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Film theory & criticism

See below for a selection of the latest books from Film theory & criticism category. Presented with a red border are the Film theory & criticism books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Film theory & criticism books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Cold War II

Cold War II

Author: Tatiana Prorokova-Konrad Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/12/2020

In recent years, Hollywood cinema has forwarded a growing number of images of the Cold War and entertained a return to memories of conflicts between the USSR and the US, Russians and Americans, and communism and capitalism. Cold War II: Hollywood's Renewed Obsession with Russia explores the reasons for this sudden renewed interest in the Cold War. Essayists examine such films as Guy Ritchie's The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen's Hail, Caesar!, David Leitch's Atomic Blonde, Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, and Francis Lawrence's Red Sparrow, among others, as well as such television shows as Comrade Detective and The Americans. Contributors to this collection interrogate the revival of the Cold War movie genre from multiple angles and examine the issues of patriotism, national identity, otherness, gender, and corruption. They consider cinematic aesthetics and the ethics of these representations. They reveal how Cold War imagery shapes audiences' understanding of the period in general and of the relationship between the US and Russia in particular. The authors complicate traditional definitions of the Cold War film and invite readers to discover a new phase in the Cold War movie genre: Cold War II.

Alternative Realities

Alternative Realities

Author: Carl Plantinga Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/12/2020

From their very inception, movies have served two seemingly contradictory purposes. On one hand, they transport us to fantastical worlds and display mind-boggling special effects. On the other, they can document actual events and immerse us in scenarios that feel so realistic, we might forget we are watching a work of fiction. Alternative Realities explores how these distinctions between cinematic fantasy and filmic realism are more porous than we might think. Through a close analysis of CGI-heavy blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy, it considers how even popular fantasies are grounded in emotional and social realities. Conversely, it examines how mockumentaries like This is Spinal Tap satirically call attention to the highly stylized techniques documentarians use to depict reality. Alternative Realities takes us on a journey through many different genres of film, from the dream-like and subjective realities depicted in movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memento, to the astonishing twists of movies like Shutter Island and The Matrix, which leave viewers in a state of epistemic uncertainty. Ultimately, it shows us how the power of cinema comes from the unique way it fuses together the objective and the subjective, the fantastical and the everyday.

Ends of Cinema

Ends of Cinema

Author: Richard Grusin Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/12/2020

At the dawn of the digital era in the final decades of the twentieth century, film and media studies scholars grappled with the prospective end of what was deemed cinema: analog celluloid production, darkened public movie theaters, festival culture. The notion of the end of cinema had already been broached repeatedly over the course of the twentieth century-from the introduction of sound and color to the advent of television and video-and in Ends of Cinema, contributors reinvigorate this debate to contemplate the ends, as well as directions and new beginnings, of cinema in the twenty-first century. In this volume, scholars at the forefront of film and media studies interrogate multiple potential ends of cinema: its goals and spaces, its relationship to postcinema, its racial dynamics and environmental implications, and its theoretical and historical conclusions. Moving beyond the predictable question of digital versus analog, the scholars gathered here rely on critical theory and historical research to consider cinema alongside its media companions: television, the gallery space, digital media, and theatrical environments. Ends of Cinema underscores the shared project of film and media studies to open up what seems closed off, and to continually reinvent approaches that seem unresponsive. Contributors: Caetlin Benson-Allott, Georgetown U; James Leo Cahill, U of Toronto; Francesco Casetti, Yale U; Mary Ann Doane, U of California Berkeley; Andre Gaudreault, U de Montreal; Michael Gillespie, City College of New York; Mark Paul Meyer, EYE Filmmuseum; Jennifer Lynn Peterson, Woodbury U, Los Angeles; Amy Villarejo, Cornell U.

Ends of Cinema

Ends of Cinema

Author: Richard Grusin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/12/2020

At the dawn of the digital era in the final decades of the twentieth century, film and media studies scholars grappled with the prospective end of what was deemed cinema: analog celluloid production, darkened public movie theaters, festival culture. The notion of the end of cinema had already been broached repeatedly over the course of the twentieth century-from the introduction of sound and color to the advent of television and video-and in Ends of Cinema, contributors reinvigorate this debate to contemplate the ends, as well as directions and new beginnings, of cinema in the twenty-first century. In this volume, scholars at the forefront of film and media studies interrogate multiple potential ends of cinema: its goals and spaces, its relationship to postcinema, its racial dynamics and environmental implications, and its theoretical and historical conclusions. Moving beyond the predictable question of digital versus analog, the scholars gathered here rely on critical theory and historical research to consider cinema alongside its media companions: television, the gallery space, digital media, and theatrical environments. Ends of Cinema underscores the shared project of film and media studies to open up what seems closed off, and to continually reinvent approaches that seem unresponsive. Contributors: Caetlin Benson-Allott, Georgetown U; James Leo Cahill, U of Toronto; Francesco Casetti, Yale U; Mary Ann Doane, U of California Berkeley; Andre Gaudreault, U de Montreal; Michael Gillespie, City College of New York; Mark Paul Meyer, EYE Filmmuseum; Jennifer Lynn Peterson, Woodbury U, Los Angeles; Amy Villarejo, Cornell U.

The History of French Literature on Film

The History of French Literature on Film

French novels, plays, poems and short stories, however temporally or culturally distant from us, continue to be incarnated and reincarnated on cinema screens across the world. From the silent films of Georges Melies to the Hollywood production of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary directed by Sophie Barthes, The History of French Literature on Film explores the key films, directors, and movements that have shaped the adaptation of works by French authors since the end of the 19th century. Across six chapters, Griffiths and Watts examine the factors that have driven this vibrant adaptive industry, as filmmakers have turned to literature in search of commercial profits, cultural legitimacy, and stories rich in dramatic potential. The volume also explains how the work of theorists from a variety of disciplines (literary theory, translation theory, adaptation theory), can help to deepen both our understanding and our appreciation of literary adaptation as a creative practice. Finally, this volume seeks to make clear that adaptation is never a simple transcription of an earlier literary work. It is always simultaneously an adaptation of the society and era for which it is created. Adaptations of French literature are thus not only valuable artistic artefacts in their own right, so too are they important historical documents which testify to the values and tastes of their own time.

Making Sense of Mind-Game Films

Making Sense of Mind-Game Films

Author: Dr. Simin Nina (Independent Scholar, New Zealand) Littschwager Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/12/2020

Mind-game films and other complex narratives have been a prominent phenomenon of the cinematic landscape during the period 1990-2010, when films like The Sixth Sense, Memento, Fight Club and Source Code became critical and commercial successes, often acquiring a cult status with audiences. With their multiple story lines, unreliable narrators, ambiguous twist endings, and paradoxical worlds, these films challenge traditional ways of narrative comprehension and in many cases require and reward multiple viewings. But how can me make sense of films that don't always make sense the way we are used to? While most scholarship has treated these complex films as narrative puzzles that audiences solve with their cognitive skills, Making Sense of Mind-Game Films offers a fresh perspective by suggesting that they appeal to the body and the senses in equal measures. Mind-game films tell stories about crises between body, mind and world, and about embodied forms of knowing and subjective ways of being-in-the-world. Through compelling in-depth case studies of popular mind-game films, the book explores how these complex narratives take their (embodied) spectators with them into such crises. The puzzling effect generated by these films stems from a conflict between what we think and what we experience, between what we know and what we feel to be true, and between what we see and what we sense.

Romanticism and Film

Romanticism and Film

Author: Will (PhD Student, Film Studies, University of Southampton, UK) Kitchen Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/12/2020

The relationship between Romanticism and film remains one of the most neglected topics in film theory and history, with analysis often focusing on the proto-cinematic significance of Richard Wagner's music-dramas. One new and interesting way of examining this relationship is by looking beyond Wagner, and developing a concept of audio-visual explanation rooted in Romantic philosophical aesthetics, and employing it in the analysis of film discourse and representation. Using this concept of audio-visual explanation, the cultural image of the Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt, a contemporary of Wagner and another significant practitioner of Romantic audio-visual aesthetics, is examined in reference to specific case studies, including the rarely-explored films Song Without End (1960) and Lisztomania (1975). This multifaceted study of film discourse and representation employs Liszt as a guiding-thread, structuring a general exploration of the concept of Romanticism and its relationship with film more generally. This exploration is supported by new theories of representation based on schematic cognition, the philosophy of explanation, and the recently-developed film theory of Jacques Ranciere. Individual chapters address the historical background of audio-visual explanation in Romantic philosophical aesthetics, Liszt's role in the historical discourses of film and film music, and various filmic representations of Liszt and his compositions. Throughout these investigations, Will Kitchen explores the various ways that films explain, or 'make sense' of things, through a 'Romantic' aesthetic combination of sound and vision.

The City Symphony Phenomenon

The City Symphony Phenomenon

Author: Steven (University of Ghent, Belgium) Jacobs Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/12/2020

The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of the city symphony, an experimental film form that presented the city as protagonist instead of mere decor. Combining experimental, documentary, and narrative practices, these films were marked by a high level of abstraction reminiscent of high-modernist experiments in painting and photography. Moreover, interwar city symphonies presented a highly fragmented, oftentimes kaleidoscopic sense of modern life, and they organized their urban-industrial images through rhythmic and associative montage that evoke musical structures. In this comprehensive volume, contributors consider the full 80 film corpus, from Manhatta and Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt to lesser-known cinematic explorations.

Everyday Movies

Everyday Movies

Author: Haidee Wasson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/12/2020

Everyday Movies documents the twentieth-century rise of portable film projectors. It demonstrates that since World War II, the vast majority of movie-watching did not happen in the glow of the large screen but rather took place alongside the glitches, distortions, and clickety-clack of small machines that transformed home, classroom, museum, community, government, industrial, and military venues into sites of moving-image display. Reorienting the history of cinema away from the magic of the movie theater, Haidee Wasson illustrates the remarkable persistence and proliferation of devices that fundamentally rejected the sleek, highly professionalized film show. She foregrounds instead another kind of apparatus, one that was accessible, affordable, adaptable, easy to use, and crucially, programmable. Revealing rich archival discoveries, this book charts a compelling and original history of film that brings to light new technologies and diverse forms of media engagement that continue to shape contemporary life.

Everyday Movies

Everyday Movies

Author: Haidee Wasson Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/12/2020

Everyday Movies documents the twentieth-century rise of portable film projectors. It demonstrates that since World War II, the vast majority of movie-watching did not happen in the glow of the large screen but rather took place alongside the glitches, distortions, and clickety-clack of small machines that transformed home, classroom, museum, community, government, industrial, and military venues into sites of moving-image display. Reorienting the history of cinema away from the magic of the movie theater, Haidee Wasson illustrates the remarkable persistence and proliferation of devices that fundamentally rejected the sleek, highly professionalized film show. She foregrounds instead another kind of apparatus, one that was accessible, affordable, adaptable, easy to use, and crucially, programmable. Revealing rich archival discoveries, this book charts a compelling and original history of film that brings to light new technologies and diverse forms of media engagement that continue to shape contemporary life.

Revisiting Women's Cinema

Revisiting Women's Cinema

Author: Lingzhen Wang Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/12/2020

In Revisiting Women's Cinema, Lingzhen Wang ponders the roots of contemporary feminist stagnation and the limits of both commercial mainstream and elite minor cultures by turning to socialist women filmmakers in modern China. She foregrounds their sociopolitical engagements, critical interventions, and popular artistic experiments, offering a new conception of socialist and postsocialist feminisms, mainstream culture, and women's cinema. Wang highlights the films of Wang Ping and Dong Kena in the 1950s and 1960s and Zhang Nuanxin and Huang Shuqin in the 1980s and 1990s to unveil how they have been profoundly misread through extant research paradigms entrenched in Western Cold War ideology, post-second-wave cultural feminism, and post-Mao intellectual discourses. Challenging received interpretations, she elucidates how socialist feminism and culture were conceptualized and practiced in relation to China's search not only for national independence and economic development but also for social emancipation, proletarian culture, and socialist internationalism. Wang calls for a critical reevaluation of historical materialism, socialist feminism, and popular culture to forge an integrated emancipatory vision for future transnational feminist and cultural practices.

The Public Life of Cinema

The Public Life of Cinema

Author: Toby Lee Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/12/2020

Is culture a luxury? In this era of austerity, the value of the arts has been a topic of heated debate in Greece, where the country's economic troubles have led to drastic cuts in public funding and much contention over the significance of cultural institutions and government-funded arts initiatives. At issue in these debates are larger questions regarding the very notions of publicness, hierarchies of value, and functions of the state that structure collective life. Beginning with the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, How to Be Public tracks this turbulence as it unfolded in the Greek film world in the early years of the crisis. Investigating the different forms of citizenship and collectivity being negotiated in cinema's social spaces, this book considers how the arts and cultural production may illuminate the changing conditions of, and possibilities for, public and collective life in the neoliberal era.