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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!
Both politically and aesthetically, the contemporary German and Austrian film landscape is a far cry from the early days of the medium, when critics like Siegfried Kracauer produced foundational works of film theory amid the tumult of the early twentieth century. Yet, as Leila Mukhida demonstrates in this innovative study, the writings of figures like Kracauer and Walter Benjamin in fact remain an undervalued tool for understanding cinematic production today. Through illuminating explorations of Haneke, Dresen, and other filmmakers of the post-reunification era, Mukhida develops an analysis centered on the experiences of cinema spectators, showing how medium-specific devices like lighting, sound, and mise-en-scene can help to cultivate political sensitivity.
One of the greatest collaborations of cinema history, L'Age d'Or(1930) united the geniuses of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali in the making of a Surrealist masterpiece - a uniquely savage blend of visual poetry and social criticism. The film was banned and vilified for many years in many countries, becoming justly legendary for its subversive eroticism and its furious dissection of 'civilised' values. In a remarkable, intuitive reading of L'Age d'Or, Paul Hammond interweaves a detailed account of the extraordinary circumstances of its production with a dazzling interpretation of its aesthetic and political nuances. At once authoritative and polemical, this is a study entirely in tune with its subject, a fitting celebration of a major landmark in world cinema.
Filmmakers and cinema industries across the globe invest more time, money and creative energy in projects and ideas that never get produced than in the movies that actually make it to the screens. Thousands of projects are abandoned in pre-production, halted, cut short, or even made and never distributed - a shadow cinema that exists only in the archives. This collection of essays by leading scholars and researchers opens those archives to draw on a wealth of previously unexamined scripts, correspondence and production material, reconstructing many of the hidden histories of the last hundred years of world cinema. Highlighting the fact that the movies we see are actually the exception to the rule, this study uncovers the myriad reasons why 'failures' occur and considers how understanding those failures can transform the disciplines of film and media history. The first survey of this new area of empirical study across transnational borders, Shadow Cinema is a vital and fascinating demonstration of the importance of the unmade, unseen, and unknown history of cinema.
This volume closely examines the near-ubiquitous images of state security walls, domes, and other such defense enclosures flashing across movie screens since 2006, the year of the ratification of George W. Bush's Secure Fence Act. This study shows that many of the films of this era enable us to imaginatively test the effects of these security mechanisms on citizens, immigrants, refugees, and other sovereign states, challenging our commitment to constructing them, maintaining them, staffing them, and subsidizing their enormous overheads. With case studies ranging from Atomic Blonde and Ready Player One to Black Panther and Elysium; Walls without Cinema serves as a timely counterpoint to the xenophobic rhetoric and abusive, carceral security conditions that characterize the Trump administration's management of the Mexico-U.S. border situation.
The Seventh Seal is probably Bergman's best-known work and the film that most clearly bears the director's unmistakeable signature. The opening scene sets the tone: a stony beach under a leaden sky, the knight alone with his thoughts, then the approach of black-clad Death, whom the knight invites to play a game of chess. Bergman's medieval allegory of faith and doubt is dark with the horrors of witch-burnings and the plague. But it is also shot through with bright flashes of peace and joy, symbolised in the milk and wild strawberries offered to the knight by an innocent family of actors. In his compelling appreciation, Melvyn Bragg describes his own first encounter as a student with this extraordinary film, and how it revealed to him another cinema, quite different from the Hollywood he had grown up with. He recounts too his later meeting with Bergman himself, and how the marks of the director's powerful personality are everywhere in this troubling and inspiring masterpiece.
What happens when we set out to understand LEGO not just as a physical object but as an idea, an icon of modernity, an image-maybe even a moving image? To what extent can the LEGO brick fit into the multimedia landscape of popular culture, especially film culture, today? Launching from these questions, Dana Polan traces LEGO from thing to film and asserts that The LEGO Movie is an exemplar of key directions in mainstream cinema, combining the visceral impact of effects and spectacle with ironic self-awareness and savvy critique of mass culture as it reaches for new heights of creativity. Incorporating insights from conversations with producer Dan Lin and writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Polan examines the production and reception of The LEGO Movie and closely analyzes the film within popular culture at large and in relation to LEGO as a toy and commodity. He identifies the film's particular stylistic and narrative qualities, its grasp of and response to the culture industry, and what makes it a distinctive work of animation within the seeming omnipresence of animation in Hollywood, and reveals why the blockbuster film, in all its silliness and seriousness, stands apart as a divergent cultural work.
Charles Burnett's 1977 film, Killer of Sheep is one of the towering classics of African American cinema. As a deliberate counterpoint to popular blaxploitation films of the period, it combines harsh images of the banality of everyday oppression with scenes of lyrical beauty, and depictions of stark realism with flights of comic fancy. From Street to Screen: Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep is the first book-length collection dedicated to the film and designed to introduce viewers to this still relatively unknown masterpiece. Beginning life as Burnett's master's thesis project in 1973, and shot on a budget of $10,000, Killer of Sheep immediately became a cornerstone of the burgeoning movement in African American film that came to be known variously as the LA School or LA Rebellion. By bringing together a wide variety of material, this volume covers both the politics and aesthetics of the film as well as its deeper social and contextual histories. This expansive and incisive critical companion will serve equally as the perfect starting point and standard reference for all viewers, whether they are already familiar with the film or coming to it for the first time.
America on Film is a lively introduction to issues of diversity as represented within the American cinema. The first synthetic and historical text of its kind, America on Film provides a comprehensive overview of the industrial, socio-cultural, and aesthetic factors that contribute to cinematic representations of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. The volume chronicles the cinematic history of various cultural groups, examines forces and institutions of bias, and stimulates discussion about the relationship between film and American national culture. The book is organized with a broad historical framework, with specific theoretical concepts--including film genre, auteurism, cultural studies, Orientalism, the male gaze, feminism, and queer theory--integrated throughout. Each individual chapter features a concise overview of the topic at hand, a discussion of representative films, figures, and movements, and an in-depth analysis of a single film, including The Lion King, BlacKkKlansman, Crazy Rich Asians, The Florida Project, and Wonder Woman.
She would appear in more than thirty films and be named after a Road Atlas by Cecil B Demille. A football play would be named after her. She would appear on To Tell the Truth. She would be arrested six times in one day for indecency. She would be immortalized in the final scene of The Right Stuff, cartoons, popular culture, and live on as the iconic symbol of the Chicago World's Fair of 1933. She would pave the way for every sex symbol to follow from Marilyn Monroe to Lady Gaga. She would die penniless and in debt. In the end, Sammy Davis Jr. would write her a $10,000 check when she had nothing left. Her name was Sally Rand. Until now, there has not been a biography of Sally Rand. But you can draw a line from her to Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Raquel Welch, Ann Margret, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. She broke the mold in 1933, by proclaiming the female body as something beautiful and taking it out of the strip club with her ethereal fan dance. She was a poor girl from the Ozarks who ran away with a carnival, then joined the circus, and finally made it to Hollywood where Cecil B Demille set her on the road to fame with silent movies. When the talkies came her career collapsed, and she ended up in Chicago, broke, sleeping in alleys. Two ostrich feathers in a second-hand store rescued her from obscurity.
Examines the diverse oeuvre of internationally recognized French-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb Devotes attention to Bouchareb's under-explored films, including the Oscar- nominated Poussieres de vie/Dust of Life (1994), those shot in English, and recent made-for- television films Offers an interdisciplinary approach to Bouchareb's work, drawing on gender studies, cinema studies, French and francophone studies, Islamic studies, and history, among others Highlights connections between Bouchareb's diverse films while offering a broader exploration of the arc of the director's career Considers Bouchareb in the context of new critical explorations of cinema-monde as a global auteur whose work - in French, English and beyond - extends beyond the narrow French national context ReFocus: The Films of Rachid Bouchareb is the first book-length study of the internationally recognized director's films. Bouchareb was one of France's first filmmakers of North African descent and his career as a director and producer now spans over 35 years. Remarkably varied in their themes, formal elements and narrative settings, Bouchareb's work has engaged with and reflected on a variety of crucial social, political and historical issues; from the role of colonial troops in the French army during the Second World War, to terrorism in contemporary Europe. This volume examines Bouchareb's films from an interdisciplinary perspective, exploring key influences on his output and considering new theoretical approaches to his filmmaking.