Although films rarely act as mirror reflections of everyday reality, they are, nevertheless, powerful cultural expressions of the dreams and desires of the American public. In the third edition of their seminal work, Leonard Quart and Albert Auster provide a complete post-World War II survey of American cinema and its often complex and contradictory values. No other work provides such an exhaustive and rigorous account of this parallel history of the United States, and the breadth and depth of this latest edition will hold appeal for scholars, students, and general readers alike.
This collection of essays by leading American film scholars charts a whole new territory in genre film criticism. Rather than assuming that genres are self-evident categories, the contributors offer innovative ways to think about types of films, and patterns within films, in a historical context. Challenging familiar attitudes, the essays offer new conceptual frameworks and a fresh look at how popular culture functions in American society. The range of essays is exceptional, from David J. Russell's insights into the horror genre to Carol J. Clover's provocative take on "trial films" to Leo Braudy's argument for the subject of nature as a genre. Also included are essays on melodrama, race, film noir, and the industrial context of genre production. The contributors confront the poststructuralist critique of genre head-on; together they are certain to shape future debates concerning the viability and vitality of genre in studying American cinema.
Responding to a lack of studies on the film festival’s role in the production of cultural memory, this book explores different parameters through which film festivals shape our reception and memories of films. By focusing on two Asian American film festivals, this book analyzes the frames of memory that festivals create for their films, constructed through and circulated by the various festival media. It further establishes that festival locations—both cities and screening venues—play a significant role in shaping our experience of films. Finally, it shows that festivals produce performances which help guide audiences towards certain readings and direct the film’s role as a memory object. Bringing together film festival studies and memory studies, 'Asian American Film Festivals' offers a mixed-methods approach with which to explore the film festival phenomenon, thus shedding light on the complex dynamics of frames, locations, and performances shaping the festival’s memory practices. It also draws attention to the understudied genre of Asian American film festivals, showing how these festivals actively engage in constructing and performing a minority group’s collective identity and memory.
A series of movies that share images, characters, settings, plots, or themes, film cycles have been an industrial strategy since the beginning of cinema. While some have viewed them as "subgenres," mini-genres, or nascent film genres, Amanda Ann Klein argues that film cycles are an entity in their own right and a subject worthy of their own study. She posits that film cycles retain the marks of their historical, economic, and generic contexts and therefore can reveal much about the state of contemporary politics, prevalent social ideologies, aesthetic trends, popular desires, and anxieties. American Film Cycles presents a series of case studies of successful film cycles, including the melodramatic gangster films of the 1920s, the 1930s Dead End Kids cycle, the 1950s juvenile delinquent teenpic cycle, and the 1990s ghetto action cycle. Klein situates these films in several historical trajectories—the Progressive movement of the 1910s and 1920s, the beginnings of America's involvement in World War II, the "birth" of the teenager in the 1950s, and the drug and gangbanger crises of the early 1990s. She shows how filmmakers, audiences, film reviewers, advertisements, and cultural discourses interact with and have an impact on the film texts. Her findings illustrate the utility of the film cycle in broadening our understanding of established film genres, articulating and building upon beliefs about contemporary social problems, shaping and disseminating deviant subcultures, and exploiting and reflecting upon racial and political upheaval.
Film production in Latin America is as old as cinema itself, but local film industries have always been in a triangulated relationship with Hollywood and European cinema. This book situates Latin American film industries within the global circulation of film production, exhibition and distribution, charting the changes that the industries have undergone from the sound era to the present day. Focusing in particular on Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, Tamara Falicov examines commonalities among Latin American film industries, such as the challenges of procuring funding, competition from Hollywood, state funding battles, and the fickle nature of audiences, as well as censorship issues, competition from television, and the transnational nature of Latin American film. She addresses production, exhibition, and distribution contexts and financing and co-production with Europe and the United States, as well as the role of film festivals in funding and circulating films both within and outside of Latin America. Newer trends such as the revival of protectionist measures like the screen quota are framed in contrast to the U.S.'s push for trade policy liberalization and issues of universal concern such as film piracy, and new technologies and the role of television in helping and hindering Latin American cinema.
The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry is a completely revised and updated edition of Anthony Slide's The American Film Industry, originally published in 1986 and recipient of the American Library Association's Outstanding Reference Book award for that year. More than 200 new entries have been added, and all original entries have been updated; each entry is followed by a short bibliography. As its predecessor, the new dictionary is unique in that it is not a who's who of the industry, but rather a what's what: a dictionary of producing and releasing companies, technical innovations, industry terms, studios, genres, color systems, institutions and organizations, etc. More than 800 entries include everything from "Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences" to "Zoom Lens", from "Astoria Studios" to "Zoetrope". Outstanding Reference Source - American Library Association
In Hollywood, we hear, it’s all about the money. It’s a ready explanation for why so few black films get made—no crossover appeal, no promise of a big payoff. But what if the money itself is color-coded? What if the economics that governs film production is so skewed that no film by, about, or for people of color will ever look like a worthy investment unless it follows specific racial or gender patterns? This, Monica Ndounou shows us, is precisely the case. In a work as revealing about the culture of filmmaking as it is about the distorted economics of African American film, Ndounou clearly traces the insidious connections between history, content, and cash in black films. How does history come into it? Hollywood’s reliance on past performance as a measure of potential success virtually guarantees that historically underrepresented, underfunded, and undersold African American films devalue the future prospects of black films. So the cycle continues as it has for nearly a century. Behind the scenes, the numbers are far from neutral. Analyzing the onscreen narratives and off-screen circumstances behind nearly two thousand films featuring African Americans in leading and supporting roles, including such recent productions as Bamboozled, Beloved, and Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Ndounou exposes the cultural and racial constraints that limit not just the production but also the expression and creative freedom of black films. Her wide-ranging analysis reaches into questions of literature, language, speech and dialect, film images and narrative, acting, theater and film business practices, production history and financing, and organizational history. By uncovering the ideology behind profit-driven industry practices that reshape narratives by, about, and for people of color, this provocative work brings to light existing limitations—and possibilities for reworking stories and business practices in theater, literature, and film.
This compelling, theoretically informed and up-to-date exploration of contemporary American cinema charts the evolution of the impact of 9/11 on Hollywood film from Black Hawk Down (2001), through Batman Begins (2005), United 93 (2006) to Olympus Has Fallen (2013). Through a vibrant analysis of a range of genres and films - which in turn reveal a strikingly diverse array of social, historical and political perspectives - this book explores the impact of 9/11 and the war on terror on American cinema in the first decade of the new millennium and beyond.
This post-World War II survey of American cinema provides an in-depth exploration of how film acts as a powerful cultural expression of the American public's dreams and desires. • Includes an introduction that addresses the history of the last decade and discusses events such as the attacks of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economic crisis, and the election of President Barack Obama
Drawing on data from well-known actors in popular films and TV shows, this reference guide surveys the representation of accent in North American film and TV over eight decades. It analyzes the speech of 180 film and television performances from the 1930s to today, looking at how that speech has changed; how it reflects the regional backgrounds, gender, and ethnic ancestry of the actors; and how phonetic variation and change in the 'real world' have been both portrayed in, and possibly influenced by, film and television speech. It also clearly explains the technical concepts necessary for understanding the phonetic analysis of accents. Providing new insights into the role of language in the expression of North American cultural identity, this is essential reading for researchers and advanced students in linguistics, film, television and media studies, and North American studies, as well as the larger community interested in film and television.