish a “national” cinema useful to social cohesion and national identity. It also analyses the problems and the dilemmas that many Greek directors faced in order to establish a distinct Greek cinema language and presents the various stages of development throughout the background of the turbulent political history of the country. The book combines historical analysis and discussions about cinematic form in to construct a narrative history about Greek cinematic successes and failures.
A History of Spanish Film explores Spanish film from the beginnings of the industry to the present day by combining some of the most exciting work taking place in film studies with some of the most urgent questions that have preoccupied twentieth-century Spain. It addresses new questions in film studies, like ‘prestige film’ and ‘middlebrow cinema’, and places these in the context of a country defined by social mobility, including the 1920s industrial boom, the 1940s post-Civil War depression, and the mass movement into the middle classes from the 1960s onwards. Close textual analysis of some 42 films from 1910-2010 provides an especially useful avenue into the study of this cinema for the student.
– Uniquely offers extensive close readings of 42 films, which are especially useful to students and teachers of Spanish cinema.
– Analyses Spanish silent cinema and films of the Franco era as well as contemporary examples.
– Interrogates film’s relations with other media, including literature, pictorial art and television.
– Explores both ‘auteur’ and ‘popular’ cinemas.
– Establishes ‘prestige’ and the ‘middlebrow’ as crucial new terms in Spanish cinema studies.
– Considers the transnationality of Spanish cinema throughout its century of existence.
– Contemporary directors covered in this book include Almodóvar, Bollaín, Díaz Yanes and more.
Few European male actors have been as iconic and influential for generations of filmgoers as Alain Delon. Emblematic of a modern, European masculinity, Delon’s appeal spanned cultures and continents. From his breakthrough as the first on-screen Tom Ripley in Purple Noon in 1960, through two legendary performances in Rocco and His Brothers and The Leopard in the early 1960s, to his roles in some of Jean-Pierre Melville’s most celebrated films noirs, Delon came to embody the flair and stylishness of the European thriller as one of France’s most recognizable film stars.
This collection examines the star’s career, image and persona. Not only focusing on his spectacular early performances, the book also considers less well documented aspects of Delon’s long career such as his time in Hollywood, his work as director, producer and screenwriter, his musical collaborations, his TV appearances, and his enduring role as a fashion icon in the 21st century. Whether the object of reverence or ridicule, of desire or disdain, Delon remains a unique figure who continues to court controversy and fascination more than five decades after he first achieved international fame.
Alice Guy Blaché (1873-1968), the world's first woman filmmaker, was one of the key figures in the development of narrative film. From 1896 to 1920 she directed 400 films (including over 100 synchronized sound films), produced hundreds more, and was the first--and so far the only--woman to own and run her own studio plant (The Solax Studio in Fort Lee, NJ, 1910-1914). However, her role in film history was completely forgotten until her own memoirs were published in 1976. This new book tells her life story and fills in many gaps left by the memoirs. Guy Blaché's life and career mirrored momentous changes in the film industry, and the long time-span and sheer volume of her output makes her films a fertile territory for the application of new theories of cinema history, the development of film narrative, and feminist film theory. The book provides a close analysis of the one hundred Guy Blaché films that survive, and in the process rewrites early cinema history.
As both an extra-terrestrial and a terrestrial migrant, the alien provides a critical framework to help us understand the interactions between cultures and to explore the transgressive force of travel over geographical, cultural or linguistic borders. Offering a perspective on the alien that connects to scholarship on immigration and globalization, Alien Imaginations brings together canonical and contemporary works in the literature and cinema of science fiction and transnationalism. By examining the role of the alien through the themes of language, anxiety and identity, the essays in this collection engage with authors such as H.G. Wells, Eleanor Arnason, Philip K. Dick and Yoko Tawada as well as directors such as Neill Blomkamp, James Cameron and Michael Winterbottom. Focusing on works that are European and North American in origin, the readings in this volume explore their critical intent and their potential to undermine many of the central notions of Western hegemonic discourses. Alien Imaginations reflects upon contemporary cultural imaginaries as well as the realities of migration, labor and life, suggesting models of resistance, if not utopian horizons.
Alien Woman examines the construction of sex and gender in the four science-fiction films comprising the Alien saga (starring Sigourney Weaver). The Alien saga stands alone in presenting an enduring, self-reliant female protagonist, Ripley, who in the first film ends up as the sole survivor of the beleaguered starship Nostromo. Subsequent writers and directors in the 1980s and 1990s, left to grapple with this strong female protagonist, reenvision Ripley to for different social, political, and cultural imperatives for women. Alien Woman focuses on how these writers and directors have re-written Ripley and how each revision informs our understanding of women in science fiction. And by examining the films’ creation and commodification of the female hero, the books illustrates how changing attitudes toward women and the female body help us understand broader societal beliefs and relationships, and provides a useful lens with which to understand woman’s place in the late 20th century and early 21st century. Alien Woman will appeal to researchers and teachers in film, mass communication, women’s studies, gender studies and genre studies (particularly in science fiction and horror).
An exciting collection of original interviews with the infamously outspoken director of Short Cuts.
From Nashville to The Player to Gosford Park, Robert Altman's irreverent, iconoclastic style has palpably altered the landscape of American cinema. Cited as an influence by such envelope-pushing directors as Spike Jonze and P. T. Anderson, Altman has created a genre all his own, notable for its improvised, overlapping dialogue and creative cinematography. One of the key moviemakers of the 1970s – commonly considered the heyday of American film – Altman's irrepressible combination of unorthodox vision and style is most clearly evidenced in the fourteen movies he released across that decade. By fine-tuning his talent in a diverse array of genres, including westerns, thrillers, and loopy, absurdist comedies – all subtly altered to fit his signature métier – he cemented his place as one of our most esteemed directors.
In these conversations with David Thompson, Altman reflects on his start in industrial filmmaking, as well as his tenure in television directing Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Bonanza, and his big break in feature films as the director of the enormously popular M*A*S*H, a project for which he was the last possible resort behind fourteen other directors. The resulting portrait reveals a quixotic man whose films continue to delight and challenge audiences, both in the United States and beyond.
With the advent of digital filmmaking and critical recognition of the relevance of self expression, first-person narratives, and personal practices of memorialization, interest in the amateur moving image has never been stronger. Bringing together key scholars in the field, and revealing the rich variety of amateur filmmaking-from home movies of Imperial India and film diaries of life in contemporary China, to the work of leading auteurs such as Joseph Morder and Péter Forgács-Amateur Filmmaking highlights the importance of amateur cinema as a core object of critical interest across an array of disciplines. With contributions on the role of the archive, on YouTube, and on the impact of new technologies on amateur filmmaking, these essays offer the first comprehensive examination of this growing field.
The majority of scholarly treatments for film adaptation are put forth by experts on film and film analysis, thus with the focus being on film. Analyzing Literature-to-Film Adaptations looks at film adaptation from a fresh perspective, that of writer or creator of literary fiction. In her book, Snyder explores both literature and film as separate entities, detailing the analytical process of interpreting novels and short stories, as well as films. She then introduces a means to analyzing literature-to-film adaptations, drawing from the concept of intertextual comparison. Snyder writes not only from the perspective of a fiction writer but also as an instructor of writing, literature, and film adaptation. She employs the use of specific film adaptations ( Frankenstein, Children of Men, Away from Her) to show the analytical process put into practice. Her approach to film adaptation is designed for students just beginning their academic journey but also for those students well on their way. The book also is written for high school and college instructors who teach film adaptations in the classroom.
A New History of Documentary Film, Second Edition offers a much-needed resource, considering the very rapid changes taking place within documentary media. Building upon the best-selling 2005 edition, Betsy McLane keeps the same chronological examination, factual reliability, ease of use and accessible prose style as before, while also weaving three new threads - Experimental Documentary, Visual Anthropology and Environmental/Nature Films - into the discussion. She provides emphasis on archival and preservation history, present practices, and future needs for documentaries. Along with preservation information, specific problems of copyright and fair use, as they relate to documentary, are considered.
Finally, A History of Documentary Film retains and updates the recommended readings and important films and the end of each chapter from the first edition, including the bibliography and appendices. Impossible to talk learnedly about documentary film without an audio-visual component, a companion website will increase its depth of information and overall usefulness to students, teachers and film enthusiasts.
In A New History of Japanese Cinema Isolde Standish focuses on the historical development of Japanese film. She details an industry and an art form shaped by the competing and merging forces of traditional culture and of economic and technological innovation. Adopting a thematic, exploratory approach, Standish links the concept of Japanese cinema as a system of communication with some of the central discourses of the twentieth century: modernism, nationalism, humanism, resistance, and gender.
After an introduction outlining the earliest years of cinema in Japan, Standish demonstrates cinema's symbolic position in Japanese society in the 1930s - as both a metaphor and a motor of modernity. Moving into the late thirties and early forties, Standish analyses cinema's relationship with the state-focusing in particular on the war and occupation periods. The book's coverage of the post-occupation period looks at "romance" films in particular. Avant-garde directors came to the fore during the 1960s and early seventies, and their work is discussed in depth. The book concludes with an investigation of genre and gender in mainstream films of recent years.
In grappling with Japanese film history and criticism, most western commentators have concentrated on offering interpretations of what have come to be considered "classic" films. A New History of Japanese Cinema takes a genuinely innovative approach to the subject, and should prove an essential resource for many years to come.
Studying landscape in cinema isn’t quite new; it’d be hard to imagine Woody Allen without New York, or the French New Wave without Paris. But the focus on live-action cinema leaves a significant gap in studying animated films. With the almost total pervasiveness of animation today, this collection provides the reader with a greater sense of how the animated landscapes of the present relate to those of the past. Including essays from international perspectives, Animated Landscapes introduces an idea that has seemed, literally, to be in the background of animation studies.
The collection provides a timely counterpoint to the dominance of character (be that either animated characters such as Mickey Mouse or real world personalities such as Walt Disney) that exists within animation scholarship (and film studies more generally). Chapters address a wide range of topics including history, case studies in national contexts (including Australia, Japan, China and Latvia), the traversal of animated landscape, the animation of fantastical landscapes, and the animation of interactive landscapes. Animated Landscapes promises to be an invaluable addition to the existing literature, for the most overlooked aspect of animation.
Animation - Process, Cognition and Actuality presents a uniquely philosophical and multi-disciplinary approach to the scholarly study of animation, by using the principles of process philosophy and Deleuzian film aesthetics to discuss animation practices, from early optical devices to contemporary urban design and installations. Some of the original theories presented are a process-philosophy based theory of animation; a cognitive theory of animation; a new theoretical approach to the animated documentary; an original investigative approach to animation; and unique considerations as to the convergence of animation and actuality. Numerous animated examples (from all eras and representing a wide range of techniques and approaches – including television shows and video games) are examined, such as Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Princess Mononoke (2001), Gertie the Dinosaur (1914), The Peanuts Movie (2015), Grand Theft Auto V (2013), and Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist (1995–2000).
This is an introduction to some of the world's top animation filmmakers, whose faces and voices remain largely unseen and unappreciated outside of the animation community.
Casting fresh light on New Hollywood – one of American cinema’s most fertile eras – Authoring Hal Ashby is the first sustained argument that, rather than a period dominated by genius auteurs, New Hollywood was an era of intense collaboration producing films of multiple-authorship. Centering its discussion on the films and filmmaking practice of director Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, Shampoo, Being There), Hunter’s work demonstrates how the auteur paradigm has served not only to diminish several key films and filmmakers of the era, but also to underestimate and undervalue the key contributions to the era’s films of cinematographers, editors, writers and other creative crew members.
Placing Ashby’s films and career within the historical context of his era to show how he actively resisted the auteur label, the author demonstrates how this resistance led to Ashby’s marginalization by film executives of his time and within subsequent film scholarship. Through rigorous analysis of several films, Hunter moves on to demonstrate Ashby’s own signature authorial contributions to his films and provides thorough and convincing demonstrations of the authorial contributions made by several of Ashby’s key collaborators.
Building on emerging scholarship on multiple-authorship, Authoring Hal Ashby lays out a creative new approach to understanding one of Hollywood cinema’s most exciting eras and one of its most vital filmmakers.
In this book Richard Ayoade -- actor, writer, director, and amateur dentist -- reflects on his cinematic legacy as only he can: in conversation with himself. Over ten brilliantly insightful and often erotic interviews, Ayoade examines Ayoade fully and without mercy, leading a breathless investigation into this once-in-a-generation visionary. They have called their book Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey. Take the journey, and your life will never be the same again.
Encompassing experimental film and video, essay film, gallery-based installation art, and digital art, Jihoon Kim establishes the concept of hybrid moving images as an array of impure images shaped by the encounters and negotiations between different media, while also using it to explore various theoretical issues, such as stillness and movement, indexicality, abstraction, materiality, afterlives of the celluloid cinema, archive, memory, apparatus, and the concept of medium as such.
Grounding its study in interdisciplinary framework of film studies, media studies, and contemporary art criticism, Between Film, Video, and the Digital offers a fresh insight on the post-media conditions of film and video under the pervasive influences of digital technologies, as well as on the crucial roles of media hybridity in the creative processes of giving birth to the emerging forms of the moving image. Incorporating in-depth readings of recent works by more than thirty artists and filmmakers, including Jim Campbell, Bill Viola, Sam Taylor-Johnson, David Claerbout, Fiona Tan, Takeshi Murata, Jennifer West, Ken Jacobs, Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller, Hito Steyerl, Lynne Sachs, Harun Farocki, Doug Aitken, Douglas Gordon, Stan Douglas, Candice Breitz, among others, the book is the essential scholarly monograph for understanding how digital technologies simultaneously depend on and differ film previous time-based media, and how this juncture of similarities and differences signals a new regime of the art of the moving image.
This is the first collection of original critical essays devoted to exploring the misunderstood, neglected and frequently caricatured role played by the film producer. The editors’ introduction provides a conceptual and methodological overview, arguing that the producer’s complex and multifaceted role is crucial to a film’s success or failure.
The collection is divided into three sections where detailed individual essays explore a broad range of contrasting producers working in different historical, geographical, generic and industrial contexts. Rather than suggest there is a single type of producer, the collection analyses the rich variety of roles producers play, providing fascinating and informative insights into how the film industry actually works. This groundbreaking collection challenges several of the conventional orthodoxies of film studies, providing a new approach that will become required reading for scholars and students.
Beyond the Screen presents an expanded conceptualization of cinema which encompasses the myriad ways film can be experienced in a digitally networked society where the auditorium is now just one location amongst many in which audiences can encounter and engage with films. The book includes considerations of mobile, web, social media and live cinema through numerous examples and case studies of recent and near-future developments.
Through analyses of narrative, text, process, apparatus and audience this book traces the metamorphosis of an emerging cinema and maps the new spaces of spectatorship which are currently challenging what it means to be cinematic in a digitally networked era.
Scholars have consistently applied psychoanalytic models to representations of gender in early teen slasher films such as Black Christmas (1974), Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980) in order to claim that these were formulaic, excessively violent exploitation films, fashioned to satisfy the misogynist fantasies of teenage boys and grind house patrons. However, by examining the commercial logic, strategies and objectives of the American and Canadian independents that produced the films and the companies that distributed them in the US, Blood Money demonstrates that filmmakers and marketers actually went to extraordinary lengths to make early teen slashers attractive to female youth, to minimize displays of violence, gore and suffering and to invite comparisons to a wide range of post-classical Hollywood's biggest hits; including Love Story (1970), The Exorcist (1973), Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease and Animal House (both 1978).
Blood Money is a remarkable piece of scholarship that highlights the many forces that helped establish the teen slasher as a key component of the North American film industry's repertoire of youth-market product.
Bollywood in Britain provides the most extensive survey to date of the various manifestations and facets of the Bollywood phenomenon in Britain. The book analyzes the role of Hindi films in the British film market, it shows how audiences engage with Bollywood cinema and it discusses the ways the image of Bollywood in Britain has been shaped. In contrast to most of the existing books on the subject, which tend to approach Bollywood as something that is made by Asians for Asians, the book also focuses on how Bollywood has been adapted for non-Asian Britons. An analysis of Bollywood as an unofficial brand is combined with in-depth readings of texts like film reviews, the TV show Bollywood Star (2004) and novels and plays with references to the Bombay film industry. On this basis Bollywood in Britain demonstrates that the presentation of Bollywood for British mainstream culture oscillates between moments of approximation and distancing, with a clear dominance of the latter. Despite its alleged transculturality, Bollywood in Britain thus emerges as a phenomenon of difference, distance and Othering.
With a wink or a nod, a shake of their shoulders or hips, America’s “Dark Divas,” “Sepia Sirens,” “Black Beauties” have acted out fantastic stories full of whispers and secrets. They have played with the myths, created legends, turned the social order topsy-turvy. One thing is certain: in 20th- and 21st-century America, an impressive lineup of African American women have dazzled and delighted the world with their energy and style.
Who are these great women of the stage and screen? the singers, dancers, comediennes, actresses? In this groundbreaking book, Donald Bogle narrates a sweeping history and describes a remarkable tradition that was largely unknown or not understood - or simply unacknowledged.
Each of the women in Brown Sugar has a perfected public personality uniquely her own - Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Fredi Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Katherine Dunham, Marian Anderson, Moms Mabley, Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, Leontyne Price, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Cicely Tyson, Tina Turner, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim, Alicia Keyes, Beyoncé Knowles, and many others.
Diva style has sometimes been part put-on, part come-on, part camp, and part reflection of an authentic African American cultural tradition. Haughtiness, control, shrewdness, energy, extravagance, optimism, and humor are all a part of it. “Dazzle your audience,” they seemed to say, “but never lose your cool.”
Yet, there are often the tears behind the mask, the hideous realities of racism and exploitation, the pain hiding behind the smile, the concealed anxieties, private lives in ruins: all the obstacles and pressures involved in making it to the top.
Always, however, there is the redemption through these women’s art.
In these pages are the incandescent women who have lit up Broadway and movie screens; turned clubs, cafés, concert halls, and televisions aglow with their particular brand of black magic; sold millions of cds and dvds; and are the subjects of endless fascination in the tabloids and on the Internet.
Onstage and off, the lives of these captivating women, their follies and fortunes, trials, tragedies, transformations, and triumphs, their inimitable style, have become a cherished part of our own.
A revised edition of the only book to explore the unique brilliance of director Tim Burton's work, including a new chapter on the making of Sleepy Hollow.
Still only in his thirties, Tim Burton has established himself in the past fifteen years as one of the great visionaries of film. With the Batman films, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, and, most recently, Sleepy Hollow, he has continually broken new ground both visually and thematically, exploring the dark anguish--as well as the dark humor--that animates many of his characters while also creating a densely textured, sometimes bizarre look specific to each film.
In Burton on Burton, Burton talks to Mark Salisbury about his training as an animator at Disney, the importance of design in his films, and the recurring themes present in his work. In this revised edition, he also discusses the influence of 1950s sci-fi and 1970s disaster films on Mars Attacks! as well as how he conceived his highly stylized approach to the content and setting of Sleepy Hollow, his acclaimed retelling of the Washington Irving story that stars Johnny Depp, perhaps the actor most identified with Burton's work. Enhanced by stills from the films, storyboards, and illustrations of set designs for all his major films, Burton on Burton provides insights and information about the man and his work, throwing light on both his unique artistic vision and on the extraordinary films that have been the result.
‘Tracing Keaton's beginnings in vaudeville and how he eventually applied that form's traits to cinema, McPherson creates an excellent portrait of a formidable talent, also addressing the private demons that accelerated his eventual slide.’ Empire
‘The author, rather like his subject, has the knack of sketching a poignant moment using minimum of sentimental flannel.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘McPherson wins one over because of his loving fan's attention to, and lively evocation of, the core of Keaton's achievement.’ Telegraph
‘Graceful and charming… McPherson's account is animated by the same sort of colour and vitality as Buster's best work.’ Scotsman
Charles Hawtrey, the skinny one with the granny glasses, was everybody's favourite in the "Carry On" films. Incorporating interviews with the major players, this biography examines Hawtrey's origins as a child star and as a performer in revue and the Will Hay films. it looks at his career on radio and television, and then at the sad, slow decline of a belligerent, alcoholic recluse on the Kent coast.
The child has existed in cinema since the Lumière Brothers filmed their babies having messy meals in Lyons, but it is only quite recently that scholars have paid serious attention to her/his presence on screen. Scholarly discussion is now of the highest quality and of interest to anyone concerned not only with the extent to which adult cultural conversations invoke the figure of the child, but also to those interested in exploring how film cultures can shift questions of agency and experience in relation to subjectivity. Childhood and Nation in World Cinema recognizes that the range of films and scholarship is now sufficiently extensive to invoke the world cinema mantra of pluri-vocal and pluri-central attention and interpretation. At the same time, the importance of the child in figuring ideas of nationhood is an undiminished tic in adult cultural and social consciousness. Either the child on film provokes claims on the nation or the nation claims the child. Given the waning star of national film studies, and the widely held and serious concerns over the status of the nation as a meaningful cultural unit, the point here is not to assume some extraordinary pre-social geopolitical empathy of child and political entity. Rather, the present collection observes how and why and whether the cinematic child is indeed aligned to concepts of modern nationhood, to concerns of the State, and to geo-political organizational themes and precepts.
Matthew D. Johnson, Keith B. Wagner, Tianqi Yu and Luke Vulpiani
This innovative collection of essays on twenty-first century Chinese cinema and moving image culture features contributions from an international community of scholars, critics, and practitioners. Taken together, their perspectives make a compelling case that the past decade has witnessed a radical transformation of conventional notions of cinema. Following China’s accession to the WTO in 2001, personal and collective experiences of changing social conditions have added new dimensions to the increasingly diverse Sinophone media landscape, and provided a novel complement to the existing edifice of blockbusters, documentaries, and auteur culture. The numerous ‘iGeneration’ productions and practices examined in this volume include 3D and IMAX films, experimental documentaries, animation, visual aides-mémoires, and works of pirated pastiche. Together, they bear witness to the emergence of a new Chinese cinema characterized by digital and, trans-media representational strategies, the blurring of private/public distinctions, and dynamic reinterpretations of the very notion of ‘cinema’ itself.
Cinema and Agamben brings together a group of established scholars of film and visual culture to explore the nexus between the moving image and the influential work of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Including two original texts by Agamben himself, published here for the first time in English translation, these essays facilitate a unique multidisciplinary conversation that fundamentally rethinks the theory and praxis of cinema. In their resourceful analyses of the work of artists such as David Claerbout, Jean-Luc Godard, Philippe Grandrieux, Michael Haneke, Jean Rouch, and others, the authors put to use a range of key concepts from Agamben's rich body of work, like biopolitics, de-creation, gesture, potentiality and profanation. Sustaining the eminently interdisciplinary scope of Agamben's writing, the essays all bespeak the importance of Agamben's thought for forging new beginnings in film theory and for remedying the elegiac proclamations of the death of cinema so characteristic of the current moment.
Carrie Tarr and Brigitte Rollet
Women's film-making in France is a source of both delight and despair. On the one hand, the numbers are impressive--during the period in question, over 250 feature-length films were made by over 100 women directors in France. On the other hand, despite the heritage of French feminism, French women directors characteristically disclaim their gender as a sigificant factor in their filmaking.This incisive study provides an informative, critical guide to this major body of work, exploring the boundaries between personal films (intimate psychological dramas relating to key stages in life) and genre films (which demonstrate women's ability to appropriate and rework popular genres). It analyzes the effects of "postfeminism," women's desire to enter the mainstream, and the recent impact of a new generation of filmakers. It thus enables readers for the first time to take stock of the wealth and diversity of women's contribution to French cinema during the 1980s and 1990s.
Hyperreality is an Alice-in-Wonderland dimension where copies have no originals, simulation is more real than reality, and living dreams undermine the barriers between imagination and objective experience. The most prominent philosopher of the hyperreal, Jean Baudrillard, formulated his concept of hyperreality throughout the 1980s, but it was not until the 1990s that the end of the Cold War, along with the proliferation of new reality-bending technologies, made hyperreality seem to come true. In the “lost decade” between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11, the nature of reality itself became a source of uncertainty, a psychic condition that has been recognizably recorded by that seismograph of American consciousness, Hollywood cinema.
The auteur cinema of the 1970s aimed for gritty realism, and the most prominent feature of Reagan-era cinema was its fantastic unrealism. Clinton-era cinema, however, is characterized by a prevailing mood of hyperrealism, communicated in various ways by such benchmark films as JFK, Pulp Fiction, and The Matrix. The hyperreal cinema of the 1990s conceives of the movie screen as neither a window on a preexisting social reality (realism), nor as a wormhole into a fantastic dream-dimension (escapism), but as an arena in which images and reality exchange masks, blend into one another, and challenge the philosophical premises which differentiate them from one another. Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 1990s provides a guided tour through the anxieties and fantasies, reciprocally social and cinematic, which characterize the surreal territory of the hyperreal.
From Richard Wagner and George Lucas to Alfred Hitchcock and Maria Callas, Schroeder provides a fascinating account of the entire absorbing history of the interdependence of opera and film, demonstrating how opera can be found lurking in the background of a wide range of films.The allure of opera to cinema early in the century held up through the silent era, into sound films, through the golden age of movies, and into the most recent approaches to moviemaking. Cinema’s Illusions, Opera’s Allure explores the numerous ways – some predictable, some unexpected, and some bizarre – that this has happened.
The site of cinema is on the move. The extent to which technologically mediated sounds and images continue to be experienced as cinematic today is largely dependent on the intensified sense of being ‘here,’ ‘now’ and ‘me’ that they convey. This intensification is fundamentally rooted in the cinematic’s potential to intensify our experience of time, to convey time’s thickening, of which the sense of place, and a sense of self-presence are the correlatives. In this study, Pepita Hesselberth traces this thickening of time across four different spatio-temporal configurations of the cinematic: a multi-media exhibition featuring the work of Andy Warhol (1928–1987); the handheld aesthetics of European art-house films; a large-scale media installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer; and the usage of the trope of the flash-forward in mainstream Hollywood cinema. Only by juxtaposing these cases by looking at what they have in common, this study argues, can we grasp the complexity of the changes that the cinematic is currently undergoing.
In 1896, Maxim Gorky declared cinema “the Kingdom of Shadows.” In its silent, ashen-grey world, he saw a land of spectral, and ever since then cinema has had a special relationship with the haunted and the ghostly. Cinematic Ghosts is the first collection devoted to this subject, including fourteen new essays, dedicated to exploring the many permutations of the movies’ phantoms.
Cinematic Ghosts contains essays revisiting some classic ghost films within the genres of horror ( The Haunting, 1963), romance ( Portrait of Jennie, 1948), comedy ( Beetlejuice, 1988) and the art film ( Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2010), as well as essays dealing with a number of films from around the world, from Sweden to China. Cinematic Ghosts traces the archetype of the cinematic ghost from the silent era until today, offering analyses from a range of historical, aesthetic and theoretical dimensions.
The history of cinema charts multiple histories of exile. From the German émigrés in 1930s Hollywood to today's Iranian filmmakers in Europe and the United States, these histories continue to exert a profound influence on the evolution of cinematic narratives and aesthetics. But while the effect of exile and diaspora on film practice has been fruitfully explored from both historical and contemporary perspectives, the issues raised by return, whether literal or metaphorical, have yet to be fully considered.
Cinematic Homecomings expands upon existing studies of transnational cinema by addressing the questions raised by reverse migration and the return home in a variety of historical and national contexts, from postcolonialism to post-Communism. By looking beyond exile, the contributors offer a multidirectional perspective on the relationship between migration, mobility, and transnational cinema. ‘Narratives of return’ are among the most popular themes of the contemporary cinema of countries ranging from Morocco to Cuba to the Soviet Union. This speaks to both the sociocultural reality of reverse migration and to its significance on the imagination of the nation.
Film and terrorism go back a long way. The very birth of cinema in the 1890s coincided with an early golden age of terrorism, as bomb-throwing anarchists and nationalists captured headlines in countries as far apart as France and India.
Cinematic Terror provides the first history of cinema’s depiction of terrorism from the early 1900s to the present day. It looks at how cinema has been the site of conflict between filmmakers and terrorists for over a century and identifies important trends in the ways that film industries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East have framed terrorism. From the birth of moving pictures to the internet age, the author explains how filmmakers from around the world have depicted terrorists, have made money and propaganda out of terrorism, and have died at the hands of terrorists. Professor Shaw shows that for over a century, cinema has had a profound impact on peoples’ understanding of terrorism.
Catherine Russell's highly accessible book approaches Japanese cinema as an industry closely modeled on Hollywood, focusing on the classical period - those years in which the studio system dominated all film production in Japan, from roughly 1930 to 1960. Respectful and thoroughly informed about the aesthetics and critical values of the Japanese canon, Russell is also critical of some of its ideological tendencies, and her analyses provide new insights on class and gender dynamics. Russell locates Japanese cinema within a global system of reception, and she highlights the importance of the industrial production context of these films.
Including studies of landmark films by Ozu, Kurosawa and other directors, this book provides a perfect introduction to a crucial and often misunderstood area of Japanese cultural output. With a critical approach that highlights the “everydayness” of Japanese studio-era cinema, Catherine Russell demystifies the canon of great Japanese cinema, treating it with fewer auteurist and Orientalist assumptions than many other scholars and critics.
This book explores the work of Dino Risi with The Easy Life (1962), The Monsters (1963), The New Monsters (1977), and Scent of a Woman (1974), Mario Monicelli with Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), The Great War (1959), and Amici miei (1975), also Pietro Germi with Divorce Italian Style (1961), as well as filmmakers as disparate as Federico Fellini with Amarcord (1973), Ettore Scola with Down and Dirty (1976), Lina Wertmüller with Swept Away (1974), Luigi Comencini with The Scientific Cardplayer (1972) and many others. In addition the volume explains how the genre was able to reveal during two decades (1960s and 1970s) many acting talents and confirmed the future legacy of picturesque icons such as Alberto Sordi, Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman, Stefania Sandrelli, Claudia Cardinale, Monica Vitti, Giancarlo Giannini and Ugo Tognazzi, all of whom depicted the Italian resilience in the utmost idiosyncratic manner.
Compact Cinematics challenges the dominant understanding of cinema to focus on the various compact, short, miniature, pocket-sized forms of cinematics that have existed from even before its standardization in theatrical form, and in recent years have multiplied and proliferated, taking up an increasingly important part of our everyday multimedia environment. Short films or micro-narratives, cinematic pieces or units re-assembled into image archives and looping themes, challenge the concepts that have traditionally been used to understand cinematic experience, like linear causality, sequentiality, and closure, and call attention to complex and modular forms of cinematic expression and perception. Such forms, in turn, seem to meet the requirements of digital convergence, which has pushed the development of more compact and mobile hardware for the display and use of audiovisual content on laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Meanwhile, contemporary economies of digital content acquisition, filing, and sharing equally require the shrinking of cinematic content for it to be recorded, played, projected, distributed, and installed with ease and speed. In this process, cinematic experience is shortened and condensed as well, so as to fit the late-capitalist attention economy. The essays in this volume ask what this changed technical, socio-economic and political situation entails for the aesthetics and experience of contemporary cinematics, and call attention to different concepts, theories and tools at our disposal to analyze these changes.
Unlike most screenwriting guides that generally analyze several aspects of screenwriting, Constructing Dialogue is devoted to a more analytical treatment of certain individual scenes and how those scenes were constructed to be the most highly dramatic vis á vis their dialogue. In the art of screenwriting, one cannot separate how the scene is constructed from how the dialogue is written. They are completely interwoven.
Each chapter deals with how a particular screenwriter approached dialogue relative to that particular scene's construction. From Citizen Kane to The Fisher King the storylines have changed, but the techniques used to construct scene and dialogue have fundamentally remained the same. The author maintains that there are four optimum requirements that each scene needs in order to be successful: maintaining scenic integrity; advancing the storyline, developing character, and eliciting conflict and engaging emotionally. Comparing the original script and viewing the final movie, the student is able to see what exactly was being accomplished to make both the scene and the dialogue work effectively.
This book focuses on a selection of internationally known Latin American films. The chapters are organized around national categories, grounding the readings not only in the context of social and political conditions, but also in those of each national film industry. It is a very useful text for students of the region's cultural output, as well as for students of film studies who wish to learn more about the innovative and often controversial films discussed.
While masculinity has been an increasingly visible field of study within several disciplines (sociology, literary studies, cultural studies, film and tv) over the last two decades, it is surprising that analysis of contemporary representations of the first part of the century has yet to emerge. Professor Brian Baker, evolving from his previous work Masculinities in Fiction and Film: Representing Men in Popular Genres 1945-2000, intervenes to rectify the scholarship in the field to produce a wide-ranging, readable text that deals with films and other texts produced since the year 2000. Focusing on representations of masculinity in cinema, popular fiction and television from the period 2000–2010, he argues that dominant forms of masculinity in Britain and the United States have become increasingly informed by anxiety, trauma and loss, and this has resulted in both narratives that reflect that trauma and others which attempt to return to a more complete and heroic form of masculinity. While focusing on a range of popular genres, such as Bond films, war movies, science fiction and the Gothic, the work places close analyses of individual films and texts in their cultural and historical contexts, arguing for the importance of these popular fictions in diagnosing how contemporary Britain and the United States understand themselves and their changing role in the world through the representation of men, fully recognising the issues of race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, and age. Baker draws upon current work in mobility studies and in the study of masculinities to produce the first book-length comparative study of masculinity in popular culture of the first decade of the twentieth century.
Clint Eastwood has forged a remarkable career as a movie star, director, producer and composer. These newly discovered conversations with legendary journalist Paul Nelson return us to a point when, still acting in other people's films, Eastwood was honing his directorial craft on a series of inexpensive films that he brought in under budget and ahead of schedule. Operating largely beneath the critical radar, he made his movies swiftly and inexpensively. Few of his critics then could have predicted that Eastwood the actor and director would ever be taken as seriously as he is today. But Paul Nelson did.
The interviews were conducted from 1979 through 1983. Eastwood talks openly and without illusions about his early career as an actor, old Hollywood, and his formative years as a director, his influence and what he learned along the way as an actor-lessons that helped him become the director he is today. Conversations with Clint provides a fresh and vivid perspective on the life and work of this most American of movie icons.
The Film Theory in Practice series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory. By marrying the explanation of film theory with interpretation of a film, the volumes provide discrete examples of how film theory can serve as the basis for textual analysis. The third book in the series, Critical Race Theory and Bamboozled, offers a concise introduction to Critical Race Theory in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed 2000 film Bamboozled.
The most common approach to issues of “race” and “otherness” continues to focus primarily on questions of positive vs. negative representations and stereotype analysis. Critical Race Theory, instead, designates a much deeper reflection on the constitutive role of race in the legal, social, and aesthetic formations of US culture, including the cinema, where Bamboozled provides endless examples for discussion and analysis. Alessandra Raengo’s Critical Race Theory and Bamboozled is the first to connect usually specialized considerations of race to established fields of inquiry in the humanities, particularly those concerned with issues of representation, capital, power, affect, and desire.
Cronenberg on Cronenberg charts Cronenberg's development from maker of inexpensive 'exploitation' cinema to internationally renowned director of million-dollar movies, and reveals the concerns and obsessions which continue to dominate his increasingly rich and complex work. This edition brings Cronenberg's work up-to-date with an additional chapter on Crash.
Cult Film as a Guide to Life investigates the world and experience of cult films, from well-loved classics to the worst movies ever made. Including comprehensive studies of cult phenomena such as trash films, exploitation versions, cult adaptations, and case studies of movies as different as Showgirls, Room 237 and The Lord of the G-Strings, this lively, provocative and original book shows why cult films may just be the perfect guide to making sense of the contemporary world.
Using his expertise in two fields, I.Q. Hunter also explores the important overlap between cult film and adaptation studies. He argues that adaptation studies could learn a great deal from cult and fan studies about the importance of audiences’ emotional investment not only in texts but also in the relationships between them, and how such bonds of caring are structured over time.
The book's emergent theme is cult film as lived experience. With reference mostly to American cinema, Hunter explores how cultists, with their powerful emotional investment in films, care for them over time and across numerous intertexts in relationships of memory, nostalgia and anticipation.
Costas Constandinides and Yiannis Papadakis
Cyprus, the idyllic “island of Aphrodite,” is better known as a site of conflict and division between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, rather than for its film production. Constandinides and Papadakis work to rectify this dearth of information by discussing the ouevre of filmmakers engaging with the island’s traumatic legacies: anti-colonial struggles, post-colonial instability, interethnic conflict, external interventions and war. Starting with the cinema of the 1960s, when the island became a republic, the collection focuses on the recent decades of filmmakers exploring issues of conflict, memory, identity, nationalism, migration and gender, as well as the work of filmmakers who chose to cooperate across the ethnic divide. Cypriot Cinemas utilizes a methodology that engages all necessary perspectives for an illuminating critical discussion: historical, theoretical and comparative (Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot films in relation to regional film cultures/practices). While the volume develops a discussion based on the reading of the political in Cypriot films, it also looks at other film cultures and debates such as (s)exploitation films and transnational cinema.
Boyle's best work is often the result of a tight budget and near impossible working conditions; this book is the perfect primer for the impoverished director with lofty dreams. This is a hard look at the filmmaking process as a collaborative experience focused by the relentless energy and enthusiasm of one of his generation's most powerful directors. Whether on the set of the wind soaked Trainspotting , where Ewan McGregor was launched into the spotlight, or in the back streets of Mumbai, in Slumdog Millionaire , or in the depths of outer space in Sunshine , Boyle is unafraid to experiment with every mutant genre. We'll go from the twisted Life Less Ordinary to theutopian nightmare of The Beach and the apocalyptic horror flick 28 Days Later.
Philip J. Skerry
Alfred Hitchcock and the cinema grew up together. Born in 1899, four years after the first ‘official’ film showing in Paris, Hitchcock demonstrated an early fascination with the new art of the cinema. He entered the film industry in 1920, and by 1925, he had directed his first feature-length film, The Pleasure Garden. His subsequent film career paralleled the phenomenal growth of the film industry during the years 1925–1976, the year of his last film. In the same way, Hitchcock’s films are consonant with the revolutionary theories in the fields of physics and cosmology that were transforming the twentieth century, personified by the genius of Albert Einstein.
Philip Skerry’s book applies the theories of dark energy, entropy, black holes, and quantum mechanics to Hitchcock’s technological genius and camera aesthetics, helping to explain the concept of ‘pure cinema’ and providing verification for its remarkable power. Including interviews with influential physicists, this study opens up new ways of analyzing Hitchcock’s art.
While there has been a significant outpouring of scholarship on Steven Spielberg over the past decade, his films are still frequently discussed as being paternalistic, escapist, and reliant on uncomplicated emotions and complicated special effects. Even those who view his work favorably often see it as essentially optimistic, reassuring, and conservative. James Kendrick takes an alternate view of Spielberg’s cinema and proposes that his films—even the most popular ones that seem to trade in easy answers and comforting, reassuring notions of cohesion and narrative resolution—are significantly darker and more emotionally and ideologically complex than they are routinely given credit for.
Darkness in the Bliss-Out demonstrates, through close analysis of a wide range of Spielberg’s films, that they are only reassuring on the surface, and that their depths embody a complex and sometimes contradictory view of the human condition.
Darren Aronofsky’s Films and the Fragility of Hope offers the first sustained analysis of the current oeuvre of the film director, screenwriter, and producer Darren Aronofsky. Including Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), The Wrestler (2008), Black Swan (2010), and Noah (2014), Aronofsky’s filmography is discussed with respect to his style and the themes of his films, making astute connections with the work of other directors, other movies and works of art, and connecting his films with other disciplines such as math, philosophy, psychology, and art history.
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov deploys her background in philosophy and math to analyze an American filmmaker with an individual voice, working on both independent productions and big-budget Hollywood films. Aronofsky is revealed to be a philosopher’s director, considering the themes of life and death, addiction and obsession, sacrifice, and the fragility of hope. Skorin-Kapov discusses his ability to visually present challenging intersections between art and philosophy. Concluding with a transcript of a conversation between the author and Aronofsky himself, Darren Aronofsky’s Films and the Fragility of Hope is a much-needed study on this American auteur.
The reactions evoked by images of and stories about Brad Pitt are many and wide-ranging: while one person might swoon or exclaim, another rolls his eyes or groans. How a single figure provokes such strong, often opposing emotions is a puzzle, one elegantly explored and perhaps even solved by _Deconstructing Brad Pitt.
Co-editors Christopher Schaberg and Robert Bennett have shaped a book that is not simply a multifaceted analysis of Brad Pitt as an actor and as a celebrity, but which is also a personal inquiry into how we are drawn to, turned on, or otherwise piqued by Pitt’s performances and personae. Written in accessible prose and culled from the expertise of scholars across different fields, _Deconstructing Brad Pitt lingers on this iconic actor and elucidates his powerful influence on contemporary culture.
The editors will be donating a portion of their royalties to Pitt’s Make It Right foundation.
In this collection, leading scholars in both film studies and Israeli studies show that beyond representing familiar historical accounts or striving to offer a more complete and accurate depiction of the past, Israeli cinema has innovatively used trauma and memory to offer insights about Israeli society and to engage with cinematic experimentation and invention.
Tracing a long line of films from the 1940s up to the 2000s, the contributors use close readings of these films not only to reconstruct the past, but also to actively engage with it. Addressing both high-profile and lesser known fiction and non-fiction Israeli films, Deeper than Oblivion underlines the unique aesthetic choices many of these films make in their attempt to confront the difficulties, perhaps even impossibility, of representing trauma. By looking at recent and classic examples of Israeli films that turn to memory and trauma, this book addresses the pressing issues and disputes in the field today.
David Deamer establishes the first ever sustained encounter between Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema books and post-war Japanese cinema, exploring how Japanese films responded to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From the early days of occupation political censorship to the social and cultural freedoms of the 1960s and beyond, the book examines how images of the nuclear event appear in post-war Japanese cinema.
Each chapter begins by focusing upon one or more of three key Deleuzian themes – image, history and thought – before going on to look at a selection of films from 1945 to the present day. These include movies by well-known directors Kurosawa Akira, Shindo Kaneto, Oshima Nagisa and Imamura Shohei; popular and cult classics – Godzilla (1954), Akira (1988) and Tetsuo (1989); contemporary genre flicks – Ring (1998), Dead or Alive (1999) and Casshern (2004); the avant-garde and rarely seen documentaries. The author provides a series of tables to clarify the conceptual components deployed within the text, establishing a unique addition to Deleuze and cinema studies.
Demystifying Disney: A History of Disney Feature Animation provides a comprehensive and thoroughly up-to-date examination of the Disney studio’s evolution through its animated films. In addition to challenging certain misconceptions concerning the studio’s development, the study also brings scholarly definition to hitherto neglected aspects of contemporary Disney.
Through a combination of economic, cultural, historical, textual, and technological approaches, this book provides a discriminating analysis of Disney authorship, and the authorial claims of others working within the studio; conceptual and theoretical engagement with the constructions of ‘Classic’ Disney, the Disney Renaissance, and Neo-Disney; Disney’s relationship with other studios; how certain Disney animations problematise a homogeneous reading of the studio’s output; and how the studio’s animation has changed as a consequence of new digital technologies. For all those interested in gaining a better understanding of one of cinema’s most popular and innovative studios, this will be an invaluable addition to the existing literature.
This book provides a fascinating survey of the career of one of Hollywood’s great mavericks. In his memoir Fragments, Andre de Toth took his readers on a roller coaster ride through his life. He gave scant mention to his film work. In De Toth on De Toth, he redresses the balance and expounds – in his own exuberant style – on his film-making career. The cast of characters includes his wife - the luminous Veronica Lake – as well as stars such as Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, David Niven, Vincent Price, Dick Powell, and a whole host of others in the Hollywood firmament. De Toth speaks of his work on Lawrence of Arabia and on Superman, as well as revealing how a one-eyed director could make the 3-D masterpiece House of Wax.
Renowned for making films that are at once sly domestic satires and heartbreaking ‘social realist’ dramas, British writer-director Mike Leigh confronts his viewers with an un-romanticized dramatization of modern-day society in the hopes of inspiring them to strive for greater self-awareness and compassion for others. This collection features new, interdisciplinary essays that cover all phases of the BAFTA-award-winner’s film career, from his early made-for-television film work to his theatrical releases, including Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993), Secrets & Lies (1996), Career Girls (1997), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010).
With contributions from international scholars from a variety of fields, the essays in this collection cover individual films and the recurring themes and motifs in several films, such as representations of class and gender, and overt social commentary and political subtexts. Also covered are Leigh’s visual stylizations and storytelling techniques ranging from explorations of the costume design to set design to the music and camerawork and editing; the collaborative process of ‘devising and directing’ a Mike Leigh film that involves character-building, world-construction, plotting, improvisations and script-writing; the process of funding and marketing for these seemingly ‘uncommercial’ projects, and a survey of Leigh’s critical reception and the existing writing on his work.
In this indispensable guide to digital film-making, leading film-maker Mike Figgis offers the reader a step-by-step tutorial in how to use digital technology so as to get the best from it.
Mike Figgis, with experience from films such as Miss Julie and Leaving Las Vegas – for which he received two Oscar nominations – is an authoritative and insightful guide through the details of film-making. He outlines the equipment and its uses, and provides an authoritative guide to the shooting process - from working with actors to lighting, framing, and camera movement. He further dispenses wisdom on the editing process and the use of sound and music, all the while establishing a sound aesthetic basis for the digital format.
This handbook is essential whether your goal is to make no-budget movies, or simply to put your video camera to more use than just holidays and weddings.
Although the blockbuster is the most popular and commercially successful type of filmmaking, it has yet to be studied seriously from a formalist standpoint. This is in opposition to classical Hollywood cinema and International Art cinema, whose form has been analyzed and deconstructed in great detail. Directed By Steven Spielberg fills this gap by examining the distinctive form of the blockbuster. The book focuses on Spielberg’s blockbusters, because he is the most consistent and successful director of this type of film - he defines the standard by which other Hollywood blockbusters are judged and compared. But how did Spielberg attain this position? Film critics and scholars generally agree that Spielberg’s blockbusters have a unique look and use visual storytelling techniques to their utmost effectiveness. In this book, Warren Buckland examines Spielberg’s distinct manipulation of film form, and his singular use of stylistic and narrative techniques.
The book demonstrates the aesthetic options available to Spielberg, and particularly the choices he makes in structuring his blockbusters. Buckland emphasizes the director’s activity in making a film (particularly such a powerful director as Spielberg), including: visualizing the scene on paper via storyboards; staging and blocking the scene; selecting camera placement and movement; determining the progression or flow of the film from shot to shot; and deciding how to narrate the story to the spectator.
Directed By Steven Spielberg combines film studies scholarship with the approach taken by many filmmaking manuals. The unique value of the book lies in its grounding of formal film analysis in filmmaking.
In Directing Herbert White James Franco writes about making a film of Frank Bidart’s poem, Herbert White. Though the main character, Herbert White, is a necrophiliac and a killer, the poem – and the film – are an expression of life’s isolation and loneliness. A poem became a film. In the rest of book, Franco uses poems to express what he feels about film: about acting; about the actors he admires – James Dean, Marlon Brando, Sean Penn; about the cult of celebrity and his struggles with it; about his teenage years in Palo Alto, and about mortality prompted by the death of his father. These preoccupations are handled with a simplicity and directness that recalls the work of Frank O’Hara.
From early twentieth-century stag films to 1960s sexploitation pictures to the boom in 1970s “porno chic,” adult cinema’s vintage forms are now being reappraised by a new generation of historians, fans, preservationists, and home video entrepreneurs—all of whom depend on and help shape the archive of film history. But what is the present-day allure of these artifacts that have since become eroticized more for their “pastness” than the explicit acts they show? And what are the political implications of recovering these rare but still-visceral films from a less “enlightened,” pre-feminist past? Drawing on media industry analysis, archival theory, and interviews with adult video personnel, David Church argues that vintage pornography retains its retrospective fascination precisely because these culturally denigrated texts have been so poorly preserved on political and aesthetic grounds. Through these films’ ongoing moves from cultural emergence to concealment to rediscovery, the archive itself performs a “striptease,” permitting tangible contact with these corporeally stimulating forms at a moment when the overall physicality of media objects is undergoing rapid transformation. Disposable Passions explores the historiographic lessons that vintage pornography can teach us about which materials our society chooses to keep, and how a long-neglected genre is primed for serious rediscovery as more than mere autoerotic fodder.
For many East Asian nations, cinema and Japanese Imperialism arrived within a few years of each other. Exploring topics such as landscape, gender, modernity and military recruitment, this study details how the respective national cinemas of Japan's territories struggled under, but also engaged with, the Japanese Imperial structures. Japan was ostensibly committed to an ethos of pan-Asianism and this study explores how this sense of the transnational was conveyed cinematically across the occupied lands. Taylor-Jones traces how cinema in the region post-1945 needs to be understood not only in terms of past colonial relationships, but also in relation to how the post-colonial has engaged with shifting political alliances, the opportunities for technological advancement and knowledge, the promise of larger consumer markets, and specific historical conditions of each decade.
Documentary students and fans revel in stories about filmmakers conquering extraordinary challenges trying to bring their work to the screen. This book brings vividly to life the sometimes humorous, sometimes excruciating–and always inspiring–stories behind the making of some of the greatest documentaries of our time. All of the filmmakers and films profiled are Oscar-nominated or Oscar-winning.
Documentary Case Studies walks readers through the fixes and missteps that today’s documentary leaders worked through at all stages to create their masterworks–from development, fundraising and pre-production, through production and then post. There are plenty of “how to” documentary filmmaking books in circulation, but this book will instead deploy a personal, intimate, and candid approach to unlocking the secrets of the craft and the business by meeting filmmakers who tackle production challenges in the most resourceful and unconventional ways.
Documenting Gendered Violence explores the intersections of documentary and gendered violence. Several contributors investigate representations through grounded textual analyses of key films and videos, including Sex Crimes Unit (2011) and The Invisible War (2012),and other documentary texts including Youtube, photographs, and theater. Other chapters use analysis and interviews to explore how gender violence issues impact production and how these documentaries become part of collaborations and awareness movements.
J. Emmett Winn
From the silent era through the 1950s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was the preeminent government filmmaking organization. In the United States, USDA films were shown in movie theaters, public and private schools at all educational levels, churches, libraries and even in open fields. For many Americans in the early 1900s, the USDA films were the first motion pictures they watched. And yet USDA documentaries have received little serious scholarly attention. The lack of serious study is especially concerning since the films chronicle over half a century of American farm life and agricultural work and, in so doing, also chronicle the social, cultural, and political changes in the United States at a crucial time in its development into a global superpower.
Focusing specifically on four key films, Winn explicates the representation of African Americans in these films within the socio-political context of their times. The book provides a clearer understanding of how politics and filmmaking converged to promote a governmentally sanctioned view of racism in the U.S. in the early 20th century.
Ecology and Contemporary Nordic Cinemas challenges the traditional socio-political rhetoric of national cinema by providing an ecocritical examination of Nordic cinema. The author uses a range of analytical approaches to interrogate how the national paradigm can be rethought through ecosystemic concerns, by exploring a range of Nordic films as national and transnational, regional and local texts, all with significant global implications. By synergizing transnational theories with ecological approaches, the study considers the planetary implications of nation-based cultural production.
The first volume to examine the iconic Elizabeth Taylor in this light, Elizabeth Taylor: A Private Life for Public Consumption paints Taylor as the seminal representation of “celebrity.” A figure of enormous charisma and cultural sway, she intrigued a global audience with her marriages and extra-marital improprieties, as well as her extravagant jewelry, her never-ending illnesses, her dependency on alcohol, and her perplexing friendship with Michael Jackson. Despite her continued world-renown, however, most people would be hard-pressed to name even three of her films, though she made over seventy.
Ellis Cashmore traces our modern, hyperactive celebrity culture back to a single instant in Taylor’s life: the publicizing of her scandalous affair with Richard Burton by photographer Marcelo Geppetti in 1962, which announced the arrival of a new generation of predatory photojournalists and, along with them, a strange conflation between the public and private lives of celebrities. Taylor’s life and public reception, Cashmore reveals, epitomizes the modern phenomenon of “celebrity.”
A longstanding, successful and frequently controversial career spanning more than four decades establishes David Bowie as charged with contemporary cultural relevance. That David Bowie has influenced many lives is undeniable to his fans. He requisitions and challenges his audiences, through frequently indirect lyrics and images, to critically question sanity, identity and essentially what it means to be ‘us’ and why we are here.
Enchanting David Bowie explores David Bowie as an anti-temporal figure and argues that we need to understand him across the many media platforms and art spaces he intersects with including theatre, film, television, the web, exhibition, installation, music, lyrics, video, and fashion. This exciting collection is organized according to the key themes of space, time, body, and memory – themes that literally and metaphorically address the key questions and intensities of his output.
Equivocal Subjects puts forth an innovative reading of the Italian national cinema. Shelleen Greene argues that from the silent era to the present, the cinematic representation of the “mixed-race” or interracial subject has served as a means by which Italian racial and national identity have been negotiated and re-defined. She examines Italy’s colonial legacy, histories of immigration and emigration, and contemporary politics of multiculturalism through its cultural production, providing new insights into its traditional film canon.
Analysing the depiction of African Italian mixed-race subjects from the historical epics of the Italian silent “golden” era to the contemporary period, this enlightening book engages the history of Italian nationalism and colonialism through theories of subject formation, ideologies of race, and postcolonial theory. Greene’s approach also provides a novel interpretation of recent developments surrounding Italy’s status as a major passage for immigrants seeking to enter the European Union. This book provides an original theoretical approach to the Italian cinema that speaks to the nation’s current political and social climate.
European cinema not only occupies a dominant place in film history, it is also a field that has been raising more interest with the expanding work on the transnational. Euro-Visions asks what idea of Europe emerges, is represented and constructed by contemporary European film.
Adopting a broad and wide-ranging approach, Euro-Visions mixes political sources, historical documents and filmic texts and offers an integration of policy and economic contexts with textual analysis. Mariana Liz examines costume dramas, biopics and war films, mainstream co-productions and tales of ‘Fortress Europe’ by renowned auteurs, showing how films from different European nations depict and contribute to the formation of the idea of Europe. Case studies include Girl with a Pearl Earring, La Vie en Rose, Black Book, Good Bye Lenin!, Match Point and The Silence of Lorna.
In the beginning, cinema was an encounter between humans, images and machine technology, revealing a stream of staccato gestures, micrographic worlds, and landscapes seen from above and below. In this sense, cinema's potency was its ability to bring other, non-human modes of being into view, to forge an encounter between multiple realities that nonetheless co-exist. Yet the story of cinema became (through its institutionalization) one in which the human swiftly assumed centrality through the literary crafting of story, character and the expression of interiority.
Ex-centric Cinema takes an archaeological approach to the study of cinema through the writings of philosopher Giorgio Agamben, arguing that whilst we have a century-long tradition of cinema, the possibility of what cinema may have become is not lost, but co-exists in the present as an unexcavated potential. The term given to this history is ex-centric cinema, describing a centre-less moving image culture where animals, children, ghosts and machines are privileged vectors, where film is always an incomplete project, and where audiences are a coming community of ephemeral connections and links. Discussing such filmmakers as Harun Farocki, the Lumiere Brothers, Guy Debord and Wong Kar-wai, Janet Harbord draws connections with Agamben to propose a radically different way of thinking about cinema.
There is an upsurge of interest in contemporary film theory towards cinematic emotions. Tarja Laine's innovative study proposes a methodology for interpreting affective encounters with films, not as objectively readable texts, but as emotionally salient events. Laine argues convincingly that film is not an immutable system of representation that is meant for (one-way) communication, but an active, dynamic participant in the becoming of the cinematic experience.
Through a range of chapters that include Horror, Hope, Shame and Love - and through close readings of films such as The Shining, American Beauty and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Laine demonstrates that cinematic emotions are more than mere indicators of the properties of their objects. They are processes that are intentional in a phenomenological sense, supporting the continuous, shifting, and reciprocal exchange between the film's world and the spectator's world. Grounded in continental philosophy, this provocative book explores the affective dynamics of cinema as an interchange between the film and the spectator in a manner that transcends traditional generic patterns.
The Film Theory in Practice series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory. By marrying the explanation of a film theory with the interpretation of a film, the volumes provide discrete examples of how film theory can serve as the basis for textual analysis. Feminist Film Theory and Cléo from 5 to 7 offers a concise introduction to feminist film theory in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret Agnes Varda’s critically acclaimed 1962 film Cléo from 5 to 7.
Hilary Neroni employs the methodology of looking for a feminist alternative among female-oriented films. Through three key concepts–identification, framing the woman’s body, and the female auteur–Hilary Neroni lays bare the debates and approaches within the vibrant history of feminist film theory, providing a point of entry to feminist film theory from its inception to today. Picking up one of the currents in feminist film theory - that of looking for feminist alternatives among female-oriented films - Neroni traces feminist responses to the contradictions inherent in most representations of women in film, and she details how their responses have intervened in changing what we see on the screen.
In Feminist Film Theory and Pretty Woman, Mari Ruti traces the development of feminist film theory from its foundational concepts such as the male gaze, female spectatorship, and the masquerade of femininity to 21st-century analyses of neoliberal capitalism, consumerism, postfeminism, and the revival of ‘girly’ femininity as a cultural ideal. By interpreting Pretty Woman as a movie that defies easy categorization as either feminist or antifeminist, the book counters the all-too-common critical dismissal of romantic comedies as mindless drivel preoccupied with trivial ‘feminine’ concerns such as love and shopping. The book's lucid presentation of the key concerns of feminist film theory, along with its balanced reading of Pretty Woman, shed light on a Hollywood genre often overlooked by film critics: the romantic comedy.
Alexander Prokhorov and Elena Prokhorova
Most histories of Soviet cinema portray the 1970s as a period of stagnation with the gradual decline of the film industry. This book, however, examines Soviet film and television of the era as mature industries articulating diverse cultural values via new genre models. During the 1970s, Soviet cinema and television developed a parallel system of genres where television texts celebrated conservative consensus while films manifested symptoms of ideological and social crises. The book examines the genres of state-sponsored epic films, police procedural, comedy and melodrama, and outlines how television gradually emerged as the major form of Russo-Soviet popular culture. Through close analysis of well-known film classics of the period as well as less familiar films and television series, this ground-breaking work helps to deconstruct the myth of this era as a time of cultural and economic stagnation and also helps us to understand the persistence of this myth in the collective memory of Putin-era Russia. This monograph is the first book-length English-language study of film and television genres of the late Soviet era.
When representing the Holocaust, the slightest hint of narrative embellishment strikes contemporary audiences as somehow a violation against those who suffered under the Nazis. This anxiety is, at least in part, rooted in Theodor Adorno's dictum that "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric." And despite the fact that he later reversed his position, the conservative opposition to all "artistic" representations of the Holocaust remains powerful, leading to the insistent demand that it be represented, as it really was.
And yet, whether it's the girl in the red dress or a German soldier belting out Bach on a piano during the purge of the ghetto in Schindler's List, or the use of tracking shots in the documentaries Shoah and Night and Fog, all genres invent or otherwise embellish the narrative to locate meaning in an event that we commonly refer to as "unimaginable." This wide-ranging book surveys and discusses the ways in which the Holocaust has been represented in cinema, covering a deep cross-section of both national cinemas and genres.
In Film and Video Intermediality, Janna Houwen innovatively rewrites the concept of medium specificity in order to answer the questions “what is meant by video?” and “what is meant by film?” How are these two media (to be) understood? How can film and video be defined as distinct, specific media? In this era of mixed moving media, it is vital to ask these questions precisely and especially on the media of video and film. Mapping the specificity of film and video is indispensable in analyzing and understanding the many contemporary intermedial objects in which film and video are mixed or combined.
Taking its cue from Deleuze’s definition of minor cinema as one which engages in a creative act of becoming, this collection explores the multifarious ways that music has been used in the cinemas of various countries in Australasia, Africa, Latin America and even in Europe that have hitherto received little attention. The authors consider such film music with a focus on the role it has played creating, problematizing, and sometimes contesting, the nation.
Film Music in ‘Minor’ National Cinemas addresses the relationships between film music and the national cinemas beyond Hollywood and the European countries that comprise most of the literature in the field. Broad in scope, it includes chapters that analyze the contribution of specific composers and songwriters to their national cinemas, and the way music works in films dealing with national narratives or issues; the role of music in the shaping of national stars and specific use of genres; audience reception of films on national music traditions; and the use of music in emerging digital video industries.
Filmspeak is an accessible, innovative book which uses specific examples to show how once arcane literary and cultural theory has infiltrated popular culture.
Theory reaches us in ways we do not even realize. Issues such as the nature of knowledge or truth, the function of personal response in interpretation, the nature of the forces of politics, the female alternative to the male view of the world, are fundamental for all of us. And intelligent analysis of the relationship between literary theory and popular culture can help us to understand our fast-changing world.
Here, experienced literary scholar and teacher Edward L. Tomarken explains how it is possible to study the rudiments of literary theory by watching and analyzing contemporary mainstream movies - from The Dark Knight to Kill Bill, and from The Social Network to The Devil Wears Prada. Theorists discussed include Foucault, Jameson, Iser, and Cixous. Tomarken brilliantly demonstrates that anyone can grasp modern literary theory by way of mainstream movies without having to wade through stacks of impenetrable jargon.
A film director's memoir which opens amidst the enchanted cafe society of pre-war Budapest and then propels the reader through De Toth's eventful life. Moving from Vienna, Paris and London to Hollywood, he introduces many of the legendary figures of cinema's golden age.
Framing the Nation: Documentary Film in Interwar France argues that, between World Wars I and II, documentary film made a substantial contribution to the rewriting of the French national narrative to include rural France and the colonies. The book mines a significant body of virtually unknown films and manuscripts for their insight into revisions of French national identity in the aftermath of the Great War. From 1918 onwards, government institutions sought to advance social programs they believed were crucial to national regeneration. They turned to documentary film, a new form of mass communication, to do so.
Many scholars of French film state that the French made no significant contribution to documentary film prior to the Vichy period. Using until now overlooked films, Framing the Nation refutes this misconception and shows that the French were early and active believers in the uses of documentary film for social change - and these films reached audiences far beyond the confines of commercial cinema circuits in urban areas.
The Film Theory in Practice series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory. By marrying the explanation of a film theory with the interpretation of a film, the volumes provide discrete examples of how film theory can serve as the basis for textual analysis. Fredric Jameson and The Wolf of Wall Street offers a concise introduction to Jameson in jargon-free language and shows how his Marxist theories can be deployed to interpret Martin Scorsese’s critically acclaimed 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street.
Beginning with a detailed account of Jameson’s extensive writings on Marxist theory and how they have been deployed in the analysis of film writings, Clint Burnham then illustrates how Jameson’s theory can help to make sense of The Wolf of Wall Street, a film that shows in all its glory the excesses, lunacies, and inner workings of 1990s finance capitalism. As Jameson has influentially argued, films like The Wolf of Wall Street are both complicit in and critical of their historical subject: Scorsese’s film is not about the richest stockbrokers, but the Long Island penny traders who made it big. As a narrative of American success, it is also a film about failure. Clint Burnham’s reading of Jameson and The Wolf of Wall Street is a book about a contemporary film, and contemporary events, and contemporary theory.
The main corpus of film adaptation thus far has focused on films based on canonical literature. From Film Adaptation to Post-Celluloid Adaptation takes the next logical step by discussing the emerging modes of film adaptation from older media to new, mainly focusing on the computer-generated reconstructions of popular narratives and characters along with other forms of convergence such as the Internet. While ‘New Media’ is a broad concept, the book will concentrate on the ways digital technology is being used in the encoding of films and discuss the ways this shift can be debated from a theoretical perspective.
Though the discussion is framed through the ‘new media’ lens, the work will not exclude a broader understanding of New Media which refers to video games, official websites and interactivity so as to examine how the visual style of contemporary films is dispersed across, and influenced by, other media. Discussing films like Minority Report, King Kong, 300 and Wanted in relation to Film Adaptation theory, the work aims to challenge and rework the definition of adaptation.
Taking its cues from the cinematic innovations of the controversial Austrian-born director Michael Haneke, Funny Frames explores how a political thinking manifests itself in his work.
The book is divided into two parts. In the first, Oliver C. Speck explores some of Haneke’s Deleuzian traits – showing how the theoretical concepts of the virtual, of filmic space and of realism can be useful tools for unlocking the problems that Haneke formulates and solves through filmic means. In the second, Speck discusses a range of topics that appear in all of Haneke’s films but that haven’t, until now, been fully noticed or analyzed. These chapters demonstrate how Haneke plays the role of “diagnostician of culture,” how he reads – for example – madness, suicide and childhood.
Like several other contemporary European directors, Haneke addresses topics considered difficult when measured by the standards of commercial cinema: the traumatic effects of violence, racism, and alienation. Funny Frames is an incisive and original contribution to the growing scholarship on one of the most intriguing auteurs of our time.
In 1945, a year when American crime films were apparently moving out on to the streets of contemporary Los Angeles and New York, one reviewer noted the emergence of a ‘cycle of mystery and horror pictures placed in the gaslight era of the turn of the century.’ For another, it seemed that for Hollywood there was ‘no world of today save the world of London by gaslight’.
In Gaslight Melodrama, Guy Barefoot examines the films that gave rise to such comments, and the pattern of discourses that gave rise to such films. The book's main focus is provided by 1940s Hollywood melodramas such as Gaslight, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Hangover Square. It also discusses a related cycle of British films that located murder and melodrama amidst Victorian or Edwardian furnishings, and then looks beyond cinema to the Gothic novels of the 18th century, 19th century discussions of gaslighting in street, home and theater, and ambivalent 20th century responses to theVictorian era. Combining close analysis of particular film texts with attention to cinema's cultural context, Gaslight Melodrama provides an exploration of the ways in which the past has been the site of contested meaning, and an examination of the network of melodramatic narratives embedded within familiar and lesser-known examples of classical Hollywood cinema.
It’s simple: films need to have commercial value for the studios to produce them, distributors to sell them, and theater chains to screen them. While talent definitely plays a part in the writing process, it can be the well-executed formulaic approaches to the popular genres that will first get you noticed in the industry.
Genre Screenwriting: How to Write Popular Screenplays That Sell does not attempt to probe in the deepest psyche of screenwriters and directors of famous or seminal films, nor does it attempt to analyze the deep theoretic machinations of films. Duncan's simple goal is to give the reader, the screenwriter, a practical guide to writing each popular film genre. Employing methods as diverse as using fairy tales to illustrate the 'how to' process for each popular genre, and discussing these popular genres in modern television and its relation to its big screen counterpart, Duncan provides a one-stop shop for novices and professionals alike.
Steven Soderbergh and Richard Lester are a generation apart, but they share a sense of humour and a passion for cinema. Soderbergh’s freshman film, sex, lies and videotape, inaugurated a movement in US independent cinema. Lester’s freewheeling work in the ‘60s and ‘70s ( Help!, A Hard Day’s Night, The Knack, How I Won the War, Petulia) helped create a ‘new wave’ of British film-making. Here, the two cineastes discuss their mutual passion for the medium in a frank, funny and free-ranging series of interviews. Also included is Soderbergh’s diary of an extraordinary twelve months in which he ventured into ‘guerrilla film-making’ with off-beat projects Schizopolis and Gray’s Anatomy, before returning to the Hollywood fray with the George Clooney hit Out of Sight.
The acute processes of globalisation at the turn of the century have generated an increased interest in exploring the interactions between the so-called global cultural products or trends and their specific local manifestations. Even though cross-cultural connections are becoming more patent in filmic productions in the last decades, cinema per se has always been characterized by its hybrid, transnational, border-crossing nature. From its own inception, Spanish film production was soon tied to the Hollywood film industry for its subsistence, but other film traditions such as those in the Soviet Union, France, Germany and, in particular, Italy also determined either directly or indirectly the development of Spanish cinema.
Global Genres, Local Films: The Transnational Dimension of Spanish Cinema reaches beyond the limits of the film text and analyses and contextualizes the impact of global film trends and genres on Spanish cinema in order to study how they helped articulate specific national challenges from the conflict between liberalism and tradition in the first decades of the 20th century to the management of the contemporary financial crisis. This collection provides the first comprehensive picture of the complex national and supranational forces that have shaped Spanish films, revealing the tensions and the intricate dialogue between cross-cultural aesthetic and narrative models on the one hand, and indigenous traditions on the other, as well as the political and historical contingencies these different expressions responded to.
This book reads a series of Godard films as interventions in contemporary debate about the language of difference. Godard has something he wants both to preserve (singularity) and destroy (visual and aural totalitarianism). How is it possible to speak about the Other? How is it possible for the Other to speak? Does all speaking about or by the Other render that speaking common, thereby rendering what is different identical? These questions gather together a number of issues that cross and intersect disciplinary boundaries: signification, representation, ethics, politics, and so on. The problematics with which Drabinski is concerned begin in the debate between Levinas and Derrida, then later in dialogue with Blanchot and Irigaray. To this extent, Godard is particularly well-suited as an interlocutor. Godard's work, especially in the 1970s, is itself a self-conscious form of philosophy. His films theorize themselves, produce a reflexive sound-image language, and so in many ways match the very essence of philosophy: thought thinking thought.
Still, the medium of sound and image complicates any rendering of Godard's work as philosophy. Godard produces a philosophically significant cinematic language, rather than simply narrating or representing philosophical ideas in the medium of film. And this language must be taken seriously in the context of the problem of difference. For, if difference is concerned with signification as such, then the visual and aural retain equal rights with writing (and all questions obtaining therein). Indeed, if part of the problem of speaking about or by the Other is how such speaking traffics in inscription, then cinematic language is certainly an important - and authentically complex - intervention in that problem.
The nature of the debate in this project - how the language of alterity is possible or impossible - immediately breaks disciplinary borders between philosophy, literary theory, film studies, and cultural studies. What it means to engage with film in this context, however, is complicated. To wit, there are two standard treatments of film in philosophy. Film is typically either an example of a philosophical position or philosophy is used to interpret motifs, characters, plot lines, etc. In neither case is film engaged as a form of philosophizing itself, that is, as a language engaged with philosophical problematics.
It is articulating exactly this engagement that this book takes as its primary task. The aim of the project is to read Godard's work as primary texts, with all the attention due the idiosyncratic language of those texts. Framed by the debate about difference and signification, these primary texts register and resonate as transformative interventions. The overarching argument of the book is that Godard's conception and practice of cinematic language opens new, important possibilities for thinking about radical alterity.
The pervasive image of New York’s 42nd Street as a hub of sensational thrills, vice and excess, is from where “grindhouse cinema,” the focus of this volume, stemmed. It is, arguably, an image that has remained unchanged in the mind’s eye of many exploitation film fans and academics alike. Whether in the pages of fanzines or scholarly works, it is often recounted how, should one have walked down this street between the 1960s and the 1980s, one would have undergone a kaleidoscopic encounter with an array of disparate “exploitation” films from all over the world that were being offered cheaply to urbanites by a swathe of vibrant movie theatres.
The contributors to Grindhouse: Cultural Exchange on 42nd Street, and Beyond consider “grindhouse cinema” from a variety of cultural and methodological positions. Some seek to deconstruct the etymology of “grindhouse” itself, add flesh to the bones of its cadaverous history, or examine the term’s contemporary relevance in the context of both media production and consumerism. Others offer new inroads into hitherto unexamined examples of exploitation film history, presenting snapshots of cultural moments that many of us thought we already knew.
A critical exploration of one of the most exciting, original and influential figures to emerge in contemporary film, Guillermo del Toro: Film as Alchemic Art is a major contribution to the analysis of Guillermo del Toro’s cinematic output. It offers an in-depth discussion of del Toro’s oeuvre and investigates key ideas, recurrent motifs and subtle links between his movies. The book explores the sources that del Toro draws upon and transforms in the creation of his rich and complex body of work. These include the literary, artistic and cinematic influences on films such as Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone, Cronos and Mimic, and the director's engagement with comic book culture in his two Hellboy films, Blade II and Pacific Rim. As well as offering extensive close textual analysis, the authors also consider del Toro’s considerable impact on wider popular culture, including a discussion of his role as producer, ambassador for ‘geek’ culture and figurehead in new international cinema.
Her Again is an intimate look at the artistic coming-of-age of the greatest actress of her generation, from the homecoming float at her suburban New Jersey high school to her star-making roles in The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer.
The book charts Meryl Streep's heady rise to stardom on the New York stage, her passionate, tragically short-lived love affair with fellow actor John Cazale, and her evolution as a young woman of the 1970s wrestling with changing ideas of feminism, marriage, love, and sacrifice.
This is a captivating story of the making of one of the most revered artistic careers of our time, offering a rare glimpse into the life of the actress long before she became an icon.
Based on the famous series of dialogues between Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock from the 1960s, the book moves chronologically through Hitchcock’s films to discuss his career, techniques, and effects he achieved. It changed the way Hitchcock was perceived, as a popular director of suspense films – such as Psycho and The Birds – and revealed to moviegoers and critics, the depth of Hitchcock’s perception and his mastery of the art form.
As a result of the changed perceptions about Hitchcock, his masterpiece, Vertigo, hit the No 1 slot in Sight & Sound’s recent poll of film-makers and critics, displacing Citizen Kane as the Best Film of all time.
In Hitchcock’s Appetites, Casey McKittrick offers the first book-length study of the relationship between Hitchcock's body size and his cinema. Whereas most critics and biographers of the great director are content to consign his large figure and larger appetite to colorful anecdotes of his private life, McKittrick argues that our understanding of Hitchcock's films, his creative process, and his artistic mind are incomplete without considering his lived experience as a fat man.
Using archival research of his publicity, script collaboration, and personal communications with his producers, in tandem with close textual readings of his films, feminist critique, and theories of embodiment, Hitchcock's Appetites produces a new and compelling profile of Hitchcock's creative life, and a fuller, more nuanced account of his auteurism.
“Music is an underexplored dimension in Hitchcock’s works. Taking a different view from most works on Hitchcock, David Schroeder focuses on how an expanded definition of music influences Hitchcock’s conception of cinema. The structure and rhythm of his films is an important addition to the critical literature on Hitchcock and our understanding of his films and approach to filmmaking.
Alfred Hitchcock liked to describe his work as a director in musical terms; for some of his films, it appears that he started with an underlying musical conception, and transformed that sense of music into visual images. The director’s favorite scenes lacked dialogue, and they made their impact through a combination of non-verbal actions and music. For example, the waltz and the piano are used as powerful images in silent films, and this approach carries over into sound films. Looking at such films as Vertigo, Rear Window, and Shadow of a Doubt, Schroeder provides a unique look at the way that Hitchcock thought about cinema in musical terms.”
From the silent era and The Black Hand (1906) to The Sopranos, Hollywood has had a love-hate affair with Italian Americans. This book is a celebration of nearly one hundred years of images of Italians in American motion pictures. It covers all the stars as well as directors: Danny Aiello, Frank Capra, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Brian De Palma, Leonardo Di Caprio, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Dean Martin, Vincente Minnelli, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese, Frank Sinatra, Marisa Tomei, John Travolta, Rudolph Valentino, and scores of others. Dozens of films are discussed, including, very often, their literary and European-cinematic roots. Hollywood Italians is capped by a definitive examination of Coppola’s Godfather films as well as the international-television phenomenon The Sopranos.
Theodore Dreiser's dissection of the American dream, An American Tragedy, was hailed as the greatest novel of its generation. Now a classic of American literature, the story is one to which Hollywood has repeatedly returned. Hollywood's obsession with this tale of American greed, justice, religion and sexual hypocrisy stretches across the history of cinema. Some of cinema's greatest directors - Sergei Eisenstein, Josef von Sternberg and George Stevens - have attempted to bring this classic story to the screen. Subsequently, both Jean-Luc Godard and Woody Allen have returned to the story and to these earlier adaptations. Hollywood's American Tragedies is the first detailed study of this extraordinary sequence of adaptations. What it reveals is a history of Hollywood - from its politics to its cinematography - and, much deeper, of American culture and the difficulty of telling an American tragedy in the land of the American dream.
Fan Films: Fun, free and totally illegal!
Who would swing off a six-story building for a homemade Spider-Man movie? Why would newlyweds spend $20,000 on a Star Wars film from which they can never profit? How did three nobodies blow Steven Spielberg’s mind with an Indiana Jones flick they made as teens in the Eighties?
They’re all part of the Fan Film revolution--an underground movement where backyard filmmakers are breaking the law to create unauthorized movies starring Batman, James Bond, Captain Kirk, Harry Potter and other classic characters. Regular people are making movies that the fans want to see—and which copyrights and common sense would never allow.
Fans Behind The Camera traces the fan film movement from the 1920s, when con men made fake Little Rascals movies, to the internet video sensations of today. Crossing the divides from a pop culture history of truly outlaw cinema, to an exploration of Hollywood’s changing attitude towards it’s audience, Homemade Hollywood uncovers the innovations and controversies surrounding these secret films and reveals how they’re changing today’s media.
Get insights from the fan filmmakers themselves as well as Hugo Award-winning author Timothy Zahn, director Eli Roth ( Hostel, Cabin Fever), punk rock icon Tommy Ramone, authors Henry Jenkins ( Convergence Culture), Don Glut ( The Empire Strikes Back), Andrea Richards ( Girl Director) and others. A foreword from Chris Gore, founder of Film Threat and movie expert on G4TV’s Attack of the Show, sets the tone.
Elizabeth Taylor has never been short on star power, but in this unprecedented biography, the spotlight is entirely on her—a spirited beauty full of magic, professional daring, and wit.
Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system. Swathed in mink, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds—this is Elizabeth Taylor as she lived and loved, breaking and making the rules in the game of supreme celebrity.
How to Be Your Own Script Doctor is not a book on how to write a screenplay. Instead, it is a comprehensive book for the rewriting process of a screenplay. It therefore assumes that the reader of this book has completed a script. Whether novice or experienced, any screenwriter will benefit from the material in this book. Likewise, it will help whether the completed screenplay is original or an adaptation. How to Be Your Own Script Doctor is structured and presented in a manner that comprehensively and cohesively explores each aspect of any figure film screenplay.
There are hundreds of books on the market, all trying to teach you how to write a screenplay. Several of them are excellent and useful books. But never – until now – has there been a screenwriting manual written in the form of a screenplay.
Our hero, the aspiring screenwriter Danny, is hopelessly in love with Bebe, a hot young starlet. But Bebe won’t go out with Danny until he proves that he can write a brilliant screenplay for her. Helped along the way by a mysterious guide (Virgil) with seemingly magical powers, Danny travels to Screenwriting Hell to see what happens to writers who never make the grade. Virgil teaches him the tricks of the trade, the fundamental techniques that all screenwriters have to master, no matter how great their ideas. But there’s something a little strange about Virgil, and Danny is never sure whether to trust him or not…
As well as the screenplay itself, the book includes an introduction explaining how to get the most out of the screenplay, the log line, the synopsis, character bios, the treatment, and “The Pitch” – a short scene that shows the author pitching his screenplay to a big-shot producer.
In Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary, Oscar-winning documentary-maker Kevin Macdonald ( One Day in September, Touching the Void) and leading broadcaster/historian Mark Cousins ( The Story of Film) offer an expanded, revised edition of their ‘definitive, inspirational’ ( Independent) compendium on the roots and history of the documentary film.
Imagining Reality takes the reader on a tour of the evolution of documentary film as an increasingly vibrant, polemical, experimental and entertaining form. It gathers a wide-ranging collection of writings by and about such groundbreaking documentary-makers as Vertov, Flaherty, Marcel Ophuls, Chris Marker, Kieslowski, Claude Lanzmann, and Nick Broomfield.
The story is carried up to date by attention to the success documentaries have had among mainstream movie audiences in recent years, including Michael Moore’s Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, The Buena Vista Social Club, Spellbound, Capturing The Friedmans, Etre Et Avoir, and The Fog Of War.
This timely collection explores the politics of female celebrity across a range of contemporary and historical media contexts. Amidst concerns about the apparent ‘decline’ in the currency of modern fame (‘famous for being famous’), as well as debates about the shifting parameters of public/private visibility, it is female celebrities who are positioned as the most active discursive terrain.
This collection seeks to interrogate such phenomena by forging a greater conceptual, theoretical and historical dialogue between celebrity studies and critical gender studies. It takes as its starting point the understanding that female celebrity is a particularly fraught cultural phenomenon with ideological and industrial implications that warrant careful scrutiny. In moving across case studies from the 19th century to the present day, this book works from the assumption that the case study should play a crucial role in generating debate about the dialogue between ‘past’ and ‘present’, and the individual essays seek to reflect this spirit of enquiry
The lucky students who get into film school (and then get through it without dropping out) have to compete for a small number of prestigious jobs once they graduate. Despite the enormous odds stacked against them, most students leave film school still hoping to become the next Spielberg or Scorsese. The mismatch between their dreams and the reality of working in the industry itself is considerable.
Is There Life After Film School? shows that there are more options available to students than they might think. Through a series of in-depth, candid, and entertaining interviews with film industry insiders, the book reveals a range of career paths taken by scriptwriters, production designers, producers, and marketers. All of the interviewees share with the reader the specific qualities and crucial insider information that distinguish successful film graduates from the rest of the pack. The resulting book is inspiring and realisitc in equal measures: and for those who really want to make it in the film industry (whether in Hollywood, Europe or elsewhere), it’s an invaluable source of information and ideas.
This is the first in-depth, book-length study on fashion and Italian cinema from the silent film to the present. Italian cinema launched Italian fashion to the world. The book is the story of this launch. The creation of an Italian style and fashion as they are perceived today, especially by foreigners, was a product of the post World War II years. Before then, Parisian fashion had dominated Europe and the world. Just as fashion was part of Parisian and French national identity, the book explores the process of shaping and inventing an Italian style and fashion that ran parallel to, and at times took the lead in, the creation of an Italian national identity. In bringing to the fore these intersections, as well as emphasizing the importance of craft in cinema, fashion and costume design, the book aims to offer new visions of films by directors such as Nino Oxilia, Mario Camerini, Alessandro Blasetti, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti and Paolo Sorrentino, of film stars such as Lyda Borelli, Francesca Bertini, Pina Menichelli, Lucia Bosè, Monica Vitti, Marcello Mastroianni, Toni Servillo and others, and the costume archives and designers who have been central to the development of Made in Italy and Italian style.
The Matrix films, along with the video games, animé and toys inspired by them, are rich with philosophical, religious and social references that cry out for interpretation. Here these ideas are examined in the context of the history of thought and cinema. The variety of applications in this study is remarkable, engaging thinkers ranging from conservative Christians to postmodernist critics. Feminist issues meet cyberpunk, cosmological perspectives meet mythological and literary analysis. Violence in society, American values, politics, heroic models - all are called into question as several esteemed scholars decode the entire world of the Matrix franchise.
Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media is a collection of essays generated by a conference of the same title held at the University of the District of Columbia. The works gathered examine a variety of children's media, including texts produced for children (e.g., children's books, cartoons, animated films) as well as texts about children(e.g., feature-length films, literature, playground architecture, parenting guides). The primary goal of Kidding Around is to analyze and contextualize contested representations of childhood and children in various twentieth- and twenty-first-century media while accounting for the politics of these narratives. Each of the essays gathered offers a critical history of the very notion of childhood, at the same time as it analyzes exemplary children's texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These chapters depart from various methodological approaches (including psychoanalytic, sociological, ecological, and historical perspectives), offering the reader numerous productive approaches for analyzing the moments of cultural conflict and impasse found within the primary works studied. Despite the fact that today children are one of the most coveted demographics in marketing and viewership, academic work on children's media, and children in media, is just beginning. Kidding Around assembles experts from this inchoate field, opening discussion to traditional and non-traditional children's texts.
Whatever people think about Kubrick’s work, most would agree that there is something distinctive, even unique, about the films he made: a coolness, an intellectual clarity, a critical edginess, and finally an intractable ambiguity. In an attempt to isolate the Kubrick difference, this book treats Kubrick’s films to a conceptual and formal analysis rather than a biographical and chronological survey.
As Kubrick’s cinema moves between the possibilities of human transcendence dramatized in 2001: A Space Odyssey and the dismal limitations of human nature exhibited in A Clockwork Orange, the filmmaker’s style “de-realizes” cinematic realism while, paradoxically, achieving an unprecedented frankness of vision and documentary and technical richness. The result is a kind of vertigo: the audience is made aware of both the de-realized and the realized nature of cinema. As opposed to the usual studies providing a summary and commentary of individual films, this will be the first to provide an analysis of the “elements” of Kubrick’s total cinema.
The Danish director Lars von Trier is undoubtedly one of the world's most important and controversial filmmakers, and arguably so because of the depiction of women in his films. He has been criticized for subjecting his female characters to unacceptable levels of violence or reducing them to masochistic self-abnegation (Bess in Breaking the Waves, “She” in Antichrist and Joe in Nymphomaniac). At other times, it is the women in his films who are dominant or break out in violence, such as in his adaptation of Euripides’ Medea, the conclusion of Dogville and perhaps throughout Nymphomaniac.
Lars von Trier's Women confronts these dichotomies head on. Editors Rex Butler and David Denny do not take a position either for or against von Trier, but rather considers how both attitudes fall short of the real difficulty of his films, which may simply not conform to any kind of feminist or indeed anti-feminist politics as they are currently configured. Using Lacanian psychoanalysis and the work of Slavoj Žižek, Lars von Trier's Women reveals hidden resources for a renewed “feminist” politics and social practice.
Lee Marvin was one of the movies’ most memorable tough guys. When he died, cinema was diminished, for there was no one to take his place. War had shown him man’s capacity for cruelty and violence, and so enabled him to play evil characters in such a way that the audience knew that they too could be capable of such deeds.
This book provides an intimate glimpse into the life of Lee Marvin from the woman who knew him best. The book celebrates their life together – not only the films but also the fishing exploits – and dramatizes the details of the palimony suit brought against Lee by an ex-lover, a case that made legal history. It also contains Lee Marvin’s journals from the battlefields of World War II, as well as an account of the errors and accidents that led to his premature death. Written with affection and respect, Pamela Marvin’s biography paints a more rounded portrait of Lee Marvin than we have had before.
David Lynch erupted onto the cinema landscape in 1977 with Eraserhead, establishing himself as one of the most original and imaginative directors at work in contemporary cinema. Over the course of his career, he has remained true to a vision of the innocent lost in darkness and confusion, balancing hallucination and surrealism with a sense of Americana that is as pure and simple as his compelling storylines. In this volume, Lynch speaks openly about his films as well as about his lifelong commitment to painting, his work in photography, his television projects, and his musical collaborations with Angelo Badalamenti.
The popular music industry has become completely interlinked with the film industry. The majority of mainstream films come with ready-attached songs that may or may not appear in the film but nevertheless will be used for publicity purposes and appear on a soundtrack album. In many cases, popular music in films has made for some of the most striking moments in films and the most dramatic aesthetic action in cinema, like Ben relaxing in the pool to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ in The Graduate (1967), and the potter’s wheel sequence with the Righteous Brothers’ ‘Unchained Melody’ in Ghost (1990). Yet, to date, there have only been patchy attempts to deal with popular music’s relationship with film. Indeed, it is startling that there is so little written on subject that is so popular as a consumer item and thus has a significant cultural profile.
Magical Musical Tour is the first sustained and focused survey to engage the intersection of the two on both an aesthetic and industrial level. The chapters are historically-inspired reviews, discussing many films and musicians, while others will be more concentrated and detailed case studies of single films. Including an accompanying website and a timeline giving a useful snapshot around which readers can orient the book, Kevin Donnelly explores the history of the intimate bond between film and music, from the upheaval that rock‘n’roll caused in the mid-1950s to the more technical aspects regarding ‘tracking’ and ‘scoring’.
The most celebrated director of colour photography tells the story of his adventures in celluloid. The ‘Magic Hour’ is the special light that occurs just at twilight, and a very special light is what cameraman Jack Cardiff brought to films such as The Red Shoes, The African Queen, and Black Narcissus for which he won an Oscar. In Magic Hour Jack Cardiff details the adventures of his life: on tour on the music-hall circuit with his parents; acting in silent films; being chosen by Technicolor as the first British cameraman to be trained in colour photography; filming with British convoys in the Atlantic during World War II; his big break when Michael Powell asked him to photograph A Matter of Life and Death; his rambunctious exploits with Errol Flynn; and his triumph at the Cannes Film Festival as the director of Sons and Lovers.
As a master of light, Cardiff came to photograph some of the most beautiful women in cinema history: Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and Ava Gardner, to name but a few. Cardiff’s bold and imaginative photography enhanced not only the work of Powell and Pressburger, but also that of Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston. Told with modesty and charm, Magic Hour is the personal journey of an extraordinary craftsman of cinema.
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Christopher J. Olson
There are a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to researching how film spectators make sense of film texts, from the film text itself, the psychological traits and sociocultural group memberships of the viewer, or even the location and surroundings of the viewer. However, we can only understand the agency of film spectators in situations of film spectatorship by studying actual spectators’ interactions with specific film texts in specific contexts of engagement.
Making Sense of Cinema: Empirical Studies into Film Spectators and Spectatorship uses a number of empirical approaches (ethnography, focus groups, interviews, historical, qualitative experiment and physiological experiment) to consider how the film spectator makes sense of the text itself or the ways in which the text fits into his or her everyday life. With case studies ranging from preoccupations of queer and ageing men in Spanish and French cinema and comparative eye-tracking studies based on the two completely different soundscapes of Monsters Inc. and Saving Private Ryan to cult fanbase of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and attachment theory to its fictional characters, Making Sense of Cinema aligns this subset of film studies with the larger fields of media reception studies, allowing for dialogue with the broader audience and reception studies field.
Considered by critics to be Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, Barry Lyndon has suffered from scholarly and popular neglect. Maria Pramaggiore argues that one key reason that this film remains unappreciated, even by Kubrick aficionados, is that its transnational and intermedial contexts have not been fully explored. Taking a novel approach, she looks at the film from a transnational perspective -- as a foreign production shot in Ireland and an adaptation of a British novel by an American director about an Irish subject. Pramaggiore argues that, in Barry Lyndon, Kubrick develops his richest philosophical mediation on cinema's capacity to mediate the real and foregrounds film's relationship to other technologies of visuality, including painting, photography, and digital media.
By combining extensive research into the film's source novel, production and reception with systematic textual analysis and an engagement with several key issues in contemporary academic debate, this work promises not only to make a huge impact in the field of Kubrick studies, but also in 1970s filmmaking, cultural history and transnational film practice.
The 1960s was famously the decade of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It was also a decade of revolution and counter-revolution, of the Cuban missile crisis, of the American intervention in Vietnam, of economic booms and the beginning of consumerism (and the rebellion against it). It was a decade in which the avantgarde came out of the closet and into the street, expressing itself on album covers and posters as much as in galleries. And it was a decade in which the old popular art – crooners and show bands, Hollywood musicals and melodramas – seemed destined to be swept away by the tide of novelty emerging across the world.
The cinema was central to this atmosphere of cultural ferment. Hollywood was in decline, both artistically and commercially. The genres which had held audiences captive in the 1940s and 50s – musicals, Westerns, melodramas – were losing their appeal and their great practitioners were approaching retirement. The scene was therefore set for new cinemas to emerge to attract the young, the discriminating, the politically conscious and the sexually emancipated. The innovative features of the new cinemas were not the same everywhere. Common to most of them, however, were a political and aesthetic radicalism and a break with the traditions of studio filmmaking and its cult of perfect illusion.
Making Waves is a sharp, focused, and brilliant survey of the innovative filmmaking of the 1960s, placing it in its political, economic, cultural and aesthetic context – capturing the distinctiveness of a decade which was great for the cinema and for the world at large. Geoffrey Nowell-Smith pays particular attention to a handful of the most remarkable talents (Godard, Antonioni, Buñuel) that emerged during the period and helped to make it so special.
Between the end of the Civil War (1949) and the colonels℉ military coup (1967) Greece underwent tremendous political, economic, and social transformations which influenced gender identities and relations. During the same period, Greece also witnessed an unparalleled bloom in cinema productions. Based on the recently established paradigm that cinema and popular culture viewed as social institutions can inform a historical study, Masculinity and Gender in Greek Cinema explores the relationship between Greek cinema and the society within which it was created and viewed.
The book’s double analytical perspective on cinema and masculinity advances both the study of cinema and popular culture as historical sources, and of masculinity and gender relations as valid categories of historical analysis. Cinema as a medium of representation, not only managed to reflect on these issues, it also provided a whole new field for their interpretation. This is the first study to explore the dramatic transformation of masculinity and gender roles, as represented in Greek cinema during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s.
Within the last twenty-five years, an enormous burst of creative production has emerged from independent filmmakers. From Stranger than Paradise (1984) and Slacker (1991) to Gus Van Sant’s Elephant (2003) and Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005), indie cinema has become part of mainstream culture. But what makes these films independent? Is it simply a matter of budget and production values? Or are there aesthetic qualities that set them off from ordinary Hollywood entertainment?
In this groundbreaking new study, J.J. Murphy argues that the independent feature film from the 1980s to the present has developed a distinct approach of its own, centering on new and different conceptions of cinematic storytelling. The film script is the heart of the creative originality to be found in the independent movement. Even directors noted for their idiosyncratic visual style or the handling of performers typically originate their material and write their own scripts. By studying the principles underlying the independent screenplay, we gain a direct sense of the originality of this new trend in American cinema.
Me and You and Memento and Fargo also presents a unique vision for the aspiring screenwriter. Most screenwriting manuals and guidebooks on the market rely on formulas believed to generate saleable Hollywood films. Many writers present a “three-act paradigm” as gospel and proceed to lay down very stringent rules for characterization, plotting, timing of climaxes, and so on, while others who appear to be more open about such rules turn out to be just as inflexible in their advice. Through in-depth critical analyses of some of the most significant independent films of recent years, J.J. Murphy emphasizes the crucial role that novelty can play in the screenwriting process.
What is a medium? If Nietzsche was right in claiming that “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts,” that media help us “think,” and if different media allow for different ways of thinking, then the “body” of the respective medium in question, its materiality, shapes and influences the range and direction of how media make us think. Shouldn't we consequently speak of informed matter and of materialized information?
Launching Bloomsbury’s Thinking Media series, Media Matter introduces readers to the nascent field of media-philosophy. Contributors urge readers to re-adjust their ideas of Media Studies, by both extending the understanding of “medium” in such a way as to include a concept of materiality that also includes “non-human” transmitters (elements such as water, earth, fire, air) and by understanding media not only in the context of cultural or discursive systems or apparatuses, relays, transistors, hardware or “discourse networks,” but more inclusively, in terms of a “media ecology.”
Beginning with more general essays on media and then focusing on particular themes (neuroplasticity, photography, sculpture and music), especially in relation to film, Herzogenrath and contributors redefine the concept of “medium” in order to think through media, rather than about them.
Even though horror has been a key component of media output for almost a century, the genre's industrial character remains under explored and poorly understood. Merchants of Menace: The Business of Horror Cinema responds to a major void in film history by shedding much-needed new light on the economic dimensions of one of the world's most enduring audiovisual forms. Given horror cuts across budgetary categories, industry sectors, national film cultures, and media, Merchants of Menace also promises to expand understandings of the economics of cinema generally. Covering 1930-present, this groundbreaking collection boasts fourteen original chapters from world-leading experts taking as their focus such diverse topics as early zombie pictures, post-WWII chillers, Civil Rights-Era marketing, Hollywood literary adaptations, Australian exploitation, "torture-porn" Auteurs, and twenty-first-century remakes.
Using critical race theory and film studies to explore the interconnectedness between cinema and society, Zélie Asava traces the history of mixed-race representations in American and French filmmaking from early and silent cinema to the present day. Mixed Race Cinemas covers over a hundred years of filmmaking to chart the development of (black/white) mixed representations onscreen. With the 21st century being labelled the Mulatto Millennium, mixed bodies are more prevalent than ever in the public sphere, yet all too often they continue to be positioned as exotic, strange and otherworldly, according to ‘tragic mulatto’ tropes. This book evaluates the potential for moving beyond fixed racial binaries both onscreen and off by exploring actors and characters who embody the in-between. Through analyses of over 40 movies, and case studies of key films from the 1910s on, Mixed Race Cinemas illuminates landmark shifts in local and global cinema, exploring discourses of subjectivity, race, gender, sexuality and class. In doing so, it reveals the similarities and contrasts between American and French cinema in relation to recognising, visualising and constructing mixedness. Mixed Race Cinemas contextualizes and critiques raced and ‘post-race’ visual culture, using cinematic representations to illustrate changing definitions of mixed identity across different historical and geographical contexts.
Movement as Meaning in Experimental Cinema offers sweeping and cogent arguments as to why analytic philosophers should take experimental cinema seriously as a medium for illuminating mechanisms of meaning in language. Using the analogy of the movie projector, Barnett deconstructs all communication acts into functions of interval, repetition and context. He describes how Wittgenstein's concepts of family resemblance and language games provide a dynamic perspective on the analysis of acts of reference. He then develops a hyper-simplified formula of movement as meaning to discuss, with true equivalence, the process of reference as it occurs in natural language, technical language, poetic language, painting, photography, music, and of course, cinema. Barnett then applies his analytic technique to an original perspective on cine-poetics based on Paul Valery's concept of omnivalence, and to a projection of how this style of analysis, derived from analog cinema, can help us clarify our view of the digital mediasphere and its relation to consciousness. Informed by the philosophy of Quine, Dennett, Merleau-Ponty as well as the later work of Wittgenstein, among others, he uses the film work of Stan Brakhage, Tony Conrad, A.K. Dewdney, Nathaniel Dorsky, Ken Jacobs, Owen Land, Saul Levine, Gregory Markopoulos Michael Snow, and the poetry of Basho, John Cage, John Cayley and Paul Valery to illustrate the power of his unique perspective on meaning.
Throughout film history, one of the fundamental fantasies portrayed on screen has been the kind of physical action few of us could ever experience in real life. The image of an ‘every man’ engaged in hand-to-hand, mortal combat, defending his family or even the world population against an overwhelming and malevolent force, speaks to our most primal instincts and thus became a mainstay of movie entertainment. In order to translate these deep-seated fantasies to the screen, filmmakers have been developing special skills and crafts for over 100 years. It is these skills that make ‘movie magic’ and have allowed audiences to take part in the primal hopes and fears we all possess. Movie Stunts & Special Effects: A Comprehensive Guide to Planning and Execution is designed to inform filmmakers on how to plan for and utilize these crafts by engaging and empowering filmmakers to better communicate with stunts and effects practitioners, and thereby enabling them to more fully realize their vision. Director/Producer Andrew Lane surveys fights, use of weapons, cars and vehicles, falls, the use of pyrotechnics, atmospheric effects, bullet hits, wounds and blood, among many other categories. Factors such as cost, time to implement, safety accommodations, and assessing the competence of those employed to plan and execute stunts and special effects are numerous and very specific.
Each topic in Movie Stunts & Special Effects is examined using narrative explanations, extensive interviews with world-renowned experts. Various stunts and special effects will be explored in the context of how they are best captured by a camera and then editorially constituted in the final product.
The ‘serial killer’ has become increasingly prevalent in popular culture since the term was coined by Robert Ressler at the FBI in the mid-1970s. Murders and Acquisitions explores the social and political implications of this cultural figure. The collection argues that the often blood-chilling representations of the serial killer and serial killing offered in TV series, films, novels and fan productions function to address contemporary concerns and preoccupations. Focusing on well-known popular culture texts, such as The Wire, Kiss the Girls, Monster, the Saw series, American Psycho, The Strangers, CSI and Dexter, this eclectic anthology engages with a broad spectrum of cultural theory and performs critical textual analysis to examine the sophisticated ways the serial killer is deployed to mediate and/or work through cultural anxieties and fears.
Sally Potter has been renowned for her rapport with actors, and for the luminous performances she works with them to produce. Now she strips bare the art and craft of directing actors for the camera, from casting a film to the moment of first screening when the work goes public.
A brilliant writer for the screen, here Potter shows herself to be expert at translating the experience of film directing to the page. She addresses us in prose that is both unsentimental and inspired, tracing the energies that pass between actor, director and audience; shaping for the reader the acts of transmission and imagination, performance and witness, the sum of which make up a film.
In addition to the core text, the book contains interviews with actors with whom Sally Potter has worked, whose voices will counterpoint Sally Potter's, and will inform and illuminate the reader's sense of her work. Those interviewed include: Julie Christie, Jude Law, Judi Dench, Simon Abkarian, Annette Benning, Timothy Spall, Steve Buscemi, Riz Ahmed, Elle Fanning, Alessandro Nivola, and Lily Cole.
Nancy Meyers is acknowledged as the most commercially successful woman filmmaker of all time, described by Daphne Merkin in The New York Times on the release of It’s Complicated as ‘a singular figure in Hollywood – [she] may, in fact, be the most powerful female writer-director-producer currently working’. Yet Meyers remains a director who, alongside being widely dismissed by critics, has been largely absent in scholarly accounts both of contemporary Hollywood cinema, and of feminism and film. Despite Meyers’ impressive track record for turning a profit (including the biggest box-office return ever achieved by a woman filmmaker at that time for What Women Want in 2000), and a multifaceted career as a writer/producer/director dating back to her co-writing Private Benjamin in 1980, Meyers has been oddly neglected by Film Studies to date.
Including Nancy Meyers in the Bloomsbury Companions to Contemporary Filmmakers rectifies this omission, giving her the kind of detailed consideration and recognition she warrants and exploring how, notwithstanding the challenges authorship holds for feminist film studies, Meyers can be situated as a skilled ‘auteur’. This book proposes that Meyers’ box-office success, the consistency of style and theme across her films, and the breadth of her body of work as a writer/producer/director across more than three decades at the forefront of Hollywood (thus importantly bridging the second/third waves of feminism) make her a key contemporary US filmmaker. Structured to meet the needs of both the student and scholar, Jermyn's volume situates Meyers within this historical and critical context, exploring the distinctive qualities of her body of work, the reasons behind the pervasive resistance to it and new ways of understanding her films.
Narrative Theory and Adaptation offers a concise introduction to narrative theory in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret Spike Jonze’s critically acclaimed 2002 film Adaptation.
Understanding narrative theory is crucial to make sense of the award-winning film Adaptation. The book explicates, in clear prose for beginners, four key facets important to the narrative theory of film: the distinction between practical vs. critical theory, the role of adaptation, the process of narrative comprehension, and notions of authorship. It then works to unlock Adaptation. using these four keys in succession, considering how the film demands a theoretical understanding of the storytelling process. In using this unusual case study of a film, the author makes the case for the importance of narrative theory as a general perspective for filmmakers, critics, and viewers alike.
Native Features is the first book to look at feature films made by Indigenous people, one of the world’s newest and fastest growing categories of cinema. The book provides easy to understand guidelines to help viewers appreciate the more than 50 Indigenous features now in circulation. Native Features shows how movies made by Native peoples throughout the world often strengthen older cultures while they simultaneously correct stereotypes found in non-Indigenous films.
The book focuses on well-known films, such as Rabbit-Proof Fence, Smoke Signals, and Whale Rider, as well as on many films seldom seen beyond the regions where they were made. Separate chapters trace the exemplary careers of Cheyenne and Arapaho director Chris Eyre and of Australian Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil. There are chapters as well that look at Indigenous feature films by region. These detail how individual Indigenous films fit within the distinctive film histories of the Arctic, Australia, Oceania, and North America.
As the first extended study of the recent global explosion of Indigenous cinema, Native Features provides pioneering ways of thinking about these films that will likely shape discussions for decades to come.
Nazisploitation! examines past intersections of National Socialism and popular cinema and the recent reemergence of this imagery in contemporary visual culture. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, films such as Love Camp 7 and
Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS introduced and reinforced the image of Nazis as master paradigms of evil in what film theorists deem the 'sleaze' film. More recently, Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, as well as video games such as Call of Duty: World at War, have reinvented this iconography for new audiences. In these works, the violent Nazi becomes the hyperbolic caricature of the “monstrous feminine” or the masculine sadist. Power-hungry scientists seek to clone the Führer, and Nazi zombies rise from the grave.
The history, aesthetic strategies, and political implications of such translations of National Socialism into the realm of commercial, low brow, and 'sleaze' visual culture are the focus of this book. The contributors examine when and why the Nazisploitation genre emerged as it did, how it establishes and violates taboos, and why this iconography resonates with contemporary audiences.
Taking a closer look at teen film in the 1970s, New American Teenagers uncovers previously marginalized voices that rework the classically male, heterosexual American teenage story. While their parents’ era defined the American teenager with the romantic male figure of James Dean, this generation of adolescents offers a dramatically altered picture of transformed gender dynamics, fluid and queered sexuality, and a chilling disregard for the authority of parent, or more specifically, patriarchal culture.
Films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Halloween, and Badlands offer a reprieve from the ‘straight’ developmental narrative, including in the canon of study the changing definition of the American teenager. Barbara Brickman is the first to challenge the neglect of this decade in discussions of teen film by establishing the subversive potential and critical revision possible in the narratives of these new teenage voices, particularly in regards to changing notions of gender and sexuality.
Jason Wood and Ian Haydn Smith
Over the past year the success of British films at international film festivals – as well as the numerous awards bestowed on 12 Years a Slave – have demonstrated that British cinema has undergone a genuine renaissance that has caused new voices to emerge. At the same time, directors whose work have enthralled over the past five years have also continued to develop and expand their visions.
The boundaries of British film-making are being redefined.
Beginning with an Introduction exploring some of the factors that have led to this fertile environment, New British Cinema features in-depth interviews with the film-making voices at the vanguard of this new wave. Figures such as Clio Barnard, Richard Ayoade, Steve McQueen, Jonathan Glazer, Carol Morley, Yann Demange, Peter Strickland and Ben Wheatley provide a valuable insight into their work and working methods.
Collectively, the film-makers who feature in this book symbolize the incredible breadth and diversity to be found in British cinema today.
In Otherness in Hollywood Cinema, Michael Richardson argues that the Hollywood system has been the only national cinema with the resources and inclination to explore images of others through stories set in exotic and faraway places. He traces many of the ways in which Hollywood has constructed otherness, and discusses the extent to which those images have persisted and conditioned today’s understanding.
Hollywood was from the beginning teeming with people who had experienced cultural displacement. Coaxing the finest talents from around the world and needing to produce films with an almost universal appeal, Hollywood confounded American insularity while simultaneously presenting a vision of ‘America’ to the world.
The book examines a range of genres from the perspective of otherness, including the Western, film noir, and zombie movies. Films discussed include Birth of a Nation, The New World, The Searchers, King Kong, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Jaws, and Dead Man. Erudite and highly informed, this is a sweeping survey of how the American film industry has portrayed the foreign and the exotic.
Wayne Stein and Marc DiPaolo
In Japan and much of Europe, Ozu is widely considered to be one of the finest film directors who ever lived. While Ozu has a strong reputation in the West, his films are not as well-known or widely appreciated in the U.S. as they are elsewhere. A notable exception to this trend is film critic Roger Ebert, who recently wrote that Ozu is one of his “three or four” favorite directors. Also, moving beyond the view that Tokyo Story is a masterful exception in the Ozu canon, Ebert sees Ozu’s films as “nearly always of the same high quality.” Ozu International will reflect on Ebert’s view of Ozu by arguing that this director deserves broader recognition in the U.S., and that his entire canon is worthy of serious study.
With the recent release of more than 15 Ozu DVDs in the Criterion Collection, covering every phase of his career at least in part (including silent films, black-and-white talkies, and color films), Ozu International helps to fill a lingering gap in English-language scholarship on Ozu by giving this new generation of scholars a book-length forum to explore new critical perspectives on an unfairly neglected director. Contributions include specialists in Japanese culture, academics from a range of disciplines, and professional films critics.
Peter Jackson is one of the most acclaimed and influential contemporary film-makers. This is the first book to combine the examination of Jackson’s career with an in-depth critical analysis of his films, thus providing readers with the most comprehensive study of the New Zealand film-maker’s body of work. The first section of the book concentrates on Jackson’s biography, surveying the evolution of his career from the director of cult slapstick movies such as Meet the Feebles (1989) and Braindead (1992) to an entrepreneur responsible for the foundation of companies such as Wingnut Films and Weta Workshop, and finally to producer and director of mega blockbuster projects such as The Lord of the Rings (2001–2003) and The Hobbit (2012–2013).
The book further examines Jackson’s work at the level of production, reception and textuality, along with key collaborative relationships and significant themes associated with Jackson’s films. The examination of Peter Jackson’s work and career ties into significant academic debates, including the relationship between national cinema and global Hollywood; the global dispersal of film production; the relationship between film authorship and industrial modes of production; the impact of the creative industries on the construction of national identity; and new developments in film technology.
The films from Pixar Animation Studios belong to the most popular family films today. From Monsters Inc to Toy Story and Wall-E, the animated characters take on human qualities that demand more than just cultural analysis. What animates the human subject according to Pixar? What are the ideological implications?
Pixar with Lacan has the double aim of analyzing the Pixar films and exemplifying important psychoanalytic concepts (the voice, the gaze, partial object, the Other, the object a, the primal father, the name-of-the-father, symbolic castration, the imaginary/the real/the symbolic, desire and drive, the four discourses, masculine/feminine), examining the ideological implications of the images of human existence given in the films.
Sidney Poitier remains one of the most recognizable black men in the world. Widely celebrated but at times criticized for the roles he played during a career that spanned 60 years, there can be no comprehensive discussion of black men in American film, and no serious analysis of 20th century American film history that excludes him. Poitier Revisited offers a fresh interrogation of the social, cultural and political significance of the Poitier oeuvre. The contributions explore the broad spectrum of critical issues summoned up by Poitier's iconic work as actor, director and filmmaker. Despite his stature, Poitier has actually been under-examined in film criticism generally. This work reconsiders his pivotal role in film and American race relations, by arguing persuasively, that even in this supposedly 'post-racial' moment of Barack Obama, the struggles, aspirations, anxieties, and tensions Poitier's films explored are every bit as relevant today as when they were first made.
This is the first study that employs a materialist framework to discuss the political implications of form in the films of Lars von Trier. Focusing mainly on early films, Politics as Form in Lars von Trier identifies recurring formal elements in von Trier’s oeuvre and discusses the formal complexity of his films under the rubric of the post-Brechtian. Through an in depth formal analysis, the book shows that Brecht is more important to von Trier’s work than what most critics seem to acknowledge and deems von Trier as a dialectical filmmaker. This study draws on many untranslated resources and features an interview with Lars von Trier, and another one with his mentor – the great Danish director Jørgen Leth.
Out of a background of war, occupation and the legacies of Japan's post-defeat politics there emerged a dissentient group of avant-garde filmmakers who created a counter-cinema that addressed a newly constituted, politically conscious audience. While there was no formal manifesto for this movement and the various key filmmakers of the period (Oshima Nagisa, Imamura Shohei, Yoshida Yoshishige, Hani Susumu, Wakamatsu Koji and Okamoto Kihachi) experimented with very different conceptions of visual style, it is possible to identify a sensibility that motivated many of these filmmakers: a generational consciousness based on political opposition that was intimately linked to the student movements of the 1950s, and shared experiences as Japan's first generation of post-war filmmakers artistically stifled by a monopolistic and hierarchal commercial studio system that had emerged reinvigorated in the wake of the ‘red purges’ of the late-1940s. Politics, Porn and Protest: Japanese Avant-Garde Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s provides a much needed overview of these filmmakers and reconsiders the question of dissent in the cultural landscape of Japan in the post-war period.
This book challenges the established conceptual and historical paradigm in Anglo-American film studies that perceives European cinema as essentially ‘high art.’ Through a study of the specific contexts in which popular European films are produced, distributed and exhibited, the book proposes new analytical and critical frameworks for their study. Films analyzed in the book include Cinema Paradiso, Mediterraneo, Bhaji on the Beach, Until the End of the World, Underground, and Jam=n Jam=n.
Portuguese Film, 1930–1960: The Staging of the New State Regime provides groundbreaking analysis of Portuguese feature films produced in the first three decades of the New State ( Estado Novo), a right-wing totalitarian regime that lasted between 1933 and 1974. These films, sponsored by the National Propaganda Institute ( Secretariado Nacional de Propaganda), convey a conservative image of both mainland Portugal and the country’s overseas African colonies (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and St. Thomas and Principe). The films about the mainland emphasize traditional values, the importance of obedience to authorities and a strict division of gender roles, whereby women are relegated to the domestic sphere. The Portuguese countryside, where age-old customs and a strong social hierarchy prevailed, is presented in these movies as a model for the rest of the country. The films about the colonies, in turn, underline the benefits of the Portuguese presence in Africa and portray the colonized as docile subjects to Portuguese rule.
The book includes chapter summaries in the introduction, in-depth analyses of the most important Portuguese films produced between 1930 and 1960, a discussion of the main topics of Portuguese cinema from the New State, and a comprehensive bibliography that guides students who wish to read further on a specific topic. First published in Portuguese to wide acclaim, Portuguese Film, 1930–1960: The Staging of the New State Regime fills a gap in English-language scholarship on the history of the national cinema of the Iberian peninsula. Films covered include Fatima, Land of Faith ( Terra de Fe), Spell of the Empire ( Feitico do Imperio), and Chaimite.
The horror film is meant to end in hope: Regan McNeil can be exorcized. A hydrophobic Roy Scheider can blow up a shark. Buffy can and will slay vampires. Heroic human qualities like love, bravery, resourcefulness, and intelligence will eventually defeat the monster. But, after the 9/11, American horror became much more bleak, with many films ending with the deaths of the entire main cast.
Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema illustrates how contemporary horror films explore visceral and emotional reactions to the attacks and how they underpin audiences' ongoing fears about their safety. It examines how scary movies have changed as a result of 9/11 and, conversely, how horror films construct and give meaning to the event in a way that other genres do not. Considering films such as Quarantine, Cloverfield, Hostel and the Saw series, Wetmore examines the transformations in horror cinema since 9/11 and considers not merely how the tropes have changed, but how our understanding of horror itself has changed.
The Film Theory in Practice series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory. By marrying the explanation of a film theory with the interpretation of a film, the volumes provide discrete examples of how film theory can serve as the basis for textual analysis. The second book in the series, Postcolonial Theory and Avatar offers a concise introduction to postcolonial theory in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret James Cameron’s high-grossing, immensely popular, and critically acclaimed 2009 film.
Avatar is widely celebrated for its politically and culturally sensitive critique of the “West’s” neocolonial wars and exploitation of the “global south” – an allegory for (neo)colonialism – and for highlighting the plight of tribal communities throughout the world (for instance, the case of the Dongriah Kondh tribe of India). At the same time, it has been also criticized for repeating the colonialist fantasy of saving natives doomed by imperialist aggression. Intervening in this debate over how to read the film, Basu Thakur focuses on issues of representations, discourse, subalternity, and subjectivity, all of which have been central to postcolonial theory and postcolonial analyses of culture. This history will help students and scholars who are eager to learn more about this important area of theory and bring the concepts of postcolonial theory into practice through a detailed interpretation of the film.
In response to questions about the relevance of postcolonial theory in the era of globalization, Postcolonial Theory and Avatar advocates the need to reimagine the postcolonial critical apparatus through renewing a dialogue with French Continental theory and through strengthening its ties to film and media studies. Basu Thakur argues for building a more theoretically rigorous and media specific postcolonial approach that would adequately examine the forms, modes, and guises of Eurocentrism in contemporary popular culture and intellectual discourses of the West. He charges the rhetoric of multiculturalism and tolerant pluralism (as well as the West’s self-reflexive critiques of its past and present expansionist misadventures) with obscuring the continued presence of colonial-era prejudice and narratives of subject formation. Taking James Cameron’s supposedly anti-imperialist, pro-indigenous rights, and ecologically sensitive film Avatar as an example, Basu Thakur shows how postcolonial analysis of film can reveal the hidden symptoms of Eurocentrism by moving focus away from identity politics and toward the West’s supple narratives of subject-production. The conclusion undertakes a cross-cultural analysis and comparative study of subject-production in a Bengali short story and a French film to explore these as texts interruptive of the habitual narratives of subject-production in Avatar and the West more generally.
Matthew Flisfeder introduces readers to key concepts in postmodern theory and demonstrates how it can be used for a critical interpretation and analysis of Blade Runner, arguably “the greatest science fiction film”. By contextualizing the film within the culture of late twentieth and early twenty-first century capitalism, Flisfeder provides a valuable guide for both students and scholars interested in learning more about one of the most significant, influential, and controversial concepts in film and cultural studies of the past 40 years.
The “Film Theory in Practice” series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory. By marrying the explanation of film theory with interpretation of a film, the volumes provide discrete examples of how film theory can serve as the basis for textual analysis. Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner offers a concise introduction to postmodernism in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret Ridley Scott’s cult film Blade Runner.
Biopics on artists influence the popular perception of artists’ lives and work. Projected Art History highlights the narrative structure and images created in the film genre of biopics, in which an artist's life is being dramatized and embodied by an actor. Concentrating on the two case studies, Basquiat (1996) and Pollock (2000), the book also discusses larger issues at play, such as how postwar American art history is being mediated for mass consumption.
This book bridges a gap between art history, film studies and popular culture by investigating how the film genre of biopics adapts written biographies. It identifies the functionality of the biopic genre and explores its implication for a popular art history that is projected on the big screen for a mass audience.
The Film Theory in Practice Series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory. By marrying the explanation of film theory with interpretation of a film, the volumes provide discrete examples of how film theory can serve as the basis for textual analysis. The first book in the series, Psychoanalytic Film Theory and The Rules of the Game, offers a concise introduction to psychoanalytic film theory in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret Jean Renoir’s classic film. It traces the development of psychoanalytic film theory through its foundation in the thought of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan through its contemporary manifestation in the work of theorists like Slavoj Žižek and Joan Copjec. This history will help students and scholars who are eager to learn more about this important area of film theory and bring the concepts of psychoanalytic film theory into practice through a detailed interpretation of the film.
“With this book, Philip Skerry makes an ambitious and largely successful effort to restore perspective to the debate that has swirled around Psycho since Hitchcock first ripped back the shower curtain of our expectations in 1960 and plunged his knife into the collective cinematic consciousness.” - John Baxter, Film International
Psycho in the Shower is a multi-dimensional study of Psycho’s astonishing shower scene. Philip J. Skerry shows how it may be the most significant and influential film scene of all and substantiates this claim by providing chapters on the evolution of the scene in Hitchcock’s career, with particular focus on his methods for creating suspense and terror in the audience. In tracing the evolution of the shower scene, the author discusses and analyzes many films (both Hitchcockian and otherwise) that lead up to Psycho.
The book places the shower scene in the cultural and social contexts of American popular culture of the 1950s and 1960s, arguing that it helped to create a revolution in both sensibility and cinematic style. Several unique dimensions help to set this study apart from other books on Psycho and Hitchcock: extensive and detailed interviews with people who worked on the film, including star Janet Leigh and screenwriter Joseph Stefano (the last significant interviews before their deaths); a close study of Hitchcock’s employment of mise en scene and montage in the scenes leading up to the famous shower murder; a shot by shot analysis of the scene itself and a discussion of the numerous controversies surrounding it; and a provocative and insightful account of the writing of the book itself, which provides a unique look at the author’s creative process. The book culminates with examples of how the shower scene has become embedded in the matrix of contemporary culture and the remarkable ways in which the scene affected people on first viewing.
The most powerful films have an afterlife. Their sensory appeal and their capacity to elicit involvement in story, character and conflict reaches beyond the screen to subtly reframe the way spectators view ethical issues and agents within the narrative, and in the world outside the cinema. Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience and Narrative Filmquestions how cinematic narratives relate to and affect ethical life. Extending Martha Nussbaum and Wayne Booth's work on moral philosophy and literature to consider cinema, Dr. Stadler shows that film spectatorship can be understood as a model for ethical attention that engages the audience in an affective relationship with characters and their values. Building on Vivian Sobchack's Address of the Eye and Carnal Thoughts, she uses a phenomenological approach to analyse ethical dimensions of film extending beyond narrative content, arguing that the camera describes experience and views screen characters with an evaluative form of perception: an ethical gaze in which spectators participate. Films discussed include Dead Man Walking, Lost Highway, Batman Begins, Nil By Mouth, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
The Terminator film series is an unlikely site of queer affiliation. The entire premise revolves around both heterosexual intercourse and the woman’s pregnancy and giving birth. It is precisely the Terminator’s indifference to both that signifies it as an unimaginably inhuman monstrosity. Indeed, the films’ overarching contention that humanity must be saved, rooted as it is in a particular story about pregnancy and birth that exclusively focuses on the heterosexual couple and the family, would appear to put it at odds with the political stances of contemporary queer theory. Yet, as this book argues, there is considerable queer interest in the Terminator mythos.
The films provide a framework for interpreting shifting gender codes and the emergence of queer sexuality over the period of three decades. Significantly, the series emerges in the Reagan 80s, which marked a decisive break with the sexual fluidity of the 70s. As a franchise and on the individual basis of each film, The Terminator series combines both radical and reactionary elements. Each film reflects the struggles over gender and sexuality specific to its release. At the same time, the series foregrounds the intersection of technology and gender that has become a definitive aspect of contemporary experience. A narrative organized around a conservative view of female sexuality and the family, the Terminator myth is nevertheless a richly suggestive narrative for queer theory and gender studies.
Queer Theory and Brokeback Mountain examines queer theory as it has emerged in the past three decades and discusses how Brokeback Mountain can be understood through the terms of this field of scholarship and activism. Organized into two parts, in the first half the author discusses key canonical texts within queer theory, including the work of writers such as Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. He provides an historical account of the questions these scholars have posed to our understanding of sexualities-both normative and non-normative-in the historical past and in contemporary life, as well as a discussion of the theories of sexuality and gender offered by these scholars as these phenomena shape the experiences of men and women in the genital, bodily, erotic, discursive, and cultural dimensions.
The second part examines Ang Lee’s 2005 feature film, Brokeback Mountain, in order to understand the claims and insights of queer theory. Tracing the film’s adaptation by screenwriter Larry McMurtry of Annie Proulx’s 1997 short story of the same title, this portion of the book examines the film's narrative about two working-class men in the rural mid-twentieth-century U.S. and the meanings of the sexual and emotional bond between the pair that develops over the course of two decades.
Django Unchained is certainly Quentin Tarantino’s most commercially-successful film and is arguably also his most controversial. Fellow director Spike Lee has denounced the representation of race and slavery in the film, while many African American writers have defended the white auteur. The use of extremely graphic violence in the film, even by Tarantino’s standards, at a time when gun control is being hotly debated, has sparked further controversy and has led to angry outbursts by the director himself. Moreover, Django Unchained has become a popular culture phenomenon, with t-shirts, highly contentious action figures, posters, and strong DVD/BluRay sales. The topic (slavery and revenge), the setting (a few years before the Civil War), the intentionally provocative generic roots (Spaghetti Western and Blaxploitation) and the many intertexts and references (to German and French culture) demand a thorough examination. Befitting such a complex film, the essays collected here represent a diverse group of scholars who examine Django Unchained from many perspectives.
This provocative and unique anthology analyzes Quentin Tarantino’s controversial Inglourious Basterds in the contexts of cinema, cultural, gender, and historical studies. The film and its ideology is dissected by a range of scholars and writers who take on the director's manipulation of metacinema, Nazisploitation, ethnic stereotyping, gender roles, allohistoricism, geopolitics, philosophy, language, and memory.
In this collection, the eroticism of the club-swinging and avenging “Bear Jew,” the dashed heroism of the “role-playing” French and German females, the patriotic fools and pawns, the amoral yokel, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, and the cosmopolitan, but psychopathic Colonel Landa, are understood for their true functions in what has become an iconoclastic pop-culture phenomenon and one of the classics of early twenty-first century American cinema. Additionally, the book examines the use of “foreign” languages (subverting English and image), the allegory of Austria’s identity in the war, and the particularly French and German cinematic influences, such as R. W. Fassbinder’s realignment of the German woman’s film and the iconic image of the German film star in Inglourious Basterds.
Art cinema has always had an aura of the erotic, with the term being at times a euphemism for European films that were more explicit than their American counterparts. This focus on sexuality, whether buried or explicit, has meant a recurrence of the theme of rape, nearly as ubiquitous as in mainstream film.
This anthology explores the representation of rape in art cinema. Its aim is to highlight the prevalence and multiple functions of rape in this prestigious mode of filmmaking as well as to question the meaning of its ubiquity and versatility. Rape in Art Cinema takes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together recognized figures such as historian Joanna Burke, philosopher Ann J. Cahill, and film scholars Martin Barker, Tanya Horeck and Scott Mackenzie alongside emerging voices. It is international in scope, with contributors from Canada, the U.S. and Britain coming together to investigate the representation of rape in some of cinema’s most cherished films.
September 11th, 2001 remains a focal point of American consciousness, a site demanding ongoing excavation, a site at which to mark before and after “everything” changed. In ways both real and intangible the entire sequence of events of that day continues to resonate in an endlessly proliferating aftermath of meanings that continue to evolve. Presenting a collection of analyses by an international body of scholars that examines America's recent history, this book focuses on popular culture as a profound discursive site of anxiety and discussion about 9/11 and demystifies the day's events in order to contextualize them into a historically grounded series of narratives that recognizes the complex relations of a globalized world. Essays in Reframing 9/11 share a collective drive to encourage new and original approaches for understanding the issues both within and beyond the official political rhetoric of the events of the “The Global War on Terror” and issues of national security.
Revolution and Rebellion in Mexican Film examines Mexican films of political conflict from the early studio Revolutionary films of the 1930-50s up to the campaigning Zapatista films of the 2000s. Mapping this evolution out for the first time, the author takes three key events under consideration: the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920); the student movement and massacre in 1968; and, finally, the more recent Zapatista Rebellion (1994-present).
Analyzing films such as Vamanos con Pancho Villa (1936), El Grito (1968), and Corazon del Tiempo (2008), the author uses the term ‘political conflict’ to refer to those violent disturbances, dramatic periods of confrontation, injury and death, which characterize particular historical events involving state and non-state actors that may have a finite duration, but have a long-lasting legacy on the nation. These conflicts have been an important component of Mexican film since its inception and include studio productions, documentaries, and independent films.
Leni Riefenstahl is larger than life. From the lure of her persona as it enters our homes via television to our pleasure in the recognition of her film images at rock concerts, to her place as part of the history of the Nazi period, Riefenstahl lives on in our imagination and in our cultural productions. Thus, the editors’ introduction to this volume examines the manner in which Riefenstahl ‘haunts’ debates on aesthetics and politics, and how her legacy reverberates in the contemporary cultural scene.
The editors view the collection as a three-part framework. The essays in the opening section of the book show that Riefenstahl is still very much alive and well - and controversial - in popular culture. Her films continue to determine the way in which we think about the Nazi period, providing instantly recognizable images and messages that often go unquestioned. We cannot separate these phenomena from Riefenstahl's years of avid self-fashioning. The second section of the book offers treatments of the shifting, mobile relationship between Riefenstahl's stubborn attempts to create and control her personae and her reactions to others’ re-appropriations of the meanings of her life and work. Reading the texts and discourses surrounding ‘Riefenstahl,’ these scholars treat her memoirs - and her repeated assertions about herself - as a springboard into understanding anew how we might approach her films in a productive way. The closing section of the volume comprises essays that go right to the heart of the matter: Riefenstahl's films and photography. The new contexts-theoretical discussions and emerging discourses that animate these essays-include Scarry's treatise on beauty, justice and the global, the problems of history and memory, the place of Riefenstahl's filmmaking technique in contemporary cinema, and her appropriation of German musical traditions.
Fueled by the work of a diverse range of scholars, then, Riefenstahl Screened offers an opportunity to rethink the place of Leni Riefenstahl and her work in contemporary culture and in academic discourse. It insists upon a critical self-examination that maps a topography of how scholars and teachers avail themselves of Riefenstahl's corpus.
Although Robert Bresson is widely regarded by movie critics and students of the cinema as one of the greatest directors of the twentieth century, his films are largely unknown and are rarely shown in the English-speaking world. Nonetheless, Susan Sontag has called Bresson “the master of the reflective mode in film. “The present book, which introduces Bresson’s movies to a broader audience, assesses thirteen of his most significant films in the context of detailed plot summaries, vivid descriptions of characters and settings, and perceptive, jargon-free insights into the director’s execution, intention, and technique. Among these films, made between 1943 and 1983, are Diary of a Country Priest, A Man Escaped, Pickpocket, The Trial of Joan of Arc, Au Hasard Balthasar, Mouchette, A Gentle Woman, Lancelot of the Lake, and L’Argent. Each of these films in its own way illustrates what Joseph Cunneen calls Bresson’s “spiritual style.” Though not necessarily focused on the explicitly religious, they illustrate two complementary principles: on the negative side, the rejection of what the director called “photographed theater” with its artificiality and dependence on celebrity performers. On the more positive side, as Bresson himself expressed it, the conviction that, “The supernatural is only the real rendered more precise; real things seen close up.” Being equally adamant about both these principles, he often had difficulty getting financial backing, and this in turn resulted in his having to abandon his long-cherished hope of making a movie on the biblical book of Genesis. Nevertheless, because of these firmly held principles, Martin Scorsese suggested that a young filmmaker should ask: “Is it as tough as Bresson?… Is [meaning] as ruthlessly pared down, as direct, as unflinching in its gaze at aspects of life I might feel more comfortable ignoring?”Questions that every reader of this book and every viewer of Bresson’s films will also ask.
There is an upsurge of interest in contemporary film theory towards cinematic emotions. Tarja Laine's innovative study proposes a methodology for interpreting affective encounters with films, not as objectively readable texts, but as emotionally salient events. Laine argues convincingly that film is not an immutable system of representation that is meant for (one-way) communication, but an active, dynamic participant in the becoming of the cinematic experience.
Through a range of chapters that include Horror, Hope, Shame and Love - and through close readings of films such as The Shining, American Beauty and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Laine demonstrates that cinematic emotions are more than mere indicators of the properties of their objects. They are processes that are intentional in a phenomenological sense, supporting the continuous, shifting, and reciprocal exchange between the film's world and the spectator's world. Grounded in continental philosophy, this provocative book explores the affective dynamics of cinema as an interchange between the film and the spectator in a manner that transcends traditional generic patterns.
The Bosnian war of 1992–1995 was one of the most brutal conflicts to have erupted since the end of the Second World War. But although the war occurred in ‘Europe’s backyard’ and received significant media coverage in the West, relatively little scholarly attention has been devoted to cultural representations of the conflict. Stephen Harper analyses how the war has been depicted in global cinema and television over the past quarter of a century. Focusing on the representation of some of the war’s major themes, including humanitarian intervention, the roles of NATO and the UN, genocide, rape and ethnic cleansing, Harper explores the role of popular media culture in reflecting, reinforcing - and sometimes contesting - nationalist ideologies.
The secret of writing a successful screenplay is sought after by ever-growing numbers of scribes and enthusiasts. Screenwriters’ Masterclass offers state-of-the-art advice in that line, through interviews with nineteen of the leading scriptwriters of our day whose insights are invaluable to any aspirant.
Each interview guides the reader entertainingly through the creation process of the film; how the writer handled the painstaking process of creating a three-dimensional world out of their imagination; what worked – and what didn’t – in the finished film; and, most importantly, why that was so. In the process, each interview is a valuable case history, offering film buffs an uncommon glimpse behind the scenes of cinema: from Oscar-winner Ted Tally, recounting life on-set with Jodie Foster and Hannibal the Cannibal on The Silence of the Lambs, to Robert Wade and Neil Purvis coming up with new ways for James Bond to Die Another Day.
Represented alongside the Hollywood pros are the leading screenwriters from the US independent and European scenes, including some of the most inspiring new talents in film: from Carlos Cuarón ( Y Tu Mamá También) and Chris Weitz ( About a Boy) to Wes Anderson ( Rushmore) and Alex Garland ( 28 Days Later).
The great challenge in writing a feature-length screenplay is sustaining audience involvement from page one through 120. Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach expounds on an often-overlooked tool that can be key in solving this problem. A screenplay can be understood as being built of sequences of about fifteen pages each, and by focusing on solving the dramatic aspects of each of these sequences in detail, a writer can more easily conquer the challenges posed by the script as a whole. The sequence approach has its foundation in early Hollywood cinema (until the 1950s, most screenplays were formatted with sequences explicitly identified), and has been rediscovered and used effectively at such film schools as the University of Southern California, Columbia University and Chapman University. This book exposes a wide audience to the approach for the first time, introducing the concept then providing a sequence analysis of eleven significant feature films made between 1940 and 2000: The Shop Around The Corner / Double Indemnity / Nights of Cabiria / North By Northwest / Lawrence of Arabia / The Graduate / One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest / Toy Story / Air Force One / Being John Malkovich / The Fellowship of the Ring
Brash, iconoclastic, controversial, intelligent and "the best actor of his generation," all have been used to describe Sean Penn. Throughout his remarkable career in the dramatic arts, as well as his occasionally explosive personal life, Sean Penn has proved he rarely plays by the rules. A tumultuous marriage to Madonna, stints in jail, and other forms of hell-raising marked Penn's younger years, along with some stunning performances on film. Later, Penn emerged as a brilliant director, devoted father, contentious political activist … and reluctant actor, capable nevertheless of breathtaking performances ( Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, Mystic River, and 21 Grams). Illustrated with over seventy-five black and white photographs and drawing on exclusive interviews with Penn and his family, friends and colleagues (Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Woody Allen, Susan Sarandon, Bono, Christopher Walken, Angelica Huston, and many more), Kelly creates an engaging, richly detailed and multi-faceted portrait of an uncompromising American artist in this exclusive and engrossing authorized biography.
In what may be the most in-depth study yet published of a film star's body of work, Susan Hayward charts the career of Simone Signoret, one of the great Frech actresses of the 20th Century.Signoret- who won an Oscar in 1960 for her performance in Room at the Top- was a key figure in French cinema for 40 years. But it is not so much her longevity that impresses, as it is the quality of work she produced as her career progressed. She started out as a stunningly beautiful woman, winning major international awards five times for her roles, and yet was only moderately in demand during those years. From the 1960s onwards, when her looks began to decline significantly, Signoret was in greater demand, and produced most of her output. She insisted on playing roles consonant with her real age, and often chose to play roles that portrayed wher as even more ugly than she had become.Simore Signoret: The Star as Cultural Sign is a remarkable achievement, a labor of love from one of the world's leading scholars of French cinema.
The German-born Douglas Sirk, who after a successful career in theatre and film moved to Hollywood in 1937 and directed 30 films starring actors such as Rock Hudson and Lana Turner, talks about his life and work.
Cinema has always displayed an affinity to characters with distorted or even hallucinatory relations to reality. With films such as The Truman Show, the Matrix films or Inception, contemporary filmmakers add another layer to this canon of film characters: unwitting ordinary victims of deception for whom the skepticist fear that the world is not real but a simulation, fake environment or a dream has become true. These are ‘skepticism films’: dramatized, fictional configurations of the thought experiments which are part and parcel of philosophical reflection on knowledge and doubt.
Skepticism Films: Knowing and Doubting the World in Contemporary Cinema introduces skepticism films as updated configurations of skepticist thought experiments which exemplify the pervasiveness of philosophical ideas in popular culture. Philipp Schmerheim defends a pluralistic film-philosophical position according to which films can be, but need not be, expressions of philosophical thought in their own right. It critically investigates the influence of ideas of skepticism on film-philosophical theories and develops a typology of skepticism films by analyzing The Truman Show, Inception, The Matrix, Vanilla Sky, The Thirteenth Floor, Moon and other contemporary skepticism films. With its focus on skepticism as one of the most significant philosophical problems, Skepticism Films provides a better understanding of the dynamic interplay between film, theories of film and philosophy.
Cinema has always displayed an affinity to characters with distorted or even hallucinatory relations to reality. With films such as The Truman Show, the Matrix trilogy, and Inception, contemporary filmmakers add another layer to this canon of film characters: unwitting ordinary victims of deception for whom the skepticist fear that the world is not real but a simulation, fake environment, or a dream, has become true. These are “skepticism films”: dramatized, fictional configurations of the thought experiments that are part and parcel of philosophical reflection on knowledge and doubt.
Skepticism Films. Knowing and Doubting the World in Contemporary Cinema introduces skepticism films as updated configurations of skepticist thought experiments that exemplify the profusion of philosophical ideas in popular culture. The book defends a pluralistic film-philosophical position according to which films can, but need not, be expressions of philosophical thought in their own right. It critically investigates the influence of ideas of skepticism on film-philosophical theories and develops a typology of skepticism films by analyzing Inception, The Matrix, Moon, Vanilla Sky, The Thirteenth Floor, The Truman Show, and other contemporary skepticism films. With its focus on skepticism as one of the most significant philosophical problems, the book aims at a better understanding of the dynamic interplay between film, theories of film, and philosophy.
The phenomenon of so-called ‘snuff movies’ (films that allegedly document real acts of murder, specifically designed to ‘entertain’ and sexually arouse the spectator) represents a fascinating socio-cultural paradox. At once unproven, yet accepted by many, as emblematic of the very worst extremes of pornography and horror, moral detractors have argued that the mere idea of snuff constitutes the logical (and terminal) extension of generic forms that are dependent primarily upon the excitement, stimulation and, ultimately, corruption of the senses. Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media brings together scholars from film and media studies to assess the longevity of one of screen media’s most enduring cultural myths. Thorough, provocative, and well argued, the contributions to this volume address areas ranging from exploitation movies, the video industry, trends in contemporary horror cinema, pornography and Web 2.0.
Marlon Brando will never cease to fascinate us: for his triumphs as an actor ( On the Waterfront, The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris), as well as his disasters; for the power of the screen portrayals he gave, and for his turbulent, tumultuous personal life.
Seamlessly intertwining the man and the work, Kanfer takes us through Brando’s troubled childhood, to his arrival in New York in the 1940s, where he studied with the legendary Stella Adler, and at the age of twenty-three became the toast of Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire. Kanfer expertly examines each of Brando’s films – from The Men in 1950 to The Score in 2001 – making clear the evolution of Brando’s singular genius, while also shedding light on the cultural evolution of Hollywood itself. And he brings into focus Brando’s self-destructiveness, his lifelong dissembling, his deeply ambivalent feelings towards his chosen vocation, and the tragedies that shadowed his final years. This is a never-before-seen portrait of one of the most extraordinary talents of the twentieth century.
Sonic Thinking attempts to extend the burgeoning field of media philosophy, which so far is defined by a strong focus on cinema, to the field of sound. The contributors urge readers to re-adjust their ideas of sound studies by attempting to think not only about sound [by external criteria, such as (cultural) meaning], but to think with and through sound. Series editor Bernd Herzogenrath’s collection serves two interconnected purposes: in developing an alternative philosophy of music that takes music seriously as a “form of thinking”; and in bringing this approach into a fertile symbiosis with the concepts and practices of “artistic research”: art, philosophy, and science as heterogeneous, yet co-equal forms of thinking and researching. Including contributions by both established figures and younger scholars working on cutting edge material, and weaving artistic responses and interventions in between the more theoretical texts, Herzogenrath’s collection provides a lively introduction to a fresh debate.
Sound and Music in Film and Visual Media: A Critical Overview is a comprehensive work defining and encapsulating concepts, issues and applications in and around the use of sound in film and the cinema, media/broadcast and new media. Over thirty definitive full-length essays, which are linked by highlighted text and reference material, bring together original research by many of the world's top scholars in this emerging field. Complete with an extensive bibliography, Sound and Music in Film and Visual Media provides the most comprehensive and wide-ranging consideration of this subject yet produced.
Space Oddities examines the representation of women in outer space films from 1960 to 2000, with an emphasis on films in which women are either denied or given the role of astronaut. Marie Lathers traces an evolution in this representation from women as aliens and/or “assistant” astronauts, to women as astronaut wives, to women as astronauts themselves. Many popular films from the era are considered, as are earlier films (from Aelita Queen of Mars to Devil Girl From Mars) and historical records, literary fiction, and television shows (especially I Dream of Jeannie). Early 1960s attempts by women pilots to enter the Space Race are considered as is the media drama surrounding the death of Christa McAuliffe.
In addition to its insightful film scholarship, this is an important addition to current reassessments of the Space Race. By applying insights from contemporary gender, race, and species theories to popular imaginings of women in space, the status of the Space Race as a cultural construct that reproduces and/or warps terrestrial gender structures is revealed.
Steven Spielberg is responsible for some of the most successful films of all time: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and the Indiana Jones series. Yet for many years most critics condescendingly regarded Spielberg as a child-man incapable of dealing maturely with the complexities of life. The deeper levels of meaning in his films were largely ignored. This changed with Schindler’s List, his masterpiece about a gentile businessman who saves eleven hundred Jews from the Holocaust. For Spielberg, the film was the culmination of a long struggle with his Jewish identity - an identity of which he had long been ashamed, but now triumphantly embraced.
Until the first edition of Steven Spielberg: A Biography was published in 1997, much about Spielberg’s personality and the forces that shaped it had remained enigmatic, in large part because of his tendency to obscure and mythologize his own past. In his astute and perceptive biography, Joseph McBride reconciled Spielberg’s seeming contradictions and produced a coherent portrait of the man who found a way to transmute the anxieties of his own childhood into some of the most emotionally powerful and viscerally exciting films ever made.
Over the last 75 years, superheroes have been portrayed most often as male, heterosexual, white, and able-bodied. Today, a time when many of these characters are billion-dollar global commodities, there are more female superheroes, more queer superheroes, more superheroes of color, and more disabled superheroes--but not many more.
Superwomen investigates how and why female superhero characters have become more numerous but are still not-at-all close to parity with their male counterparts; how and why they have become a flashpoint for struggles over gender, sexuality, race, and disability; what has changed over time and why in terms of how these characters have been written, drawn, marketed, purchased, read, and reacted to; and how and why representations of superheroes matter, particularly to historically underrepresented and stereotyped groups.
Specifically, the book explores the production, representations, and receptions of prominent transmedia female superheroes from their creation to the present: Wonder Woman; Batgirl and Oracle; Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Star Wars’ Padmé Amidala, Leia Organa, Jaina Solo, and Rey; and X-Men’s Jean Grey, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, and Mystique. It analyzes their changing portrayals in comics, novels, television shows, and films, as well as how cultural narratives of gender have been negotiated through female superheroes by creators, consumers, and parent companies over the last several decades.
Surveillance is a common feature of everyday life. But how are we to make sense of or understand what surveillance is, how we should feel about it, and what, if anything, can we do? Surveillance and Film is an engaging and accessible book that maps out important themes in how popular culture imagines surveillance by examining key feature films that prominently address the subject. Drawing on dozens of examples from around the world, J. Macgregor Wise analyzes films that focus on those who watch ( like Rear Window, Peeping Tom, Disturbia, Gigante, and The Lives of Others), films that focus on those who are watched (like The Conversation,Caché, and Ed TV), films that feature surveillance societies (like 1984, THX 1138, V for Vendetta, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Truman Show, and Minority Report), surveillance procedural films (from The Naked City, to Hong Kong’s Eye in the Sky, The Infernal Affairs Trilogy, and the Overheard Trilogy of films), and films that interrogate the aesthetics of the surveillance image itself (like Sliver, Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), Der Riese, and Look). Wise uses these films to describe key models of understanding surveillance (like Big Brother, Panopticism, or the Control Society) as well as to raise issues of voyeurism, trust, ethics, technology, visibility, identity, privacy, and control that are essential elements of today’s culture of surveillance. The text features questions for further discussion as well as lists of additional films that engage these topics.
What gives the mass media, particularly advertising and television, their extraordinary power over our lives, so that even the most jaded and sophisticated among us are troubled and fascinated by their allure? The secret, according to Richard Stivers, in this brilliant new book, lies in the curious relationship between technology and magic. Stivers argues the two are now related to one another in such a way that each has taken on important characteristics of the other. His contention is that our expectations for technology have become magical to the point that they have generated a multitude of imitation technologies that function as magical practices. These imitation technologies flourish in the fields of psychology, management administration, and the mass media, and their paramount purpose in human adjustment and control. Advertising and television programs, in particular, contain the key magical rituals of our civilization. In a fascinating analysis of television programming, Stivers shows how various genres—news, sports, game shows, soap operas, sitcoms, etc.—have their distinct mythological symbols. Through dramatized information, they symbolically connect consumer goods and services to desired outcomes—the utopian goals of success, happiness, and health—thus enveloping technology, both real and imitation, in a magical cocoon.
Terrence Malick's four feature films have been celebrated by critics and adored as instant classics among film aficionados, but the body of critical literature devoted to them has remained surprisingly small in comparison to Malick's stature in the world of contemporary film.
Each of the essays in Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy is grounded in film studies, philosophical inquiry, and the emerging field of scholarship that combines the two disciplines. Malick's films are also open to other angles, notably phenomenological, deconstructive, and Deleuzian approaches to film, all of which are evidenced in this collection.
Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy engages with Malick's body of work in distinct and independently significant ways: by looking at the tradition within which Malick works, the creative orientation of the filmmaker, and by discussing the ways in which criticism can illuminate these remarkable films.
Terrence Malick’s debut film, Badlands, announced the arrival of a unique talent. In the 40 years since that debut, Malick has only made 5 films, but they are distinctive in their beauty.
This book is not meant to be a biography of Terrence Malick. The purpose behind the book is to introduce readers to the extraordinary universe of his film-making and to aid them in understanding his work. And to do this through the words of his closest collaborators – cinematographers, set designers, costumers, cameramen, directors, producers, and actors such as Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek and Jessica Chastain. As their words flow from one to another, they form a fascinating, kaleidoscopic vision of American film and specifically Malick’s artistic world. who make up a film.
This book is the fruit of a journey began years ago when Luciano Baracaroli, Carlo Hintermann, Gerardo Panichi and Daniele Villa made a documentary on the work of Terrence Malick, which led to the making of this book as well.
Documentary has never attracted such audiences, never been produced with such ease from so many corners of the globe, never embraced such variety of expression. The very distinctions between the filmed, the filmer and the spectator are being dissolved. The Act of Documenting addresses what this means for documentary’s 21st century position as a genus in the “class” cinema; for its foundations as, primarily, a scientistic, eurocentric and patriarchal discourse; for its future in a world where assumptions of photographic image integrity cannot be sustained. Unpacked are distinctions between performance and performativy and between different levels of interaction, linearity and hypertextuality, engagement and impact, ethics and conditions of reception. Winston, Vanstone and Wang Chi explore and celebrate documentary’s potentials in the digital age.
While college drama programs primarily focus on training and technique with western theater history and aesthetics providing the context, nowhere in those programs does one find the study of business or marketing skills to facilitate the serious young actor’s transition to the world of professional work. Inevitably, many thousands of these aspiring actors each year end up in Hollywood.
But newcomers will find Hollywood a minefield and a maze, wasting limited resources of time and money out of ignorance of its business realities. The Actor’s Survival Guide functions both as a business handbook and a guidebook for newcomers to Los Angeles planning to pursue a professional acting career.
From the experience of relocating to LA, to the casting process, to the identifying (and finding work with) the key players in the film and television industry, The Actor’s Survival Guide offers a business-centered road map through the pitfalls and wrong turns that derail too many promising careers and frustrate even the most dedicated of actors, and-for those who have the skills and determination to persevere-provides an extra competitive edge of experience and know-how.
What is ‘fun’ about the Hollywood version of girlhood? Through re-evaluating notions of pleasure and fun, The Aesthetic Pleasures of Girl Teen Film forms a study of Hollywood girl teen films between 2000–2010. By tracing the aesthetic connections between films such as Mean Girls (Waters, 2004), Hairspray (Shankman, 2007), and Easy A (Gluck, 2010), the book articulates the specific types of pleasure these films offer as a means to understand how Hollywood creates gendered ideas of fun. Rather than condemn these films as ‘guilty pleasures’, this book sets out to understand how they are designed to create experiences that feel as though they express desires, memories or fantasies that girls supposedly share in common. Providing a practical model for a new approach to cinematic pleasures, The Aesthetic Pleasures of Girl Teen Film proposes that these films offer a limited version of girlhood that feels like potential and promise but is restricted within prescribed parameters.
The topic of violence in the media seems as inundated as can be. Countless studies and research projects have been conducted, mostly to show it’s negative effects on society. What Gwynneth Symonds proposes, though, takes this significant topic one step further: studying the aesthetics of media violence. By defining key terms like the ‘graphic’ nature and ‘authenticity’ of violent representations, and discussing how those definitions are linked to actual violence outside the film and television screen, Symonds broadens the arena of study.
Engagingly written, The Aesthetics of Violence in Contemporary Media fills an important gap. Symonds uses existing studies for the empirical audience reception data, together with discussions of the different representations of violence to look at violence in the media as an art form in of it’self. By looking at The Simpsons, Bowling for Columbine and Norma Khouri’s Forbidden Love, just to name a few, Symonds cross-analyzes violence in multiple media to see their affective role in audience reception - an important aspect when discussing media. The book strikes a balance between the readers’ need to see how theory matches what actually happens in the texts in question and the demands of a theoretical overview.
While the myth of a classless America endures in the American Dream, the very stratification that it denies unfairly affects the majority of Americans. Study after study shows that it's increasingly difficult for working class people to achieve upward mobility in the US - so how does the American Dream continue to thrive?
J. Emmett Winn shows us that the American Dream's continued glorification in contemporary Hollywood cinema should not be ignored. The book explicates three major themes surrounding the American Dream in contemporary Hollywood cinema and relates those findings to the United States' social and cultural changes in the last 25 years. Through his thoughtful analysis of films as diverse as Working Girl, Titanic, Pretty Woman, Flashdance, The Firm, Good Will Hunting, Saturday Night Fever, Wall Street and many others, Winn shows that contemporary Hollywood is very much in the business of keeping the Dream alive.
Informed by the theory of Julia Kristeva, Frances Restuccia analyzes a variety of contemporary films replete with psychoanalytic subject matter and styles. She examines films that present elaborate fantasies and, through them, prompt the viewer to cut across a crippling fundamental fantasy—by enabling a mapping of his or her private fantasy onto the one being played out on the screen. Such absorption is a function of the semiotic dimension of the film, which offers the spectator an experience of intimacy, negativity, the gaze, and death.
Kristeva stresses that cinema has the power to bestow desiring subjectivity as a way of resisting the society of the spectacle through the specular. Through analyses of complex films such as Streitfeld’s Female Perversions, Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Almodóvar’s Volver, and Haneke’s Caché, The Blue Box: Kristevan/Lacanian Readings of Contemporary Film demonstrates Julia Kristeva’s concept of the “thought specular,” from her fascinating chapter “Fantasy and Cinema” in Intimate Revolt. Kristeva deserves our full attention as a film theorist.
Since the 1980s the number of women regularly directing films has increased significantly in most Western countries; in France, Claire Denis and Catherine Breillat have joined Agnès Varda in gaining international renown, while British directors Lynne Ramsay and Andrea Arnold have forged award-winning careers in feature film. This new volume in the “Thinking Cinema” series draws on feminist philosophers and theorists from Simone de Beauvoir on to offer readings of a range of the most important and memorable of these films from the 1990s and 2000s, focusing as it does so on how the films convey women’s lives and identities. Mainstream entertainment cinema traditionally distorts the representation of women, objectifying their bodies, minimizing their agency, and avoiding the most important questions about how cinema can "do justice" to female subjectivity. Kate Ince suggests that the films of independent women directors are progressively redressing the balance, reinvigorating both the narratives and the formal ambitions of European cinema. Ince uses feminist philosophers to interpret such films as Sex Is Comedy, Morvern Callar, White Material, and Fish Tank anew, suggesting that a philosophical understanding of female subjectivity as embodied and ethical should underpin future feminist film study.
Since the death of the French film director Eric Rohmer in 2010, interest in his work has reignited. Known as the last of the established directors in the French New Wave, Rohmer took complete control over all his films, acting as his own producer throughout his career, and writing the scripts. He also made his mark by taking the lead in casting and location scouting – as French seaside resorts with beautiful young people are some of the elements present in most of his films.
Combining history and criticism, Jacob Leigh pens the first chronological survey of this understudied filmmaker in order to give readers clear insights into how Rohmer’s films came about and what he intended them to be. The book provides in-depth analysis of the themes and ideas of Rohmer’s twenty-three feature films, and illustrates the complexity of their cinematic style. Leigh’s study is the perfect introduction to the work of this great filmmaker, for both students and the general reader.
One of the most significant contributors to the American independent cinema that developed over the late 1980s and 1990s, Hal Hartley has throughout his career created films that defy convention and capture the stranger realities of modern American life. The Cinema of Hal Hartley looks at all of Hartley’s film releases – from cult classics such as The Unbelievable Truth and Trust to oddball genre experiments such as No Such Thing and Fay Grim to short films such as Opera No. 1 and Accomplice – and makes a case for seeing Hartley as an important and successful American auteur, despite the director’s decline in status in the later stages of his career.
Employing both industrial and close textual analysis, the book considers aspects of Hartley's work such as genre, gender and form, as well as dimensions far less frequently discussed in studies of indie directors, such as place and cultural identity, offering a broad and innovative study of a productive filmmaker who continues to show a singular disregard for the expectations of both the mainstream and the indie cinema industries.
The Cinema of Norman Mailer: Film is Like Death not only examines the enfant terrible writer’s thoughts on cinema, but also features interviews with Norman Mailer himself. The Cinema of Norman Mailer also explores Mailer’s cinema through previously published and newly commissioned essays written by an array of film and literary scholars, enthusiasts, and those with a personal, philosophical connection to Mailer. This volume discusses the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and filmmaker’s six films created during the years of 1947 and 1987, and contends to show how Mailer’s films can be best read as cinematic delineations that visually represent many of the writer’s metaphysical and ontological concerns and ideas that appear in his texts from the 1950s until his passing in 2007. By re-examining Mailer’s cinema through these new perspectives, one may be awarded not just a deeper understanding of Mailer’s desire to make films, but also find a new, alternative vision of Mailer himself. Norman Mailer was not just a writer, but more: he was one of the most influential Postmodern artists of the twentieth century with deep roots in the cinema. He allowed the cinema to not only influence his aesthetic approach, but sanctioned it as his easiest-crafted analogy for exploring sociological imagination in his writing. Mailer once suggested, “Film is legitimately more interesting than books …” and with that in mind, readers of Norman Mailer might begin to rethink his oeuvre through the viewfinder of the film medium, as he was equally as passionate about working within cinema as he was about literature itself.
Stanley Kubrick is one of our most brilliant, innovative and difficult filmmakers. Norman Kagan’s analysis cuts a lucid path through those difficulties. He summarizes the plots of each of Kubrick’s films, providing a running commentary as he goes along. He moreover lists thematic obsessions that run through all the films he describes, offering an intriguing sense of Kubrick’s career as a whole.
In The Director’s Cut, 21 Hollywood filmmakers share the thrilling accounts of their creative journeys into the film industry’s most coveted positions. Together, their films have won dozens of Oscars.
Each conversation provides a revealing and in-depth exploration of each director’s artistic roots – giving readers an unparalleled understanding of the very different environments and attitudes that these outstanding filmmakers have experienced and embraced in their careers and personal lives.
The directors in this book have been chosen on grounds of their reputation, sustained popularity at the box office, and diversity of background – both professional (genre, style, etc) and personal (family, origin, etc). The book truly reflects the variety of talent that has arrived from all over the world to make movies in Hollywood today.
Thanks to the candid honesty and openness of these directors, this collection offers illuminating insights into their creative decision-making processes and the key biographical moments in their lives.
Stephan Littger’s own background as a young filmmaker and an Oxford graduated psychologist enables him to approach these star directors in an empathetic and focused manner, helping them to talk openly about the years of emotional struggle, personal doubt and tentative success that are part of every filmmaker’s life.
The Director’s Cut should become a standard volume for aspiring filmmakers. And it’s also a compelling and entertaining read for committed moviegoers and anyone interested in the marriage between artistic creation and commercial success.
With strict guidelines on methodology and time frame -- films produced after September 2001, and a socio-semiotic theoretical framework -- Betty Kaklamanidou unpacks the problematic terms and ideas that go along with defining a new genre. Kaklamanidou considers a different sub-genre per chapter, placing each group of films in their socio-historical context to reach conclusions about the production of political films in millennial Hollywood. In shifting the terms of the debate, The “Disguised” Political Film in Contemporary Hollywood offers a fresh, new approach to the subject of the political film.
The political film is not a clearly delineated object but rather an elusive one and resistant to clear boundaries. So, what is a political film? Can The Hunger Games (2012) belong to the same category as Lincoln (2012)? Is Jarhead (2005) a political movie simply because it is set during the Gulf War but with no reference to the motives of the conflict and/or American and Arab relations, and thus in the same group of war films such as The Three Kings (1999), another narrative that focuses on the same military conflict but includes direct commentary to governmental and military strategies? Are historical films by definition political since the majority deals with significant events and/or people in a specific socio-cultural landscape?
Documentary films have enjoyed a huge resurgence over the last few years, and there's a new generation of filmmakers wanting to get involved. In addition, the digital revolution has made documentaries even more accessible to the general filmmaker. Documentary films can now be shot professionally using cheaper equipment, and smaller cameras enable the documentarian to be less intrusive and therefore more intimate in the subjects' lives. With an increasing number of documentaries making it to the big screen (and enjoying ongoing sales on DVD), the time is right for an information-packed handbook that will guide new filmmakers towards potential artistic and commercial success.
The Drift: Affect, Adaptation, and New Perspectives on Fidelity offers a new perspective on the complex interrelations between literature and cinema. It does so by articulating an ‘affective turn’ for adaptation studies, a field whose traditional focus has been the critical castigation of film adaptations of canonical plays or novels. Drawing on theorists such as Gilles Deleuze, Brian Massumi, and Marco Abel,the author is able to re-conceive literary and cinematic works as textual engines generating and circulating affect, and the adaptive process as a drifting of those affective intensities from one medium to another.
By conceptualizing adaptation in this manner, the work steers clear of the chimerical notion of ‘fidelity’ (to character, to theme, to narrative) which has anchored so many analyses of adaptive texts over the years–and the reproving language that inevitably attends it—in favor of more productive avenues of investigation: What affective work are certain literary and filmic texts performing? What can this tell us, more broadly, about the underexplored affective dimensions of literature and cinema, and the dialogic interactions between them?
The Drift addresses such questions through close, careful readings which put a variety of realist, modernist, and postmodernist works into conversation with each other, among them the fiction of John Dos Passos, Don DeLillo, and Susanna Moore, the films of Dziga Vertov and Sergei Eisenstein, as well as recent cinematic adaptations by Jane Campion and Charles Burnett. This methodological approach, helps to elevate adaptation studies into a discourse that speaks more directly and pertinently to our fluid, hypertextual era.
The Environmental Documentary provides the first extensive coverage of the most important environmental films of the decade, including their approach to their topics and their impacts on public opinion and political debate. While documentaries with themes of environmental activism date back at least to Pare Lorenz's films of the 1930s, no previous decade has produced the number and quality of films that engage environmental issues from an activist viewpoint. The convergence of high profile issues like climate change, fossil fuel depletion, animal abuse, and corporate malfeasance has combined with the miniaturization of high quality recording equipment and the expansion of documentary programming to produce an unprecedented number of important and influential documentary productions.
The text examines the processes of production and distribution that have produced this explosion in documentaries. The films range from a high-profile Hollywood production with theatrical distribution like An Inconvenient Truth, to shorter independently produced films like The End of Suburbia that have reached a small audience of activists through video distribution, interviews with many of the filmmakers, and word of mouth.
Offering portraits of such key figures as the Lumière brothers, Georges Méliès, Charles Pathé and Léon Gaumont, he looks at the early pioneers who transformed a fairground novelty into a global industry. The crisis caused by the First World War led France to surrender her position as the world's dominant film-making power, but French cinema forged a new role for itself as a beacon of cinematic possibility and achievement.
Producing such distinctive film-makers as Jean Renoir, Marcel Pagnol, Sachy Guitry and Julien Duvivier, the French cinema's Golden Age boasted an intelligence, maturity and flair that classical Hollywood could admire but struggle to emulate.
Suggesting a Gallic attitude that has always considered the cinema to be as much a cause as a business, Drazin looks at the extraordinary resilience of the French film industry during the Second World War when, in spite of the national catastrophe of defeat and occupation, it was still able to produce such classics as Le Corbeau and Les Enfants du Paradis.
Finally, he traces its remarkable post-war regeneration. He looks at the seminal impact of the New Wave of film-makers - typified by Truffaut and Godard - but also at the other waves that have followed since. As he brings the story up-to-date - with Jacques Audaird's award-winning A Prophet - he seeks to capture the essence of the French film tradition and why it continues to matter to anyone who cares about the cinema.
Walter Salles’s film The Motorcycle Diaries follows the journey made by the young medical student Che Guevara across Argentina, through Chile, to Peru. At the climax, Guevara exhorts his audience to see beyond their borders and embrace a truly continental identity. This vision lives on today, in the work of a new generation of South American filmmakers.
Following the buena onda, the ‘good wave’ that included the Brazilian favela film City of God, the 2000s saw a renaissance in the continent’s cinema, with such diverse Argentine movies as Nine Queens and The Holy Girl, and dazzling new work from Uruguay, Chile and Peru.
The new directors have won prizes at major film festivals, been nominated for Oscars, and captured the imagination of audiences worldwide.
Many tackle the question of identity amid the ever-changing political and social landscapes of their troubled countries, while developing a network of collaboration and inspiration across the continent.
This book featured interviews with the most significant voices of this Latin new wave – people who are ‘bonded by blood, politics, strife, courage, ingenuity, and a shared desire and splendid resolve to make movies’.
The Film Novelist is the first primer on writing film novels- whether you are a beginning novelist, a seasoned writer wanting to cross over into script/novel writing, or a creative writing teacher looking for proven ways to launch new writers.
So, what is the difference between a screenplay and a film novel? Screenplays indicate solely what the audience is to see or hear on screen. Film novels are short, and take about as long to read as a feature film takes to watch. The description, dialogue, and narration of a film novel can simply be lifted out and used as the description, dialogue, and voice-over narration for a script.
The author has devised a fifteen week program starting from a one-sentence pitch to the novel itself, which includes filming a scene from your script/novel. He grounds the discussion of early film novels, like The Maltese Falcon, Of Mice and Men, and The Misfits, to provide historical and theoretical background while detailing the practical, sequential approach for completing a short novel and script.
Perhaps the greatest European director of the last 30 years, Krzsztof Kieślowski created a remarkable body of work in a relatively short period of time. His films are loved around the world for their dramatic power and consummate artistry.
Kieślowski's cinematic style stands apart in several important respects: his mastery of abstract imagery, his innovative use of sound and his deliberate circumvention of standard cinematic codes. Unlike many other "art" directors - who often fail to rise above commentary on the medium itself - Kieślowski uses these stylistic liberties to explore his philosophical concerns: fate, God, suffering, and love. Through close analysis of films like The Decalogue, The Double Life of Veronique, Blue, White and Red, Joe Kickasola identifies the unique qualities, and artistic legacy, of this great director.
Peter Weir is, without doubt, one of the most important Australian film directors of all time. His films have had a major impact, both in terms of the Australian film industry (Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Cars That Ate Paris, and Gallipoli) and as the work of an innovative auteur working within the confines of the Hollywood system (Witness, Dead Poets Society, Fearless, and The Truman Show). This fully revised and updated edition of Jonathan Rayner's acclaimed study takes an in-depth look at the career of a filmmaker who has, over the course of 30 years, put together a substantial and much-loved body of work. Rayner illustrates how Peter Weir brings a consistent vision to his films, no matter how disparate their subject matter - and how he uses his 'outsider' status in the American film industry to his advantage. The release of Weir's new movie, a sea-faring epic starring Russell Crowe, in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), will likely heighten his status as a great director still further.
Most Tim Burton films are huge box-office successes, and several are already classics. The director's mysterious and eccentric public persona attracts a lot of attention, while the films themselves have been somewhat overlooked. Here, Alison McMahan redresses this imbalance through a close analysis of Burton's key films and their industrial context. She argues that Burton has been a crucial figure behind many of the transformations taking place in horror, fantasy, and sci-fi films over the last two decades, and demonstrates how his own work draws on a huge range of artistic influences: the films of George Melies, surrealism, installation art, computer games, and many more.
The Films of Tim Burton is the most in-depth analysis so far of the work of this unusual filmmaker - a director who has shown repeatedly that it is possible to reject mainstream Hollywood contentions while maintaining critical popularrity and commercial success.
Once heralded and defined by the likes of François Truffaut and Andrew Sarris as a romantic figure of aesthetic individualism, the auteur is reinvestigated here through a novel approach. Bringing established as well as emergent figures of world art cinema to the fore, The Global Auteur shows how politics and philosophy are present in the works of these important filmmakers. They can be still seen leading a fight that their glorious predecessors seemed to have abandoned in the face of global capitalism and the market economy. Yet, as the contributors show, a new world calls for a new cinema, and thus for new auteurs. Covering a range of global auteurs such as Lars von Trier, Lav Diaz, Lee Chang-dong and Abderrahmane Sissako, The Global Auteur provides a much-needed reassessment of the film auteur for the global age.
For Elena del Río, extreme cinema is not only qualitatively different from the representations of violence we encounter in popular, mainstream cinema; it also constitutes a critique of the socio-moral system that produces (in every sense of the word) such violence. Drawing inspiration from Deleuze's ethics of immanence, Spinoza's ethology of passions and Nietzsche's typology of forces, The Grace of Destruction examines the affective extremities common in much of global, contemporary cinema from the affirmative perspective of vital forces and situations—extremities such as moral/religious oppression, biopolitical violence, the pain involved in gender relations, the event of death and planetary extinction.
Her analysis diverges from the current literature on extreme cinema through its selection of films, which include key international examples, and through its foregrounding of relational, affective politics over representations of sexuality and graphic violence. Detailed formal and philosophical analyses of films like The White Ribbon, Dogville, Code Unknown, Battle in Heaven, Sonatine, Fireworks, Dolls, Takeshis', Inland Empire and Melancholia are meant to move us away from the moral appraisal of violence and destruction, and to compose an ethological philosophy of cinema based on Deleuze's idea that, “when truth and judgment crumble, there remain bodies, which are… nothing but forces.”
"Immensely informative and entertaining to read... a terrific book for anyone interested in films." BBC Radio 4 -
'Described on the back cover by Film Review as 'the indispensable guide for first-time film-makers,' the third edition of this weighty tome is the best yet. Fully revised and updated, it benefits enormously from the fact that it's been authored by two actual film-makers, whose wealth of experience produces some valuable tips....With advice on lighting, editing and even product replacement, this will be as essential as a film in a camera for first timers' Five Stars. Film Review, 01/11/2006 -
"Calling this guide'in-depth' is like calling Bill Gates 'well-to-do'. The Guerilla Film Makers' Handbook is truly exhaustive in its multilayered, budget-slashing top tippery...Jones and Joliffe's do-it-yourself Bible covers more bases than you ever knew existed." Reviewed in Total Film, July 2008 -
The best-selling low-budget filmmaker's bible in the UK has now, at long last, been totally revamped for the American market. The two authors have interviewed hundreds of film industry insiders, resulting in, without doubt, the most comprehensive, entertaining, information-packed book available in America on how to produce a low-budget movie.
The book has 3 main sections: Anatomy of a Movie, Case Studies, and The Toolkit. Anatomy of a Movie features in-depth, candid interviews with a huge cast of people already working in the film industry - from script readers to bank managers; from casting directors to costume providers; and from sound mixers to negative cutters. Case Studies tells the stories of a selection of low-budget movies, and how they were made. These include Chris and Genevieve's own films, as well as international successes like The Blair Witch Project and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The Toolkit is an amazing resource for new filmmakers, incorporating a huge range of sample legal contracts and agreements, as well as templates for production forms like locations checklists, shooting schedules, and call sheets.
Central to The Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint are flow charts: crystal-clear diagrams detailing every single thing, no matter how small, that needs to be done to make your film. This visual approach to the filmmaking process ensures that new (and established!) filmmakers get an instant overview of each and every discipline. Backing up the diagrams are copious notes – humorous in tone, yet broad and deep in content. Wherever possible, the text is broken apart into box outs, hot tips and sub-diagrams. This book is entertaining, irreverent, and never less than painfully practical. The Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint will have its own dedicated website where readers can download the tools, forms, software, and artwork detailed in the book. Jones’s latest endeavor is packed with over a decade’s worth of experience, know-how, and insider tips. A must-read for every budding filmmaker.
“Do I have to be good at drawing to become an animator?” Walter Santucci declares that question to be the most pervasive during his 15 plus years in the business. His unequivocal reply? “No, but it helps to get good at it!" He likes to think, based on both his achievements and failures, that being funny, rather than having artistic abilities, is the real key to animation success. Hey, look at South Park!
The Guerrilla Guide to Animation: Making Animated Films Outside the Mainstream seeks to teach those not able to afford animation training or who seek to find an alternate path. It’s meant to provide the outsider, the anarchist, the rebel, guidance into the world of 2D animation. While there are many texts available on animation, the shortcuts, rule breaking and cheating are some of the elements that set The Guerrilla Guide to Animation apart from the others. By including an instructional section, as well as an anecdotal section, Santucci gives the reader a ‘do-it-yourself’ guide from the correct animation terms to setting up your own studio – even building equipment yourself – and a chance to walk in the shoes of someone who’s been there and done that. He also includes a motivational/inspirational chapter on ‘why do this if only your family will see it!’, which will keep the reader grounded and focused on their original goal.
Provocatively written, the author’s experience in directing and teaching makes him the perfect source for all of those would-be animators out there. A great combination of in-depth knowledge and years of personal success and failure, The Guerrilla Guide to Animation is a unique resource for those who want to do animation their own way.
The Historical Epic in Contemporary Hollywood seeks to document and explain a recent revival of historical epic films in Hollywood. Rather than relying on abstract theoretical approaches, James Russell employs empirical historical techniques to explore how industrial conditions, and the agendas of key directors, writers and producers, led to the increased production of historical epics such as Dances With Wolves (1990), Titanic (1997), Gladiator (2000) and The Passion of the Christ (2004).
The book begins by exploring the careers of filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Mel Gibson during the 1990s. Russell looks in detail at their agendas, the production of their films, and at the content of the films themselves. As the book progresses, he goes on to address the activities of the major studios, in terms of production and marketing, and looks at changing industrial conditions, such as the emergence of DVD. Finally, Russell examines social trends, particularly increasing levels of religious commitment and political division in America.
The Historical Epic in Contemporary Hollywood, which has been thoroughly researched in archival collections in Los Angeles and New York, deliberately focuses on the activities of individuals working in the Hollywood film industry - the result is an original and interesting account of the ways that contemporary epic films get made, and speak to modern audiences. Ultimately, the book argues that historical epics reappeared in the 1990s partly as a result of changing industrial conditions, but mainly because a generation of filmmakers, all born during the so-called ‘baby boom,’ began to seek out meaningful ways of passing on historical knowledge to younger generations as they grew older. The epics released in the 1950s and 1960s, when Spielberg, Cameron, et al, were children constitute a key reference point in this process of renewal and reinvention in Hollywood.
Greg M. Colón Semenza and Bob Hasenfratz
From The Death of Nancy Sykes (1897) to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) and beyond, cinematic adaptations of British literature participate in a complex and fascinating history. The History of BritishLiterature on Film, 1895-2015 is the only comprehensive narration of cinema's 100-year-old love affair with British literature. Unlike previous studies of literature and film, which tend to privilege particular authors such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen, or particular texts such as Frankenstein, or particular literary periods such as Medieval, this volume considers the multiple functions of filmed British literature as a cinematic subject in its own right—one reflecting the specific political and aesthetic priorities of different national and historical cinemas. In what ways has the British literary canon authorized and influenced the history and aesthetics of film, and in what ways has filmed British literature both affirmed and challenged the very idea of literary canonicity? Seeking to answer these and other key questions, this indispensable study shows how these adaptations emerged from and continue to shape the social, artistic, and commercial aspects of film history.
Stephen Frears has a career approaching over half-a-century, directing films of astonishing variety, beauty, and daring, and yet many often have trouble remembering his name. The Ironic Filmmaking of Stephen Frears celebrates this great filmmaker, beginning with a short biography of Frears, general observations on unifying themes and styles in his oeuvre, and the characterization of his manner of directing. By focusing on 10 key films, Lesley Brill finds coherence in Frears’ characteristic irony and in his concentration on many kinds of love. In movies such as My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen, Philomena, and many others, Frears portrays widely varied situations and characters with a combination of insight, skepticism, and sympathy. He has the passionate, unjudgmental focus of an artist who stands simultaneously at a distance from his subjects and within their worlds. Through Frears’ work is widely admired, Brill argues that he has attracted little scholarly writing because of a combination of the diffidence of his self-presentation and the difficulty of explicating the complex ideas and characters of his films. The Ironic Filmmaking of Stephen Frears is meant to inspire others to further examine his films individually and his career as a whole.
The brilliance of Christopher Nolan’s ingenious thriller Memento has had moviegoers coming back for more. James Mottram now offers the fullest imaginable guide to the film’s many complexities. Memento’s protagonist Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is on a mission to find the man who murdered his wife. But Leonard suffers from a rare form of amnesia, and in order to keep track of his life he must surround himself with written reminders, some etched on his own flesh.
This invaluable guidebook steers the reader through the mysteries of the movie’s making and its many possible meanings, with expert guidance from Nolan himself and his key creative collaborators.
Marvel Studios has provided some of the biggest worldwide cinematic hits of the last eight years, from Iron Man (2008) to the record-breaking The Avengers (2012), and beyond. Having announced plans to extend its production of connected texts in cinema, network and online television until at least 2028, the new aesthetic patterns brought about by Marvel’s ‘shared’ media universe demand analysis and understanding.
The Marvel Studios Phenomenon evaluates the studio’s identity, as well as its status within the structures of parent Disney. In a new set of readings of key texts such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the thematics of superhero fiction and the role of fandom are considered. The authors identify milestones from Marvel’s complex and controversial business history, allowing us to appraise its industrial status: from a comic publisher keen to exploit its intellectual property, to an independent producer, to successful subsidiary of a vast entertainment empire.
Tijana Mamula and Lisa Patti
The Multilingual Screen is the first edited volume to offer a wide-ranging exploration of the place of multilingualism in cinema, investigating the ways in which linguistic difference and exchange have shaped, and continue to shape, the medium’s history. Moving across a vast array of geographic, historical, and theoretical contexts—from Japanese colonial filmmaking, to the French New Wave, to contemporary artists’ moving image—the essays collected here address the aesthetic, political, and industrial significance of multilingualism in film production and reception. In grouping these works together, The Multilingual Screen discerns and emphasizes the areas of study most crucial to forging a renewed understanding of the relationship between cinema and language diversity. In particular, it reassesses the methodologies and frameworks that have influenced the study of filmic multilingualism to propose that its force is also, and perhaps counterintuitively, a silent one. While most studies of the subject have explored linguistic difference as a largely audible phenomenon —manifested through polyglot dialogues, or through the translation of monolingual dialogues for international audiences— The Multilingual Screen explores some of its unheard histories, thus contributing to a new field of enquiry based on an attentiveness to multilingualism’s work beyond the soundtrack.
Bringing into critical dialogue original essays, translations and interviews that reexamine canonical film theories and film-producing regions and others that excavate rarely discussed film histories, the collection provokes a re-evaluation and re-invigoration of the question of cinema’s relation to language.
Contributors: Gian Piero Brunetta, Érik Bullot, Paul Coates, T.J. Demos, Victor Fan, David Gramling, Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Mary Harrod, Brian Hochman, Lisa Jarvinen, Robert Lang, Mara Matta, Juan Piqueras, Masha Salazkina, Alison Smith, Kate Taylor-Jones, Jaap Verheul, James S. Williams, Yiman Wang.
A spectre is haunting world cinema - the spectre of a Danish ‘new wave’ led by mercurial director Lars Von Trier. In 1995, when Von Trier and three comrades issued a 10-point ‘Vow of Chastity’ for the making of simpler, more truthful movies, cynics in the film business refused to take it seriously. Five years on, the international success of the raw, uncompromising ‘Dogme95’ films – Festen, The Idiots, Mifune, The King is Alive – has fired a volley of shots across the bows of a staid and bloated industry. Richard Kelly’s investigation of the Dogme95 movement is a piece of ‘gonzo journalism’ in which Kelly sallies forth in search of the Dogme brothers and their accomplices, seeking to hammer out the truth from the lies in this austere and anarchic piece of cinematic mischief.
What is the fate of cinema in an age of new technologies, new aesthetic styles, new modes of cultural production and consumption? What becomes of cinema and a century-long history of the moving image when the theatre is outmoded as a social and aesthetic space, as celluloid gives over to digital technology, as the art-house and multiplex are overtaken by a proliferation of home entertainment systems?
The Orientation of Future Cinema offers an ambitious and compelling argument for the continued life of cinema as image, narrative and experience. Commencing with Lumière’s Arrival of a Train at a Station, Bruce Isaacs confronts the threat of contemporary digital technologies and processes by returning to cinema’s complex history as a technological and industrial phenomenon. The technology of moving images has profoundly changed; and yet cinema materialises ever more forcefully in digital capture and augmentation, 3-D perception and affect, High Frame Rate cinema, and the evolution of spectacle as the dominant aesthetic mode in contemporary studio production.
During the first fifty years of the American cinema, the act of going to the movies was a risky process, fraught with a number of possible physical and moral dangers. Film fires were rampant, claiming many lives, as were movie theatre robberies, which became particularly common during the Great Depression. Labor disputes provoked a large number of movie theatre bombings, while low-level criminals like murderers, molesters, and prostitutes plied their trades in the darkened auditoriums. That was all in addition to the spread of disease, both real (as in the case of influenza) and imagined (“movie eyestrain”).
Audiences also confronted an array of perceived moral dangers. Blue Laws prohibited Sunday film screenings, though theatres ignored them in many areas, sometimes resulting in the arrests of entire audiences. Movie theatre lotteries became another problem, condemned by politicians and clergymen throughout America for being immoral gambling.
The Perils of Moviegoing in America: 1896–1950 provides the first history of the many threats that faced film audiences, threats which claimed hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
The Pleasures of Structure starts from the premise that the ability to develop a well understood and articulated story structure is the most important skill a screenwriter can develop. For example, good structure requires a great premise and rigorous character development. Without clear character motivations and goals-which are themselves indicative of key structural beats-your story is going exactly nowhere. Using the simple and flexible ‘W’ model of screenplay structure developed in the prequel Write What You Don't Know, Hoxter sets this out as its starting point. This model is tested against a range of examples which are chosen to explore the flexibility not only of that model but of movie storytelling more generally. Writers and students often worry that they are asked to work ‘to formula’. This book will test that formula to breaking point.
For example, the first case study will offer the example of a well written, professional, mainstream movie against which our later and more adventurous examples can be compared. So the lessons we learn examining the animated family adventure movie How To Train Your Dragon lead us directly to ask questions of our second case study, the acclaimed Swedish vampire movie Låt den Rätte Komma In ( Let The Right One In). Both movies have protagonists with the same basic problem, the same goal, and they use the same basic structure to tell their stories. Of course they are very different films and they work on their audiences in very different ways. Our linked case studies will expose how simple choices, like reversing the order of elements of the protagonist's transformational arc and shifting ownership of key story beats, has an enormous impact on how we respond to a structural model that is otherwise functionally identical.
Canadian film director David Cronenberg has long been a figure of artistic acclaim and public controversy. Bursting into view with a trio of shocking horror films in the 1970s, Cronenberg's work has become increasingly complex in its sensibilities and inward-looking in its concerns and themes. This trajectory culminates in the multiplex successes of his most recent films, which appear to conclude a straightforward evolutionary arc that begins in the cold outside of shock-horror and arrives in the warm embrace of commercial and critical success.
Scott Wilson argues persuasively that Cronenberg's career can be divided into broad thematic stages and instead offers a complex examination of the relationship between three inter-related terms: the director as auteur; the industry that support or denies commercial opportunity; and the audience who receive, interpret and support (or decry) the vision represented on screen. The Politics of Insects provides an opportunity to explore Cronenberg's films in relation to each other in terms of their thematic continuity, and in terms of their relationship to industrial concerns and audience responses.
The Psychology of Screenwriting is more than an interesting book on the theory and practice of screenwriting. It is also a philosophical analysis of predetermination and freewill in the context of writing and human life in our mediated world of technology. Drawing on humanism, existentialism, Buddhism, postmodernism and transhumanism, and diverse thinkers from Meister Eckhart to Friedrich Nietzsche, Theodor Adorno, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard and Gilles Deleuze, The Psychology of Screenwriting will be of use to screenwriters, film students, philosophers and all those interested in contemporary theory. This book combines in-depth critical and cultural analysis with an elaboration on practice in an innovative fashion. It explores how people, such as those in the Dogme 95 movement, have tried to overcome traditional screenwriting, looking in detail at the psychology of writing and the practicalities of how to write well for the screen. This is the first book to include high-theory with screenwriting practice whilst incorporating the Enneagram for character development. Numerous filmmakers and writers, including David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, David Cronenberg, Pedro Almodóvar, Darren Aronofsky, Sally Potter and Charlie Kaufman are explored. The Psychology of Screenwriting is invaluable for those who want to delve deeper into writing for the screen.
Eric G. Wilson
Anyone who has sat through the dark and grainy world of Eraserhead knows that David Lynch’s films pull us into a strange world where reality turns upside down and sideways. His films are carnivals that allow us to transcend our ordinary lives and to reverse the meanings we live with in our daily lives. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than in the opening scene of Blue Velvet when our worlds are literally turned on their ears.
Lynch endlessly vacillates between Hollywood conventions and avant-garde experimentation, placing viewers in the awkward position of not knowing when the image is serious and when it’s in jest, when meaning is lucid or when it’s lost. His vexed style in this way places form and content in a perpetually self-consuming dialogue. But what do Lynch’s films have to do with religion? Wilson aims to answer that question in his new book, The Strange World of David Lynch.
To say that irony (especially of the kind found in Lynch’s films) generates religious experience is to suggest religious can be founded on nihilism. Moreover, in claiming Lynch’s films are religious, one must assume that extremely violent and lurid sexual films are somehow expressions of energies of peace, tranquility, and love. Wilson illuminates not only Lynch’s film but also the study of religion and film by showing that the most profound cinematic experiences of religion have very little to do with traditional belief systems. His book offers fresh ways of connecting the cinematic image to the sacred experience.
The Subject of Film and Race is the first comprehensive intervention into how film critics and scholars have sought to understand cinema's relationship to racial ideology. In attempting to do more than merely identify harmful stereotypes, research on 'films and race' appropriates ideas from post-structuralist theory. But on those platforms, the field takes intellectual and political positions that place its anti-racist efforts at an impasse. While presenting theoretical ideas in an accessible way, Gerald Sim's historical materialist approach uniquely triangulates well-known work by Edward Said with the Neo-Marxian writing about film by Theodor Adorno and Fredric Jameson. The Subject of Film and Race takes on topics such as identity politics, multiculturalism, multiracial discourse, and cyborg theory, to force film and media studies into rethinking their approach, specifically towards humanism and critical subjectivity. The book illustrates theoretical discussions with a diverse set of familiar films by John Ford, Michael Mann, Todd Solondz, Quentin Tarantino, Keanu Reeves, and others, to show that we must always be aware of capitalist history when thinking about race, ethnicity, and films.
A formidable new generation of American film-makers are currently in their prime: Paul Thomas Anderson, Alexander Payne, Sofia Coppola, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, to name but six. Call them ‘The Sundance Kids’.
A conspicuous number of these talents first kick-started their careers in the workshops of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in Utah, or made the big time after screening their work at the Sundance Film Festival. Nowadays, acclaimed movies such as Payne’s Sideways, Jonze’s Being John Malkovich and Coppola’s Lost in Translation have reminded people of that great period in the 1970s spearheaded by Scorsese, Altman, and Sofia Coppola’s father, Francis.
In this comprehensive study, James Mottram traces the roots of this new generation to Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape – a low-budget tour de force that premiered at Sundance en route to conquering Cannes which persuaded some of the ‘Sundance Kids’ to first pick up a camera. Mottram proceeds to analyse each director and their oeuvre, placing each carefully within the context of the ever-changing landscape of American cinema over the last fifteen years.
And Mottram poses the question – are we witnessing a new Golden Age of film-making?
All drama takes the form of one of 36 situations. That was Georges Polti's theory about theatre, which he put forward in his book 36 Dramatic Situations, published in French in the mid-19th century.
A century and a half later, Mike Figgis was struggling with a film treatment. He couldn't get it right. But when he turned to Polti's book, the sample situations helped clarify his ideas and broaden the landscape of his creativity. He saw just how useful this sort of a framework could be for writers, and decided to rework Polti's theory for a modern, film-focused audience.
Combining re-imagined situations with cinematic examples, and chart-based analysis of 150 great films, the resulting book is an invaluable and stimulating tool for any writer.
The discussion of the war body on screen is best served by drawing upon multiple and diverging view points, differing academic backgrounds and methodological approaches. A multi-disciplinary approach is essential in order to capture and interpret the complexity of the war body on screen and its many manifestations. In this collection, contributors utilize textual analysis, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism, comparative analysis, narrative theory, discourse analysis, representation and identity as their theoretical footprints. Analysis of the impact of new media and information technologies on the construction and transmission of war bodies is also been addressed.
The War Body on Screen has a highly original structure, with themed sections organized around ‘the body of the soldier’; ‘the body of the terrorist’; and ‘the body of the hostage’.
Nicolas Roeg is one of the most distinctive and influential film-makers of his generation. The generation of film-makers who define contemporary movie-making - Danny Boyle, Kevin Macdonald ( The Last King of Scotland), Christopher Nolan ( The Dark Knight), James Marsh ( Man on Wire), and Guillermo Del Toro ( Pan's Labyrinth), all acknowledge their debt to the work of Nicolas Roeg.
Roeg began as a cameraman, working for such masters as Francois Truffaut and David Lean. His explosive debut as a director with Performance, established an approach to film-making that was unconventional and ever-changing, creating works such as Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bad Timing, Insignificance, and, more recently, Puffball.
Having now reached eighty years of age, Roeg has decided to pass on to the next generations, the wealth of wisdom and experience he has garnered over fifty years of film-making.
Film and theory have always gone hand in hand. In many ways, the professional academic study of cinema grew out of the revolutionary surges in literary and cultural theory in Europe. Since the 1970s, film theory has predominantly been a lens through which to wage philosophical and cultural war (in increasingly abstract terms), and cinema was in the right place at the right time. Toward a New Film Aesthetic argues that such an approach to film studies ultimately debilitates the study of film.
How does film theory connect with an audience that experiences film far beyond the confines of the academy? How can film scholars remain relevant to film culture? These are the fundamental question that film scholars seem to have neglected. Film theory, simply put, has detached itself from meaningful discussions of cinema undertaken with mainstream audiences.
Toward a New Film Aesthetic is a radical attempt to connect the study of film with the actual viewing and consumption practices of mainstream cinematic culture. Isaacs argues that theory has rendered the majority of approaches to film insular, self-reflective, obtuse, and-in its worst incarnation-elitist. He redefines cinema aesthetics in terms of the obsessive consumption of cinematic texts that is the hallmark of contemporary film viewing.
Transatlantic Crossings is the first major study of the distribution and exhibition of British films in the USA. Charting the cross-cultural reception of many British films, Sarah Street draws on a wide range of sources including studio records, film posters, press books and statistics. While the relative strength of Hollywood made it difficult for films that crossed the Atlantic, Street's research demonstrates that some strategies were more successful than others. She considers which British films made an impact and analyzes conditions that facilitated a positive reception from critics, censors, exhibitors and audiences. Case studies include Nell Gwyn (1926), The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), The Ghost Goes West (1935), Henry V (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), Ealing comedies, The Horror of Dracula (1958), Tom Jones (1963), A Hard Day's Night (1964), Goldfinger (1964), The Remains of the Day (1993), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) and Trainspotting (1996). Against a background of the economic history of the British and Hollywood film industries, Transatlantic Crossings considers the many fascinating questions surrounding the history of British films in the USA, their relevance to wider issues of Anglo-American relations and to notions of “Britishness” on screen.
In this groundbreaking collection, Dr. Jenna Ng brings together academics and award-winning artists and machinima makers to explore the fascinating combination of cinema, animation and games in machinima (the use of computer game engines to produce animated films in cost- and time-efficient ways). Book-ended by a preface by Henry Lowood (curator for history of science and technology collections at Stanford University) and an interview with Isabelle Arvers (machinima artist, trainer, critic, and curator), the collection features wide-ranging discussions addressing machinima not only from diverse theoretical perspectives, but also in its many dimensions as game art, First Nations media art, documentary, and pedagogical tool. Making use of interactive multimedia to enhance the text, each chapter features a QR code which leads to a mobile website cross-referencing with its print text, integrating digital and print content while also taking into account the portability of digital devices in resonance with machinima's mobile digital forms. Exploring the many dimensions of machinima production and reception, Understanding Machinima extends machinima's critical scholarship and debate, underscoring the exciting potential of this emerging media form.
Stempel guides the reader through a cross section of cinema: historical epic, adventure,science fiction, teen comedy, drama, romantic comedy, suspense-films with budgets large and small. selective in its discussions and (sometimes withering) analyses, Stempel dissects the blockbusters and the bombs, discusses why certain aspects of a screenplay work and others do not, explains the difference between the film we watch and what was, the screenplay, and lays out some of screenwriting's hard and fast taboos, only to give examples of screenplays that break them, with successful results. Full of insight for novice and expert screenwriters alike, Understanding Screenwriting is the perfect book for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of how screenplays work.
In this intelligent and entertaining study of fandom at its most intense, Will Brooker examines the Star Wars phenomenon from the audience's perspective and discovers that the saga exerts a powerful influence over the social, cultural, and spiritual lives of those drawn into its myth. From a Boba Fett-loving police officer in Indiana to the webmistress of www.starwarschicks.com; from an eleven-year-old boy in south London to a Baptist Church in South Carolina; Brooker unearths a seemingly endless array of fans who use and interpret the saga in a number of creative ways.
Vertov, Snow, Farocki: Machine Vision and the Posthuman begins with a comprehensive and original anthropological analysis of Vertov’s film The Man With a Movie Camera. Tomas then explores the film’s various aspects and contributions to media history and practice through detailed discussions of selected case studies. The first concerns the way Snow’s La Région Centrale and De La extend and/or develops important theoretical and technical aspects of Vertov’s original film, in particular those aspects that have made the film so important in the history of cinema. The linkage between Vertov’s film and the works discussed in the case studies will also serve to illustrate the historical and theoretical significance of a comparative approach of this kind, and illustrate the pertinence of adopting a ‘relational approach’ to the history of media and its contemporary practice, an approach that is no longer focused exclusively on the technical question of the new in contemporary media practices but, in contrast, situates a work and measures its originality in historical, intermedia, and ultimately political terms.
Violating Time explores the complexity of nonlinear and disrupted cinematic time - the delayed period between the actual recording of an event and its eventual public viewing; the recreation of an historical event years after it has occurred; a nostalgic return to retro in the postmodern era; and manipulation of the clock in time travel movies to alter the course of events and create new cultural geographies of time, space and experience.
This collection investigates the politics of tactical remembering and forgetting - the selective editing of time and narrative - not only as acts of subversion but also of creative potential and empowerment. It argues that representations of the past and projections of the future are not isolated commentaries of a romantic yesterday or grand visions of tomorrow. Rather, they evoke the preoccupations and anxieties of the present, whether it is the skepticism of nostalgic kitsch (The Royal Tenenbaums) or the projected post-millennial fears of disappearing histories and mutating pasts, manufactured memories and loss of identity (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and 2046).
The idea of virtual realities has a long and complex historical trajectory, spanning from Plato’s concept of the cave and the simulacrum, to artistic styles such as Trompe L’oeil, and more recently developments in 3D film, television and gaming. However, this book will pay particular attention to the time between the 1980s to the 1990s when virtual reality and cyberspace were represented, particularly in fiction, as a wondrous technology that enabled transcendence from the limitations of physical embodiment. The purpose of this critical historical analysis of representations of virtual reality is to examine how they might deny, repress or overlook embodied experience. Specifically, the author will contend that embodiment is a fundamental aspect of immersion in virtual reality, rather than something which is to be transcended. In this way, the book aims to challenge distorted ideas about transcendence and productively contribute to debates about embodiment and technology.
Wag the Dog is a film that became a media event and a cultural icon because it inadvertently short-circuited the distance that is supposed to separate reality and fiction. The film’s narration challenges the established boundaries between the fiction and nonfiction tradition, as Barry Levinson, the director, embeds his interest in documentary filmmaking and complicates the issue of narrative agency in the way he frames the story.
The examination of the historical and social context in which it was produced, exhibited and received worldwide enables the author to illuminate a series of changes in the way a fiction film reflects and interacts with reality, urging us to reconsider some of our central and long-standing concepts or even paradigms in film theory. Eleftheria Thanouli provides new insights into a series of issues from both classical and contemporary film theory, like the conceptual and ontological stakes in the use of digital technology, the impact of mass media on public memory and the political role of cinema in a globalized and conglomerated world.
This edition of Herzog on Herzog presents a completely new set of interviews in which Werner Herzog discusses his career from its very beginnings to his most recent productions.
Herzog was once hailed by Francois Truffaut as the most important director alive. Famous for his frequent collaborations with mercurial actor Klaus Kinski – including the epics Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, and the terrifying Nosferatu – and more recently with documentaries such as Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Into the Abyss, Herzog has built a body of work that is one of the most vital in post-war German cinema.
Divided into four thematic sections, What’s Eating You? explores the deeper significance of food on screen—the ways in which they reflect (or challenge) our deepest fears about consuming and being consumed. Among the questions it asks are: How do these films mock our taboos and unsettle our notions about the human condition? How do they critique our increasing focus on consumption? In what ways do they hold a mirror to our taken-for-granteds about food and humanity, asking if what we eat truly matters?
Horror narratives routinely grasp those questions and spin them into nightmares. Monstrous “others” dine on forbidden fare; the tables of consumption are turned, and the consumer becomes the consumed. Overindulgence, as Le Grande Bouffe (1973) and Street Trash (1987) warn, can kill us, and occasionally, as films like The Stuff (1985) and Poultrygeist (2006) illustrate, our food fights back. From Blood Feast (1963) to Sweeney Todd (2007), motion pictures have reminded us that it is an “eat or be eaten” world.
World Cinema and the Ethics of Realism is a highly original study. Traditional views of cinematic realism usually draw on the so-called classical cinema and its allegiance to narrative mimesis, but Nagib challenges this, drawing instead on the filmmaker’s commitment to truth and to the film medium’s material bond with the real.
Starting from the premise that world cinema’s creative peaks are governed by an ethics of realism, Nagib conducts comparative case studies picked from world new waves, such as the Japanese New Wave, the French nouvelle vague, the Cinema Novo, the New German Cinema, the Russo-Cuban Revolutionary Cinema, the Portuguese self-performing auteur and the Inuit Indigenous Cinema. Drawing upon Badiou and Rancière, World Cinema and the Ethics of Realism revisits and reformulates several fundamental concepts in film studies, such as illusionism, identification, apparatus, alienation effects, presentation and representation. Its groundbreaking scholarship takes film theory in a bold new direction.
Write What You Don't Know is a friendly manual for aspiring screenwriters. It encourages you to move beyond your comfort zones in search of stories. We all write what we know - how could we not? Writing what you don't know and doing it in an informed and imaginative way is what makes the process worthwhile.
Hoxter draws on his wealth of experience teaching young film students to offer help with every aspect of the writing process, including how we come up with ideas in the first place. Light hearted and full of insight into the roundabout way film students approach their scripts, it also discusses the important issues like the difference between stories and plots and what your characters should be doing in the middle of act two. Write What You Don't Know contains examples and case studies from a wide range of movies, both mainstream and alternative such as The Virgin Spring, Die Hard, The Ipcress File, For The Birds, (500) Days of Summer, Juno, Up In The Air, Knocked Up and Brick.
Unlike most how-to books on screenwriting, Writing in Pictures is highly practical, offering a realistic guide to the screenwriting profession, as well as concrete practical guidance in the steps professional writers take to write a screenplay that comes from the heart instead of the pocketbook. The reader is taken through the nitty-gritty process of conceiving, outlining, constructing, and writing a screenplay in the professional format, with clear and concise examples offered for every step in writing a short dramatic film.
Writing in Pictures offers straight talk, no mumbo-jumbo or gimmicks, just a methodical, step-by-step process that walks the reader through the different stages of writing a screenplay - from idea to outline to character biography to treatment to step outline to finished screenplay. Using well-known films and screenplays, both contemporary and classic, to illustrate its lessons, Writing in Pictures also offers comments from famous screenwriters past and present and insightful stories (often colourful and funny) that illuminate aspects of the craft.
It is often suggested that there are ‘secrets’ to comedy or that it is ‘lightning in a bottle’, but the craft of comedy writing can be taught. While comedic tastes change, over time and from person to person, the core underpinning still depends on the comedic geniuses that have paved the way. Great comedy is built upon a strong foundation.
In Writing the Comedy Movie, Marc Blake lays out – in an entertainingly readable style – the nuts and bolts of comedy screenwriting. His objective is to clarify the ‘rules’ of comedy: to contextualize comedy staples such as the double act, slapstick, gross-out, rom com, screwball, satire and parody and to introduce new ones such as the bromance or stoner comedy. He explains the underlying principles of comedy and comedy writing for the screen, along with providing analysis of leading examples of each subgenre.
Tales of horror have always been with us, from Biblical times to the Gothic novel to successful modern day authors and screenwriters. Though the genre is often maligned, it is huge in popularity and its resilience is undeniable. Marc Blake and Sara Bailey offer a detailed analysis of the horror genre, including its subgenres, tropes and the specific requirements of the horror screenplay.
Tracing the development of the horror film from its beginnings in German Expressionism, the authors engage in a readable style that will appeal to anyone with a genuine interest in the form and the mechanics of the genre. This book examines the success of Universal Studio's franchises of the ‘30s to the Serial Killer, the Slasher film, Asian Horror, the Supernatural, Horror Vérité and current developments in the field, including 3D and remakes. It also includes step-by-step writing exercises, annotated extracts from horror screenplays and interviews with seasoned writers/directors/ producers discussing budget restrictions, screenplay form and formulas and how screenplays work during shooting.