Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2015’

‘Rereading’ Be Kind Rewind (USA 2008): How film history can be remapped through the social memories of popular culture

1. Introduction ‘History returns forever – as film,’ voiced Anton Kaes.[1] However, film in turn returns as history. Cinema is a culture we can refer to and use to encode our experiences, to analyse the past with, and to observe as markers of time and of trends. This common relationship with film is revealed in the autobiographies and memoirs shaped …

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Johnnie To Kei-fung’s PTU

Michael Ingham, Johnnie To Kei-fung’s PTU. Hong University Press, Hong Kong, 2009 ISBN: 978-962-209-919-7 HKD135.00 (pb) 149pp (Review copy supplied by Hong Kong University Press hkupress@hkucc.hku.hk) It has become something of a commonplace to observe that, by the time cinema studies discovers a film movement, it is generally over. For the past couple of years, even as the books have …

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Vincente Minnelli: The Art of Entertainment

Joe McElhaney (ed.), Vincente Minnelli: The Art of Entertainment. Detroit: Wayne State University, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8143-3307-5 US$29.95 (pb) 472pp (Review copy supplied by Wayne State University Press http://wsupress.wayne.edu/) For a discipline which frequently stresses the importance of a historical perspective, film studies has rarely reflected on its own history. Last year we were reading Deleuze, this year we are “doing” …

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“Those Who Wait”: The Misfits and Late Style

“Those Who Wait” is the title of an essay, first published in 1922, by Siegfried Kracauer.[1] In this essay, Kracauer employs the image of waiting to describe a mass of people whose connection to one another is based on a sense of “metaphysical suffering from the lack of a higher meaning in the world.”[2] According to Kracauer, these people have …

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The Cinema of Naruse Mikio: Women and Japanese Modernity

Catherine Russell, The Cinema of Naruse Mikio: Women and Japanese Modernity. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-8223-4312-7 US$47.95 (pb) 465pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) In the last two decades of the twentieth century, the great breakthrough for film historians was the increased availability of films made before 1910. In the new century, the availability …

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First Nation Cinema: Hollywood’s Indigenous ‘Other’

Every voyage can be said to involve a re-siting of boundaries … an undetermined journeying practice, having constantly to negotiate between home and abroad, native culture and adopted culture, or more creatively speaking, between a here, a there, and an elsewhere. Trinh T. Minh-Ha.[1] Ever since the Oscar-nominated Ofela? (The Pathfinder, 1987) by Sami director Nils Gaup, and the Maori films, Ngati (Barry …

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In-and-Out of the Historical Imaginary with Eisner and Herzog

I have essentially set myself two tasks in this paper. Firstly, to look at Thomas Elsaesser’s (2000) notion of the ‘historical imaginary’, particularly drawing on those aspects of it which correspond with the psychoanalytical concepts of both ‘deferred action’ and ‘the imaginary’. In drawing on such concepts I hope to make clear the complicated time structure which is inherent in …

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The Past is All Used Up: Orson Welles, Touch of Evil and Erasure

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” – from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) In a prescient 1993 essay, Greg Solman warily explores the growing trend of “director’s cuts” on home video. “No conviction,” he writes, “is more thoroughly ingrained in the film-critical consciousness than the notion that directors would sacrifice anything to preserve art, while studio decision-makers appreciate …

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The Only Fun We Have Once in Three Weeks: Rural Exhibition on the Eyre Peninsula in the 1930s

One significant aspect of the work currently being done on the history of film exhibition and audiences in the United States stresses the importance of rural cinemas and itinerant showmen (Fuller Seeley, 2008). It is perhaps a commonplace of Australian film history that rural exhibition venues outnumbered urban ones, and that travelling picture show men played a vital role in …

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Volatile Space, Takemitsu and the Material Contagions of Harakiri

Palimpsests of time and space: palpable space Sometimes the very best essays are the ones that reveal their flaws with the greatest clarity. Cynthia Contreras’ analysis of Kobayashi Masaki’s film, Harakiri (Japan, 1962), titled “Kobayashi’s Widescreen Aesthetic”, represents a limit case in the application of some key methods of art history and the study of visual culture to the analysis of film.[1] …

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Making Television History: The Past made Present in Reality Television’s Pioneer House

So instead of looking through the window at history we’re actually going to climb through that window to the other side and feel it. (Janice Feyen, Pioneer House) The historical re-enactment reality series, of which Pioneer House (New Zealand 2001) is the first New Zealand example, constitutes an anomaly in reality programming because it signals a clear intention to identify itself with a …

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Heritage and Post-Heritage: The House of Mirth on Page and Screen

Abstract In the critical discourse surrounding filmic adaptations of literary works, the concept of “fidelity” frequently rears its ugly head – the idea that a film’s literary source material is a sacrosanct text, and that any changes to plot, character or theme are somehow violations of a prior artistic vision. In 2000, English director Terence Davies was subjected to numerous …

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Three Essays

1. Les Glaneurs est la glaneuse (1999) Agnès Varda has been linked to the work and the ideas of the French Nouvelle Vague (Jean-Luc Godard, Éric Rohmer, François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol) having to do with four aspects of her films: the bringing together of fictional and documentary elements (all her fictions have a documentary presence and in her documentaries, either fictions and stories emerge …

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Cinematic Intertextuality and Comic Allusion in Giorgio Mangiamele’s Ninety Nine Per Cent

After rating little more than a curt mention in Australian cinema histories for several decades, Giorgio Mangiamele’s status as a pioneer of the Australian cinema has more recently come to receive greater recognition in a growing number of articles, both in print and online, as well as in documentaries like Nigel Buesst’s Carlton + Godard = Cinema (Australia 2003).[1] Not surprisingly, perhaps, …

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“It Has Come to My Ears”: Fritz Lang’s Sound Design

When Giorgio Moroder offered the world his music-enhanced version of Metropolis (Germany, 1926) in 1984, the publicity materials contained, as if in justification, this remark by the film’s director, Fritz Lang: “I was primarily a visual artist. I never had an ear, and I regret it”. Lang sometimes modestly presented himself in interviews as a director essentially formed in the visual aesthetic …

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Hitchcock Fabrics

Every piece of film that you put in a picture should have a purpose. You cannot put it together indiscriminately. It’s like notes of music. They must make their point. I put first and foremost cinematic style before content…I don’t care what a film is about…Content is quite secondary to me. (Alfred Hitchcock) Introduction In Hitchcock’s films the clothing of …

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Information from longtime Morley resident Mat Edwards

Hello Ina Just reading your webpage on the history of Drive-ins in WA. http://www.latrobe.edu.au/screeningthepast/19/drive-ins-WA.html Excellent work, I must say. Just one thing though. In the second last paragraph under the heading “Issues of management and ownership…”, you mention that “The commercial operators, whether suburban or rural, sold the land when they could. Suburban operators sometimes made large profits, when the …

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Ford At Fox Part Two (c)

Note: here is the fourth instalment of what has already turned out to be a long review. It is late and longer than ever. In this section the last of the second group of films which I think sort of “belong together” are discussed. That second group begins with Born Reckless (1930) and ends with The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936). There are eight …

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Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture

Mark James Russell, Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press, 2008 ISBN: 978 1 933330 68 6 US$19.95 (pb) 224pp (Review copy supplied by Stone Bridge Press) Pop Goes Korea opens pondering what factors have made South Korea uniquely successful in terms of popular culture in recent decades, and abruptly closes concluding …

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Ford At Fox Part Two

Ford At Fox Part Two (a) A Brief(er) Introduction Born Reckless (1930) – Addendum: Cast and Character Issues Up The River (1930)   What would you think of an architect who arrived at his building wondering where to put the staircase? You don’t ‘compose’ a film on the set, you put a predesigned composition on film. It is wrong to liken a director …

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Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute

Lisa French and Mark Poole, Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute. The Moving Image, no.9, ATOM 2009 AU$39.95 252pp Dr George Miller, doyen of the Australian film industry and director of key films from Mad Max (Australia 1997) to Happy Feet (Australia/USA 2006), declares on the cover of this book that the AFI is where you can “identify the Australian …

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Tech-Noir: The Fusion of Science Fiction and Film Noir

Paul Meehan, Tech-Noir: The Fusion of Science Fiction and Film Noir. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2008 ISBN: 978 0 7864 3325 4 US$55.00 (hb) 272pp (Review copy supplied by McFarland & Co.) The similarities between the popular family comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (USA 1988) and 1930s mad scientist movies such as Doctor X (USA 1932) and The Raven (USA 1935) may not be instantly …

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John Woo’s The Killer

Kenneth E. Hall, John Woo’s The Killer. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-962-209-956-2 HKD135.00 (pb) 125pp (Review copy supplied by Hong Kong University Press) Fifteen books in Hong Kong University’s reasonably priced New Hong Kong Cinema series have been published to date. Each interprets an individual film from the fragrant harbour according to each author’s critical preferences, much …

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From Perversion to Purity: The Stardom of Catherine Deneuve

Lisa Downing and Sue Harris, eds., From Perversion to Purity: The Stardom of Catherine Deneuve. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2007 ISBN: 978-0-7190-7338-0 Au$152.00 (hb) 188pp (Review copy supplied by Manchester University Press. Available from Footprint Books) I have a cherished memory of Paris from what I suppose must have been the winter of 1998. Turning a corner one …

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Turbulence and Flow in Film: The Rhythmic Design

Yvette Biro, Turbulence and Flow in Film: The Rhythmic Design (Translated by Paul Salamon). Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-0-253-21965-7 US$22.95 (pb) 269pp (Review copy supplied by Indiana University Press) Yvette Biro’s new book, Turbulence and Flow in Film, is an excellent, well-written and very timely contribution to film scholarship. Biro, who is an esteemed emeritus film professor, screenwriter …

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Masculine Singular: French New Wave Cinema

Geneviève Sellier, Masculine Singular: French New Wave Cinema (trans Kristin Ross). Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-0822341925 US$22.95 (pb) 280pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Anyone interested in the French cinema will want to own this book. It offers a radical and provocative account of the New Wave and its immediate precursors from a feminist perspective. …

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The Hollywood Historical Film

Robert Burgoyne, The Hollywood Historical Film. Malden MA, Blackwell Publishing, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-1405146036 US$31.95 (pb) 192pp (Review copy supplied by Blackwell Publishing) The task of encompassing historical cinema into a singular generic category is a slippery one at best. A seemingly endless series of sub-genres need to be accounted for, from the biopic to the war film, each of which …

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Black: The History of a Colour

Michel Pastoureau, Black: The History of a Colour (trans Jody Gladding). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-691-13930-2 US$35.00 (hb) 216pp (Review copy supplied by Princeton University Press) Every colour has its history, but few more so than black, and there are few so well placed to describe its trajectory through Western civilisation as Michel Pastoureau, mediaevalist, scholar of color history …

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Chris Marker: La Jetée

Janet Harbord, Chris Marker: La Jetée. Afterall Books, London, 2009 ISBN: 978-1-84638-048-8 UK£9.95 (pb) 112pp (Review copy supplied by Afterall Books) Janet Harbord’s elegantly written and structured monograph Chris Marker: La Jetée is an early and distinguished entry in Afterall Books’ “One Work” series, a collection of single-authored books devoted to contemporary (or at least post-1940s) art. It currently sits alongside monographs devoted …

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Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs

James Herrick, Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs. InterVarsityPress Academic, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-0830825882 US$23.00 (pb) 288pp (Review copy supplied by IVP Academic) It was perhaps inevitable that at some point in the process of trading religion for science as our window on the universe, science would become religious. We thus find ourselves with new mythologies …

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The British ‘B’ Film

Stephen Chibnall and Brian McFarlane, The British ‘B’ Film. London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-84457-319-6 US$30.00 (pb) 256pp (Review copy supplied by BFI/Palgrave Macmillan) Let me say right off that this is an excellent book on a topic that certainly deserves attention; the low-budget British feature film, as produced from the 1930s through the late 1960s (roughly), and released mostly …

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Wavelength

Elizabeth Legge, Wavelength. London: Afterall Books, 2009 ISBN-10: 1-846380-56-1 US$16.00 (pb) 112pp (Review copy supplied by MIT Press) Michael Snow’s Wavelength (US 1966) is a groundbreaking film in every sense of the word, for it marked the end of an era in experimental cinema, and the beginning of the structuralist movement. Elizabeth Legge, one of the latter day champions of the film, …

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“What is Modern Cinema?”

Adrian Martin, “What is Modern Cinema?”. Santiago: Uqbar, 2008 ISBN: 9 78999568 601256 $18900 Chile Pesos (pb) 278pp This book Que es el cine moderno?, I see it as a kind of Ruizian maleta. Strange things come out of it – strange objects, strange films, strange bodies – for our strange new modern world.[1] (Adrian Martin) A new book by Adrian …

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Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright

Lucas Hilderbrand, Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009 ISBN: 978 0 8223 4376 9 US$24.95 (pb) 320pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) In his introduction to Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright, Lucas Hilderbrand (Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC-Irvine) writes that he was inspired to …

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Shivers Down Your Spine: Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View

Alison Griffiths, Shivers Down Your Spine: Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-231-12988-6 US$45.00 (hb) 392pp (Review copy supplied by Columbia University Press) Alison Griffiths’ very handsome new book Shivers Down Your Spine: Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View aims to “explore an expanded paradigm of spectatorship, beyond the seated spectator in the darkened auditorium” …

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Studying the Event Film: The Lord of the Rings

Harriet Margolis, Sean Cubitt, Barry King and Thierry Jutel, Studying the Event Film: The Lord of the Rings. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-07190-7198-0 UK£55 (hb) 358pp (Review copy supplied by Manchester University Press) The Lord of the Rings trilogy is in many ways unique, particularly the grand scale and complexity of its production and its immense popular …

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The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer

Louis Kaplan, The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008 ISBN: 978 0 8166 5156 6 US$24.95 (pb) 264pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer uses primary source documents – including prints of original photographs – to tell the fascinating story of a Boston jewel …

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A Grammar of Murder: Violent Scenes and Film Form

Karla Oeler, A Grammar of Murder: Violent Scenes and Film Form. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-226-61795-5 US$30.00 (pb) 304pp (Review copy supplied by University of Chicago Press http://www.press.uchicago.edu) The logic upon which Karla Oeler’s critical union of montage and the murder scene hinges is contained within the violence of the word ‘cut’ itself. A Grammar of Murder: Violent …

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Building Bridges: The Cinema of Jean Rouch

Joram ten Brink (ed), Building Bridges: The Cinema of Jean Rouch (Preface by Michael Renov). London: Wallflower Press, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-905674-47-3 US$29.50 (pb) 324pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press) The film returns to past people and places, but in fact it does not seem to be a film in search of the past. … Is it Rouch’s way of refusing …

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Alice Guy Blaché: Cinema Pioneer

Joan Simon (ed.), Alice Guy Blaché: Cinema Pioneer. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-300-15250-0 US$40.00 (hb) 148pp (Review copy supplied by Yale University Press) Historians now agree that Alice Guy Blaché is the most important woman director of the early 20th century, but her film career was virtually …

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Hitchcock’s Romantic Irony

Richard Allen, Hitchcock’s Romantic Irony. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007 ISBN: 978-0-231-13575-7 US$24.50 (pb) 295pp (Review copy supplied by Footprint Books) Looking over the history of film theory and criticism during the past fifty years, one cannot help being struck by the way nearly every methodology, from auteurism to psychoanalysis to feminism to industrial history, has found the films …

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Atom Egoyan’s The Adjuster

Tom McSorley, Atom Egoyan’s The Adjuster. University of Toronto Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-1-4426-1048-4 US$16.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by University of Toronto Press) To his credit, Atom Egoyan has achieved some commercial success and considerable international acclaim without fully capitulating to standard audience expectations. His films are difficult. There is both a stylistic continuity and thematic consistency in them. The question …

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Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present

Joanna Bourke, Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present. Virago Press, 2007 ISBN-13: 978 184408154 7 UK£12.99 (pb) 576pp In the introduction to her exhaustive Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present (2007), history professor and self-defined “socialist feminist”[1]  Joanna Bourke presents statistics that chillingly demonstrate just how pervasive the reality of rape is. She cites evidence claiming approximately 47,000 …

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A Theory of Narrative

Rick Altman, A Theory of Narrative. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-231-14429-2 US$27.50 (pb) 392pp (Review copy supplied by Columbia University Press) It’s nothing new to say that telling stories is a way of imagining the world differently and possibly changing it. One of the things that Rick Altman does in A Theory of Narrative is to point out that …

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Issue 22 – Editorial

Screening the Past began ten years ago and this issue celebrates that decade of publishing. In the first 21 issues we ran: 153 First Run articles; 15 Classics and Re-Runs articles; 7 guest-edited, special-themed issues with 12 guest editors; 416 reviews (mainly books), an average of 19.8 per issue; and work by 278 contributors (listed in the special “Tenth Anniversary” section …

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Theatres of Occupation. Hollywood and the Reeducation of Postwar Germany

Jennifer Fay, Theatres of Occupation. Hollywood and the Reeducation of Postwar Germany. London / Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-4744-6 US$22.50 (pb) 228pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) The history of German film culture in the immediate post-World War II period, when the defeated nation was occupied by American, British, French, and Soviet armed …

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Issue 6 Editorial

This issue of Screening the Past is a particularly rich one, requiring two editorials. Editorial (1) In “Reruns”, we reproduce the English language sections of a booklet issued by the Pusan Film Festival in October 1997. This exciting festival is comparatively new (1997 was only its second year), but it is the major festival for Korea and is making its mark within …

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Victorian Vogue: British Novels on the Screen

Dianne F. Sadoff, Victorian Vogue: British Novels on the Screen. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis & London, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8166-6092-6 US$25.00 (pb) 329pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) I have read this book from beginning to end, and I expect to be in a minority of one in that respect. Maverick at last? I shall return to …

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Screening the Past: A Memoir

Once upon a time, an Australian academic life consisted of three elements: a contribution to the subject which the academic taught and researched, a contribution to the administration of the institution, and a contribution to the wider academic and social culture. The first got you the job, the second grew in importance as you progressed up the institutional ladder, and …

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Jesus: Made in America

Stephen J. Nichols, Jesus: Made in America. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-8308-2849-4 US$20.00 (pb) 237pp (Review copy supplied by InterVarsity Press) From the rise of the Christian Right in the 1970s and 1980s to the Bush administration and the Passion of the Christ (USA 2004) phenomenon in the 2000s, so-called “culture wars” between evangelical Christianity and secular liberalism have …

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Talking Movies: Contemporary World Filmmakers in Interview

Jason Wood, Talking Movies: Contemporary World Filmmakers in Interview. London and New York: Wallflower Press, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1904764908 US$25.00 (pb) 224pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press) Like other interview-based compendiums released in the last two decades, Jason Wood’s anthology Talking Movies, is perhaps most usefully understood within a context of ‘post-auteurism’, a theory only just coming to prominence. The way …

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Tenth Memoire: Screening The Past Askew

The pun of our journal’s name should not be ignored in the context of remembering what we hoped for it ten years ago and what it may actually have accomplished. On the face of it, the name tells everyone what we are about: visual media and history. But surely everyone also knows that in screening some things are kept back, …

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Screening Sex

Linda Williams, Screening Sex. A John Hope Franklin Book, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-8223-4285-4 US$25.00 (pb) 412pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Linda Williams is Professor of Film Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley. She is known for her breakthrough 1989 book, Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the …

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Orson Welles and the Unfinished RKO Projects: A Postmodern Perspective

Marguerite H. Rippy, Orson Welles and the Unfinished RKO Projects: A Postmodern Perspective. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2009 US$35.00 (pb) 223pp (Review copy supplied by Southern Illinois University Press) Marguerite H. Rippy’s book on Orson Welles offers a provocative, ground-breaking, and occasionally scattered exploration of Welles’s construction as a ‘star director’ and the significance of this cultural-textual project to a …

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Nevermind the bandwidth – feel the quality

In August 1999 I presented a paper at the Infog 99 conference in Melbourne, which was based on our experience to that point in time, of publishing Screening the Past. The conference was an optimistic attempt to bring together librarians, archivists, media scholars, and educators, to consider the implications of new cultural technologies for all our fields, including the possibilities of …

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A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder’s American Films

Gerd Gemünden, A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder’s American Films. New York: Berghahn Books, 2008 ISBN: 978-1-84545-419-7 US$27.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by Berghahn Books) When asked about the meaning of one of his paintings, Picasso reportedly shrugged, “Don’t ask me. I’m the artist.” I thought of this quote when pondering Gerd Gemünden’s book on Billy Wilder. Gemünden says his premise …

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Ten Years of Screening the Past

Ten years of Screening the Past is reason for congratulation and celebration! But it also merits some reflection. The news that the journal has been going for a decade has come as a shock to me, because it really does feel like it all began just yesterday. However, that is simply a sign of my age! Of more general significance is the …

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Silence and Fury: Rape and The Virgin Spring

Abstract This article is a reconsideration of The Virgin Spring that focuses upon the rape at the centre of the film’s action, despite the film’s surface attempts to marginalise all but its narrative functionality. While the deployment of this rape supports critical observations that rape on-screen commonly underscores the seriousness of broader thematic concerns, it is argued that the visceral impact of …

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How Can Cinema History Matter More?

[1] Out of the blue, a little over ten years ago, Melvyn Stokes telephoned me. He was beginning his annual task of organising the Commonwealth Fund conference on American history at University College, London, and on this occasion he wanted the conference to examine some aspect of American film history. Did I want to be involved in the planning, and …

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‘Conspicuous Absence’ and ‘Morbid Curiosity’: The Promotion and Reception of Saratoga (USA 1937)

Abstract The death of Jean Harlow during the filming of Saratoga (USA 1937) created problems for the film’s completion and promotion. Famously, M-G-M completed Harlow’s remaining scenes using shots of a body double, filmed with her face obscured. Despite its resulting aesthetic problems, Saratoga is on record as one of Harlow’s highest grossing films (Glancy 1991), and its success has been seen simply the …

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A View from Africa

Numerous disciplines have, over the years, adopted, adapted, and incorporated film studies into their curricula. Introducing film studies into the curriculum is an effective way of retaining viable student numbers in traditionally non-media disciplines. The Arnoldian-derived assumption that film has nothing to do with knowledge, reasoning or analysis has long since passed (or should have), as scholars from all disciplines …

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Patineur Grotesque: Marius Sestier and the Lumière Cinématographe in Australia, September-November 1896

Marius Sestier holding a stereo viewer. Postcard. Marius Sestier Collection. National Film and Sound Archive. Courtesy Mme Petitbois and Messrs Sestier and Jeune. Patineur Grotesque (Australia 1896), although filmed in Melbourne, was unknown in Australia until recently. The film was found and preserved by the Magyar Nemzeti Filmarchivum (the Hungarian National Film Archive) in 1966 but was not identified as a …

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Anniversary Musings

Once upon a time there was a country struggling over whether it should be known as Aotearoa or New Zealand. Then a joker by the name of Peter Jackson came along and turned the whole thing upside down. When the dust settled, Wellington had become Wellywood, and for a while Aotearoa New Zealand had become Middle-earth. There also used to …

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Intercultural Romance and Australian Cinema: Asia and Australia in The Home Song Stories and Mao’s Last Dancer

Abstract This essay frames an examination of The Home Song Stories (2007) and Mao’s Last Dancer (2009) through tracing the cultural and symbolic development of intercultural romance in Australian cinema between white and East Asian characters over recent decades. This history of Asian Australian intercultural pairings in Australian film gestures towards a number of changing socio-cultural concerns. These couples are rendered in ways that …

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Ribbons of Time

She Wore A Yellow Ribbon is punctuated by dates crossed out in red on the calendar that mark the time left before the retirement of Captain Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) from the cavalry. It is measured in days, then, with the conferral of the watch by the troop to mark his retirement, by hours and minutes. Brittles does not wish to …

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Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts

Alistair Phillips and Julian Stringer (eds.), Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. Oxford: Routledge, 2007 ISBN: 978-0-415-32848-7 US$35.95 (pb) 363pp (Review copy supplied by Routledge) The study of Japanese cinema has typically held a high place among national cinema studies for a couple of reasons. The first is, of course, the quality of the films, but beyond this, there has always …

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Koyaanisqatsi and the Visual Narrative of Environmental Film

Abstract Godfrey Reggio’s non-verbal film Koyaanisqatsi can be seen, in retrospect, as a pioneer both of the emergent environmental film genre, and of certain tropes of visual narrative that have come to dominate popular culture. This essay argues that the film articulates a critique of the inability of “anti-natural man” to distinguish between the “natural” and the “artificial.” My close reading of …

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Field survey: the poll results

As part of Screening the Past‘s tenth anniversary, we invited about 300 colleagues around Australia and the world to nominate the most important contributions to the field in the past decade – books, articles, reports, conferences, archival work, DVD reissues or commentaries, documentaries, online material, software – anything, not limited to any particular source, certainly not STP. We advised invitees that “…Screening …

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The End of Life on Earth?: Discourses of Risk in Natural History Documentaries

Abstract An implicit theme in natural history documentaries for decades has been the likely impact of such human activities as population growth, land clearing, mining, pesticide usage, and pollution on animal species, leading potentially to the extinction of species. In more recent times the risk of extinction has shifted so that the focus is now on humans and the future …

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List of contributors, Issues 1-21

Authors – 278 of them – published in issues 1-21 of Screening the Past STP could not exist without its contributors. The editors take this opportunity to acknowledge you and to thank you for your continuing support. Deborah Allison Richard Armstrong Jonathan Auerbach David Baker Belinda Barnet Neil Bather Greg Battye Keith Beattie Roger Bell Mervyn F. Bendle John Benson Chris …

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Film at the Millennium

Abstract Approaching the millennium, and in its immediate wake, a strong sense of historical lateness emerged, a very particular fin de siècle. In film history, this was immediately preceded by the milestone of 1995, with its retrospective gaze across the first century of cinema, complemented by a gaze into the future. And the rise of digital technology ensured that the circulation …

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Foreword

I greatly enjoyed seeing The Rose of Rhodesia and reading the excellent essays collected here. But my perspective is a little different from theirs. I am a historian of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and particularly of the 1896-97 uprisings and of the Matopos hills (see Ranger 1967 and 1999). So when I watched the film I read it as though it was a commentary on …

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In Memoriam: Thierry Kuntzel (1948-2007)

When my friend Anne-Marie Duguet came to Sydney about five months ago to take up her appointment as a Visiting Research Professor at the iCinema Centre at the College of the Fine Arts, Carol and I picked her up for to show her some of the sights in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. We ended up at Doyles Hotel, Watson’s …

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Introduction to Australian Film Theory and Criticism Project Interviews

The interviews to be published on a regular basis across this and future issues of Screening the Past derive from an ARC-funded project, entitled Australian Film Theory and Criticism, undertaken by Constantine Verevis and Deane Williams of Monash University, and Noel King from Macquarie University. This research project takes as its object of study the development of film studies in Australia, especially in …

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Introduction

On 23 March 1918, a new South African feature film was screened in public for the first time at Cape Town’s City Hall. A seven-reel melodrama involving a stolen diamond, a native uprising, and a frontier romance, The Rose of Rhodesia had been directed by Harold M. Shaw and shot at a Sea Point studio in Cape Town and on location in …

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Leonie Naughton: ‘touched by what she has left behind’

Screen Hub Friday 21 September, 2007 Screen Hub wishes to remember Leonie Naughton, who taught many members of the screen community, and made an important contribution to the intellectual environment for cinema in Australia. Bill Routt remembers her. Leonie Naughton died in Melbourne on Sunday, September 9. She was 52. Leonie was a member of the first “generation” of film academics …

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Some Things You Never Learn: An Interview with Sam Rohdie

Sam Rohdie interviewed by Deane Williams Sam Rohdie is currently Professor of Cinema Studies in the Department of Film at the University of Central Florida. He has held the Chair in Film Studies at The Queen’s University of Belfast and before that was Professor of Film Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He has held academic posts in universities in England, Ghana, …

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Acknowledgements

The editors wish to thank Nederlands Filmmuseum for graciously allowing its restored print of The Rose of Rhodesia to receive a premiere screening in Sweden in 2007, and for making a digital version available with this special issue of Screening The Past. Without the unflagging enthusiasm of our guardian angel Elif Rongen-Kaynakci and the kind support of her colleagues this project would never …

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Leonie Naughton – Academic Iconoclast

They say first impressions are important. I vividly remember the first time I saw Leonie. Thin, elegant and dressed entirely in black, with a shock of cropped, blond hair and a mouth defined by outrageously outré lipstick – she made a memorable impact as she entered the lecture theatre. Leonie’s approach to teaching film matched her singular style. She offered …

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‘We Might Leave it There’: An Interview with William D. Routt

Bill Routt interviewed by Deane Williams [The opening question and most of the response to it were lost because of a technical hitch. However, we do know that the first question posed by Deane was “How did you get into film studies?” and that part of the answer by Bill was that he got into film studies through being involved with a …

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Film Information

Title: ROSE OF RHODESIA, THE (Die Rose von Rhodesia) Director: Harold Shaw Production Date: 1918 Length: 5 reels (81 minutes) Format: 35mm, black and white, silent, full (silent) aperture Speed: 16 frames/second Language: German intertitles Production Company: Harold Shaw Film Productions Ltd. Country: South Africa Screenplay: Harold Shaw Photography: Henry Howse, Ernest G. Palmer Actors: Edna Flugrath Rose Randall Marmaduke A. …

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Funeral Address

Address by David Hanan, Monash University, at the Celebration of the Life of Dr Leonie Naughton, Le Pine Chapel, St Kilda, Friday 14 September 2007 I can’t compete with what has gone before, but I will speak about Leonie’s qualities as an academic teacher and colleague. Leonie really shone at Monash. Leonie, as we have heard earlier, had a multi-dimensioned, unique and …

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‘I’m going to be met by a phalanx of safari-suited men.’: An Interview with Lesley Stern

Lesley Stern interviewed by Deane Williams PHOTO: BECKY COHEN Professor Lesley Stern is the author of The Scorsese Connection (1995) and The Smoking Book (1999), and co-editor of Falling For You: Essays on Cinema and Performance (1999). Her work moves between a number of disciplinary locations, and spans both theory and production. Although her reputation was established in the fields of film theory and history, she is …

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Investigating the Origins of The Rose of Rhodesia, Part I: African Film Productions

Abstract The Rose of Rhodesia (1918) has received short shrift in film history because it was made by a company independent from, and crushed by, the South African entertainment business monopoly controlled from Johannesburg by I. W. Schlesinger from 1913 up to his death in 1949. Schlesinger recruited Harold M. Shaw to script and direct the “super-films” De Voortrekkers (1916) and The Symbol of …

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Leonie

My introduction to Leonie Naughton involved a high degree of confusion and mistaken identity. In my first week at La Trobe University in 1988, wide-eyed, curious and quietly confident about studying film because I had invested many hours ‘researching’ classical Hollywood film with Bill Collins on channel 10 at midday, I had signed up to a class led by Leonie, …

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Unholy Roller: An Interview with Richard J Thompson

Richard J Thompson interviewed by Anna Dzenis and Raffaele Caputo Richard Thompson was Head of the Division of Cinema Studies at La Trobe University between 1980 and 1982, and then again between 1985 and 1995. From 1971 until his arrival in Australia in 1980, Thompson taught film at University of California Los Angeles [UCLA] and at the Riverside, San Diego and Santa Cruz campuses. …

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Investigating the Origins of The Rose of Rhodesia, Part II: Harold Shaw Film Productions Ltd.

Harold Shaw parted ways with the movie magnate I. W. Schlesinger in October 1917, after an acrimonious personal dispute, and immediately set about organizing his own film production company. Shaw poached leading production staff from Schlesinger’s African Film Productions at Killarney in Johannesburg, and signed up Schlesinger’s bitter rivals, A. M. Fisher and sons of Cape Town, to distribute his …

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Leonie Naughton: The Pleasure of Reinvention

Leonie Naughton was my Honours supervisor, PhD principal supervisor and mentor in my sessional teaching work at Monash University during the 1990s. Leonie Naughton took over teaching German Cinema when she arrived at Monash in 1990, and had also been appointed to teach courses about popular film. She quickly achieved prominence in the Department of Visual Arts for her ability …

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A Note on F.T. Marinetti’s Futurist Cooking

[1] This essay was originally published in Art & Text no. 7, Spring 1982, and is reprinted here with the author’s permission. In 1932, more than 20 years after the first futurist manifesto, Marinetti wrote (more precisely, compiled for the book appears as a memorial, a documentation, a factual report of quotes, of statements, of actions, testaments, manifestoes by Marinetti and by …

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Cape Town Bioscope Culture and The Rose of Rhodesia

Abstract The Rose of Rhodesia may have premiered in Africa, but its audiences were neither primitive nor parochial. When the film opened in Cape Town on 23 March 1918, cinema had already established itself as the most popular leisure activity in Cape Town, where it had a large, diverse, and enthusiastic following. These audiences had not yet been divided, as they …

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Leonie Naughton’s Publications and Other Research

Compiled by Lesley Speed with William D. Routt and David Hanan Leonie Naughton’s research about German film and contemporary screen culture has received international acknowledgement. Her work has been published in Australia, Europe and the United States, in English and German. She presented papers at international conferences, often by invitation, and at public seminars and forums for Australian film festivals. …

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Independent Feminist Film-making in Australia

This article was originally published in Australian Journal of Screen Theory nos. 5-6, 1979; and reprinted in An Australian Film Reader, edited by Albert Moran and Tom O’Regan, Currency Press, 1985. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission. In recent years there has been a burgeoning of independent women’s films made in Australia – usually short, inexpensively produced, often made collectively and …

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Featured Attractions: The Rose of Rhodesia and Silent Cinema

Abstract This essay aims to give a more general introduction to the film-historical context surrounding The Rose of Rhodesia (1918). What was it like to make films in the late 1910s? What was it like to go to the cinema? And what might the film’s first audiences have considered The Rose of Rhodesia’s merits? In an attempt to answer these questions, this essay …

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The Lure of the breach: invisibility and the dissolution of cinematic vision

In her chapter on Tom Joslin’s video AIDS diary Silverlake Life: The View from here (1993), Peggy Phelan argues that Joslin’s video summons and directs its viewer to a kind of off-screen time. Discussing a close up of Joslin’s eye that appears toward the end of the video, Phelan writes that as his eye “gazes in an out-of-focus way at something whose …

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The Ritual Model of Form

The following article is not exactly a Classic or Re-Run; it is a chapter from Bill Routt’s PhD thesis and was selected by Bill for inclusion here. Popular art, which is as often highly individualized as it is not, is certainly art in which “lived reality” plays an important role. Those whose ideas we have just been considering have used …

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Hollywood Histrionics: Performing “Africa” in The Rose of Rhodesia

Abstract In this essay I discuss the racial discourse underlying the regulation of space, actor movement, and gesture in The Rose of Rhodesia (1918), whose animation and restraint of black characters, by communicating a message of interracial brotherhood and reconciliation, appear to address real-life tensions between colonial masters and subjects. Shaw’s film is inflected by local as well as global discourses …

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Six encounters with aviators: Early cinema, flight, danger and gender

Cinema and aviation are quintessential enterprises of the modern era. Alison McMahon, in her study of pioneering filmmaker Alice Guy Blaché, refers to film and flying as “the industries of motion” and notes their closely linked development, particularly in France: “In some cases the same inventors worked on both . . . The combination of interest in spectatorship, projection of …

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“What’s Your 10-20?” Redneck Movie Travel Notes

This article was originally published in Film Comment vol. 16 no. 4, July-August 1980, and is reprinted here with the author’s permission. [This is the first piece of criticism I wrote in Australia. Hardly a contribution to Australian film culture, it was an effort to address a body of film which had caught my attention but was not much discussed in the …

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The Rose of Rhodesia: Colonial Cinema as Narrative Fiction and Ethnographic Spectacle

Abstract This essay examines The Rose of Rhodesia as both romantic fiction and ethnographic spectacle. It discusses the film’s development of imperial heroes, Lord Cholmondeley and Jack Morel, and a colonial heroine, Rose Randall, and analyses the film’s ethnographic representations of the colonised Other. The paper shows how the film advances perspectives on the Christianising and civilising ethic of colonialism, within which …

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The Relevance and Evolution of the Historical Documentary Series in Televisión Española, from Testimonio (1964) to Memoria de España (2004)

On February 3, 2004, the First Channel of Televisión Española (TVE) broadcast Memoria de España (Spanish Memory), one of its most recent and successful historical documentary productions,[1] to a great audience (4.6 million of viewers and 23.6% share). With the start of this series of twenty-seven episodes, the Spanish public channel, officially inaugurated in 1956, celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the …

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Ford At Fox Part Three (a)

  Introduction When it is completed, Part Three will be the fifth instalment of a review of the lesser John Ford films contained in the gigantic Ford At Fox box set. It will cover most of the movies Ford directed at Twentieth-Century Fox from 1937 until he enlisted in the United States Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. This segment, Part …

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Race, Empire, and The Rose of Rhodesia

Abstract The Rose of Rhodesia is difficult to place in relation to British imperialism and race relations, because its situation with regard to both is ambivalent. Though clearly an “imperial” film, it has a greater affinity with the “liberal” kind of contemporary imperialism than with other sorts. Its racial attitudes appear liberal, too, albeit in a patronizing kind of way. As …

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The Changing Anzac Legend in three key Australian films

The Anzac legend is central to the Australian identity, drawing on elements of the bush myth and White Australia. The legend can appear monolithic and fixed, but this is only half of the truth. While some elements have remained more or less constant, others have undergone significant changes. The theme of Anzac has provided an enduring source of inspiration for …

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The Cinematic Life of the Gene

Jackie Stacey, The Cinematic Life of the Gene. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010 ISBN-13: 978-0822345077 US$23.95 (pb) 328pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Jackie Stacey’s book forms part of a new wave of cinema criticism which investigates the representation of medical imaging technology and scientific discourse in popular and avant-garde production. It is a fascinating area …

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Blood Diamonds and State Repression: From The Rose of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa Diamond Fields

Abstract The return of The Rose of Rhodesia to the public domain comes at a remarkable time for Zimbabwe. This melodramatic film about an “unusually large rose diamond” makes an uncanny prophesy about future black African leadership of the country. And yet, in an irony of history, Zimbabwe is currently undergoing possibly the worst political and humanitarian crisis in its history at the …

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The Said within the Unsaid: The Subtle Ironies of Young Mr. Lincoln’s Intertextual References to Contemporary Historiography

According to Mark E. Neely Young Mr. Lincoln “was mostly fiction, and corny fiction at that” (p. 126). The historian acknowledges that the film’s content had been “largely dictated” by The Prairie Years, the first two-volume installment of Carl Sandburg’s popular multi-volume biography of Lincoln. But Neely apparently regards the film’s references to that “patchwork of folklore, poetic language, and history” (p. 124) …

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Projecting Empire: Imperialism and Popular Cinema

James Chapman and Nicolas Cull, Projecting Empire: Imperialism and Popular Cinema. London New York: I.B. Tauris 2009 ISBN: 978 1 84511 940 9 UK£15.99 240pp (Review copy supplied by I.B. Tauris) The release of historical epics such as The Young Victoria (UK/USA 2009) and recent revivals of imperial adventures on the small screen with the fourth adaptation of John Buchan’s The 39 Steps (UK …

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“Until time make him white”: Race, Land, and Insurrection in The Rose of Rhodesia

Abstract This paper considers the ways in which The Rose of Rhodesia participates in colonial constructions of race, specifically as the latter relate to questions of land and insurrection. Drawing on a reading of British press coverage of the 1896 Anglo-Ndebele War, it argues that the film recuperates key events in Rhodesia’s early history in order to create a pro-imperial narrative. In …

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Serving the People in the twenty-first century: Zhang Side and the revival of the Yan’an Spirit

In September 2004, Zhang Side, a black and white biopic about the life and death of a soldier stationed in the Communist base camp in Yan’an during World War Two, was premiered at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The premiere was held on the sixtieth anniversary of Mao Zedong’s famous “Serve the People” speech, given three days after …

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The Moguls and the Dictators: Hollywood and the Coming of World War II

David Welky, The Moguls and the Dictators: Hollywood and the Coming of World War II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-0801890444 US$45.00 (pb) 448pp (Review copy supplied by John Hopkins University Press) This is a superb book, smoothly written, skillfully designed and researched, and is easily the text on the subject of the Hollywood studios’ reaction in the …

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The Rose of Rhodesia as Colonial Romance

Abstract The South African feature film The Rose of Rhodesia was produced when the imperial romance, a genre associated in particular with Rider Haggard, enjoyed great popularity. Some of its typical features are to be found in The Rose of Rhodesia, but these are adapted and exceeded so as to speak to settler (rather than British) concerns in the early Union of South …

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Hallyuwood Down Under: The New Korean Cinema and Australia, 1996-2007

This article examines the global popularity of South Korea’s contemporary commercial cinema within an Australian context. It uses audience survey findings, industry interviews and national classification database records administered by the Office of Film and Literature Classification to show how the diffusion of Korean popular culture – better known as the ‘Korean wave’ (pronounced Han Ryu or Hallyu in Korean) – has spread beyond …

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Miami Vice (TV Milestones series)

Steven M. Sanders, Miami Vice (TV Milestones series). Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-8143-3419-5 US$14.95 (pb) 128pp (Review copy supplied by Wayne State University Press) “Why does Miami Vice matter?” is at once historical, sociological, aesthetic and philosophical. (p. 85) The Wayne State University Press books in the TV Milestone series remind me of the great BFI books on single …

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Guns and Roses: Reading for Gender in The Rose of Rhodesia

Abstract “Could this be Lord Cholmondeley?” wonders Rose Randall, The Rose of Rhodesia’s magazine-reading heroine, when a scruffy stranger arrives at her door. Rose’s weakness for romantic fiction is an obvious vehicle for comedy, but is it just coincidence that her magazine story is also set in Rhodesia? As this essay shows, the fact that the film’s Rhodesian heroine is also …

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Young Mr. Lincoln Reconsidered: An Essay on the Theory and Practice of Film Criticism

Cine-Tracts: A journal of film and cultural studies #5, vol. 2, no. 1, Fall, 1978, pp. 42-62. Ronald Abramson (email: ronabrams@earthlink.net) and Richard Thompson From the beginning, Screening The Past was committed to publishing a section called Classics and Re-runs. The purpose of this section was to call attention to screen historical articles of interest which had become difficult to access, or were no …

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Jerry Lewis (Contemporary Film Directors)

Chris Fujiwara, Jerry Lewis (Contemporary Film Directors). University of Illinois Press, 2009 ISBN-13: 978-0252076794 US$19.95 (pb) 176pp (Review copy supplied by University of Illinois Press) This brief but pithy volume increases the count of English language books about the films of Jerry Lewis to One. Lewis’ own books The Total Filmmaker(1971), and his memoirs Jerry Lewis: In Person (1982) and Dean and Me (A Love …

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In Africa, Diamonds Are Forever: From The Great Kimberley Diamond Robbery to Blood Diamond

Abstract From earliest times, diamonds have fascinated the purveyors of mass entertainment. Through the impact of literature and, later, cinema, and with the decisive intervention of manipulative advertising, diamonds came to signify romance, wealth, and social success in the popular mind. From the nineteenth century, diamonds were mostly found in Africa, a location wrapped in the exotic and quick with …

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The Story of the Kelly Gang DVD and “The Picture That Will Live Forever”: The Story of the Kelly Gang

The Story of the Kelly Gang DVD and Ina Bertrand and William D. Routt, “The Picture That Will Live Forever”: The Story of the Kelly Gang. National Film & Sound Archive, 2007. The Moving Image 8 ISBN: 1 876467 16 9 AUD$34.94 200pp (Review copy supplied by National Film & Sound Archive) The first thing to note about this ambitious DVD-Book project …

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Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies

Warren Buckland (ed.), Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies. New York: Routledge, 2009 ISBN: 978 0 415 96262 9 US$26.96 (pb) 358pp (Review copy supplied by Routledge) How can we map out a topos, by which scholars of contemporary Hollywood cinema with contesting agendas may reach some form of mutual understanding, or, as Thomas Elsaesser proposes, constructive mutual interferences?[1]  This is …

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Scoring The Rose of Rhodesia: An Interview with Matti Bye

Matti, how did you become a silent film musician and composer? When I was studying music at Södra Latin high school in Stockholm in 1989, the school’s film club asked me to accompany Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin since I was a classically trained pianist. I took a bundle of notes with me and tried to follow the film as best I could. …

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Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic over the City

Steve Macek, Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic over the City. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis & London, 2006. ISBN: 0 8166 4361 X US$22.95 (pb) 360pp (Review copy supplied by the University of Minnesota Press) Contemplating ‘urban nightmares’ while residing in a small New Zealand city seems to be a contradiction in terms. Certainly, the …

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Film Festivals and Imagined Communities

Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung (eds), Film Festivals and Imagined Communities. Dundee: St Andrews Film Studies, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-9563730-1-4 AU$37.00 (pb) 286pp (Review copy supplied by St Andrews Film Studies) The second edition of the Film Festival Yearbook series is another vital contribution to the developing field of film festivals studies. Published by St Andrews Film Studies and edited by …

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Appendix A. Plot Summary

Act I. Chief Ushakapilla wants his only son, Mofti, to become leader of all Africa. When word comes that the colonial governor has denied his request for land for a third time, Ushakapilla declares to Mofti that Africa will shortly be restored to the black race. Believing such ambitions to be futile, Mofti reminds his father of the wise counsel …

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Ending the Affair: The Decline of Television Current Affairs in Australia

Graeme Turner, Ending the Affair: The Decline of Television Current Affairs in Australia. University of New South Wales Press, 2005. ISBN: 9 780 86840864 4 AUD$34.95 (pb) 184pp (Review copy supplied by University of New South Wales Press) Affairs to Remember The first thing that should be said about Graeme Turner’s latest contribution to Australian media and television studies appropriately …

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City Lights (BFI Film Classics)

Charles Maland, City Lights (BFI Film Classics). London: BFI Publishing, 2007 ISBN-13: 978-1844571758 US$14.95 (pb) 128pp (Review copy supplied by Macmillan) Charles Maland’s Chaplin and American Culture: The Evolution of a Star Image (1989) studies the rise of Chaplin both as an actor and an icon, as well as his decline in popularity later in his career. His study of Chaplin’s City Lights (USA 1931) …

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Appendix B. Intertitles with English translation

Intertitles have been numbered for ease of reference. English translation by Vreni Hockenjos. Intertitle 1 Erster Akt Act One Intertitle 2 Der Kraal des Häuptlings “Ushakapilla”. The kraal of Chief Ushakapilla. Intertitle 3 Ushakapilla, dessen größter Ehrgeiz darin besteht, seinen Sohn Mofti dereinst als Häuptling von ganz Afrika zu sehen. Ushakapilla, whose greatest ambition is to see his son, Mofti, …

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Orwell Subverted: The CIA and the Filming of Animal Farm

Daniel J. Leab, Orwell Subverted: The CIA and the Filming of Animal Farm. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 271 02987 8 US$55.00 (hb) 232pp (Review copy supplied by Pennsylvania State University Press) It is a truism of film theory nowadays that a book and a film are separate entities, and that one cannot legitimately be judged in terms …

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Studies in the Horror Film: Night of the Living Dead

Jerad Walters and Marco Lanzagorta (eds), Studies in the Horror Film: Night of the Living Dead. Lakewood: Centipede Press, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-933618-32-6 US$125 (hb) 368pp (Review copy supplied by Centipede Press) Centipede Press’ Studies in the Horror Film series shows little signs of losing the momentum propelling its rigorous dedication to the genre with the release of this volume on George A. …

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Appendix C. Press cuttings

Compiled with the generous assistance of Neil Parsons and James Burns. Fig. C1. Ink sketch of Harold Shaw, The Bioscope (London), 24 February, 1916, 759. Fig. C2. Harold Shaw on the cover of Stage and Cinema (Johannesburg), 22 April 1916. Fig. C3. “Harold Shaw’s Bargain”, Stage and Cinema (Johannesburg), 13 January 1917, 3. Fig. C4. Henry Howse, “Adventures of a ‘Movie’ Man”, Stage and Cinema (Johannesburg), 24 February …

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Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television

Elana Levine, Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television. Durham, N.C., Duke University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 082 233919 9 US$22.95 (pb) 320pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) In 1977 an ‘anonymous TV executive’ described American television as ‘wallowing in sex’ (4), an evocative description of seventies network programming that inspired the title of …

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The Uncanny Gaze: The Drama of Early German Cinema & Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood

Heide Schlüpmann, The Uncanny Gaze: The Drama of Early German Cinema. Urbana/Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010 ISBN: 3-87877-373-0 US$30.00 (pb) 273pp Mark Garrett Cooper, Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood. Urbana/Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-252-07700-5 US$25.00 (pb) 230pp (Review Copies supplied by University of Illinois Press) ‘Women and Film History International’ is a …

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Appendix D. Cast and crew biographies

The following biographical information has been compiled and written in collaboration with Neil Parsons, who has generously shared his research into The Rose of Rhodesia with the editors. HAROLD MARVIN SHAW (Director). 1877-1926. After starting out as an actor in a San Francisco theatre in 1893, Shaw turned to the motion-picture business in 1909. As a member of the Edison Company’s stock …

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Hollis Frampton (nostalgia)

Rachel Moore, Hollis Frampton (nostalgia). London: Afterall Books, 2006. ISBN: 978 1 84638 001 3 US$16.00 (pb) 88pp (Review copy supplied by MIT Press) Hollis Frampton’s (nostalgia), or, ‘Lower case, with parentheses’ Rachel Moore’s eloquent and insightful close-reading of Frampton’s most well-known 1971 film, (nostalgia), is timely given the current status of this seminal American artist and writer who has, during the …

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Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada

Thomas Waugh, Michael Brendan Baker and Ezra Winton (eds), Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010 ISBN 9780773536630 CA$34.95 (pb) 574pp (Review copy supplied by McGill-Queen’s University Press) One indication of the inordinate influence the National Film Board of Canada has had on documentary film is the number of units or …

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Appendix E. Harold Shaw filmography

The following list of films directed by Harold Shaw has been compiled from various books and online databases, including Alan Goble’s Complete Index to World Film (http://www.citwf.com), the British Film Institute’s film and television database (http://www.bfi.org.uk/filmtvinfo/ftvdb/), the Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com), and Kenneth M. Cameron’s Africa on Film: Beyond Black and White (1994). It is necessarily preliminary and incomplete. Since the …

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Gamer Theory

McKenzie Wark, Gamer Theory. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 674 02519 6 US$19.95 (hb) 240pp (Review copy supplied by Harvard University Press) In Montevideo, a child explains : ‘I never want to die, because I want to play forever.’ Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces (1992). McKenzie Wark’s new book, Gamer Theory, is a highly inventive, reflexive, refreshingly …

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Reframing Bodies: AIDS, Bearing Witness, and the Queer Moving Image

Roger Hallas, Reframing Bodies: AIDS, Bearing Witness, and the Queer Moving Image. Duke University Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-8223-4601-2 US$24.95 (pb) 336pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) As HIV/AIDS reaches its third decade, the once-flourishing field of AIDS cultural criticism, an interdisciplinary amalgam of gay and lesbian studies, queer theory, film and media studies, memory and trauma studies – …

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Appendix F. Maps of Rhodesia and Southern Africa

Map 1. South Africa, circa 1900. Source unidentified. Map 2. Central and Southern Africa, 1896. George Gill, The British Colonies, Dependencies, and Protectorates (London, 1896). Map 3. Africa, 1922. The Comparative Atlas of Physical and Political Geography (London, Bartholomew 1922). Source: http://img.lib.msu.edu/branches/map/AfJPEGs/af1922l.htm. Created on: Tuesday, 18 August 2009 | Last Updated: Monday, 31 August 2009

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Abel Ferrara

Nicole Brenez, Abel Ferrara (translated from the French by Adrian Martin). Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 252 07411 0 AUD$37.95 (pb) 240pp (Review copy supplied by UniReps) Like many of the colleagues whose work informs Brenez’s – such as Raymond Bellour, Alain Bergala and Charles Tesson – theoretical reflections arise from the work and pleasure …

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Appendix G. Selection of early Rhodesian ephemera

Fig. G1. The Pioneer Column of the British South Africa Company. The Graphic, 25 October 1890. Fig. G2. Tensions between the BSAC and Portugal. Punch, 5 June 1891, 266. Fig. G3. The Anglo-Ndebele War of 1893. The Penny Illustrated Paper, 7 October 1893, 240. Fig. G4. Cecil Rhodes as the Pied Piper of Rhodesia. Punch, 10 May 1899, 223. Fig. G5. Postcard, undated. Fig. …

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Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape and the Picturesque

Giorgio Bertellini, Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape and the Picturesque. Indiana University Press, 2009 ISBN-13: 978-0-253-22128-5 US$24.95 (pb) 464pp (Review copy supplied by Indiana University Press) “Southernism: The answer to the Southern Question?” Giorgio Bertellini’s Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape and the Picturesque fills a much needed void in our understanding of the role that Italians and Italian …

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The Cinema of Todd Haynes: All That Heaven Allows

James Morrison (ed.), The Cinema of Todd Haynes: All That Heaven Allows. London; New York: Wallflower Press, 2006. ISBN: 978 1 904764 77 9 US$25.00 (pb) 224pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press) Ordinarily a book of theoretically-besotted essays on the cinema offers little more than a long dull slog through the painfully obvious. You don’t have to have read …

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Sexual Politics and Narrative Film: Hollywood and Beyond

Robin Wood, Sexual Politics and Narrative Film: Hollywood and Beyond. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998 ISBN: 0-231-07605-3 352pp $US22.50 (pb) Uploaded 1 July 1999 This book has two authors: a clever, worm-catching Robin and a very thick Wood. Robin is a shrewd analyst of other critics’ logic and an attentive, informed observer of a wide range of films. Wood …

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Cinema and Landscape

Graeme Harper and Jonathan Rayner (eds), Cinema and Landscape. Bristol: Intellect, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-84150-309-7 US$25.00 (pb) 315pp (Review copy supplied by Intellect) Presumably anyone interested in reading Cinema and Landscape, an anthology of eighteen essays edited by Graeme Harper and Jonathan Rayner, is interested in considering landscape and cinema in tandem in order to practice a reading strategy that will reveal …

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Uncanny Bodies: The Coming of Sound Film and the Origins of the Horror Genre

Robert Spadoni, Uncanny Bodies: The Coming of Sound Film and the Origins of the Horror Genre. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 520 25122 9 US$24.95 (pb) 190pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) In the Introduction to Uncanny Bodies, Robert Spadoni (Assistant Professor, English, Case Western University) claims to have published what amounts to the …

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Contributors

JAMES M. BURNS teaches African history at Clemson University. He is the author of Flickering Shadows: Cinema and Identity in Colonial Zimbabwe (2002) and co-author of A History of Sub-Saharan Africa (2007). He has published several articles on the role played by cinema in colonial Africa, and is currently working on a comparative history of cinema spectatorship in the Black Atlantic. MATTI BYE is a silent …

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Celluloid Dreams: A Century of Film in New Zealand & 80 Turbulent Years: The Paramount Theatre Wellington 1917-1997

David Lascelles, Celluloid Creams: A Century of Film in New Zealand. Wellington: IPL Books. 1997 ISBN 0 908876 96 3. 144 pp. NZ$39.95 within New Zealand or $45 overseas (Pb) Fax 64-4-499-3032. David Lascelles, 80 Turbulent Years: The Paramount Theatre Wellington 1917-1997. Wellington: Millwood Press. 1997 ISBN 0-908582-80-3. 90 pp. NZ $39.95 (Pb) Uploaded 1 July 1999 Both Celluloid Dreams: A Century …

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Michael Winterbottom (British Film Makers)

Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams, Michael Winterbottom (British Film Makers). Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-7190-7422 6 AU$89 (hb) 152pp (Review copy supplied by Footprint Books) Michael Winterbottom has good reason to feel like an unsung figure of contemporary British cinema. Despite his prolific output (eighteen films in the last fifteen years), eclectic use of genre and …

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Poison Woman: Figuring Female Transgression in Modern Japanese Culture

Christine L. Marran, Poison Woman: Figuring Female Transgression in Modern Japanese Culture. University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0816647279 US$22.50 (pb) 264pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) This book adopts a Cultural Studies approach to Japanese studies It examines the representation of the female criminal in Japan over the last 130 years – from early Meiji …

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Four Essays: Painlevé; Jennings; Vigo; Ford.

1. Jean Painlevé Jean Painlevé was born in 1902. He died in 1989. He made his first film in 1927 and his last in 1982, in all more than 200 films, many now lost. With few exceptions the films were documentary shorts of marine fauna, small animals, predominantly crustaceans whose homes were at the floor of the sea, in caves, …

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Adventures of Perception: Cinema as Exploration

Scott MacDonald, Adventures of Perception: Cinema as Exploration. University of California Press, 2009 ISBN: 9780520258563 US$29.95 (pb) 440pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) Scott MacDonald’s Adventures of Perception: Cinema as Exploration is a category defying collection of eight essays and eight interviews produced between 1983 and 2009. It unfolds as a series of pairings exploring independent and avant-garde cinema …

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Scenes of Instruction. The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film

Dana Polan, Scenes of Instruction. The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 520 24962 2 US$24.95 (pb) 416pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) This reviewer entered the field of academic film studies in the 1970s, when, at least in the United States, film education was not yet …

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The Columbian Exchange: Pocahontas and The New World

Among the deepest and most indelible fictions of American national origin is the notion of the “new world” encountered by the earliest English colonists, a world typically characterized as a dense wilderness populated by “children of the forest,” a land untouched by the hand of any culture. Forming the backdrop of almost all subsequent narratives of nation, this idealized image …

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Our Hero: Superman on Earth (Icons of America)

Tom De Haven, Our Hero: Superman on Earth (Icons of America). Yale University Press, 2010 ISBN: 9780300118179 US$24.00 (hb) 240pp (Review copy supplied by Yale University Press) The final chapter of Tom De Haven’s 2005 novel, It’s Superman, begins like this: “And here, at last, is the point where our version of the story merges with all of the others…” (p. 424) …

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Screening the Past: Film and the Representation of History

Tony Barta (editor), Screening the Past: Film and the Representation of History. Westport Ct: Praeger. 1998 ISBN 0-275-95402-1 279pp $59.95(hb) Uploaded 1 July 1999 The essays in Tony Barta’s collection focus on the relationship between film and history – on the ‘many ways in which the past is “screened” ‘; an attempt to ‘integrate the academic culture of historians….with the …

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Leni, The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl

Steven Bach, Leni, The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 375 40400 9 US$30.00 (hb) 386pp Gerd Gemunden and Mary R. Desjardins (eds.), Dietrich Icon. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 8223 3819 2 US$25.00 (pb) 420pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) 1967. New York City. …

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Ford At Fox Part Two (b)

Note: this is the third tranche of a multi-tranche review. It deals with some of the films made by John Ford at the Fox Studios in the first half of the 1930s. One context for these films is provided in the Brief(er) Introduction to Part Two (a), which deals with the first two of Ford’s sound features included in the Ford At …

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Darwin’s Screens: Evolutionary Aesthetics, Time and Sexual Display in the Cinema

Barbara Creed, Darwin’s Screens: Evolutionary Aesthetics, Time and Sexual Display in the Cinema. Carlton, Victoria, Australia: Melbourne University Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-522-85709-2 AU$49.99 232pp (Review copy supplied by Melbourne University Press) In the century and a half since the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, interpretations of Darwin’s ideas have informed, shaped, and, in some cases, tragically distorted …

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Bad Girls and Sick Boys: Fantasies in Contemporary Art and Culture

Linda S. Kauffman, Bad Girls and Sick Boys: Fantasies in Contemporary Art and Culture. University of California Press, California, 1998. ISBN 0-520-21032-8 324pp $18.95 US (pb) Uploaded 16 April 1999 Although we’re gravitating closer to the unfleshed dimensions of cyberspace it seems to me that our obsessions with the body are just as delirious as they’ve always been. The 90’s …

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Religion and Film: An Introduction

Melanie J. Wright, Religion and Film: An Introduction. I.B.Tauris, 2007. ISBN: 978 1 85043 886 1 US$26.95 (pb) 272pp (Review copy supplied by I.B.Tauris) The subtitle of Melanie Wright’s study of the treatment of religion in film suggests a textbook, but although Religion and Film has pedantic stretches, it is a mostly thoughtful and often insightful consideration of how film has …

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Alvin Purple

Catherine Lumby, Alvin Purple. Australian Screen Classics series Currency Press/AFC/NFSA, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-86819-844-6 Au$16.95 (pb) 80pp Henry Reynolds, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. Australian Screen Classics series Currency Press/AFC/NFSA, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-86819-824-8 Au$16.95 80pp (Review copies supplied by Currency Press) I vividly remember being told many years ago, by people who should know, that it was a waste of time researching …

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The Piano

Gail Jones, The Piano. Sydney: Currency Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 86819 799 9 AUD$16.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by Currency Press) Flagrant poetics: rendering Jane Campion’s The Piano new Gail Jones’ monograph on Jane Campion’s The Piano is the next in the Australian Screen Classics series published jointly by The AFC/National Film and Sound Archive and Currency Press. Others in the series include a …

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Terror and Joy. The Films of Dusan Makavejev

A Whole Account of a Great Soul Lorraine Mortimer, Terror and Joy. The Films of Dusan Makavejev. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8166-4887-0 US$25.00 (pb) 336pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) It is not a small appreciation to say about a book that it fortunately managed to bring the character of its versatile ”hero”, the …

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Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy

D. N. Rodowick (ed.), Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010 ISBN: 978 0 8166 5007 1 US$27.50 (pb) 396pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) In Gilles Deleuze’s Time Machine (1997), one of D.N. Rodowick’s primary aims was to reposition Deleuze’s cinema books from the margins to the centre of both film theory and …

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The Victorian Internet : The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers

Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet : The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers. Walker Publishing Company. 1998 ISBN 0 8027 1342 4 240pp US $22.00 Uploaded 1 July 1999 We live in an age where knowledge of the past has all but disappeared from everyday thinking. The managerial ethic which assumes that an MBA is all …

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No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy

Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 226 31606 2 US$30.00 (hb) 419pp (Review copy supplied by the University of Chicago Press) One of my first experiences of photography as something to be looked at in itself was, as …

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Blade Runner, Deer Hunters & Blowing The Bloody Doors Off: My Life in Cult Movies

Michael Deeley and Matthew Field, Blade Runner, Deer Hunters & Blowing The Bloody Doors Off: My Life in Cult Movies. London: Faber & Faber, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-571-23919-1 Au$49.95 (hb) 304pp (Review copy supplied by Faber & Faber) After a period of neglect, recent years have seen the publication of a number of books dedicated to British cinema of the 1970s. …

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Blackout: On Memory and Catastrophe

Joan Grossman, Blackout: On Memory and Catastrophe. New York and Dresden: Atropos Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-9819972-3-0 US$16.95 (pb) 112pp (Review copy supplied by Atropos Press) Philosophers from Aristotle to Jacques Derrida have attempted to theorize how individuals and communities recall and represent important events. In her book, Blackout: On Memory and Catastrophe, Joan Grossman builds on the work of classic and …

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Avatars of Story

Marie-Laure Ryan, Avatars of Story. University of Minnesota Press, 2006. ISBN: 978 081664686 9 US$20 (pb) 296pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) Marie Laure-Ryan has written and edited a number of books on the subject of narrative theory in new media and interactive media, and her body of work has had some degree of influence; within the …

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Andy Warhol’s Blow Job

Peter Gidal, Andy Warhol’s Blow Job. London: Afterall Books, 2008. ISBN: 1-846380-41-3 US$16.00 (pb) 112pp (Review copy supplied by MIT Press) During its most influential “Silver” period, Andy Warhol’s factory churned out a torrent of paintings, sculptures, and films – films that pretty much reinvented the cinema from the ground up. In this short book, filmmaker and critic Peter Gidal …

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Love and Longing in Hindi Cinema

CineBlitz, Love and Longing in Hindi Cinema. VJM Media: Mumbai, 2009 ISBN: 978-81-908829-0-5 US$40 (hb) 206pp (Review copy supplied by D.K.Agencies) Love and Longing in Hindi Cinema (hereafter LLHC) is a glossy coffee table book comprising a fabulous collection of stills from a variety of Hindi films over a period of time, a selection of quotes on the topics of love, lust …

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Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism

Ehrhard Bahr, Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 520 25128 1 US$39.95 (hb) 358pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism is the forty-first title in the …

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Screen Adaptations: Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations: The Relationship Between Text and Film

Brian McFarlane, Screen Adaptations: Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations: The Relationship Between Text and Film. London: Methuen Publishing Ltd. 2008 ISBN: 978-0713679093 US$19.95 (pb) 224pp The cover of this book features a near naked man and woman kissing passionately in the rain. If this rather startling modern depiction of Pip and Estella in Great Expectations (USA 1998) seems incongruous, it’s partly because the …

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Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition

Bhaskar Sarkar, Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8223-4411-7 US$25.95 (pb) 372pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Mourning the Nation is an important and timely book that seeks to explore the impact of the 1947 partition of British India on Indian filmmaking. In order to grasp the …

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The New Film History: Sources, Methods, Approaches

James Chapman, Mark Glancy & Sue Harper (eds.), The New Film History: Sources, Methods, Approaches. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. ISBN: 978 023000169 5 US$85.00 (hb) 288pp (Review copy supplied by Palgrave) The New Film History is an accessible and wide-ranging account of the methods, sources and approaches used by modern film historians. This compilation of essays, drawn together from some of British …

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Palestinian Cinema: Landscape, Trauma and Memory

Nurith Gertz and George Khleifi, Palestinian Cinema: Landscape, Trauma and Memory. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN: 9 780 74863408 8 UK£16.99 (pb) 256pp (Review copy supplied by Edinburgh University Press) Holy Land Trust; Taayush; International Solidarity Movement; Neve shalom/Wahat al-salam (Oasis of Peace) village; and Alternative Information Center are all non-profit peace organizations, grassroots movements, situated in either Israel …

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Hollywood’s America: Twentieth Century America Through Film (Fourth Edition)

Steven Mintz and Randy W. Roberts (eds.), Hollywood’s America: Twentieth Century America Through Film (Fourth Edition). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-4051-9003-9 AU$47.95 (pb) 370pp (Review copy supplied by Wiley-Blackwell publishers) “Anyone who wishes to know about the twentieth-century United States would do well to go to the movies”. So begins the first line in the Preface of this very readable …

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Silent film sound

Rick Altman, Silent film sound, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. ISBN: 0 231 11662 4 462pp US$50 (hb) (Review copy supplied by Columbia University Press) There’s a seeming simplicity to the title of Rick Altman’s majestic book – Silent fiilm sound with no academicizing subtitle to qualify it – but the apparent straightforwardness is quickly belied by a dazzling performance in …

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Beyond the Epic: The Life & Films of David Lean

Gene D. Phillips, Beyond the Epic: The Life & Films of David Lean. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2006. ISBN: 0 8131 2415 8 US$39.95 (hb) 545pp (Review copy supplied by University of Kentucky Press) What is David Lean’s standing now, I wonder? Filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg claim to revere his later works; he has attracted a couple of …

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Inventing Film Studies

Lee Grieveson and Haidee Wasson (eds), Inventing Film Studies. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2008 ISBN: 978 0 8223 4289-2 US$27.95 (pb) 446pp (Review Copy supplied by Duke University Press) In 1969, when I was a freshman in college, I could not have told you who John Ford or G.W. Pabst were, although I did experience my first taste …

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New Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction

Geoff King, New Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009 (first published 2002) ISBN 1 86064 749 9 UK£18.99 (pb) 296pp (Review copy supplied by I.B. Tauris) All the action here is after the colon. The label “An Introduction” should alert you to the ambitions and purpose of this book. Do not look here for new primary research or …

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Hitchcock’s cryptonymies.

Tom Cohen, Hitchcock’s cryptonymies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005. (In two volumes) Vol. I, Secret Agents, 284pp, ISBN: 0 8166 4206 0 (pb) US$25 Vol. II, War Machines, 300pp, ISBN: 0 8166 4171 4 (pb) US$25 (Review copies supplied by University of Minnesota Press) “Blinded” or Blinded It happened in October of 1999 that I was unable to attend a certain …

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Picture Perfect: Landscape, Place and Travel in British Cinema before 1930

Laraine Porter and Bryony Dixon (eds.), Picture Perfect: Landscape, Place and Travel in British Cinema before 1930. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2007-09-12. ISBN: 1 905 81601 4 £14.99 (pb) 160pp (Review copy supplied by University of Exeter Press) One of the most heartening and, indeed, exciting revelations of film studies in recent years has been the bringing to light …

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Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia. Edinburgh University Press, 2009 ISBN: 978 0 7486 2400 3 £18.99 (pb) 208pp Review copy supplied by Edinburgh University Press. Most film people, I believe, think of film noir as a phenomenon that emerged in the late 1930s, blossomed in the next two decades, then slowly subsided, generating the occasional …

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Cold War Exiles in Mexico: US Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance

Rebecca M. Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico: US Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-8166-4308-0 US$22.50 (pb) 320pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) McCarthyism and the American Blacklist (or “Inquisition” as Cedric Belfrage so aptly termed it decades ago) had a devastating effect on progressive ideals in the …

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Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the contemporary Hollywood blockbuster

Warren Buckland, Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the contemporary Hollywood blockbuster. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006. ISBN: 0 8264 1691 8 242pp US$19.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by Continuum) Within the last eight years or so, the body of scholarship on contemporary Hollywood cinema has grown exponentially. Prior to this, a few key works, like Timothy Corrigan’s 1991 A cinema …

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The Illusion of Life 2: More Essays on Animation

Alan Cholodenko (ed.), The Illusion of Life 2: More Essays on Animation. Sydney: Power Publications, 2007. ISBN: 9 78 0909952 34 1 AUD$59.95 (pb) 576pp (Review copy supplied by Power Publications) In the anthology The Illusion of Life 2: More Essays on Animation, Alan Cholodenko has brought together an eclectic array of scholarly approaches to animation. Conceiving of animation as a …

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Street Scenes: Staging the Self in Immigrant New York 1880-1924

Esther Romeyn, Street Scenes: Staging the Self in Immigrant New York 1880-1924. University of Minnesota Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-081664522 0 US$25.00 (pb) 320pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) We seem to have acquired a class of individuals whose so-called sense of humor takes the form of uncouth flippancy, a type of mind that stares blankly in the …

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Directory of World Cinema: Japan

John Berra (ed.), Directory of World Cinema: Japan. Bristol: UK: Intellect Books, 2010 ISBN-13: 978-1841503356 UK£16.00 (pb) 350pp (Review copy supplied by Intellect Books) According to the editorial introduction, this volume “is intended to be informative rather than exhaustive. Instead of providing a general overview of Japanese Cinema, past and present…this volume aims to offer readers both familiar and unfamiliar …

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Mute dreams, blind owls and dispersed knowledges: Persian poesis in the transnational circuitry

Michael M. J. Fischer, Mute dreams, blind owls and dispersed knowledges: Persian poesis in the transnational circuitry. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2004. ISBN: 0 8223 3298 1 475pp US$24.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Michael M. J. Fischer’s comprehension of the dynamics inherent in Iranian culture is more than substantial. An anthropologist, Professor Fischer spent …

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Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma OR “Memory of the world” (a lecture) 

[1] In Memory of K.K. Mahajan [2] I would like to begin (as a good Australian citizen), with an anecdote I heard when I was at the Queensland Art Gallery for the Asia Pacific Triennale in early 2007. Julie Ewington, the curator of Australian art, recalled a tutorial in the Department of Fine Arts at University of Sydney in the early …

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Italian Neorealist Cinema: An Aesthetic Approach

Christopher Wagstaff, Italian Neorealist Cinema: An Aesthetic Approach. University of Toronto Press, 2007. ISBN: 9 7808020 95206 US$39.95 (pb) 514pp (Review copy supplied by University of Toronto Press) Italian neo-realism was many things. At one end of the spectrum it was a wide social and artistic movement emerging from the debris of the Second World War – Fascism, German occupation, …

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He’s Not There: Robert Frank’s Me and My Brother

The world of which I am a part includes Julius Orlovsky. Julius is a catatonic, a silent man; he is released from a state institution in the care of his brother Peter. Sounds and images pass him and no reaction comes from him. In the course of the film he becomes like all the other people in front of my …

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10

Geoff Andrew, 10. London: BFI Publishing, 2005. ISBN: 1 844 57069 X 88pp £9.99 (pb) (Review copy supplied by BFI publications) Few films seem as wholeheartedly concerned with “America”, in the sense of ruminating on the singular character of the American condition, psyche, and way of life, as Martin Scorsese’s Taxi driver (US 1976). What that film depicts, more than anything else, …

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lIntersections

Mulberry Omelette Once upon a time there was a king who could call all the power and treasures of the earth his own, but who for all that was not happy and who became more and more despondent from one year to the next. One day he summoned his personal cook and said to him, “You have served me faithfully …

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Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher: Reflections on His Creativity

Irving Singer, Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher: Reflections on His Creativity. MIT Press, 2007 ISBN-13: 978-0-262-19563-8 US$24.95 (hb) 240pp Irving Singer, Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film. MIT Press, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-0-262-19589-8 US$24.95 (hb) 256pp (Review copies supplied by MIT Press) Could it be that “philosopher of film” is a persona on the way to becoming obsolete? This would perhaps be surprising, …

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Monochrome Now: Digital Black and White Cinema and the Photographic Past

Fig. 1 One of the core values of the photograph as a visual object of communication is its temporal, emotional and connotative variety. In relation to motion and speed, the photograph, although essentially still as an object, frequently strains against its static boundaries, so that it can be encountered emotionally (as a process) across shifting temporal modes of spectatorial perception …

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Historical dictionary of Australian and New Zealand cinema

Albert Moran and Errol Vieth, Historical dictionary of Australian and New Zealand cinema. Scarecrow Press, 2005. ISBN: 0 810 85459 7 432pp Au$80 (hb) (Review copy supplied by Scarecrow Press) Addressing the topic of Australian cinema is a task fraught with difficulty. Judging from the currently available histories of Australian cinema, it is de rigueur for any project of the …

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Manny Farber and Patricia Patterson Interviewed

Manny Farber: February 20, 1917 – August 17, 2008 Manny Farber portrait by Fielding Dawson Manny Farber changed the way film was written and thought about. He demonstrated new ways to approach cinema and shared with us new ways to see film. His influence on two generations of film critics has been profound (see the Screen-L selection of obituaries on …

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Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema: Resonance Between Realms

James Walters, Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema: Resonance Between Realms. Chicago: Intellect Books, The University of Chicago Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-1-84150-202-1 US$30.00 (pb) 232pp (Review copy supplied by Unireps) The recognition of fictionalized or fantasy worlds is nothing new to cinema studies. However, in Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema: Resonance Between Realms, University of Birmingham professor James Walters builds upon previous …

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The Album of Everyday Life: The Photograph in the Films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan

In Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s films, photography is present in the everyday lives of the characters. Their homes are decorated with family portraits and holiday snaps. Some of them are photographers and taking photos are as much part of their lives as doing the washing up, watching television and drinking tea. There is a lot of tea drinking and sitting around …

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Backstory 4: Interviews with screenwriters of the 1970s and 1980s

Patrick McGilligan (ed), Backstory 4: Interviews with screenwriters of the 1970s and 1980s. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. ISBN: 0 520 21518 0 424pp US$24.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) This latest of McGilligan’s useful and distinguished series of screenwriter interview collections is loosely themed around writers of a certain period of American studio cinema …

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Introduction to Australian Film Theory and Criticism Project Interviews

The interviews to be published on a regular basis across this and future issues of Screening the Past derive from an ARC-funded project, entitled Australian Film Theory and Criticism, undertaken by Constantine Verevis and Deane Williams of Monash University, and Noel King from Macquarie University. This research project takes as its object of study the development of film studies in Australia, especially in …

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Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance

Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti (eds), Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-8166-4579-4 US$25.00 (pb) 340pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) My local community arts centre now offers Bollywood Dhamarka every Thursday. The South Asian population of the suburb is minimal so who are the participants of this fun-filled hour? …

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Profils Paysans

Profils Paysans (Farmer Profiles) is a film divided into three chapters made by Raymond Depardon and Claudine Nougaret centred on the lives of small farmers in the Cévennes region in southeastern France along the Massif Centrale. The area is mountainous and hilly, the farms isolated, set on the steep slopes of the Massif. The only farming possible on such land …

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Buffy the vampire slayer & Why Buffy matters: The art of Buffy the vampire slayer & Reading Angel: The tv spin-off with a soul

Anne Billson, Buffy the vampire slayer. London: British Film Institute, 2005. ISBN: 1 8445 7089 4, 192pp, £9 (pb). (Review copy supplied by BFI publications) Rhonda Wilcox, Why Buffy matters: The art of Buffy the vampire slayer. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2005. ISBN: 1 8451 1029 3, 256pp, £12.99 (pb). (Review copy supplied by I.B. Tauris) Stacey Abbott, …

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Against the Flow of Time: Michael Mann and Edward Hopper

Tim Groves and Costas Thrasyvoulou Introduction Richard Combs claims that Michael Mann’s films have an opaque or self-enclosed quality that frustrates interpretation.[1] One reason for such resistance is that Mann’s cinema is often busy and restless. His work shifts constantly between realism and abstraction, the epic and the intimate, the kinetic and the reflective. As Combs suggests, Mann’s films are about transformation …

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Film: The Key Concepts

Nitzan Ben-Shaul, Film: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2007 ISBN-13: 978-1845203665 US$19.95 (pb) 192pp (Review copy supplied by Berg Publishers) Nitzan Ben-Shaul’s Film: The Key Concepts is part of a “Key Concepts” series from Berg that “aims to cover the core disciplines and the key cross-disciplinary ideas across the Humanities and Social Sciences.” Given its purpose, Film: The Key Concepts succeeds admirably. Divided into …

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Cinema Lucida: Johan van der Keuken and the Meaning of Loss

Images virtually rob us of our memory, because they replace it. – Johan van der Keuken[1] Johan van der Keuken was born in Amsterdam in 1938; he died from prostate cancer in 2001 after a long illness. The son of schoolteachers, he began taking photographs when he was twelve (in the company of his grandfather), and was already publishing his …

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The big show: British cinema culture in the Great War 1914-1918

Michael Hammond, The big show: British cinema culture in the Great War 1914-1918. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2006. ISBN: 0 85989 758 3 304pp £45 (hb) (Review copy supplied by University of Exeter Press) While film studies has traditionally been grounded in textual analysis, it continues to try out models for incorporating context and reception in its accounts of …

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Say it with generic maps: Genre, identity and flowers in Michael Mann’s Collateral

Luis M. Garcia-Mainar Recent contributions to the study of genre have stressed the role of its internal laws, such as historical trends or industrial factors, in the formation and development of generic forms, while failing to take account of the interactions of these forms with social circumstances. This attention to the internal mechanisms of genre has spread and gained impetus …

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The Time of Sculpture: Film, Photography and Auguste Rodin

  Figure 1. The Kiss, Auguste Rodin, photographed by Eugene Druet, c. 1900. Part of a series of photographs in the collection of the Musée Rodin in Paris taken of The Kiss at various times of day. The rise of digital technology in filmmaking has brought us back to fundamental questions about the object of cinema studies. In this context, …

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Virtual voyages: Cinema and travel

Jeffrey Ruoff (ed), Virtual voyages: Cinema and travel. Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2006. ISBN: 0 8223 3713 4 298pp US$22.95 (pb) (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) “Vision ‘captivates’ us not only because it is a journey toward external things, but, also because it is a return to a reality of origin… to travel is to see, …

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Screening Early Europe: Premodern Projections

The study of screen representations of early Europe is a growing area that has come in recent years to occupy a vital place within the various disciplines of early European studies, especially in medieval studies and, to a lesser degree, in Classics and early modern studies. From encyclopaedias of medievalist films such as Kevin J. Harty’s The Reel Middle Ages (1999) and …

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The Carlton Ripple and the Australian Film Revival

Why, after a lapse of four decades, rake over the remnants of what are at best little more than footnotes to the film revival? The first and most obvious answer is simply because it was and is there in the memories of those surviving who participated and in the now generally hard-to-find documentation in the form of notes, reviews and …

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Film as an Archive for Photography: The Portraitist as Witness to the Holocaust

Harun Farocki reflects on the filmstrip-as-archive in a handful of films and writings from the 1990s.[1] In films such as Der Ausdruck der Hände (The Expression of Hands, 1997) and Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik (Workers Leaving the Factory, 1995), Farocki’s film-archives are, in his own words, a form of classification, a “future library for moving images, in which one can …

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The Long Path Back: Medievalism and Film

Abstract Various forms of neo-medievalism are currently revealing themselves on an international scale, both in popular audiovisual culture and in progressive art cinema. This essay critiques the assumptions behind the widespread notion that today’s blockbuster entertainment movies are a ‘perfect match’ with medieval narratives; while delving into the far lesser-known theory and practice of an ‘archaic-innovative’ approach to medieval form …

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Surrealism and cinema

Michael Richardson, Surrealism and cinema. Oxford: Berg, 2006. ISBN: 1 84520 226 0 202pp £14.99 (pb) (Review copy supplied by Berg publications) Michael Richardson’s Surrealism and cinema addresses misconceptions about surrealism and dispels any limited notion of what surrealism might be. He shows that surrealism is an activity, a living thing or a tension within the work rather than it is a …

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Feature Review: Ford At Fox

[Screening the Past asked Bill Routt to review this archival DVD set documenting most of the surviving films John Ford directed at (Twentieth-Century) Fox from 1920—1952. More of the review will appear in future issues.] Ford at Fox. Published by Twentieth-Century Fox, 2007. 21 disks. Includes coffee-table photo album, Ford at Fox, 168 pp. with essays by Joseph McBride (“Ford at Fox: …

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David Claerbout’s Digital Pensive Images

The video installation works of Belgian artist David Claerbout explore the “pensive image” since they confront the viewer with photographs, whose mode of stillness guides her towards the contemplation of them. According to Jacque Rancière, the word “pensive” primarily refers to “someone who is … ‘full of thoughts’,” but this mental state is interlocked with a specific mode of the …

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Transparent Walls: Stained Glass and Cinematic Medievalism

Abstract In its representation of stained-glass windows, medievalist cinema exploits the shared capacity of both media to articulate the dreams, visions and memories of both past and present. Many films avoid the detailed depiction of religious imagery, but in their fascination with the patterns of light and shade, and the oneiric aspects of stained-glass windows they tap into what medieval …

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Beyond Characterization: Performance in 1960s Experimental Cinema

  Abstract The New American Cinema of the 1960s differed from conventional models of filmmaking in many ways, embracing chance, roughness of physical execution, an impoverishment of technical and financial facilities, but also freeing the filmmakers to create personal films that reflected their lives, their sexuality, and their social beliefs. The “actors” in these films are really performing themselves, even …

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Screening Modernism: European Art Cinema 1950-1980

András Bálint Kovács, Screening Modernism: European Art Cinema 1950-1980. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-226-45165-7 US$22.50 (pb) 428pp (Review copy supplied by University of Chicago Press) As we approach the end of the 2000s, it is worth remembering that it has been fifty years since that annus mirabilis during which history and aesthetics took a quantum leap. In …

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Suspended Animation: Myth, Memory and History in Beowulf

[1] The last ten to fifteen years have witnessed a rapid growth of academic interest in the formal, cultural and political aspects of both medieval film and graphic novels.[2] While more recent scholarship has highlighted their aesthetic as well as cultural complexities, both have been (and sometimes still are) accused of political conservatism (in relation to the former) and frivolity …

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Time Frames: Japanese Cinema and the Unfolding of History

Scott Nygren, Time Frames: Japanese Cinema and the Unfolding of History. University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ISBN-13: 978 0 8166 4708 8 US$25.00 (pb) 304pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) Scott Nygren’s prefatory caveats should dispel any expectation that his book title promises a history of film in Japan; an update, say, of Anderson and Richie’s The Japanese …

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Our Place in the World

1 A little while ago, I was asked by the marketing manager of the University of Minnesota Press to write about The Misfits (USA 1961). The request coincided with the publication of Famous Faces Yet Not Themselves: The Misfits and Icons of Postwar America. The press wanted to give potential readers a glimpse of the book’s content and underlying themes. …

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Dance Hall and Picture Palace: Sydneys Romance with Modernity

Jill Julius Matthews, Dance Hall and Picture Palace: Sydneys Romance with Modernity. Sydney: Currency Press, 2005. ISBN: 0 868 19755 6 Au$32.95 (pb) 342pp (Review copy supplied by Currency Press) This is a tale of modern romance, of heroic adventures and impassioned desire. It is set in the city of Sydney over thirty tumultuous years of prosperity, between the two …

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“We are the Monsters Now”: The Genre Medievalism of Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf

Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf (USA 2007) is an unusual film. It follows an unusual narrative structure – the hero’s path shifts dramatically into the future at the very moment in which we might expect a romantic resolution – and yet it is at the same time recognisable as a very ‘generic’ film, investing energy in fulfilling rather than challenging generic norms. The film …

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Film Propaganda in Britain and Nazi Germany: World War II Cinema

Jo Fox, Film Propaganda in Britain and Nazi Germany: World War II Cinema. Oxford: Berg, 2007. ISBN: 9 781 85973896 2 £17.99 (pb) 368pp (Review copy supplied by Berg publishers) The Second World War still continues to exert great fascination on scholars and the public alike, and no aspect of the war appears more fascinating than film propaganda. In recent …

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Inspiration and Girl in a Mirror

Photography as an art form took off in the 1970s and Carol Jerrems’ star rose with it. Seen as a democratically accessible medium unencumbered by the vagaries of history and privilege, it shone bright with the promise of social and personal renewal through art. Consequently it had enormous appeal to those who identified with the counterculture, and art teachers set …

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Australian Postwar Documentary Film: An Arc of Mirrors

Deane Williams, Australian Postwar Documentary Film: An Arc of Mirrors. Bristol: Intellect Books, 2008. ISBN: 9781841502106 UK£29.95 (hb) 192 pp (Review copy supplied by Intellect Books) Deane Williams re-evaluates Australian documentary film production after World War 2, positioning it as part of an international left culture, which can embrace producers as different as the Realist Film Unit, Cecil Holmes, John …

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From Mythic History to Cinematic Poetry: Terrence Malick’s The New World Viewed

Abstract Terrence Malick’s The New World (2005) is a poetic evocation of one of America’s founding myths, the story of Pocahontas. While the film allegorises – through the theme of marriage – the possibility of successful cultural exchange and of reconciliation with nature, it also fuses mythic history, subjective reflection, and the self-expression of nature. This unstable point of view has led …

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Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture

Gideon Nisbet, Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture. Bristol Phoenix Press, 2006. ISBN: 1 904675 12 3 AUD$43.95 (pb) 170pp (Review copy supplied by Footprint Books) While Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture is hardly the first account of the ancient world in film (books from Solomon, Wyke, Winkler, and Cyrino come to mind), it is surely the first to …

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Fact and Fiction: The Iraq War Film in Absence

Abstract The American film industry’s response to the events of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq heralds a transition in its previous reaction to the country at war. During the Vietnam conflict, the industry was slow to tackle the complex issue of representing an increasingly unpopular war. However, the Iraq War has quickly found expression in both fiction and non-fiction …

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David Cronenberg: Author or Film-maker?

Mark Browning, David Cronenberg: Author or Film-maker? Bristol and Chicago: Intellect Books, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-84150-173-4 US$25.00 (pb) 207pp (Review copy supplied by Intellect Books) After more than half a century of auteur film theory, the title of this book is quite puzzling. Should it be: David Cronenberg: Author and Film-maker? Particularly, in this case, this question seems rhetorical. Cronenberg’s films bear one …

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Music for Myth and Fantasy in Two Arthurian Films

Abstract This essay examines music in two Arthurian films: John Boorman’s Excalibur (USA 1981), and the television miniseries Mists of Avalon (USA 2001), directed by Uli Edel. It explores the role of music in the nostalgic desire evoked by the medieval in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century film. From a perspective informed by Lacanian understandings of desire and its lost object (objet (petit) a), …

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Discovering Orson Welles

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Discovering Orson Welles. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 520 25123 6 US$24.95 (pb) 346pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) It’s one of those delectable ironies of film history that the United States’ greatest (that is to say, most interesting) director should have been so profoundly un-American as Orson Welles. Everyone knows …

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Bill Henson and the Devil, Probably

First published in Photofile (Spring 1985) and reprinted in Blair French (ed.), Photo Files: An Australian Photography Reader (Power Publications/Australian Centre for Photography, 1999). It is published here with the kind permission of the author. There is a close affinity – probably not deliberate – between the photographic work of Bill Henson (particularly the Untitled series shown at Pinacotheca in …

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Allegorical Images: Tableau, Time and Gesture in the Cinema of Werner Schroeter

Michelle Langford, Allegorical Images: Tableau, Time and Gesture in the Cinema of Werner Schroeter. Bristol: Intellect Books, 2006. ISBN 1-84150-138-7 US$40.00 (pb) 215pp (Review copy supplied by UniReps) Werner Schroeter is a marginal and itinerant (though prolific) figure in the history of New German Cinema, making fleeting but elusive appearances on the festival circuit, for instance, winning the Golden Bear …

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Medieval Reimaginings: Female Knights in Children’s Television

Abstract This paper will consider three medievalist children’s television programmes, Jane and the Dragon, Sir Gadabout and Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, each of which grant knightly roles to their central female characters. Given the cultural power attached to representations of the past, such rewritings of the Middle Ages can offer a retrospective authorisation for active female participation in today’s society. The ‘girl …

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The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney & Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson

Michael Barrier, The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 520 24117 6 US$29.95 (hb) 393pp (Review copy supplied by the University of California Press) Tom Sito, Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, …

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Bill Henson and the Cinematic

The following essay is a revised version of a talk on the cinematic influences in Bill Henson’s photography presented as part of the Sydney Festival on the occasion of Henson’s survey exhibition “Bill Henson” at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 8 January – 3 April 2005, Sydney. It is published here with the kind permission of the author. …

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Iraq, the Prequel(s): Historicising Military Occupation and Withdrawal in Kingdom of Heaven and 300

Abstract As well as being historical films, Zack Snyder’s 300 and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven both reflect on the value and the danger of historical commemoration and amnesia. The films’ opposing stances on the ‘righteous’ use of history directly link to their differing uses of historical East-West clashes (Thermopylae and the Crusades) as allegorical commentaries on current East-West tensions, specifically the Western occupation …

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Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American

Peter Decherney, Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. ISBN: 0 231 13377 4 US$19.00 (pb) 272pp (Review copy supplied by Columbia University Press) The predominant tone of discussion about the US film industry – not only that industry, but also the totality of the US economy – is that it …

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Montage (Cinema Aesthetics)

Sam Rohdie, Montage (Cinema Aesthetics). Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0719070396 US$19.95 (pb) 146pp (Review copy supplied by Manchester University Press) This book treats of montage much as Eisenstein described cinematography at the outset of his chapter on the ideogram in The Film Form. For its author montage is cinema itself. Rather than laboring through the definitions it carries under the …

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Women on the Edge: Twelve Political Film Practices

Sharon Lin Tay, Women on the Edge: Twelve Political Film Practices. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-230-21776-8 US$80.00 (hb) 208pp (Review copy supplied by Palgrave Macmillan) Contemporary feminist media scholarship is indebted to the significant intellectual contributions of 1970s and 80s feminist theorists. Indeed, decades-long scholarly discussions surrounding conceptual frameworks such as “the gaze” and “women’s films” have had so great …

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Reel Medici Mobsters? The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance Reassessed

Abstract This article considers the 2004 PBS documentary Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance in relation to its suggestions that the Medici family of Florence shared similar traits to modern Mafiosi. It analyses the cinematic influence of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy on the documentary’s filming, as well as that of Hollywood gangster films in general, the distinct references that the director used to illustrate …

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The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art

Petra Kupper, The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art. London: University of Minnesota, 2007. ISBN: 978 081664653 1 US$29.95 (pb) 360pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) When I was about eight years old I lay in hospital with a long, thick strip of sticky material across my lower belly. As the young male doctor examined …

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The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Australian Screen Classics Series)

Philip Brophy, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Australian Screen Classics Series). Sydney: Currency Press and the Australian Film Commission, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-86819-821-7 Au$16.94 (pb) 88pp (Review copy supplied by Currency Press) Philip Brophy’s The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a most welcome tour de-force addition to Currency Press’s Australian Screen Classics, which is edited by the indefatigable film scholar-activist …

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Up Close: Carol Jerrems with Larry Clark, Nan Goldin and William Yang

Natalie King (ed.), Up Close: Carol Jerrems with Larry Clark, Nan Goldin and William Yang. Melbourne: Heide Museum of Modern Art/Schwartz City, 2010. ISBN: 9 78186395 501 0 AU$59.95 (pb) 241pp (Review copy supplied by Heide Museum of Modern Art/Schwartz City) “(Susan) Sontag once said to me that in all of human history, in only one brief period were people …

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“A Continuous Return”: Tristan and Isolde, Wagner, Hollywood and Bill Viola

  [1] Abstract The story of Tristan and Isolde is one of the founding myths of Western culture and fifteen hundred years after its first appearance artists continue to embrace and re-write this early medieval tale, with Wagner’s 1865 opera Tristan und Isolde remaining a touchstone for contemporary reinterpretations. This paper examines two recent screen-based responses to the legend, Reynolds’ Hollywood film, Tristan …

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The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft

Anne Friedberg, The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. ISBN: 978 0 262 06252 7 US$34.95 (hb) 448pp (Review copy supplied by MIT Press)   What counts for the orientation of the spectacle is not my body as it in fact is, as a thing in objective space, but as a system of possible actions, a virtual …

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Nightmare Japan: Contemporary Japanese Horror Cinema

Jay McRoy, Nightmare Japan: Contemporary Japanese Horror Cinema. Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi B.V., 2008 ISBN: 978 90 420 2331 4 US$67 (pb) 219pp (Review copy supplied by Rodopi) In the opening pages of Nightmare Japan, Jay McRoy outlines his task: to “advance current studies” of Japanese horror cinema, and to answer the call for a “much-needed aesthetic and critical …

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Hollywood Catwalk: Exploring Costume and Transformation in American Film

Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Hollywood Catwalk: Exploring Costume and Transformation in American Film. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010 ISBN-13: 978-1848850408 US$28.00 (pb) 256pp (Review copy supplied by I.B. Tauris) Tamar Jeffers McDonald’s latest book Hollywood Catwalk: Exploring Costume and Transformation in American Film attempts to pick apart one of the most peculiar, enduring and stupidly satisfying film tropes – the makeover. It …

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Three Thrusts at Excalibur

1. We were in China. I had to clear up some urgent business and, after breakfast with a member of the Gang of Four (Yao Wenyuan), we appointed a leader. It was four in the afternoon. Outside, everybody was doing gymnastics. The rest of us (at the time, numbering more than forty), ensconced in a small room, listened to the …

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Reconstructing American Historical Cinema: From Cimarron to Citizen Kane

J. E. Smyth, Reconstructing American Historical Cinema: From Cimarron to Citizen Kane. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006. ISBN: 0 81312406 9 US$50.00 (hb) 447pp (Review copy supplied by the University Press of Kentucky) J. E. Smyth’s Reconstructing American Historical Cinema is intended, in the author’s own words, “to question the canons of film studies and American history” (24). This is a bold claim. In …

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Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema

Tim Bergfelder, Sue Harris and Sarah Street, Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema. Amsterdam University Press, 1970 ISBN: 978 90 5356 984 9 US$39.50 (pb) 320pp (Review copy supplied by Amsterdam University Press) This is at once a very useful book and a flawed book. Any study that deals seriously with the place of …

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Cities Surround the Countryside: Urban Aesthetics in Postsocialist China

Robin Visser, Cities Surround the Countryside: Urban Aesthetics in Postsocialist China. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010 ISBN: 978 0 8223 4728 6 US$24.95 384pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) An unpronounced keyword in Robin Visser’s Cities Surround the Countryside is “intersubjectivity,” not so much as in how human beings interact and interfere with each other, but how space, …

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Contributors

Anke Bernau lectures in Medieval Literature and Culture at the University of Manchester. She is co-editor of Medieval Film (2009) and author of Virgins: A Cultural History (2007), and has authored numerous essays on medieval literature and medievalism. She is currently working on the Albina myth and theories of memory and history in the late medieval and early modern periods. Narelle Campbell is a PhD …

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Medium Cool: Music Videos from Soundies to Cellphones

Roger Beebe and Jason Middleton (eds.), Medium Cool: Music Videos from Soundies to Cellphones. Durham, Duke University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4162-8 US$23.95 (pb) 360pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) The beat goes on? Medium Cool is in many respects a very timely volume. As its subtitle suggests, it is a book that seeks to chart the progress of the …

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Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method

Jon Lewis and Eric Smoodin (eds), Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method. Duke University Press, 2007 ISBN-13: 978-0-8223-3821-5 US$24.95 (pb) 400pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) This is a very useful book. It has an introduction which states simply and clearly what it intends to do, and why; then twelve essays which …

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The 21st Century Screenplay & Backstory 5: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1990s

Linda Aronson, The 21st Century Screenplay. Allen and Unwin, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-74237-136-8 Au$49.99 (pb) 512pp (Review copy supplied by Allen & Unwin) Patrick McGilligan, Backstory 5: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1990s. University of California Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-520-26039-9 US$24.95 (pb) 264pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) In this fifth volume of the Backstory series, Patrick McGilligan …

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Fishing from the Same Stream: The New Iranian Cinema, Close-Up and the “Film-on-film” Genre

“I have hundreds of small sources of inspiration throughout the day, just watching people in daily routines. I think what happens in real life is more important than the cinema. My technique is similar to collage. I collect pieces and put them together. I don’t invent material. I just watch and take it from the daily life of people around …

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Perspectives on European Film and History

Leen Engelen and Roel Vande Winkel, Perspectives on European Film and History. Academia Press, Gent, 2007 ISBN: 97 890 3821082 7 Eur 30.00 (pb) 281pp (Review copy supplied by Gent, Academia Press) Perspectives on European Film and History brings together a number of essays by Dutch, Belgian, British and American scholars interested in the relationship between film and history, and notably …

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Famous Faces Not Yet Themselves: The Misfits and Icons of Postwar America

George Kouvaros, Famous Faces Not Yet Themselves: The Misfits and Icons of Postwar America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-8166-4747-7 US$24.95 (pb) 304pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) My first experience of John Huston’s The Misfits (USA 1961) was not of the film itself, but of an Eve Arnold photograph of Marilyn Monroe on set. …

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The Virtual Life of Film

D. N. Rodowick, The Virtual Life of Film. Cambridge, Harvard UP, 2007. ISBN 13:978-0-674-02698-8 US$24.95 (pb) 193pp (Review copy supplied by Harvard University Press) Because the digital arts are without substance and therefore not easily identified as objects, no medium-specific ontology can fix them in place. The digital arts render all expressions as identical since they are all ultimately reducible …

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Playing Empire: Settler Masculinities, Adventure, and Merian C. Cooper’s The Four Feathers (US 1929)

Abstract This essay uses archival and historical material on Merian C. Cooper and the production and promotion of The Four Feathers (U.S. 1929) to demonstrate key aspects of the settler coloniality of the United States in the 1920s. While the film’s narrative tells a familiar story of British imperial culture, its contextual elements are embedded within U.S. settler discourses, which include an …

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The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction, and Television

Atara Stein, The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction, and Television. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2004 ISBN-13: 978-0809325863 US$45.00 (hb) 272pp (Review copy supplied by Southern Illinois University Press) Narratives that detail the gradual absorption of subcultures into the mainstream would do well to follow the lead of Atara Stein, an American scholar interested in the interface of Romanticism and …

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Wagner and Cinema

Jeongwon Joe and Sander L. Gilman (eds), Wagner and Cinema. Indiana University Press, 2010 ISBN-13: 978-0-253-22163-6 US$27.95 (pb) 504pp (Review copy supplied by Indiana University Press) The scholarly book Wagner and Cinema presents the reader with what is perhaps an uneven sequence of some very interesting writing. Edited by Jeongwon Joe and Sander L. Gilman, Wagner and Cinema is not …

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Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City

Ranjani Mazumdar, Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8166-4942-6 US$22.50 (pb) 257 pages (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) The recent growth of international interest in commercial Hindi cinema has resulted in the publication of a number of books which are important aids to teaching and research in this area. …

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Strike Me Lucky: Social Difference and Consumer Culture in Roy Rene’s Only Film

Abstract Strike Me Lucky (Australia 1934) presents an imaginative view of Australian society and consumer culture in the 1930s. The only film starring vaudeville star Roy Rene, it has been largely dismissed because of its poor box office performance and perceived artistic failure. Yet Strike Me Lucky is significant for centring on a prominent Jewish Australian comedian and for being an early screen …

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Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality

Christine Cornea, Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007 ISBN: 978-0-7486-1642-8 Au$49.95 (pb) 308pp (Review copy supplied by Edinburgh University Press) In the foreword to her new book, Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality, Christine Cornea makes it clear that its fundamental purpose is to “place the thematic and formal concerns raised by science fiction …

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Bowery to Broadway: The American Irish in Classic Hollywood Cinema

Christopher Shannon, Bowery to Broadway: The American Irish in Classic Hollywood Cinema. University of Scranton Press, Scranton & London, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-58966-200-1 US$25.00 (hb) 220pp (Review copy supplied by Scranton University Press) Priests promoting a down-to-earth muscular Christianity; good-natured boozing fathers; saintly mothers working finger to the bone; pixilated soothsayer types: these were some of the ill-considered images of the …

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Brand Hollywood: Selling Entertainment in a Global Media Age

Paul Grainge, Brand Hollywood: Selling Entertainment in a Global Media Age. London & New York: Routledge, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-415-35405-9 US$34.95 (pb) 224pp (Review copy supplied by Routledge) The brand is the new black. It is related to that last-millenium term synergy, but not simply reducible to synergy. The brand can refer to both the company and the way that companies …

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Quota Quickies: The Birth of the British ‘B’ Film

Steve Chibnall, Quota Quickies: The Birth of the British ‘B’ Film. London: BFI, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-1844571550 US$28.95 (pb) 329pp (Review copy supplied by BFI Publishing) Steve Chibnall is a well-known and well-regarded film historian who specializes in British cinema, and here he tackles an area that has been ignored by many other film scholars, and does it magnificently. In Quota Quickies: …

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Film Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative

Peter Verstraten (translated by Stefan van der Lecq), Film Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009 ISBN-13: 978 080209 505 3 US$27.95 (pb) 259pp (Review copy supplied by University of Toronto Press) In Film Narratology Peter Verstraten attempts one of film theory’s more ambitious and potentially fatal balancing acts. As a hypothetical outline of …

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Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime

Christopher Bolton, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr, and Takayuki Tatsumi (eds.), Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime. Minneapolis & London: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8166-4974-7 US$20.00 (pb) 288pp (Review copy supplied by the University of Minnesota Press) Being a fan of anime and manga in the west inevitably involves seizing works out of their …

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War Cinema. Hollywood on the Front Line

Guy Westwell, War Cinema. Hollywood on the Front Line. London: Wallflower Press, 2006. ISBN: 978-1-904764-54-0 £12.99stg (pb) 144pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press) Despite the number of war films produced by Hollywood each year, there are few (recent) texts that actually analyse the genre from either an historical or cultural-political perspective. There are, of course, books dealing with the …

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Some Early History of the Australian Film Institute: A Memoir of the 1970s

The Australian Film Institute (AFI) has always struggled to find its niche within Australian film culture. It has also always had financial difficulties. These two issues intersect at the point where the AFI applies for funding from government agencies: if the agencies are unsure of the function of the AFI, or disagree with any of its stated policies or activities, …

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Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film

Amy Herzog, Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8166-6088-9 US$25.000 (pb) 296pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) Skipping Along the Groove: Landscaping with Amy Herzog’s Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same Rareness unlike originality defines itself. Originality escapes definition by taking flight, rareness …

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The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

Zhang Zhen (ed.), The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4074-4 US$26.95 (pb) 447pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) If we know anything at all about China right now, it is that it is the site of ferocious processes of change. One of …

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Body Shots: Early Cinema’s Incarnations

Jonathan Auerbach, Body Shots: Early Cinema’s Incarnations. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-520-25293-6 US$24.95 (pb) 214pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) …To achieve any sort of conceptual unity…practices of cinema during its first decade came to rely most crucially on the dynamic language of body movement – gestures, comportments, and attitudes which taken together …

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‘The Circulation of Ideas’: An Interview with Tom O’Regan

This is the latest in a series of interviews we are publishing examining a key period in Australian screen culture. For more information, see the “Introduction to Australian Film Theory and Criticism Project Interviews” in Screening the Past #23. Introduction Tom O’Regan is now Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University Queensland, Brisbane. He is the author of The Film Studio (with Ben Goldsmith) …

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Cinema and identification

Translation by Annabelle J. de Croÿ Introduction by Harriet Margolis Uploaded 16 April 1999 | Modified 20 April 1999 This article first appeared in Revue international de filmologie 1.1 (Juillet-Août 1947): 36-38. The religious function of cinema If ethics is the opposite of religion, as labour is of talent, appropriation is of gift, then cinema will be to sport what religion is to ethics. …

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Hollywood’s Blacklists: A Political and Cultural History

Reynold Humphries, Hollywood’s Blacklists: A Political and Cultural History. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-7486-2456-0 UK£19.99 (pb) 184pp (Review copy supplied by Edinburgh University Press) Fear and anxiety loomed over the offices and back lots of Hollywood studios throughout the early 1950s. Following World War II and the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, American politics shifted away from left-leaning …

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Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics

Jeffrey Sconce (ed.), Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0-8223-3964-9 US$23.95 (pb) 352pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Jeffrey Sconce is a terrific smart arse. It’s what makes him such a pleasure to read, and what ensures his ‘Trashing the Academy’ is one of the …

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Shifts and Interventions: Cultural Materialism and Australian Film History

Introduction This paper seeks to understand a curious moment in Australian film history: the publication of Albert Moran and Tom O’Regan’s “Two Discourses of Australian Film” (1983) which was closely followed by O’Regan’s Occasional paper for Local Consumption publications entitled “Writing on Australian Film History: Some Methodological Comments” from 1984.[1] This moment is curious in that these writings contain criticisms …

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Real and Reel: The Education of a Film Obsessive

Brian McFarlane, Real and Reel: The Education of a Film Obsessive. Glen Waverley: Sid Harta Publishers, 2010 ISBN: 1-921642-58-0 AU$29.95 (pb) 187pp (Review copy supplied by Sid Harta Publishers) There’s a lot of information packed into Brian McFarlane’s “‘rather specialised memoir’”. It contains multiple references to films, to film celebrities and it documents the evolution of the author’s staggering output …

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Reading the French New Wave: Critics, Writers and Art Cinema in France

Dorota Ostrowska, Reading the French New Wave: Critics, Writers and Art Cinema in France. London: Wallflower, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-905674-57-2 £16.99 (pb) 207pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press) The links between the literary and cinematic avant-gardes of the 1950s and 1960s are often hinted at in scholarly studies of the period, but rarely examined in detail. It is the first …

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The Changing Face of Evil in Film and Television

Martin F. Norden (ed.), The Changing Face of Evil in Film and Television. Amsterdam; New York: Rodopi, 2007. ISBN: 978 90 420 2324 6 US$77.00 (pb) 244pp (Review copy supplied by Rodopi) The publication of an anthology of essays which strive to probe disciplinary boundaries through rigorous inquiries into specific subjects is an idea whose time has come. This is …

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Hammer! Making Movies out of Sex and Life

Barbara Hammer, Hammer! Making Movies out of Sex and Life. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York. ISBN 9 781558616 12 7 Au$19.95 (pb) 281pp (Review copy supplied by The Feminist Press) At first glance, I thought that Hammer! would be an overview of the famous British horror film studio. A closer inspection revealed that …

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Italian Film in the Shadow of Auschwitz

Millicent Marcus, Italian Film in the Shadow of Auschwitz. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8020-9189-5 US$29.95 (pb with dvd) 224pp (Review copy supplied by University of Toronto Press) Millicent Marcus has taught Italian film and literature, and co-taught courses on Holocaust literature and film, at the University of Texas, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto, …

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Forest of Pressure – Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary

Abé Mark Nornes, Forest of Pressure – Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary. University of Minnesota Press, 2007 ISBN: 0 8166 4908 1 US$25.00 (pb) 317pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) Abé Mark Nornes has become, with the publication of this book, an author with a considerable range, with a recent book on film translation – the …

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Cinema and Fascism: Italian Film and Society, 1922-1943

Steven Ricci, Cinema and Fascism: Italian Film and Society, 1922-1943. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008. ISBN: 0 520 23310 7 US$24.95 (pb) 233pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) The recent wave of scholarly monographs about cinema in Nazi Germany, Francoist Spain, and Fascist Italy suggest two things: that European cinema in the interwar period can no …

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Raymond Longford’s The Sentimental Bloke: The Restored Version

Raymond Longford’s The Sentimental Bloke: The Restored Version. Madman/NFSA/ATOM, 2009 (Review copy supplied by ATOM http://www.metromagazine.com.au/shop/product.asp?pID=1864) The Sentimental Bloke is a classic of Australian – and even world – silent cinema: Bill Routt and I are quoted on the cover of this package, calling it “among the very best films made anywhere before 1920”. So I welcome this package, which hopefully …

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Deleuze and Horror Film

Anna Powell, Deleuze and Horror Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005 ISBN: 0-7486-1747-7 US$36.00 (pb) 232pp (Review copy supplied by Edinburgh University Press) The rhizome has bloomed. The leaves now push up. Even in many undergraduate film programs, the multiplicity of Deleuze (or Deleuzoguattarian, or schizoanalytical) film scholarship has begun to variegate, differentiate and change. At the arrival of Anna …

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The Routledge Companion to Gothic

Catherine Spooner and Emma McEvoy (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Gothic. London; New York: Routledge, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 415 39843 5 $US30.95 (pb) 290pp (Review copy supplied by Routledge) Showing no signs of releasing its grasp on the popular or critical imagination, the Gothic has confirmed its longevity with a spate of academic titles over the past few years. …

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Hollywood in the Neighbourhood: Historical Case Studies of Local Moviegoing

Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley (ed.), Hollywood in the Neighbourhood: Historical Case Studies of Local Moviegoing. University of California Press, 2008 ISBN: 9 780520249 73 8 US$27.95 (pb) 290pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9480.php) Not so long ago – when serious film study meant the textual analysis of films – this book could not have been published. Post-structuralism and …

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Fred Astaire

Joseph Epstein, Fred Astaire. Yale University Press, 2008 (Review copy supplied by Yale University Press) The question that engages Joseph Epstein concerns Fred Astaire’s enduring magic: why his movies still shimmer with glamour, 50 years after his time, when what he did may not have been all that worth doing in the first place. (The question may likewise be asked …

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Cinema Babel: Translating Global Cinema

Abé Mark Nornes [Markus Nornes], Cinema Babel: Translating Global Cinema. Minneapolis and London, University of Minnesota Press: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8166-5042-2 US$22.50 (pb) 304pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) Officially, Nornes’ fascinating book, about language-translation in the export and import of films, consists of 8 main segments: 6 ‘chapters’ plus ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’, the eight of which average …

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Loving and Hating Hollywood: Reframing Global and Local Cinemas

Jane Mills, Loving and Hating Hollywood: Reframing Global and Local Cinemas. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2009 ISBN: 9 781741756 647 Aud$39.99 (pb) 249pp (Review copy supplied by Allen & Unwin) Jane Mills begins her monograph by calling for a widespread film education. Based on her observations of the Australian film industry, she asks why its domestic audience is so …

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Pedro Almodóvar

Marvin D’Lugo, Pedro Almodóvar. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006 ISBN-10: 0-252-07361-4 US$19.95 (pb) 192pp (Review copy supplied by University of Illinois Press) Auteur on the Global Scene: Pedro Almodóvar’s Geocultural Strategies It is no secret that the public persona of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar is built on a series of oxymorons. An enfant terrible of Spanish cinema, he is also …

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Women’s Experimental Cinema. Critical Frameworks

Robin Blaetz (ed), Women’s Experimental Cinema. Critical Frameworks. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2007. ISBN13: 978 0 8223 4044 7 US$25.95 (pb) 412pp (Review Copy supplied by Duke University Press) Alexander Graf and Dietrich Scheunemann (eds), Avant-Garde Film. Amsterdan – New York: Rodopi, 2007. ISBN: 978 90 420 2305 5 US$117.00 (hb) 416pp (Review copy supplied by Rodopi) There …

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Wort und Fleisch: Kino zwischen Text und Körper/ Word and Flesh: Cinema between Text and the Body

Sabine Nessel, Winfried Pauleit, Christine Rüffert (eds), Wort und Fleisch: Kino zwischen Text und Körper/ Word and Flesh: Cinema between Text and the Body, German edition. CD with English version and clips. Berlin: Bertz and Fischer ISBN: 978-3-86505-182-0 €19,90 158pp (Review copy supplied by Bertz+Fischer http://www.bertz-fischer.de/wortundfleisch.html) This collection of essays on film and media studies is published by the editors …

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Residual Media

Charles R. Acland (ed), Residual Media. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007 ISBN-10: 0-8166-4472-1 US$25.00 (pb) 400pp (Review copy supplied by the University of Minnesota Press) Obituaries for old media, as standard news practice dictates for superannuated or terminally ill celebrities, have the peculiar fate of being written prior to the actual consummation of death. Prophets of the digital revolution …

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It’s So French! Hollywood, Paris, and the Making of Cosmopolitan Film Culture

Vanessa Schwartz, It’s So French! Hollywood, Paris, and the Making of Cosmopolitan Film Culture. The University of Chicago Press, 2007 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-74243-4 US$25.00 (pb) 272 pp (Review copy supplied by University of Chicago Press) The moment that I opened the envelope containing, It’s So French, I knew that I would be completely mesmerized by the subject matter. Before reading a single …

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From Plato to Lumière: Narration and Monstration in Literature and Cinema

André Gaudreault, From Plato to Lumière: Narration and Monstration in Literature and Cinema, trans. Timothy Barnard. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009 ISBN: 9 780802095 86 2 US$27.95 (pb) 224pp (Review copy supplied by University of Toronto Press http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca) This translation of Gaudreault’s seminal French text, Du littéraire au filmique (1988) is of great significance to the English speaking population because the narrative theories …

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Cinematic Identity: Anatomy of a Problem Film

Cindy Patton, Cinematic Identity: Anatomy of a Problem Film. University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ISBN: 0-8166-3412-2 US$19.50 (pb) 232pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) From the title, subtitle, and the advertising blurbs, I was expecting from this book an anatomy of a problem film, namely Elia Kazan’s Pinky (USA 1949). But that’s not what the book is. Only a …

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Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and Television

Matthew H. Bernstein, Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and Television. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8203-3239-0 US$24.95 (pb) 332pp (Review copy supplied by University of Georgia Press) Matthew H. Bernstein’s Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and Television is an exhaustively researched historical study that introduces a famous case of lynching …

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Night Mail

Scott Anthony, Night Mail. London: British Film Institute, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-1-84457-229-8 £9.99 stg (pb) (Review copy supplied by British Film Institute) Night Mail, the GPO Film Unit’s 1936 paean to the British rail-based mail delivery system, occupies an ambivalent place in documentary history. It is almost always cited as a seminal film, but its influence on modern documentary form is …

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Neo-Romantic Landscapes: An Aesthetic Approach to the Films of Powell and Pressburger

Stella Hockenhull, Neo-Romantic Landscapes: An Aesthetic Approach to the Films of Powell and Pressburger. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008 ISBN (13): 9781847187444 US$69.99 (hb) 220pp (Review copy sent by Cambridge Scholars Publishing) Aesthetically and culturally, the Archers are often regarded as the great outsiders of British Cinema, who followed European and Hollywood models rather than belonging to any …

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Vocal Tracks: Performance and Sound Media

Jacob Smith, Vocal Tracks: Performance and Sound Media. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008 ISBN: 9 780520254 94 7 US$24.95 (pb) 304pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press http://www.ucpress.edu/) Vocal Tracks: Performance and Sound Media begins with a description of a phonograph record from 1908 called The Laughing Spectator in which a talented comedian plays multiple speaking parts in a performance …

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Framed Time: Toward a Postfilmic Cinema

Garrett Stewart, Framed Time: Toward a Postfilmic Cinema. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77416-9 US$40.00 (pb) 299 pp (Review copy supplied by The University of Chicago Press) In F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (Germany 1922) the vampire Count Orlock meets his end by being exposed to sunlight. We see this death as a lap dissolve where the Count simply …

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Hong Kong New Wave Cinema (1978-2000)

Pak Tong Cheuk, Hong Kong New Wave Cinema (1978-2000). Bristol: Intellect Books, 2008 ISBN: 9 781841501 48 2 UK£19.95 (pb) 264pp (Review copy supplied by Intellect Books http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk) From the perspective of Anglophone cinema studies, we often share the assumption that Hong Kong cinema is fundamentally “mass-produced” and industry-driven.[1] With this presupposition in mind, however, what does it mean to …

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Seeing Witness: Visuality and the Ethics of Testimony

Jane Blocker, Seeing Witness: Visuality and the Ethics of Testimony. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8166-5476-5 US$25.00 (pb) 153pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press http://www.upress.umn.edu/) A wedding is an allegorical event for the vertiginous mise en abyme that witnessing is. Frankenstein becomes a symbol of the monstrous burden of representing our invisibility. Blushing is the skin’s way …

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Once Were Warriors: The Aftermath. The Controvery of OWW in Aotearoa New Zealand

Emiel Martens, Once Were Warriors: The Aftermath. The Controvery of OWW in Aotearoa New Zealand. Amsterdam: Aksant, 2007. ISBN: 978-90-5260-236-3. €24.90 (pb) 184pp (Review copy supplied by Aksant Publishers) How does one describe Once Were Warriors? In Aotearoa New Zealand it was originally a surprisingly successful first novel by Alan Duff, a man of no particular fame or standing at the …

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The Encyclopedia of British Film (Third Edition)

Brian McFarlane (ed), The Encyclopedia of British Film (Third Edition). Methuen, London, 2008 ISBN: 9780413776600 UK £24.99 (pb) 816pp (Review copy supplied by Methuen) Twenty years ago in a television series titled Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future a character defined ‘book’ as ‘a non-volatile database’. The ‘non-volatility’ of such a database means that if the creator wants to add/subtract/amend or …

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Becoming Visionary: Brian De Palma’s Cinematic Education of the Senses

Eyal Peretz, Becoming Visionary: Brian De Palma’s Cinematic Education of the Senses. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 9 780 80475685 3 US$21.95 (pb) 224pp (Review copy supplied by Stanford University Press) Strange days This is a new kind of film book – fittingly enough, in that it dares to grandiosely assert the “birth of a new cinema and a …

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A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors: From the Silent Era to the Present Day

Alexander Jacoby, A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors: From the Silent Era to the Present Day. Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-1933330 53 2 US$22.95 (pb) 398pp Aaron Gerow, A Page of Madness: Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan. Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008 ISBN: …

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Phallic Panic

Barbara Creed, Phallic Panic. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2005. ISBN:0 52285 172 X Au$34.95 (pb) 200pp (Review copy supplied by Melbourne University Press) In his essay on the uncanny, Freud describes this phenomenon as an experience of terror or dread. He argues that all such experiences originate with the figure of the paternal castrator, who represents the threat of dismemberment …

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Key Readings in Media Today: Mass Communication in Contexts

Brooke Erin Duffy and Joseph Turow (eds), Key Readings in Media Today: Mass Communication in Contexts. London: Routledge, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-415-99205-3 Au$45.00 (pb) 496pp (Review copy supplied by Palgrave MacMillan http://www.palgravemacmillan.com.au/) For students new to the world of media studies, searching for books that elucidate the many different facets of a rapidly changing media environment can often be an arduous …

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Cinema and Sensation: French Film and the Art of Transgression

Martine Beugnet, Cinema and Sensation: French Film and the Art of Transgression. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 7486 2042 5 US$65.00 (hb) 208pp (Review copy supplied by Edinburgh University Press) Anyone observing the fluctuating trends in recent French cinema will have noticed the emergence of a corpus of films that thrives on unsettling the audience on a …

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Picturing American Modernity: Traffic, Technology, and the Silent Cinema

Kristen Whissel, Picturing American Modernity: Traffic, Technology, and the Silent Cinema. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4201-4 US$22.95 (pb) 288pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Kristen Whissel’s Picturing American Modernity: Traffic, Technology, and the Silent Cinema takes us deep into the world of cinema and cultural modernity at the turn of the twentieth century, a world that …

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The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock

Steven Jacobs, The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2007. ISBN: 978 90 6450 637 6 €29.50 (pb) 344pp (Review copy supplied by 010 Publishers) ‘Authoritative’ is how I would describe this book. Steven Jacobs, an art historian, lectures on film history at Sint Lukas College of Art, Brussels, and the Academy of Fine Arts in …

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Dark Places: The Haunted House in Film

Barry Curtis, Dark Places: The Haunted House in Film. London: Reaktion Books, 2009 ISBN: 9 781 86189389 5 US$16.00 (pb) 256pp (Review copy supplied by Footprint Books http://www.footprint.com.au/) Even a preliminary venture into the field of horror scholarship suggests that filmic manifestations of the haunted house function as much as characters as they do as mere locations or hackneyed plot …

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Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome

John David Rhodes, Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-4930-3 US$20.00 (pb) 240pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) Pasolini was born in Bologna and spent his early years in a number of northern Italian cities as the family followed the father around in his military postings. He eventually returned to study …

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Beyond the Subtitle: Remapping European Art Cinema

Mark Betz, Beyond the Subtitle: Remapping European Art Cinema. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-8166-4036-2 US$25.00 (pb) 384pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/B/betz_beyond.html) This book aptly starts with Susan Sontag and cinephilia, but any danger of retro wallowing in nostalgia is dispelled by p. 3: “What is dead…is…European art cinema as an …

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Cultographies)

Jeffrey Weinstock, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Cultographies). London: Wallflower Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-905674-50-3 US$15.00 (pb) 144pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press) Some might say that a film like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (UK/USA 1975) is not worthy of serious criticism. Jeffrey Weinstock is not one of them. In The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Cultographies), Weinstock offers a deep look into the film …

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The Fun Factory: The Keystone Film Company and the Emergence of Mass Culture

Rob King, The Fun Factory: The Keystone Film Company and the Emergence of Mass Culture. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-520-25537-1 $24.95 (pb) 355pp (Review copy supplied by University of California Press) Frankly, I’ve never been a huge connoisseur of slapstick comedy, having inherited an innate prejudice of all low-brow culture from my European parents. With the …

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Film Hieroglyphs: Ruptures in Classical Cinema (new introduction)

Tom Conley, Film Hieroglyphs: Ruptures in Classical Cinema (new introduction). University of Minnesota Press, 1991; 2006. ISBN 0-8166-4970-7 US$22.50 (pb) 296pp Tom Conley, Cartographic Cinema. University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ISBN 0-8166-4357-1 US$25.00 (pb) 336pp (Review copy supplied by University of Minnesota Press) If the increased production of cartographic knowledge in the seventeenth century was one of the earliest achievements of …

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Albert Maysles

Joe McElhaney, Albert Maysles. University of Illinois Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-252-07621 US$19.95 (pb) 206pp (Review copy supplied by University of Illinois Press) Joe McElhaney, associate professor of film and media studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York has written a detailed and insightful study of the work of the pioneering documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. The volume …

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The Naval War Film: Genre, History, National Cinema

Jonathan Rayner, The Naval War Film: Genre, History, National Cinema. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0-7190-7098-3 US$84.95 (hb) 275pp (Review copy supplied by Manchester University Press) A great deal of critical attention has been lavished on the war film by practitioners of film and history, but while films dealing with the doings of armies and air forces, have been …

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Movie Greats: A Critical Study of Classic Cinema

Philip Gillett, Movie Greats: A Critical Study of Classic Cinema. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2008 ISBN: 978 1 84520 653 6 US$29.95 (pb) 256pp (Review copy supplied by Berg Publishers) Philip Gillett is obsessed with canons. He doesn’t like any of the existing ones. His ostensible intent in this book is to establish a fresh set of criteria by which to …

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Jacobean Visions: Webster, Hitchcock, and Google Culture

Alan Taylor, Jacobean Visions: Webster, Hitchcock, and Google Culture. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-3-631-56227-7 US$41.95 (pb) 201pp (Review copy supplied by Peter Lang) Read from a film-critical perspective, at least, Alan Taylor’s Jacobean Visions: Webster, Hitchcock, and Google Culture is an avowedly and enthusiastically eccentric book. In his ‘Preface: 1993-2007’, Taylor describes the “twenty-first century impetus” of his book as “one …

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Screenwriting: History, Theory and Practice

Steven Maras, Screenwriting: History, Theory and Practice. Wallflower Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-1-905674-81-7 UK£16.99 (pb) 227pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press http://www.wallflowerpress.co.uk) From his initial point which suggests a problematic arising from the separating out of (manuscript based) screenwriting and screen writing (“writing” for the screen through cinematography and sound for example), it becomes evident that what Steven Maras is …

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State of Play: Contemporary “High-End” TV Drama

Robin Nelson, State of Play: Contemporary “High-End” TV Drama. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN: 978-0-7190-7311-3 US$24.95 (pb) 272pp (Review copy supplied by Manchester University Press) Even with the continued growth of television studies in the academy and television criticism in the popular press, little has been written about television aesthetics. In the thirteen years since John Thornton Caldwell’s Televisuality (1995), only …

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Out of Asia: The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Abbas Kiraostami, and Zhang Yimou; Essays and Interviews

Bert Cardullo, Out of Asia: The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Abbas Kiraostami, and Zhang Yimou; Essays and Interviews. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008 ISBN: 1443800252 UK£14.99 (pb) 200pp (Review copy supplied by Cambridge Scholars Publishing) The title of this book is long enough for me to pick an argument with before I start. Its length, I suppose, is the …

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Film and Dreams: Tarkovsky, Bergman, Sokurov, Kubrick and Wong Kar-wai

Thorsten Botz-Bornstein, Film and Dreams: Tarkovsky, Bergman, Sokurov, Kubrick and Wong Kar-wai. New York: Lexington, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0739121870 US$65.00 (hb) 161pp (Review copy supplied by Lexington publications) Thorsten Botz-Bornstein is a scholar of philosophy with a background in formalism, dream theory and cinema studies, so it makes sense that he should be attracted to the work of filmmakers like Andrei …

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Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance and Belonging

Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance and Belonging. London: Reaktion, 2008 ISBN: 978-1-86189-370-3 US$35.00 (pb) 268pp (Review copy supplied by Footprint Books http://www.footprint.com.au/) Gönül Dönmez-Colin’s Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance and Belonging provides an historical overview of Turkish cinema from the perspective of the framework indicated by the book’s subtitle. While identity is a broad concept, the author has developed it into workable …

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Profanations

Giorgio Agamben, Profanations (Translated by Jeff Fort). New York: Zone Books, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-1-890951-82-5 US$25.95 (hb) 100pp (Review copy supplied by MIT Press) Philosophy adopts the task, usually as the task par excellence, of seeking the meaning of virtue – that is, it asks how judgment is possible, given the finitude of foresight. Human beings face this problem from the moment consciousness …

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Jane Campion

Deb Verhoeven, Jane Campion. London: Routledge, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-415-26275-0 US$31.95 285pp (Review copy supplied by Routledge http://www.routledge.com/) Over a decade ago, when I began working on Jane Campion’s The Piano, the amount of material a web search on the director’s name generated was overwhelming. So I appreciate Deb Verhoeven’s reference to “a time ‘BC’ (‘Before Campion’)” (xii); for female film scholars in …

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Full Metal Apache: Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America

Takayuki Tatsumi, Full Metal Apache: Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America. Duke University Press, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0-8223-3774-4 US$22.95 (pb) 272pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press) Full Metal Apache is not a book about Japanese cinema for two reasons. Literally speaking, it is more accurately a work about Japanese national discourse, culture and identity. Takayuki Tatsumi’s meditations on the …

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Hollywood’s Cold War

Tony Shaw, Hollywood’s Cold War. Baltimore: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-55849-612-5 US$29.95 (pb) 352pp (Review copy supplied by University of Massachusetts Press http://www.umass.edu/umpress/about.html) In the forty-plus years that the Cold War dominated international politics, cinema became party to what Tony Shaw describes as “the longest of all national cinematic propaganda wars” (p. 2). Shaw’s meticulously researched book, Hollywood’s Cold …

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Donnie Darko (Cultographies Series)

Geoff King, Donnie Darko (Cultographies Series). London & New York: Wallflower Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-905674-51-0 US$15.00 (pb) 118pp (Review copy supplied by Wallflower Press) It may be no stretch of the imagination to suggest that, by all accounts, we are now living in a post-cult world. The dark underbelly of genuine cult practice, with its midnight screenings, seedy grindhouse theatres, dodgy …

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Scorsese by Ebert

Roger Ebert, Scorsese by Ebert. Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-226-18202-5 Au$25.00 (hb) 297pp (Review copy supplied by Footprint Books http://www.footprint.com.au/) Scorsese by Ebert opens with a prophetic claim that the Chicago Sun-Times film critic made in 1973, where he declared that, “in ten years Martin Scorsese will be a director of world rank”. I can imagine at …

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Crisis and Capitalism in Contemporary Argentine Cinema

Joanna Page, Crisis and Capitalism in Contemporary Argentine Cinema. Duke University Press, 2009 ISBN-13: 978-0-8223-4472-8 US$22.95 (pb) 248pp (Review copy supplied by Duke University Press http://www.dukeupress.edu/books/) In 1993, influential Argentine social theorist Néstor García Canclini asked the question: “¿Habrá cine latinoamericano en el año 2000?” (will there be Latin American Cinema in the year 2000?). Considering this question almost a …

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Indigenising Australian History: Contestation and Collaboration in First Australians

Therese Davis I would like to reflect on the conference themes of “remaking history” and “remapping cinema” by focussing on the construction of an Indigenous perspective on Australian national history in the recent seven-part television documentary series, First Australians.[1]  I am interested in the question of why the producers chose to take a national perspective in this series, and I want …

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Film World: Interviews with Cinema’s Leading Directors

Michel Ciment, Film World: Interviews with Cinema’s Leading Directors. New York: Berg, 2009 ISBN: 9 781845204 57 0 US$24.95 (pb) 384pp (Review copy supplied by Berg Publishers http://www.bergpublishers.com/Categories/flm/tabid/602/Default.aspx) Reviewing a collection of interviews as a unified book is a strange business, all the more so when the collection in question features 25 different filmmakers, from 19 different countries, interviewed at …

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“Electrical wonders of the present age”: cinema-going on the Far South Coast of NSW and rural discourses of modernity

The rise of cinema around the turn of the 20th century as a popular cultural activity is commonly linked to the emerging modern lifestyle of city residents – a product of urbanisation, industrialisation, mass production, mass consumption and the consequent growing affluence of the general populace. This connection was made by commentators of the period[1] and continues to be used …

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Screen Media: Analysing Film and Television

Jane Stadler with Kelly McWilliam, Screen Media: Analysing Film and Television. Crow’s Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2009 ISBN: 978 1 74175 448 3 AU$49.95 (pb) 390pp (Review copy supplied by Allen & Unwin) The authors of Screen Media do a highly commendable job of making a wide array of information about media analysis accessible to a reader with little or no …

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From mokomokai to upoko tuhi: changing representations of Maori cultural property in film

After more than a hundred years of filmmaking in New Zealand the corpus of films made either by or about New Zealanders has built up to such an extent that it is now possible to trace changing representations of themes and motifs repeated over time. This article looks at representations of a controversial topic: the collection of Maori artefacts, especially …

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Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit

Dina Iordanova with Ragan Rhyne (eds), Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit. St Andrews, Scotland: St Andrews Film Studies, 2009 ISBN: 978-1-906678-04-3 UK£16.99 (pb) 225pp (Review copy supplied by St Andrews Film Studies) In 1932, only five years after the release of the first film with sound, an event held in Venice Italy marked the genesis of the Film …

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History in the Making: Allegory, history, fiction and Chow Yun-fat in the 1980s Hong Kong films Hong Kong 1941 (Dir. Po Chieh-leong) and Love in a Fallen City (Dir. Ann Hui)

1. Introduction The two films to be presented in this paper were produced in the 1980s at the height of Hong Kong’s popularity as an Asian film hub, although they both reflect an unfamiliar side of the city’s cultural ethos. Their historical concerns with the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong between December 1941 and August 1945 mask the underlying allegorical …

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Creative Nation: Australian Cinema and Cultural Studies Reader

Amit Sarwal and Reema Sarwal (eds), Creative Nation: Australian Cinema and Cultural Studies Reader. New Delhi: SS Publications, 2009 ISBN: 81 902282 0 X AU$55 (hb) 600pp (Review copy supplied by New Delhi: SS Publications) In the past year, Australia has received some negative media coverage in India. This coverage has resulted largely from a spate of attacks against Indian …

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