In the 1940s, American movies changed. Flashbacks began to be used in outrageous, unpredictable ways. Soundtracks flaunted voice-over commentary, and characters might pivot from a scene to address the viewer. Incidents were replayed from different characters’ viewpoints, and sometimes those versions proved to be false. Films now plunged viewers into characters’ memories, dreams, and hallucinations. Some films didn’t have protagonists, while others centered on anti-heroes or psychopaths. Women might be on the verge of madness, and neurotic heroes lurched into violent confrontations. Combining many of these ingredients, a new genre emerged—the psychological thriller, populated by women in peril and innocent bystanders targeted for death. If this sounds like today’s cinema, that’s because it is. In Reinventing Hollywood, David Bordwell examines the full range and depth of trends that crystallized into traditions. He shows how the Christopher Nolans and Quentin Tarantinos of today owe an immense debt to the dynamic, occasionally delirious narrative experiments of the Forties. Through in-depth analyses of films both famous and virtually unknown, from Our Town and All About Eve to Swell Guy and The Guilt of Janet Ames, Bordwell assesses the era’s unique achievements and its legacy for future filmmakers. Reinventing Hollywood is a groundbreaking study of how Hollywood storytelling became a more complex art and essential reading for lovers of popular cinema.
After World War II, as cultural and industry changes were reshaping Hollywood, movie studios shifted some production activities overseas, capitalizing on frozen foreign earnings, cheap labor, and appealing locations. Hollywood unions called the phenomenon “runaway” production to underscore the outsourcing of employment opportunities. Examining this period of transition from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, Runaway Hollywood shows how film companies exported production around the world and the effect this conversion had on industry practices and visual style. In this fascinating account, Daniel Steinhart uses an array of historical materials to trace the industry’s creation of a more international production operation that merged filmmaking practices from Hollywood and abroad to produce movies with a greater global scope.
A beautiful book and a brisk read, American Film is the most enjoyable and interesting overview of the history of American filmmaking available. Focused on aspects of the film business that are of perennial interest to undergraduates, this book will engage students from beginning to end.
The camera’s movement in a film may seem straightforward or merely technical. Yet skillfully deployed pans, tilts, dollies, cranes, and zooms can express the emotions of a character, convey attitude and irony, or even challenge an ideological stance. In The Dynamic Frame, Patrick Keating offers an innovative history of the aesthetics of the camera that examines how camera movement shaped the classical Hollywood style. In careful readings of dozens of films, including Sunrise, The Grapes of Wrath, Rear Window, Sunset Boulevard, and Touch of Evil, Keating explores how major figures such as F. W. Murnau, Orson Welles, and Alfred Hitchcock used camera movement to enrich their stories and deepen their themes. Balancing close analysis with a broader poetics of camera movement, Keating uses archival research to chronicle the technological breakthroughs and the changing division of labor that allowed for new possibilities, as well as the shifting political and cultural contexts that inspired filmmakers to use technology in new ways. An original history of film techniques and aesthetics, The Dynamic Frame shows that the classical Hollywood camera moves not to imitate the actions of an omniscient observer but rather to produce the interplay of concealment and revelation that is an essential part of the exchange between film and viewer.
For over fifty years, the American Film Institute has flourished as one of America’s great cultural entities. Its graduates, faculty, supporters, and trustees have included such acclaimed individuals as Steven Spielberg, Maya Angelou, Gregory Peck, Meryl Streep, Les Moonves, Patty Jenkins, David Lynch, Jane Fonda, Edward James Olmos, Shonda Rhimes, James L. Brooks, Michael Nesmith, Sir Howard Stringer, and many other respected leaders in the worlds of film, television, digital media, and philanthropy. Written in a unique memoir style, Becoming AFI: 50 Years Inside the American Film Institute offers a candid look at how this remarkable organization has brought together aspiring filmmakers, outstanding educators, and visionary artists. The book details AFI’s journey to becoming the foremost national champion for moving images as a vibrant art form and a critical component of America’s cultural history. AFI’s story is chronicled through in-depth essays written by those who have been involved in its adventures, growth, and successes: from its early years under George Stevens Jr.’s direction at the legendary Greystone mansion and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; through its period of incredible growth, under Jean Picker Firstenberg’s guidance, as an influential cultural institution at its landmark Hollywood campus; to its continued years of excellence under Bob Gazzale’s dynamic leadership. Becoming AFI provides an insightful, behind-the-scenes look at how AFI—with passionate determination—overcame the hurdles of advancing technology, political shifts, and new audience dynamics to turn its aspirations into a substantial and highly successful organization. A tireless advocate of moving images as one of America’s most popular art forms, AFI is maturing into one of the world’s most respected educational and cultural institutions.
“Reinventing Broadway Street: Los Angeles’ Architectural Reincarnation“ is California author Marques Vickers’ second celebratory pictorial edition recounting the evolution and transformation of one of downtown Los Angeles’ primary boulevards. The 215-page book features over 200 exterior photographs of the structures with their architectural details that line the blocks of North and South Broadway Street in the center of downtown Los Angeles. The book traces colorful legends, anecdotes and landmarks that preceded current standing constructions. Broadway Street was originally identified as Fort Street in the initial 1849 city tract created by U.S. Army map surveyor Lieutenant Edward Ord. The Fort referenced Fort Moore Hill, a prominent and strategic incline that overlooked the early settlement. The Fort Moore district served as one of the city’s first burial grounds and was later leveled to construct the Hollywood Freeway. In 1890, Broadway Street was permanently renamed. The Los Angeles El Pueblo settlement was established in the mid-18th century along the then fertile banks of the Los Angeles River. The colony’s terrain was agriculturally cultivated for vineyards, cattle ranching and later citrus groves before an encroaching urban environment altered the complexion of city towards the close of the 19th century. Drawing from varied archival documentation and narratives, Vickers traces the evolutionary stages of Broadway Street into the city’s commercial and entertainment center. Broadway’s reputation extended throughout the first half of the twentieth century but was followed by a prolonged period of four-decade stagnation. The most current reinvention has introduced retail, office and residential mixed-use developments. This synergy of change, however, has been slowed by existing retail lease commitments contracted during the street’s lean years of decline. “Reinventing Broadway Street” documents numerous colorful and influential contributors to the local history. Among the profiled personalities include Oliver Morosco, John Temple, William Wolfskill, Jean-Luis Vignes, Abel and Arcadia Sterns, Isaias Hellman, Joaquin Murrieta, John C. Fremont, John Parkinson, Prudent Beaudry, Sarah Bernhardt, Harris Newmark, and many others. The book profiles over 65 existing distinctive building’s lineage and their unique legacies. The structures photographed include the Times Mirror Square, Bradbury, Irvine-Byrne, Hosfield, Zobel, Trustee, O. T. Johnson #1 and #2, Junipero Serra, Metropolitan, Judson Rives, Bumiller, Chester Williams, Remick and Grayson, Schulte United, J. W. Gold, Story, Desmond, Jewelry Trade, Mercantile Arcade, Norton, Hass, Merritt, Clifton’s Brookside and Schaber’s Cafeterias, Yorkshire Hotel, Garland, Charles C. Chapman, Eastern Columbia, Wurlitzer, Brown-Israel, Broadway Leasehold, Platt, Western Pacific, Howard Huntington, Case Hotel and Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Theatres include The Million Dollar, Roxie, Cameo, Los Angeles, Palace, Globe, Tower, Rialto, Orpheum, Arcade and United Artists. Former department store buildings includes The May Company, Bullock’s, Swelldom’s, F. W. Woolworth’s, National Dollar Store, S. H. Kress, Broadway, Silverwood’s, Hartfield’s, and Barker Brothers. Notable government constructions include the LA County Hall of Record, Justice Building, Foltz Criminal Justice Center and the nearly completed Federal Courthouse Building. “Reinventing Broadway Street” takes the reader on a stroll through the history, present and progressive future envisioned and being created simultaneously.
Flashbacks in Film examines fi lm fl ashback as a rich multimodal narrative device, analyzing the cognitive underpinnings of fi lm fl ashbacks and the mechanisms that lead viewers to successfully comprehend them. Combining a cognitive fi lm theory approach with the theoretical framework proposed by blending theory, which claims that human beings’ general ability for conceptual integration underlies most of our daily activities, this book argues that fl ashbacks make sense to the viewer, as they are specifi cally designed for the viewer’s cognitive understanding. Through a mixture of analysis and dozens of case studies, this book demonstrates that successful fi lm fl ashbacks appeal to the spectator’s natural perceptual and cognitive abilities, which spectators exercise daily. This book will serve as a valuable resource for scholars interested in film studies, media studies, and cognitive linguistics.
This book represents the culmination of Thomas Elsaesser’s intense and passionate thinking about the Hollywood mind-game film from the previous two decades. In order to answer what the mind-game film is, why they exist, and how they function, Elsaesser maps the industrial-institutional challenges and constraints facing Hollywood, and the broader philosophic horizon within which American cinema thrives today. He demonstrates how the ‘Persistence of Hollywood’ continues as it has adapted to include new twists and turns, as well as revisions of past concerns, as film moves through the 21st century. Through examples such as Minority Report, Mulholland Drive, Source Code, and Back to the Future, Elsaesser explores how mind-game films challenge us and play games with our perception of reality, creating skepticism and (self-) doubt. He also highlights the mind-game film's tendency to intervene in a complex fashion in the political moment by questioning the dominant power’s intent to program both body and mind alike. Prescient and compelling, The Mind-Game Film will appeal to students, scholars, and enthusiasts of media studies, film studies, philosophy, and politics.
Well known for his slapstick comedic style, Jerry Lewis has also delighted worldwide movie audiences with a directing career spanning five decades. One of American cinema's great innovators, Lewis made unmistakably personal films that often focused on an ideal masculine image and an anarchic, manic acting out of the inability to assume this image. Films such as The Bellboy, The Errand Boy, Three on a Couch, and The Big Mouth present a series of thematic variations on this tension, in which such questions as how to be a man, how to be popular, and how to maintain relationships are posed within frameworks that set up a liberating and exhilarating confusion of roles and norms. The Nutty Professor and The Patsy are especially profound and painful examinations of the difficulty experienced by Lewis's character in reconciling loving himself and being loved by others. With sharp, concise observations, Chris Fujiwara examines this visionary director of self-referential comedic masterpieces. The book also includes an enlightening interview with Lewis that offers unique commentary on the creation and study of comedy.
This core teaching text provides a thorough overview of the recently emerged field of transnational film studies. Covering a range of approaches to analysing films about migrant, cross-cultural and cross-border experience, Steven Rawle demonstrates how film production has moved beyond clear national boundaries to become a product of border crossing finance and creative personnel. This comprehensive introduction brings together the key concepts and theories of transnational cinema, including genre, remakes, diasporic and exilic cinema, and the limits of thinking about cinema as a particularly national cultural artefact. It is an excellent course companion for undergraduate students of film, cinema, media and cultural studies studying transnational and global cinema, and provides both students and lovers of film alike with a strong grounding in this timely field of film studies.
Forced to contend with unprecedented levels of psychological trauma during World War II, the United States military began sponsoring a series of nontheatrical films designed to educate and even rehabilitate soldiers and civilians alike. Traumatic Imprints traces the development of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic approaches to wartime trauma by the United States military, along with links to formal and narrative developments in military and civilian filmmaking. Offering close readings of a series of films alongside analysis of period scholarship in psychiatry and bolstered by research in trauma theory and documentary studies, Noah Tsika argues that trauma was foundational in postwar American culture. Examining wartime and postwar debates about the use of cinema as a vehicle for studying, publicizing, and even what has been termed “working through” war trauma, this book is an original contribution to scholarship on the military-industrial complex.