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Television at the Movies Cinematic and Critical Responses to American Broadcasting

by Jon Nelson Wagner, Tracy Biga MacLean

Television at the Movies Cinematic and Critical Responses to American Broadcasting Synopsis

This title provides a unique approach to the study of television.This overview of television criticism comes appropriately at a moment of change. Television is becoming dramatically different as a result of new and developing technologies such as cable, HDTV, satellite transmission and broadband distributions. By concentrating on the still-dominant notion of television, what the authors call Classical Network Television, they argue that it is as important to understand this model as it is to understand Classical Hollywood Cinema.The co-authors have a unique approach to the study of television, viewing its history and reception not only through important articles about the medium, but also through analyzing how Hollywood auteur cinema has commented on television over the decades, in films such as Tootsie , Network , The Last Picture Show , A Face in the Crowd , Rollerball , The King of Comedy and others. Not only does this reflect the pervasive use of cinema theory to discuss television, it also helps to emphasize the importance of clarifying the distinctions between the criticisms of the two media. The Question of Television argues that the study of television is a crucial aspect of understanding our recent and contemporary culture, and it provides an illuminating point of entry for students and researchers in the field.

Television at the Movies Cinematic and Critical Responses to American Broadcasting Press Reviews

Jon Nelson Wagner and Tracy Biga MacLean have a style at once limpid and poetic, along with a judiciousness that allows them to make use of the best in the tradition of grand theory while being refreshingly critical of that theory's overblown hostility to its own objects of study. Through brilliant analyses of a half century's cinematic representations of TV, they show this hostility to be an essential ingredient of classic broadcast TV's irresolute imaginary and offer a history of the idea of television, a history of the framing of its reception for audiences and academic analysts alike. Rather than condemning TV or cinema for their ideological instrumentality, Wagner and MacLean challenge us to accept the fearsome work of enjoyment, to understand and appreciate television's powers and its pleasures. Tom Lutz, author of Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears (1999); Cosmopolitan Vistas: American Regionalism and Literary Value (2004); Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers and Bums in America (2007) Having mated with its mother, radio, television set out to kill the father, the Movies and this book by Jon Nelson Wagner and Tracy Biga MacLean chronicles the Oedipal standoff that's raged between the two media ever since. Insightful, brilliant and not a little subversive, Television at the Movies is instantly definitive, with new revelations about both movies and TV revealed in each other's glow. Steve Erickson, author of Zeroville (2007), Our Ecstatic Days (2006), and many more

Book Information

ISBN: 9780826429629
Publication date: 10th July 2008
Author: Jon Nelson Wagner, Tracy Biga MacLean
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 240 pages
Categories: Television, Popular culture,

About Jon Nelson Wagner, Tracy Biga MacLean

Jon Nelson Wagner, PhD, teaches film, television, cultural studies, and English at the California Institute of the Arts. Tracy Biga MacLean, PhD, teaches film, television, cultural studies, and English at Pitzer College, in Claremont, California.

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