Film criticism

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German cinema is best known for its art cinema and its long line of outstanding individual directors. The double spotlight on these two subject has only deepened the obscurity surrounding the popular cinema. A Second Life performs a kind of archaeology on a period largely overlooked: the first two decades of German cinema. This collection of essays by established authors refocuses the terms of a debate that will develop in the years to come concerning the historical and cultural significance of popular cinema in Wilhelmine Germany.

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Alexander Kluge is best known as a founding member of the New German Cinema. His work, however, spans a diverse range of fields and, over the last fifty years, he has been active as a filmmaker, writer and television producer. This book – the first of its kind in English – comprises a wide selection of texts, including articles and stories by Kluge, television transcripts, critical essays by renowned international scholars, and interviews with Kluge himself. It will be a valuable resource for students and scholars in the fields of film, television, and literary studies, as well as those interested ...

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The production, distribution, and perception of moving images are undergoing a radical transformation. Ever-faster computers, digital technology, and microelectronic are joining forces to produce advanced audiovision -the media vanishing point of the 20th century. Very little will remain unchanged. The classic institutions for the mediation of film – cinema and television – are revealed to be no more than interludes in the broader history of the audiovisual media. This book interprets these changes not simply as a cultural loss but also as a challenge: the new audiovisions have to be confronted squarely to make strategic intervention possible. Audiovisions provides a ...

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New technological media such as film, photography and computers have altered the way we perceive possible relations between stillness and motion in the visual arts. Traditionally, cinema theory saw cinema and especially the ‘illusion of motion’ as part of the ideological swindle of the basic cinematic apparatus. This collection of essays by acclaimed international scholars including Tom Gunning, Thomas Elsaesser, Mark B.N. Hansen, George Baker, Ina Blom and Christa Blümlinger, starts out from a different premise to analyse stillness and motion as part of a larger ecology of images and media. They argue that the strategic uses of stillness and ...

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Chris Marker is one of the most extraordinary and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark films such as “Letter from Siberia” (1958), “La Jetee” (1962), “Sans Soleil” (1982) and “Level Five” (1996), he overturned the conventions of the cinema, confounding normal distinctions between documentary and fiction, private and public concerns, writing and visual recording, and the still and moving image. Yet these works are only the better-known elements of a protean career that to date has spanned the second half of the twentieth century and encompassed writing, photography, film-making, video, television and the expanding field of digital multimedia. Catherine ...

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This anthology explores new periods, practices and definitions of what it means to love the cinema. The essays demonstrate that beyond individualist immersion in film, typical of the cinephilia as it was popular from the 1950s to the 1970s, a new type of cinephilia has emerged since the 1980s, practiced by a new generation of equally devoted, but quite differently networked cinephilies. They obsess over the nuances of a Douglas Sirk or Ingmar Bergman film; they revel in books such as François Truffaut’s Hitchcock; they happily subscribe to the Sundance Channel-they are the rare breed known as cinephiles. Though much ...

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This title is the first ever book-length study of the cinematic representation of Paris in the films of German emigré filmmakers, who found there a first refuge from Hitler. In coming to Paris – the privileged site in terms of production, exhibition as well as the cinematic imaginary of French film culture – these experienced film professionals encountered also a darker side: hostility toward Germans, anti-Semitism, as well as boycotts from French industry personnel, afraid of losing their jobs to foreigners. The book juxtaposes the cinematic portrayal of Paris in the films of Robert Siodmak, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Max ...

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In the face of renewed competition from Hollywood since the early 1980s and the challenges posed to Europe’s national cinemas by the fall of the Wall in 1989, independent filmmaking in Europe has begun to re-invent itself. European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood re-assesses the different debates and presents a broader framework for understanding the forces at work since the 1960s. These include the interface of “world cinema” and the rise of Asian cinemas, the importance of the international film festival circuit, the role of television, as well as the changing aesthetics of auteur cinema. New audiences have different ...

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Whether it involves remaking an old Hollywood movie, projecting a quiet 16mm film, or constructing a bombastic multi-screen environment, cinema now takes place not just in the movie theatre and the home, but also in the art gallery and the museum. The author of this engaging study takes stock of this development, offering an in-depth inquiry into its genesis, its defining features, and the ramifications it has for art and cinema alike. Through the lens of contemporary art history, she examines cinema studies’ great disciplinary obsession – namely, what cinema was, is, and will become in a digital future.

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There is a tension between the requirements of theoretical abstraction and the capacities of the film medium, where everything that we see on screen is concrete: A train arriving at a station, a tree, bodies, faces. Since the complex theories of montage in Soviet cinema, however, there have continuously been attempts to express theoretical issues by combining shots, thus creating a visual form of thinking. This book brings together two major filmmakers-French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard and German avant-gardist Harun Farocki to explore the fundamental tension between theoretical abstraction and the capacities of film itself, a medium where everything ...

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder is one of the most prominent and important authors of post-war European cinema. Thomas Elsaesser is the first to write a thoroughly analytical study of his work. He stresses the importance of a closer understanding of Fassbinder’s career through a re-reading of his films as textual entities. Approaching the work from different thematic and analytical perspectives, Elsaesser offers both an overview and a number of detailed readings of crucial films, while also providing a European context for Fassbinder’s own coming to terms with fascism.

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The Imaginary Brazil in contemporary Film, Fashion, and Design In Favelization, Kertzer sets out to understand the ways in which specific producers of contemporary Brazilian culture capitalized on misappropriations of the favela (informal squatter settlements that grow along the hillsides and lowlands of many Brazilian cities) in order to brand luxury items as “Brazilian.” Kertzer analyzes the the works of artists and designers citing instances of engagement with primitivism and stereotype to make their goods more desirable to a non-Brazilian audience. The author further argues that the processes of interpretation, aestheticization, transcendence, and domination are part of the favelization phenomenon. Originally ...

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This definitive work offers a new approach to the period film at the turn of the twenty-first century, examining the ways in which contemporary cinema recreates the historical past. This book explores the relation between visual motifs and cultural representation in a range of key films by James Ivory, Martin Scorsese and Jane Campion, among others. Looking at the mannerist taste for citation, detail and stylisation, the author argues for an aesthetic of fragments and figures central to the period film as an international genre. Three key figures – the house, the tableau and the letter – structure a critical ...

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Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination presents for the first time a comparative study of European film set design in the late 1920s and 1930s; based on a wealth of designers’ drawings, film stills and archival documents, the book offers a new insight into the development and significance of trans-national artistic collaboration during this period. European cinema from the late 1920s to the late 1930s is famous for its attention to detail in terms of set design and visual effect. Focusing on developments in Britain, France, and Germany, Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema ...

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Film festivals are hugely popular events that attract lovers of cinema worldwide. Focusing on the world’s most famous festivals – Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Rotterdam – Film Festivals tells the story of a phenomenon that began in the midst of geopolitical disputes in war-torn Europe. De Valck shows how festivals turned the odds into advantages and developed into a successful global network. Taking into account the oft multilateral influences of major actors, such as Hollywood, the avant-garde and political/economic agenda’s, the book offers a comprehensive understanding of film festivals. A must-read for everyone interested in quality film cultures that revolve ...

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This first book-length study shows how Germany tried to reconcile the horrendous experiences of the FirstWorld War through the films made in 1919-1933. Drawing on the analysis of twenty-five such films, and covering a wide range of documentaries as well as feature films on the reasons for the outbreak of the war, life at the front,war at sea and the home front, the author sketches out the historical and cultural context, including reviews and censors’ reports, in which these films were made and viewed.

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The first book-length account of the symbolic chains that link remakes and explain their disguises, Film Remakes as Rituals and Disguise is also the first book to explore how and why these stories are told. Anat Zanger focuses on contemporary retellings of three particular tales-Joan of Arc, Carmen, and Psycho-to reveal what she calls the remake’s “rituals of disguise.” Joan of Arc, Zanger demonstrates, later appears as the tough, androgynous Ripley in the blockbuster Alien III film and the God-ridden Bess in Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves. Ultimately, these remake chains offer evidence of the archetypes of our own ...

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The history of industrial films – an orphan genre of twentieth-century cinema composed of government-produced and industrially sponsored movies that sought to achieve the goals of their sponsors, rather than the creative artists involved – seems to have left no trace in filmic cultural discourse. At its height the industrial film industry employed thousands, produced several trade journals and festival circuits, engaged with giants of twentieth-century industry like Shell and AT & T, and featured the talents of iconic actors and directors such as Buster Keaton, John Grierson and Alain Resnais. This is the first full-length book, anthology, and annotated ...

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Jalal Toufic is a thinker whose influence in the Beirut artistic community over the past two decades has been immense—notwithstanding that, as he put it, many, if not all of his books, most of which were published by Forthcoming Books, “continue to be forthcoming even after their publication.” In relation to one of these books, he wondered: “Does not a book titled Forthcoming suggest, ostensibly paradoxically, a second edition?” Here’s the revised edition of Forthcoming, a book first published nearly a decade and a half ago by Atelos press.

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For more than thirty years Farocki has been a filmmaker, documentarist, film-essayist and installation artist. What preoccupies him above all is not so much an image of life, but the life of images, as they surround us in the newspapers, the cinema, history books, user manuals, posters, CCTV footage and advertising. His vast oeuvre of some sixty films includes three feature films (Zwischen den Kriegen/Between the Wars, Etwas wird sichtbar: Vietnam/In Your Eyes: Vietnam, Wie Man sieht/As You See), essay films (e.g. Images of the World-Inscription of War), critical media-pieces, experimental work, children’s features for television, historical film essays (e.g. ...

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Ernst Lubitsch, the German film director who left Berlin for Hollywood in 1923, is best remembered for the famous “Lubitsch touch” in such masterpieces as Trouble in Paradise and Ninotchka, featuring Greta Garbo. Kristin Thompson’s study focuses on Lubitsch’s silent films from the years between 1918 and 1927, tracing the impact this director had on consolidating classical Hollywood filmmaking. She gives a new assessment of the stylistic two-way traffic between the American and the German film industries, after World War I each other’s strongest rival in Europe. By 1919, Lubitsch had emerged as the finest proponent of the German studio ...

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Among the abundant Alfred Hitchcock literature, Hitchcock’s Motifs has found a fresh angle. Starting from recurring objects, settings, character-types and events, Michael Walker tracks some forty motifs, themes and clusters across the whole of Hitchcock’s oeuvre, including not only all his 52 extant feature films but also representative episodes from his TV series. Connections and deeper inflections that Hitchcock fans may have long sensed or suspected can now be seen for what they are: an intricately spun web of cross-references which gives this unique artist’s work the depth, consistency and resonance that justifies Hitchcock’s place as probably the best know ...

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Since 1957 the Film Museum in Amsterdam has been in possession of the Desmet Collection which contains the estate of the Dutch cinema owner and film distributor Jean Desmet (1875-1956). The collection comprises almost nine hundred European and American films in all genres, a collection of publicity material and a dauntingly large business archive. These three sources form the basis of this first comprehensive reconstruction of Desmet’s career: from his nomadic beginnings as a traveling showman, working the seasonal fairgrounds of the Netherlands and Belgium, to his successful switch to permanent cinema operation and film distribution. The history of Desmet’s ...

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