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The one and only Zadie Smith, prize-winning, bestselling author of Swing Time and White Teeth, is back with a second unmissable collection of essays.
No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for Zadie Smith's insatiable curiosity. From social media to the environment, from Jay-Z to Karl Ove Knausgaard, she has endless enthusiasmand the boundless wit, insight and wisdom to match. In Feel Free, pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment, dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, and considered with a deep humanity and compassion.
This electrifying new collection showcases its author as a true literary powerhouse, demonstrating once again her credentials as an essential voice of her generation.
From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes the New York Times bestselling account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with the cast and crew. The Princess Bride has been a family favourite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come. Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories. With a foreword by Rob Reiner and limited edition original artwork by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.
Horror films provide a guide to many of the sociological fears of the Cold War era. In an age when warning audiences of impending death was the order of the day for popular nonfiction, horror films provided an area where this fear could be lived out to its ghastly conclusion. Because enemies and potential situations of fear lurked everywhere, within the home, the government, the family, and the very self, horror films could speak to the invasive fears of the cold war era. "I Was a Cold War Monster" examines cold war anxieties as they were reflected in British and American films from the fifties through the early sixties. This study examines how cold war horror films combined anxiety over social change with the erotic in such films as "Psycho," "The Tingler," "The Horror of Dracula," and "House of Wax."
The revival of the Olympic games in 1896 and the subsequent rise of modern athletics prompted a new, energetic movement away from more sedentary habits. In Russia, this ethos soon became a key facet of the Bolsheviks' shared vision for the future. In the aftermath of the revolution, glorification of exercise persevered, pointing the way toward a stronger, healthier populace and a vibrant Socialist society. With interdisciplinary analysis of literature, painting, and film, Faster, Higher, Stronger, Comrades! traces how physical fitness had an even broader impact on culture and ideology in the Soviet Union than previously realized. From prerevolutionary writers and painters glorifying popular circus wrestlers to Soviet photographers capturing unprecedented athleticism as a means of satisfying their aesthetic ideals, the nation's artists embraced sports in profound, inventive ways. Though athletics were used for doctrinaire purposes, Tim Harte demonstrates that at their core, they remained playful, joyous physical activities capable of stirring imaginations and transforming everyday realities.
A comprehensive and insightful examination of the representation of diverse viewpoints and perspectives in American cinema throughout the 20th and 21st centuries America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies, now in its third edition, is an authoritative and lively examination of diversity issues within American cinema. Celebrated authors and academics Harry M. Benshoff and Sean Griffin provide readers with a comprehensive discussion and overview of the industrial, socio-cultural, and aesthetic factors that contribute to cinematic representations of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. The book incorporates several different theoretical perspectives, including film genre, auteurism, cultural studies, Orientalism, the "male gaze," feminism, and queer theory. The authors examine each selected subject via representative films, figures, and movements. Each chapter also includes an in-depth analysis of a single film to illuminate and inform its discussion of the chosen topic. America on Film fearlessly approaches and tackles several controversial areas of representation in film, including the portrayal of both masculinity and femininity in film and African- and Asian-Americans in film. It devotes the entirety of Part V to an analysis of the depiction of sex and sexuality in American film, with a particular emphasis on the portrayal of homosexuality. Topics covered include: The structure and history of American filmmaking, including a discussion of the evolution of the business of Hollywood cinema African Americans and American film, with a discussion of BlacKkKlansman informing its examination of broader issues Asian, Latin/x, and Native Americans on film Classical Hollywood cinema and class, with an in-depth examination of The Florida Project Women in classical Hollywood filmmaking, including a discussion of the 1955 film, All that Heaven Allows Perfect for undergraduate and graduate students in film, media, and diversity-related courses, the book also belongs on the shelves of anyone interested in diversity issues in the context of American studies, communications, history, or gender studies. Lastly, it's ideal for use within corporate diversity training curricula and human relations training within the entertainment industry.
Go behind the scenes of J. K. Rowling's magical universe of creatures and wizards in this exciting full-colour companion volume to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Newt, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob, the beloved heroes of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, are back! In this second adventure, they're joined by fan favourites from the Harry Potter universe, including Albus Dumbledore, Nicolas Flamel, and the villainous Gellert Grindelwald. Officially licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and designed by MinaLima - the creative force behind the graphics and many of the props for the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well as the Harry Potter films - this authorised tie-in compendium delivers a rich and unique `making of' experience for fans of all ages. This keepsake treasury offers an imaginative, close-up look at Newt Scamander and his colourful trove of cohorts - beasts and wizards alike - as they face off against the evil forces of Gellert Grindelwald, one of the world's most powerful dark wizards, in a story that travels from New York City to London and onto Paris. Brimming with film-making secrets, full-colour artwork, and stories from the cast and crew, this magnificent book is modelled after a special item from the movie, and features removable facsimile reproductions of props and other materials from the movie, along with some very special effects. A tribute to moviemaking magic, it is an essential for every Wizarding World fan, aspiring concept artists and designers, and cinema buffs.
Russia's provinces have long held a prominent place in the nation's cultural imagination. Popular culture has increasingly turned from the newly prosperous, multiethnic, and westernized Moscow to celebrate the hinterlands as repositories of national traditions and moral strength. Lyudmila Parts argues that this change has directed debate about Russia's identity away from its loss of imperial might and global prestige and toward a hermetic national identity based on the opposition of "us vs. us" rather than "us vs. them." In Search of the True Russia offers an intriguing analysis of the contemporary debate over what it means to be Russian.
Russia's provinces have long held a prominent place in the nation's cultural imagination. Lyudmila Parts looks at the contested place of the provinces in twenty-first-century Russian literature and popular culture, addressing notions of nationalism, authenticity, Orientalism, Occidentalism, and postimperial identity. Surveying a largely unexplored body of Russian journalism, literature, and film from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Parts finds that the harshest portrayals of the provinces arise within ""high"" culture. Popular culture, however, has increasingly turned from the newly prosperous, multiethnic, and westernized Moscow to celebrate the hinterlands as repositories of national traditions and moral strength. This change, she argues, has directed debate about Russia's identity away from its loss of imperial might and global prestige and toward a hermetic national identity based on the opposition of ""us vs. us"" rather than ""us vs. them."" She offers an intriguing analysis of the contemporary debate over what it means to be Russian and where ""true"" Russians reside.
During the 1920s, a visit to the movie theater almost always included a sing-along. Patrons joined together to render old favorites and recent hits, usually accompanied by the strains of a mighty Wurlitzer organ. The organist was responsible for choosing the repertoire and presentation style that would appeal to his or her patrons, so each theater offered a unique experience. When sound technology drove both musicians and participatory culture out of the theater in the early 1930s, the practice faded and was eventually forgotten. Despite the popularity and ubiquity of community singing it was practiced in every state, in theaters large and small there has been scant research on the topic. This volume is the first dedicated account of community singing in the picture palace and includes nearly one hundred images, such as photographs of the movie houses' opulent interiors, reproductions of sing-along slides, and stills from the original Screen Songs "follow the bouncing ball" cartoons. Esther M. Morgan-Ellis brings the era of movie palaces to life. She presents the origins of theater sing-alongs in the prewar community singing movement, describes the basic components of a sing-along, explores the unique presentation styles of several organists, and assesses the aftermath of sound technology, including the sing-along films and children's matinees of the 1930s.
The Matrix (1999), directed by the Wachowski sisters and produced by Joel Silver, was a true end-of-the-millennium movie, a statement of the American zeitgeist, and, as the original film in a blockbusting franchise, a prognosis for the future of big-budget Hollywood film-making. Starring Keanu Reeves as Neo, a computer programmer transformed into a messianic freedom fighter, The Matrix blends science fiction with conspiracy thriller conventions and outlandish martial arts created with groundbreaking digital techniques. A box-office triumph, the film was no populist confection: its blatant allusions to highbrow contemporary philosophy added to its appeal as a mystery to be decoded. In this compelling study, Joshua Clover undertakes the task of decoding the film. Examining The Matrix's digital effects and how they were achieved, he shows how the film represents a melding of cinema and video games (the greatest commercial threat to have faced Hollywood since the advent of television) and achieves a hybrid kind of immersive entertainment. He also unpacks the movie's references to philosophy, showing how The Matrix ultimately expresses the crisis American culture faced at the end of the 1990s.
Challenging the conventional understandings of literary naturalism defined primarily through its male writers, Donna M. Campbell examines the ways in which American women writers wrote naturalistic fiction and redefined its principles for their own purposes. Bitter Tastes looks at examples from Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, Ellen Glasgow, and others and positions their work within the naturalistic canon that arose near the turn of the twentieth century. Campbell further places these women writers in a broader context by tracing their relationship to early film, which, like naturalism, claimed the ability to represent elemental social truths through a documentary method. Women had a significant presence in early film and constituted 40 percent of scenario writers in many cases they also served as directors and producers. Campbell explores the features of naturalism that assumed special prominence in women's writing and early film and how the work of these early naturalists diverged from that of their male counterparts in important ways.
When asked to name the first ""militant"" Black characters in film, we might imagine Blaxploitation heroes like Sweetback or Shaft. Yet, as this groundbreaking new book shows, there was a much earlier cycle of films featuring militant Black men - many of which were sponsored by the U.S. government. Militant Visions examines how, from the 1940s to the 1970s, the cinematic figure of the black soldier helped change the ways American moviegoers saw Black men, for the first time presenting African Americans as vital and integrated members of the nation. Elizabeth Reich traces the figure across a wide variety of movie genres, from action blockbusters like Bataan to patriotic musicals like Stormy Weather. In the process, she reveals how the image of the proud and powerful African American serviceman was crafted by an unexpected alliance of government propagandists, civil rights activists, and Black filmmakers. Offering a nuanced reading of a figure that was simultaneously conservative and radical, Reich considers how the cinematic Black soldier lent a human face to ongoing debates about racial integration, Black internationalism, and American militarism. She reads the Black soldier in film as inherently transnational, shaped by the displacements of diaspora, Third World revolutionary philosophy, and a legacy of Black artistry and performance. Militant Visions thus not only presents a new history of how American cinema represented race, it also demonstrates how film images helped to make history, shaping the progress of the civil rights movement itself.
Best known as the woman who "ran MGM," Ida R. Koverman (1876-1954) served as talent scout, mentor, executive secretary, and confidant to American movie mogul Louis B. Mayer for twenty-five years. She Damn Near Ran the Studio: The Extraordinary Lives of Ida R. Koverman is the first full account of Koverman's life and the true story of how she became a formidable politico and a creative powerhouse during Hollywood's Golden Era. For nearly a century, Koverman's legacy has largely rested on a mythical narrative while her more fascinating true-life story has remained an enduring mystery - until now. This story begins with Koverman's early years in Ohio and the sensational national scandal that forced her escape to New York where she created a new identity and became a leader among a community of women. Her second incarnation came in California where she established herself as a hardcore political operative challenging the state's progressive impulse. During the Roaring Twenties, she was a key architect of the Southland's conservative female-centric partisan network that refashioned the course of state and national politics and put Herbert Hoover in the White House. As ""the political boss of Los Angeles County,"" she was the premiere matchmaker in the courtship between Hollywood and national partisan politics, which, as Mayer's executive secretary, was epitomized by her third incarnation as ""one of the most formidable women in Hollywood,"" whose unparalleled power emanated from her unique perch inside the executive suite of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Free to adapt her managerial skills and political know-how on behalf of the studio, she quickly drew upon her artistic sensibilities as a talent scout, expanding MGM's catalog of stars and her own influence on American popular culture. Recognized as ""one of the invisible power centers in both MGM and the city of Los Angeles,"" she nurtured the city's burgeoning performing arts by fostering music and musicians and the public financing of them. As the ""lioness"" of MGM royalty, Ida Koverman was not just a naturalized citizen of the Hollywood kingdom; at times during her long reign, she ""damn near ran the studio.
For the past seventy years the discipline of film studies has widely invoked the term national cinema. Such a concept suggests a unified identity with distinct cultural narratives. As the current debate over the meaning of nation and nationalism has made thoughtful readers question the term, its application to the field of film studies has become the subject of recent interrogation. In ""The Myth of an Irish Cinema"", Michael Patrick Gillespie presents a groundbreaking challenge to the traditional view of filmmaking, contesting the existence of an Irish national cinema. Given the social, economic, and cultural complexity of contemporary Irish identity, Gillespie argues, filmmakers can no longer present Irishness as a monolithic entity.The book is arranged thematically, with chapters exploring cinematic representation of the middle class, urban life, rural life, religion, and politics. Offering close readings of Irish-themed films, Gillespie identifies a variety of interpretative approaches based on the diverse elements that define national character. Covering a wide range of films, from John Ford's ""The Quiet Man"" and Kirk Jones' ""Waking Ned Devine"" to Bob Quinn's controversial ""Budawanny"" and ""The Bishop's Story"", ""The Myth of an Irish Cinema"" signals a paradigm shift in the field of film studies and promises to reinvigorate dialogue on the subject of national cinema.
In Stalinist Russia, the idealized Soviet man projected an image of strength, virility, and unyielding drive in his desire to build a powerful socialist state. In monuments, posters, and other tools of cultural production, he became the demigod of Communist ideology. But beneath the surface of this fantasy, between the lines of texts and in film, lurked another figure: the wounded body of the heroic invalid, an inversion of Stalin's New Man.In ""How the Soviet Man Was Unmade"", Lilya Kaganovsky exposes the paradox behind the myth of the indestructible Stalinist-era male. In her analysis of social-realist literature and cinema, she examines the recurring theme of the mutilated male body, which appears with startling frequency. Kaganovsky views this representation as a thinly veiled statement about the emasculated male condition during the Stalinist era. Because the communist state was ""full of heroes,"" a man could only truly distinguish himself and attain hero status through bodily sacrifice - yet in his wounding, he was forever reminded that he would be limited in what he could achieve, and was expected to remain in a state of continued subservience to Stalin and the party.Kaganovsky provides an insightful reevaluation of classic works of the period, including the novels of Nikolai Ostrovskii (""How Steel Was Tempered"") and Boris Polevoi (""A Story About a Real Man""), and films such as Ivan Pyr'ev's ""The Party Card"", Eduard Pentslin's ""The Fighter Pilots"", and Mikhail Chiaureli's ""The Fall of Berlin"", among others. The symbolism of wounding and dismemberment in these works acts as a fissure in the facade of Stalinist cultural production through which we can view the consequences of historic and political trauma.
In this compelling new study, Debra Walker King considers fragments of experience recorded in oral histories and newspapers as well as those produced in twentieth-century novels, films, and television that reveal how the black body in pain functions as a rhetorical device and as political strategy. King's primary hypothesis is that, in the United States, black experience of the body in pain is as much a construction of social, ethical, and economic politics as it is a physiological phenomenon.
As an essential element defining black experience in America, pain plays many roles. It is used to promote racial stereotypes, increase the sale of movies and other pop culture products, and encourage advocacy for various social causes. Pain is employed as a tool of resistance against racism, but it also functions as a sign of racism's insidious ability to exert power over and maintain control of those it claims--regardless of race. With these dichotomous uses of pain in mind, King considers and questions the effects of the manipulation of an unspoken but long-standing belief that pain, suffering, and the hope for freedom and communal subsistence will merge to uplift those who are oppressed, especially during periods of social and political upheaval. This belief has become a ritualized philosophy fueling the multiple constructions of black bodies in pain, a belief that has even come to function as an identity and community stabilizer.
In her attempt to interpret the constant manipulation and abuse of this philosophy, King explores the redemptive and visionary power of pain as perceived historically in black culture, the aesthetic value of black pain as presented in a variety of cultural artifacts, and the socioeconomic politics of suffering surrounding the experiences and representations of blacks in the United States. The book introduces the term Blackpain, defining it as a tool of national mythmaking and as a source of cultural and symbolic capital that normalizes individual suffering until the individual--the real person--disappears. Ultimately, the book investigates America's love-hate relationship with black bodies in pain.
From the prestige films of Cagney Productions to recent, ultra-low budget cult hits, such as "Clerks" and "The Blair Witch Project," American independent cinema has produced some of the most distinctive films ever made. This comprehensive introduction draws on key films, filmmakers, and film companies from the early twentieth century to the present to examine the factors that shaped this vital and evolving mode of filmmaking.Specifically, it explores the complex and dynamic relations between independent and mainstream Hollywood cinema, showing how institutional, industrial, and economic changes in the latter have shaped and informed the former. Ordered chronologically, the book begins with Independent Filmmaking in the Studio Era (examining both top-rank and low-end film production), moves to the 1950s and 1960s (discussing both the adoption of independent filmmaking as the main method of production as well as exploitation filmmaking), and finishes with contemporary American independent cinema (exploring areas such as the New Hollywood, the rise of mini-major and major independent companies and the institutionalization of independent cinema in the 1990s). Each chapter includes case studies which focus on specific films, filmmakers, and production and distribution companies.
From cold war hysteria and rampant anticommunist witch hunts to the lure of suburbia, television, and the new consumerism, the 1950s was a decade of sensational commercial possibility coupled with dark nuclear fears and conformist politics. Amid this amalgamation of social, political, and cultural conditions, Hollywood was under siege: from the Justice Department, which pressed for big film companies to divest themselves of their theater holdings; from the middleclass, whose retreat to family entertainment inside the home drastically decreased the filmgoing audience; and from the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was attempting to purge the country of dissenting political views. In this difficult context, however, some of the most talented filmmakers of all time, including John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincente Minnelli, Nicholas Ray, and Billy Wilder produced some of their most remarkable work.
Bringing together original essays by ten respected scholars in the field, American Cinema of the 1950s explores the impact of the cultural environment of this decade on film, and the impact of film on the American cultural milieu. Contributors examine the signature films of the decade, including "From Here to Eternity," "Sunset Blvd.", "Singin' in the Rain," "Shane," " Rear Window," and" Rebel Without a Cause," as well as lesser-known but equally compelling films, such as "Dial 1119," "Mystery Street," "Suddenly," Summer Stock, "The Last Hunt," and many others.
Provocative, engaging, and accessible to general readers as well as scholars, this volume provides a unique lens through which to view the links between film and the prevailing social and historical events of the decade.
The 1940s was a watershed decade for American cinema and the nation. Shaking off the grim legacy of the Depression, Hollywood launched an unprecedented wave of production, generating some of its most memorable classics, including Citizen Kane, Rebecca, The Lady Eve, Sergeant York, and How Green Was My Valley. In 1942, Hollywood joined the national war effort with a vengeance, creating a series of patriotic and escapist films, such as Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver, The Road to Morocco, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. With the end of the war, returning GIs faced a new America, in which the country had been transformed overnight. Film noir reflected a new public mood of pessimism and paranoia, in such classic films of betrayal and conflict as Kiss of Death, Force of Evil, Caught, and Apology for Murder, depicting a poisonous universe of femme fatales, crooked lawyers, and corrupt politicians. With the threat of the atom bomb lurking in the background and the beginnings of the Hollywood Blacklist, the 1940s was a decade of crisis and change. Featuring essays by a group of respected film scholars and historians, American Cinema of the 1940s brings this dynamic and turbulent decade to life. Illustrated with many rare stills and filled with provocative insights, the volume will appeal to students, teachers, and to all those interested in cultural history and American film of the twentieth century. Wheeler Winston Dixon is the James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and editor of the Quarterly Review of Film and Video.
The Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami burst onto the international film scene in the early 1990s and was widely regarded as one of the most distinctive and talented modern-day directors. His major features - including Through the Olive Trees (1994), Taste of Cherry (1997) and The Wind Will Carry Us (1999) - are relatively modest in scale, contemplative and humanist in tone. In 2002, with 10, Kiarostami broke new ground, fixing one or two digital cameras on a car's dashboard to film ten conversations between the driver (Mania Akbari) and her various passengers. The results are astonishing: though formally rigorous, even austere, and documentary-like in its style, 10 succeeds both as emotionally affecting human drama and as a critical analysis of everyday life in today's Tehran. In his study of the film, Geoff Andrew considers 10 within the context of Kiarostami's career, of Iranian cinema's renaissance, and of international film culture. Drawing on a number of detailed interviews he conducted with both Kiarostami and his lead actress, Andrew sheds light on the unusual methods used in making the film, on its political relevance, and on its remarkably subtle aesthetic. He also argues that 10 was an important turning-point in the career of a film-maker who was not only one of contemporary cinema's most accomplished practitioners but also one of its most radical experimentalists.
Fritz Lang's 'M' (1931) is an undisputed classic of world cinema. Lang considered it his most lasting work. Peter Lorre's extraordinary performance as the childlike misfit Hans Beckert was one of the most striking of film debuts, and it made him an international star. Lang's vision of a city gripped with fear, haunted by surveillance and total mobillization, is still remarkably powerful today. And 'M' resonates too in the serial-killer genre which is so prominent in contemporary cinema. 'M' speaks to us as a timeless classic, but also as a Weimar film that has too often been isolated from its political and cultural context. In this groundbreaking book, Anton Kaes reconnects 'M''s much-studied formal brilliance to its significance as an event in 1931 Germany, recapturing the film's extraordinary social and symbolic energy. Interweaving close reading with cultural history, Kaes reconstitutes 'M' as a crucial modernist artwork. In addition he analyzes Joseph Losey's 1951 film noir remake and, in an appendix, publishes for the first time 'M''s missing scene.
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