Results by Title
27 books about Films
Results by Title
27 books about Films
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press
From his film festival debut Hard Eight to ambitious studio epics Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s unique cinematic vision focuses on postmodern excess and media culture. In Blossoms and Blood, Jason Sperb studies the filmmaker’s evolving aesthetic and its historical context to argue that Anderson’s films create new, often ambivalent, narratives of American identity in a media-saturated world.
Blossoms and Blood explores Anderson’s films in relation to the aesthetic and economic shifts within the film industry and to America’s changing social and political sensibilities since the mid-1990s. Sperb provides an auteur study with important implications for film history, media studies, cultural studies, and gender studies. He charts major themes in Anderson’s work, such as stardom, self-reflexivity, and masculinity and shows how they are indicative of trends in late twentieth-century American culture. One of the first books to focus on Anderson’s work, Blossoms and Blood reveals the development of an under-studied filmmaker attuned to the contradictions of a postmodern media culture.
Péter Forgács, based in Budapest, is best known for his award-winning films built on home movies from the 1930s to the 1960s that document ordinary lives soon to intersect with offscreen historical events. Cinema’s Alchemist offers a sustained exploration of the imagination and skill with which Forgács reshapes such film footage, originally intended for private and personal viewing, into extraordinary films dedicated to remembering the past in ways that matter for our future.
Contributors: Whitney Davis, U of California, Berkeley; László F. Földényi, U of Theatre, Film and Television, Budapest; Marsha Kinder, U of Southern California; Tamás Korányi; Scott MacDonald, Hamilton College; Tyrus Miller, U of California, Santa Cruz; Roger Odin, U of Paris III Sorbonne–Nouvelle; Catherine Portuges, U of Massachusetts Amherst; Michael S. Roth, Wesleyan U; Kaja Silverman, U of Pennsylvania; Ernst van Alphen, Leiden U, the Netherlands; Malin Wahlberg, Stockholm U.
Hamlet has inspired four outstanding film adaptations that continue to delight a wide and varied audience and to offer provocative new interpretations of Shakespeare’s most popular play. Cinematic Hamlet contains the first scene-by-scene analysis of the methods used by Laurence Olivier, Franco Zeffirelli, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Almereyda to translate Hamlet into highly distinctive and remarkably effective films.
Applying recent developments in neuroscience and psychology, Patrick J. Cook argues that film is a medium deploying an abundance of devices whose task it is to direct attention away from the film’s viewing processes and toward the object represented. Through careful analysis of each film’s devices, he explores the ways in which four brilliant directors rework the play into a radically different medium, engaging the viewer through powerful instinctive drives and creating audiovisual vehicles that support and complement Shakespeare’s words and story.
Cinematic Hamlet will prove to be indispensable for anyone wishing to understand how these films rework Shakespeare into the powerful medium of film.
Frederick Aldama’s The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez (2014) was the first full-scale study of one of the most prolific and significant Latino directors making films today. In this companion volume, Aldama enlists a corps of experts to analyze a majority of Rodriguez’s feature films, from his first break-out success El Mariachi in 1992 to Machete in 2010. The essays explore the formal and thematic features present in his films from the perspectives of industry (context, convention, and distribution), the film blueprint (auditory and visual ingredients), and consumption (ideal and real audiences). The authors illuminate the manifold ways in which Rodriguez’s films operate internally (plot, character, and event) and externally (audience perception, thought, and feeling).
The volume is divided into three parts: “Matters of Mind and Media” includes essays that use psychoanalytic and cognitive psychology to shed light on how Rodriguez’s films complicate Latino identity, as well as how they succeed in remaking audiences’ preconceptions of the world. “Narrative Theory, Cognitive Science, and Sin City: A Case Study” offers tools and models of analysis for the study of Rodriguez’s film re-creation of a comic book (on which Frank Miller was credited as codirector). “Aesthetic and Ontological Border Crossings and Borderlands” considers how Rodriguez’s films innovatively critique fixed notions of Latino identity and experience, as well as open eyes to racial injustices. As a whole, the volume demonstrates how Rodriguez’s career offers critical insights into the filmmaking industry, the creative process, and the consuming and reception of contemporary film.
A brilliant approach to the queerness of one of Taiwan’s greatest auteurs
A critical figure in queer Sinophone cinema—and the first director ever commissioned to create a film for the permanent collection of the Louvre—Tsai Ming-liang is a major force in Taiwan cinema and global moving image art. Cruisy, Sleepy, Melancholy offers a fascinating, systematic method for analyzing the queerness of Tsai’s films.
Nicholas de Villiers argues that Tsai expands and revises the notion of queerness by engaging with the sexuality of characters who are migrants, tourists, diasporic, or otherwise displaced. Through their lack of fixed identities, these characters offer a clear challenge to the binary division between heterosexuality and homosexuality, as well as the Orientalist binary division of Asia versus the West. Ultimately, de Villiers explores how Tsai’s films help us understand queerness in terms of spatial, temporal, and sexual disorientation.
Conceiving of Tsai’s cinema as an intertextual network, Cruisy, Sleepy, Melancholy makes an important addition to scholarly work on Tsai in English. It draws on extensive interviews with the director, while also offering a complete reappraisal of Tsai’s body of work. Contributing to queer film theory and the aesthetics of displacement, Cruisy, Sleepy, Melancholy reveals striking connections between sexuality, space, and cinema.
Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar® for Best Director for Parasite (2019), which also won Best Picture, the first foreign film to do so, and two other Academy Awards. Parasite was the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes. These achievements mark a new career peak for the director, who first achieved wide international acclaim with 2006’s monster movie The Host and whose forays into English-language film with Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017) brought him further recognition.
As this timely book reveals, even as Bong Joon Ho has emerged as an internationally known director, his films still engage with distinctly Korean social and political contexts that may elude many Western viewers. The Films of Bong Joon Ho demonstrates how he hybridizes Hollywood conventions with local realities in order to create a cinema that foregrounds the absurd cultural anomie Koreans have experienced in tandem with their rapid economic development. Film critic and scholar Nam Lee explores how Bong subverts the structures of the genres he works within, from the crime thriller to the sci-fi film, in order to be truthful to Korean realities that often deny the reassurances of the happy Hollywood ending. With detailed readings of Bong’s films from Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) through Parasite (2019), the book will give readers a new appreciation of this world-class cinematic talent.
In this remarkable sequel to his Films of the Seventies: A Social History, William J. Palmer examines more than three hundred films as texts that represent, revise, parody, comment upon, and generate discussion about major events, issues, and social trends of the eighties.
Palmer defines the dialectic between film art and social history, taking as his theoretical model the "holograph of history" that originated from the New Historicist theories of Hayden White and Dominick LaCapra. Combining the interests and methodologies of social history and film criticism, Palmer contends that film is a socially conscious interpreter and commentator upon the issues of contemporary social history. In the eighties, such issues included the war in Vietnam, the preservation of the American farm, terrorism, nuclear holocaust, changes in Soviet-American relations, neoconservative feminism, and yuppies.
Among the films Palmer examines are Platoon, The Killing Fields, The River, Out of Africa, Little Drummer Girl, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Silkwood, The Day After, Red Dawn, Moscow on the Hudson, Troop Beverly Hills, and Fatal Attraction. Utilizing the principles of New Historicism, Palmer demonstrates that film can analyze and critique history as well as present it.
This premier analysis of her body of work explores how Dressler refocused the generic frame of her films beyond the shallow problems of the rich and beautiful, instead dignifying the marginalized, the elderly, women, and the poor. Sturtevant inteprets the meanings of Dressler's body through different genres, venues, and historical periods by looking at her vaudeville career, her transgressive representation of an "unruly" yet sexual body in Emma and Christopher Bean, ideas of the body politic in the films Politics and Prosperity, and Dressler as a mythic body in Min and Bill and Tugboat Annie.
Considered to be one of the most influential auteurs in French cinema today, Chantal Akerman has had a profound impact on both feminist filmmaking discourse and avant-garde film. She has shown herself to be an uncompromising and dedicated practitioner of the cinematic arts in works such as I…You…He…She (Je tu il elle,1974); Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975); Meetings with Anna (Les Rendez-vous d’Anna,1978); American Stories/Food, Family, and Philosophy (Histoires d’Amérique,1989); and From the East (D’Est,1993). Akerman has continued to create new and unexpected films that explore ideas about image, gaze, space, performance, and narration.
This collection of essays edited by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster assesses Akerman’s wide-ranging oeuvre, particularly her exploration of identity and memory, and considers her development as an artist and as a social force. Along with a detailed filmography and bibliography, both compiled by Foster, ten of the key figures in contemporary feminist moving-image discourse explore the themes with which Akerman is preoccupied: sexuality and lesbian identity, subjectivity, alterity, quotidian reality, the mother-daughter relationship, and Jewish diasporic identity.
The contributors include Maureen Turim, Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, Jennifer M. Barker, Ivone Margulies, Catherine Fowler, Janet Bergstrom, Ginette Vincendeau, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Judith Mayne, and Kristine Butler.
Originally published in the United Kingdom by Flicks Books, this marks the first United States edition of Identity and Memory: The Films of Chantal Akerman.
In the first book to critically examine each of the fourteen feature films Sam Peckinpah directed during his career, Michael Bliss stresses the persistent moral and structural elements that permeate Peckinpah’s work.
By examining the films in great detail, Bliss makes clear the moral framework of temptation and redemption with which Peckinpah was concerned while revealing the director’s attention to narrative. Bliss shows that each of Peckinpah’s protagonists is involved with attempting, in the words of Ridethe High Country’s Steve Judd, "to enter my house justified."
The validity of this systematic method is clearly demonstrated in the chapter devoted to The Wild Bunch. Byenumerating the doublings and triplings of action and dialogue found in the film, Bliss underscores its symbolic and structural complexity. Beginning the chapters treating Junior Bonner and The Getaway with analyses of their important title sequences, Bliss shows how these frequently disregarded pieces present in miniature the major moral and narrative concerns of the films. In his chapter on The Osterman Weekend, Bliss makes apparent Peckinpahs awareness of and concern with the self-reflexive nature of filmmaking itself.
Bliss shows that like John Ford, Peckinpah moved from optimism to pessimism. The films of the director’s early period, from The Deadly Companions to Cable Hogue, support the romantic ideals of adventure and camaraderie and affirm a potential for goodness in America. In his second group of films, which begins with Straw Dogs and ends with Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, both heroes and hope have vanished. It is only in The Osterman Weekend that Peckinpah appears finally to have renewed his capacity for hope, allowing his career to close in a positive way.
La India María—a humble and stubborn indigenous Mexican woman—is one of the most popular characters of the Mexican stage, television, and film. Created and portrayed by María Elena Velasco, La India María has delighted audiences since the late 1960s with slapstick humor that slyly critiques discrimination and the powerful. At the same time, however, many critics have derided the iconic figure as a racist depiction of a negative stereotype and dismissed the India María films as exploitation cinema unworthy of serious attention. By contrast, La India María builds a convincing case for María Elena Velasco as an artist whose work as a director and producer—rare for women in Mexican cinema—has been widely and unjustly overlooked.
Drawing on extensive interviews with Velasco, her family, and film industry professionals, as well as on archival research, Seraina Rohrer offers the first full account of Velasco’s life; her portrayal of La India María in vaudeville, television, and sixteen feature film comedies, including Ni de aquí, ni de allá [Neither here, nor there]; and her controversial reception in Mexico and the United States. Rohrer traces the films’ financing, production, and distribution, as well as censorship practices of the period, and compares them to other Mexploitation films produced at the same time. Adding a new chapter to the history of a much-understudied period of Mexican cinema commonly referred to as “la crisis,” this pioneering research enriches our appreciation of Mexploitation films.
Written exclusively for this collection by today’s leading Peckinpah critics, the nine essays in Peckinpah Today explore the body of work of one of America’s most important filmmakers, revealing new insights into his artistic process and the development of his lasting themes. Edited by Michael Bliss, this book provides groundbreaking criticism of Peckinpah’s work by illuminating new sources, from modified screenplay documents to interviews with screenplay writers and editors.
Included is a rare interview with A. S. Fleischman, author of the screenplay for The Deadly Companions, the film that launched Peckinpah’s career in feature films. The collection also contains essays by scholar Stephen Prince and Paul Seydor, editor of the controversial special edition of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. In his essay on Straw Dogs, film critic Michael Sragow reveals how Peckinpah and co-scriptwriter David Zelag Goodman transformed a pulp novel into a powerful film. The final essay of the collection surveys Peckinpah’s career, showing the dark turn that the filmmaker’s artistic path took between his first and last films. This comprehensive approach reinforces the book’s dawn-to-dusk approach, resulting in a fascinating picture of a great filmmaker’s work.
Winner, Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Reference/Primary Source Work in Popular and American Culture, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, 2016
Known for their violence and prolific profanity, including free use of the n-word, the films of Quentin Tarantino, like the director himself, chronically blurt out in polite company what is extremely problematic even when deliberated in private. Consequently, there is an uncomfortable and often awkward frankness associated with virtually all of Tarantino’s films, particularly when it comes to race and blackness. Yet beyond the debate over whether Tarantino is or is not racist is the fact that his films effectively articulate racial anxieties circulating in American society as they engage longstanding racial discourses and hint at emerging trends. This radical racial politics—always present in Tarantino’s films but kept very much on the quiet—is the subject of Race on the QT.
Adilifu Nama concisely deconstructs and reassembles the racial dynamics woven into Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained, as they relate to historical and current racial issues in America. Nama’s eclectic fusion of cultural criticism and film analysis looks beyond the director’s personal racial attitudes and focuses on what Tarantino’s filmic body of work has said and is saying about race in America symbolically, metaphorically, literally, impolitely, cynically, sarcastically, crudely, controversially, and brilliantly.
Providing in-depth accounts and close critical examinations of nine of Wiseman’s films—Titicut Follies, High School, Basic Training, Essene, Juvenile Court, Primate, Welfare, Canal Zone, and The Store—thissecond edition features a new introduction, a revised and updated filmography, and an updated bibliography.
No book on documentary film has ever analyzed in such detail the work of a single filmmaker. In impeccable close readings of his films, Tom Benson and Carolyn Anderson explore how Frederick Wiseman has elaborated his widely admired sensibility.
A special feature is an extended chapter on the legal difficulties encountered by Wiseman’s first documentary, Titicut Follies, an unflinching depiction of conditions in the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Bridgewater. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts took Wiseman to court, seeking to prevent the exhibition of Titicut Follies. In New York State, three judges refused to issue an injunction against the film. In Massachusetts, the film was the subject of a sensational series of legislative hearings and a court trial, in which the principals gave very different stories of the conditions and terms under which the film had been negotiated and produced.
Wiseman, himself an attorney, exchanged charges and countercharges with Massachusetts Attorney General Elliot Richardson, and the controversy split the civil liberties community. Judge Harry Kalus, calling Titicut Follies "a nightmare of ghoulish obscenities," not only ruled for the Commonwealth but ordered that the film be destroyed. On appeal, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court modified the Kalus ruling, allowing the film to be seen only by professional audiences. Titicut Follies became the only American film whose exhibition is restricted for reasons other than obscenity or national security.
After Titicut Follies, Wiseman went on to become a major independent documentary producer. Many of his films have been shown on public television in the United States and at film festivals around the world. The films are widely admired and often highly controversial. Wiseman has developed a unique cinematic rhetoric that draws from both the documentary and fiction traditions to describe American institutions: a high school, basic training, a monastery, a juvenile court, a primate research center, a welfare agency, the Panama canal zone, and a department store. Benson and Anderson scrutinize each of these films, record the reactions of some of his subjects and audiences, and present the heretofore neglected contributions of his four cinematographers: John Marshall, Richard Leiterman, William Brayne, and John Davey.
This first book on the director of The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia is comprehensive, analyzing each of Jonathan Demme’s thirteen films.
Demme received the 1980 New York Film Critics Award as Best Director for Melvin and Howard. Subsequent Demme films such as Something Wild and the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, which won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Documentary, made Demme a cult favorite in the league of Roger Corman.
With 199l’s The Silence of the Lambs, Demme moved into a different league. The top-grossing film of the year, Silence won five Academy Awards, becoming the first film to sweep the Best Director, Actor, Actress, and Picture categories since 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Philadelphia also has been a top-grossing film, with Tom Hanks winning 1994’s Best Actor Oscar.
Michael Bliss and Christina Banks include a wealth of biographical and critical data; an exclusive interview with Demme; the only on-set report on the filming of The Silence of the Lambs; an interview with Craig McKay, Demme’s Emmy-winning film editor; a bibliography; and a Demme filmography. Many of the book’s movie still illustrations have never been published.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press