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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!

The Boxing Film

The Boxing Film

Author: Travis Vogan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2020

A Van Beuren Production

A Van Beuren Production

Author: Hal Erickson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

Prolific American film producer Amedee J. Van Beuren (1879-1938) did not start out in the film industry. After decades spent in business and advertising, Van Beuren turned his intellect and creativity towards acquiring a foothold in film and began building his empire. He is best known to animation fans for his bizarre cartoons of the 1920s and 1930s, featuring such zanies as Molly Moo Cow, Cubby Bear and Tom and Jerry (not the cat-and-mouse duo). But the majority of the 1,499 films produced by Van Beuren between 1918 and 1937 were live-action short subjects--travelogues, comedies, musicals, sports reels and more. His roster of star performers included Bert Lahr, Shemp Howard, Ethel Waters and (indirectly) Charlie Chaplin. Van Beuren also made several feature films starring legendary big-game hunter Frank Buck, and a 12-episode serial headlining horror icon Lon Chaney, Jr. Capped by a complete list of his films, this engrossing chronicle of Amedee Van Beuren's vast output is the first all-inclusive history of one of moviedom's most successful and least-known filmmakers.

Charlie Chaplin and A Woman of Paris

Charlie Chaplin and A Woman of Paris

Author: Wes D. Gehring Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

Popular with middle America throughout the 1920s, Charlie Chaplin's A Woman of Paris (1923) has had an enduring influence throughout cinema history. Contrary to some criticism, the film was not just Chaplin's recycling of Peggy Hopkins Joyce story. Indeed, he drew on a series of romances for inspiration during production--including the films of Pola Negri--as well as his own earlier movies. Based on extensive new research, this book covers the making of film in detail and reveals what other works on A Woman of Paris got wrong.

Stars and Silhouettes

Stars and Silhouettes

Author: Joceline Andersen Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2020

Stars and Silhouettes traces the history of the cameo as it emerged in twentieth-century cinema. Although the cameo has existed in film culture for over a century, Joceline Andersen explains that this role cannot be strictly defined because it exists as a constellation of interactions between duration and recognition, dependent on who is watching and when. Even audiences of the twenty-first century who are inundated by the lives of movie stars and habituated to images of their personal friends on screens continue to find cameos surprising and engaging. Cameos reveal the links between our obsession with celebrity and our desire to participate in the powerful cultural industries within contemporary society. Chapter 1 begins with the cameo's precedents in visual culture and the portrait in particular-from the Vitagraph executives in the 1910s to the emergence of actors as movie stars shortly after. Chapter 2 explores the fan-centric desire for behind-the-scenes visions of Hollywood that accounted for the success of cameo-laden, Hollywood-set films that autocratic studios used to make their glamorous line-up of stars as visible as possible. Chapter 3 traces the development of the cameo in comedy, where cameos began to show not only glimpses of celebrities at their best but also of celebrities at their worst. Chapter 4 examines how the television guest spot became an important way for stars and studios to market both their films and stars from other media in trades that reflected an increasingly integrated mediascape. In Chapter 5, Andersen examines auteur cameos and the cameo as a sign of authorship. Director cameos reaffirm the fan's interest in the film not just as a stage for actors but as a forum for the visibility of the director. Cameos create a participatory space for viewers, where recognizing those singled out among extras and small roles allows fans to demonstrate their knowledge. Stars and Silhouettes belongs on the shelf of every scholar, student, and reader interested in film history and star studies.

Stars and Silhouettes

Stars and Silhouettes

Author: Joceline Andersen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

Stars and Silhouettes traces the history of the cameo as it emerged in twentieth-century cinema. Although the cameo has existed in film culture for over a century, Joceline Andersen explains that this role cannot be strictly defined because it exists as a constellation of interactions between duration and recognition, dependent on who is watching and when. Even audiences of the twenty-first century who are inundated by the lives of movie stars and habituated to images of their personal friends on screens continue to find cameos surprising and engaging. Cameos reveal the links between our obsession with celebrity and our desire to participate in the powerful cultural industries within contemporary society. Chapter 1 begins with the cameo's precedents in visual culture and the portrait in particular-from the Vitagraph executives in the 1910s to the emergence of actors as movie stars shortly after. Chapter 2 explores the fan-centric desire for behind-the-scenes visions of Hollywood that accounted for the success of cameo-laden, Hollywood-set films that autocratic studios used to make their glamorous line-up of stars as visible as possible. Chapter 3 traces the development of the cameo in comedy, where cameos began to show not only glimpses of celebrities at their best but also of celebrities at their worst. Chapter 4 examines how the television guest spot became an important way for stars and studios to market both their films and stars from other media in trades that reflected an increasingly integrated mediascape. In Chapter 5, Andersen examines auteur cameos and the cameo as a sign of authorship. Director cameos reaffirm the fan's interest in the film not just as a stage for actors but as a forum for the visibility of the director. Cameos create a participatory space for viewers, where recognizing those singled out among extras and small roles allows fans to demonstrate their knowledge. Stars and Silhouettes belongs on the shelf of every scholar, student, and reader interested in film history and star studies.

Alternative Realities

Alternative Realities

Author: Carl Plantinga Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

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.

Near Dark

Near Dark

Author: Stacey (University of Roehampton, UK) Abbott Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

First released in 1987, Near Dark is a vampire film set in the contemporary American Midwest that tells the story of Caleb, a half-vampire trying to decide whether to embrace his vampire nature or return to his human family. The film, an early work of the now-established director Kathryn Bigelow, skilfully mixes genre conventions, combining gothic tropes with those of the Western, road movie and film noir, while also introducing elements of the outlaw romance genre. Stacey Abbott's study of the film addresses it as a genre hybrid that also challenges conventions of the vampire film. The vampires are morally ambiguous and undermine the class structures that have historically defined stories of the undead. These are not aristocrats but instead they capture the allure and horror of the disenfranchised and the underclass. As Abbott describes, Near Dark was crucial in consolidating Bigelow's standing as a director of significance at an early point in her career, not simply because of her visual art background, but because of the way in which she would from Near Dark onward re-envision other traditionally mainstream genres of filmmaking.

Palestinian Filmmaking in Israel

Palestinian Filmmaking in Israel

Author: Yael Friedman Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2020

Godard and Sound

Godard and Sound

Author: Albertine (University of Bristol, UK) Fox Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

What happens when we listen to a film? How can we describe the relationship of sound to vision in cinema, and in turn our relationship as spectators with the audio-visual? Jean-Luc Godard understood the importance of the soundtrack in cinema and relied heavily on the impact of carefully constructed sound to produce innovative effects. For the first time, this book brings together his post-1979 multimedia works, and an analysis of their rich soundscapes.The book provides detailed critical discussions of feature-length films, shorts and videos, delving into Godard's inventive experiments with the cinematic soundtrack and offering new insights into his latest 3D films. By detailing the production contexts and philosophy behind Godard's idiosyncratic sound design, it provides an accessible route to understanding his complex use of music, speech and environmental sound, alongside the distorting effects of speed alteration and auditory excess. The book is framed by the concept of 'acoustic spectatorship': a way of cultivating active listening in the viewer.It also draws on ideas by leading sound theorists, philosophers, musicians, and poets, giving particular emphasis to the pioneering thought of French sound engineer and theorist, Pierre Schaeffer. Softening the boundaries between film studies, sound studies and musicology, Godard and Sound re-evaluates Godard's work from a sonic perspective, and will prove essential reading for those wishing to rebalance the importance of sound for the study of cinema.

Throne of Blood

Throne of Blood

Author: Robert N. (University of California, Los Angeles, USA) Watson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

Throne of Blood (1957), Akira Kurosawa's reworking of Macbeth, is widely considered the greatest film adaptation of Shakespeare ever made. In a detailed account of the film, Robert N. Watson explores how Kurosawa draws key philosophical and psychological arguments from Shakespeare, translates them into striking visual metaphors, and inflects them through the history of post-World War II Japan. Watson places particular emphasis on the contexts that underlie the film's central tension between individual aspiration and the stability of broader social and ecological collectives - and therefore between free will and determinism. In his foreword to this new edition, Robert Watson considers the central characters' Washizu and his wife Asaji's blunder in viewing life as a ruthless competition in which only the most brutal can thrive in the context of an era of neoliberal economics, resurgent 'strongman' political leaders, and myopic views of the environmenal crisis, with nothing valued that cannot be monetized.

The Art of Caregiving in Fiction, Film, and Memoir

The Art of Caregiving in Fiction, Film, and Memoir

Author: Jeffrey (University of Albany, USA) Berman Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2020

Bringing together the human story of care with its representation in film, fiction and memoir, this book combines an analysis of care narratives to inform and inspire ideas about this major role in life. Alongside analysis of narratives drawn from literature and film, the author sensitively interweaves the story of his wife's illness and care to illuminate perspectives on dealing with human decline. Examining texts from a diverse range of authors such as Leo Tolstoy, Edith Wharton and Alice Munro, and filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman and Michael Haneke, it addresses questions such as why caregiving is a dangerous activity, the ethical problems of writing about caregiving, the challenges of reading about caregiving, and why caregiving is so important. It serves as a fire starter on the subject of how we can gain insight into the challenges and opportunities of caregiving through the creative arts.

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead

Author: Ben, Film historian and screenwriter, UK (film historian and screenwriter, UK) Hervey Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead is a cult classic that has resonated with audiences and independent filmmakers ever since its release in 1968. It redefined horror cinema and launched the modern zombie genre that continues with films and series like 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead and The Walking Dead. Ben Hervey's illuminating study of the movie traces Night's influences, from Powell and Pressburger to fifties horror comics, and provides the first history of its reception. Hervey argues that the film broke cultural barriers, feted at New York's Museum of Modern Art while it was still packing 42nd Street grindhouses. Scene-by-scene analysis meshes with detailed historical contexts, showing why Night was a new kind of horror film: the expression of a generation who didn't want their world to return to normal.