Contemporary American Cinema
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This is a comprehensive introduction to post-classical American film. Covering American cinema since 1960, the text looks at both Hollywood and non-mainstream cinema.
Engaging Film Criticism examines recent American cinema in relationship to its «imaginative intertexts», films from earlier decades that engage similar political and cultural themes. This historical encounter provides an unexpected and exciting way of reading popular contemporary films. Eclectic pairings include the Schwarzenegger action film True Lies with the Hitchcock classic North by Northwest, as well as the lampooned Will Smith comedy Wild, Wild West with Buster Keaton's silent feature The General. Using a theoretically and historically informed brand of criticism, Engaging Film Criticism suggests that today's Hollywood cinema is every bit as worthy of study as the classics.
One of the rare collections I would recommend for use in undergraduate teaching – the chapters are lucid without being oversimplified and the contributors are adept at analyzing the key industrial, technological and ideological features of contemporary U.S. cinema. Diane Negra, University of East Anglia, UK. Contemporary American Cinemaoffers a fresh and sometimes revisionist look at developments in the American film industry from the 1960s to the present … Readers will find it lively and provocative. Chuck Maland, University of Tennessee, USA. Contemporary American Cinemais the book on the subject that undergraduate classes have been waiting for … Comprehensive, detailed, and intelligently organized [and] written in accessible and compelling prose …Contemporary American Cinemawill be embraced by instructors and students alike. Charlie Keil, Director, Cinema Studies Program, University of Toronto, Canada. Contemporary American Cinemausefully gathers together a range of materials that provide a valuable resource for students and scholars. It is also a pleasure to read. Hilary Radner, University of Otago, New Zealand. Contemporary American Cinemadeepens our knowledge of American cinema since the 1960s. … This is an important collection that will be widely used in university classrooms. Lee Grieveson, University College London, UK. Contemporary American Cinemais a clear-sighted and tremendously readable anthology, mapping the terrain of post-sixties US cinema with breadth and critical verve. Paul Grainge, University of Nottingham, UK. This collection of freshly written essays by leading specialists in the field will most likely be one of the most important works of reference for students and film scholars for years to come. Liv Hausken, University of Oslo, Norway. Contemporary American Cinemais the first comprehensive introduction to American cinema since 1960. The book is unique in its treatment of both Hollywood, alternative and non-mainstream cinema. Critical essays from leading film scholars are supplemented by boxed profiles of key directors, producers and actors; key films and key genres; and statistics from the cinema industry. Illustrated in colour and black and white with film stills, posters and production images, the book has two tables of contents allowing students to use the book chronologically, decade-by-decade, or thematically by subject. Designed especially for courses in cinema studies and film studies, cultural studies and American studies,Contemporary American Cinemafeatures a glossary of key terms, fully referenced resources and suggestions for further reading, questions for class discussion, and a comprehensive filmography. Individual chapters include: The decline of the studio system The rise of American new wave cinema The history of the blockbuster The parallel histories of independent and underground film Black cinema from blaxploitation to the 1990s Changing audiences The effects of new technology Comprehensive overview of US documentary from 1960 to the present Contributors include: Stephen Prince, Steve Neale, Susan Jeffords,Yvonne Tasker, Barbara Klinger, Jim Hillier, Peter Kramer, Mark Shiel,Sheldon Hall, Eithne Quinn, Michele Aaron, Jonathan Munby.
The first complete study of mainstream and nontraditional film since 1960 Indispensable to film students and general readers interested in this art form, Contemporary American Cinema culls together the writings of the world's leading film scholars to provide the first comprehensive introduction to postclassical American film. Heavily illustrated with more than 50 color and black-and-white stills, it takes a close look at all aspects of the genre, including influential movies, directors, producers, and actors. This unique and accessible resource includes two Tables of Contents, allowing readers to research chronologically or thematically. In addition, it includes a glossary of important terms, suggestions for further reading, sample essay questions, and a filmography. Subjects include: Decline of the early studio system Rise of American new-wave cinema Parallel histories of independent and underground cinema Black cinema--from the "blaxploitation" era of the 1970s to the 1990s Full history of the American blockbuster Uses and effects of new film making technologies America's ever-changing audiences Key genres and industry statistics
Utopianism, alongside its more prevalent dystopian opposite together with ecological study has become a magnet for interdisciplinary research and is used extensively to examine the most influential global medium of all time. The book applies a range of interdisciplinary strategies to trace the evolution of ecological representations in Hollywood film from 1950s to the present, which has not been done on this scale before. Many popular science fiction, westerns, nature and road movies, as listed in the filmography are extensively analysed while particularly privileging ecological moments of sub.
In virtually every aspect of culture-health, marriage, family, morals, politics, sex, race, economics-American men of the past two decades have faced changing social conditions and confronted radical questions about themselves. In Millennial Masculinity: Men in Contemporary American Cinema, editor Timothy Shary collects fourteen contributions that consider male representation in films made at the turn of the century to explore precisely how those questions have been dealt with in cinema. Contributors move beyond the recent wave of "masculinity in crisis" arguments to provide sophisticated and often surprising insight into accessible films. Chapters are arranged in four sections: "Performing Masculinity" includes a discussion of Adam Sandler and movies such as Milk; "Patriarchal Problems" looks at issues of fathers from directors such as Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, and David Fincher; "Exceptional Sexualities" examines male love and sex through movies like Brokeback Mountain and Wedding Crashers; and "Facing Race" explores masculinity through race in film. Sean Penn, Jackie Chan, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, and Philip Seymour Hoffman are some of the actors included in these analyses, while themes considered include police thrillers, psychotic killers, gay tensions, fashion sense, and the burgeoning "bromance" genre. Taken together, the essays in Millennial Masculinity shed light on the high stakes of masculine roles in contemporary American cinema. Film and television scholars as well as readers interested in gender and sexuality in film will appreciate this timely collection.
When teenagers began hanging out at the mall in the early 1980s, the movies followed. Multiplex theaters offered teens a wide array of perspectives on the coming-of-age experience, as well as an escape into the alternative worlds of science fiction and horror. Youth films remained a popular and profitable genre through the 1990s, offering teens a place to reflect on their evolving identities from adolescence to adulthood while simultaneously shaping and maintaining those identities. Drawing examples from hundreds of popular and lesser-known youth-themed films, Timothy Shary here offers a comprehensive examination of the representation of teenagers in American cinema in the 1980s and 1990s. He focuses on five subgenres—school, delinquency, horror, science, and romance/sexuality—to explore how they represent teens and their concerns, how these representations change over time, and how youth movies both mirror and shape societal expectations and fears about teen identities and roles. He concludes that while some teen films continue to exploit various notions of youth sexuality and violence, most teen films of the past generation have shown an increasing diversity of adolescent experiences and have been sympathetic to the particular challenges that teens face.
This forward-looking exploration of contemporary American film across the last 40 years identifies and examines the specific movies that changed the film industry and shaped its present and future. • Takes stock of the 2000s and explains how this period built on what came before and predicts how American cinema will continue to evolve in the next decade • Provides up-to-the-minute, contemporary treatment of contemporary cinema that will appeal to and resonate with young readers and film buffs in particular • Presents a historical perspective on 40 years of American film within the framework of a list of 25 essential movies to effectively capture readers' attention and expand their cinematic horizons beyond the latest Hollywood blockbuster production • Utilizes a film-by-film approach that also allows for the inclusion of appendices that focus upon ideas, subjects, and people in modern film, such as comic books, key actors and actresses, and video games
Master's Thesis from the year 2018 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Other, grade: 1,0, University of Cologne (Anglistik), language: English, abstract: This thesis will be an exploration of the images of young women that Clueless, The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette provide, to shine a light on what makes them stand out against other films of this type, and why they continue to appeal so intensely to female audiences. To provide the context in which their films were created and to explore their impact, the first part shall give a brief introduction to the backgrounds and styles of both directors. In extension, attention will be paid to the cultural, postfeminist context of the four films as part of a discussion in how far a postfeminist mindset provides new possibilities for female characters, while simultaneously upholding old patriarchal patterns and rules that prevent a true liberation of girls and women, and how Heckerling and Coppola treat this ambiguity in their works. Since the focus lies on female subjectivity and agency of the girlish young woman and how it is portrayed in cinema, most of this thesis is dedicated to an examination of the films’ storytelling and visuals – investigating and comparing the points of view in the films, how they are set up and how the camera work supports that; the use of voiceover narrators, dialogue and silences as means to interrogate the position of the girls within the framework of power dynamics in their respective stories; intertextual references, as well as instances of parody or pastiche and how they create subtext that sometimes amplifies straightforward messages of a film, and sometimes questions it; and, ultimately, costumes, and the role of fashion and clothes in feminine expression, as well as the recovery of female agency against the backdrop of the specularisation of women in cinema. Finally, the last part will pay attention to where the four films by Coppola and Heckerling fit within current discourses of what constitutes feminine aesthetics and feminine cinema, as well as feminist film studies per se, with a special focus on Luce Irigaray as an innovator of the ways how women in cultural texts are read and constructed. Hopefully, by the end it will be shown that Clueless, The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette are all coined by a longing for transformation of current cultural conditions, illuminating the figure of the contemporary girl, her pains and pleasures, and allowing her to take shape on screen as a rounded, active character with own desires, powers and ambiguities within.
Cinema is an affective medium. Films move us to feel wonder, joy, and love as well as fear, anger, and hatred. Today, we are living through a new age of sensibility when emotion is given priority over reason. Yet, there is a counter-cultural current in contemporary American cinema that offers a more nuanced treatment of emotion. Both aesthetically and eidetically, this new cinema of affect allows viewers to make up their own minds about what they feel and think. This book focuses on key films by important auteur-directors--David Fincher, Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, Richard Linklater, Barry Jenkins, Greta Gerwig, and Pete Docter--who are to the forefront of this new cinema. It explores how they anatomize affect and how it functions in the creation or degradation of character and society.
Contemporary U.S. Cinema is a forceful exploration of the tumultuous changes that have dominated the shifting landscape of American film-making over the past three decades. From the explosive release of Easy Rider to the excesses of Heaven's Gate and the comic book figures of Spider-Man, its aim is to examine the economic, social and cultural contexts of mainstream and independent American films. The book divides into nine provocative chapters with material on: the most significant individual film-makers, such as Scorsese, Coppola and Lucas, as well as independent film-makers like Jarmusch and Anders the careers of leading actors of the last thirty years, such as Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford and Julia Roberts, whilst exploring the powerful position of the film star in the modern American film-making process the economics of Contemporary U.S. Cinema with particular reference to the tortuous journey from production, distribution and exhibition of Waterworld and Titanic the artistic influence of foreign film-makers, such as François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, and explores Hollywood's increasing dominance and reliance on the global market genres, sequels and the recent developments in computer-based technologies, using examples from The Godfather I - III, The Matrix, the Star Wars saga and remakes from Shaft to Ocean's Eleven The book is illustrated with stills throughout and includes a bibliography and annotated further reading list.
Visions of Empire explores film's function as a medium of political communication, recognizing not just the propaganda film, but the various ways that conventional narrative films embody, question, or critique established social values underlying American attitudes toward historical, social, and political events. Stephen Prince discusses Hollywood film productions of the 1980s in terms of salient political issues of the period, including anxieties about declining U.S. military power, the wars in Central America and the prospects for U.S. intervention, the legacy of the Vietnam War, and urban decay. In analyzing these images and narratives, the author also describes and evaluates the cinematic styles available in the Hollywood tradition to filmmakers who address political issues. Chapter 1 establishes the theoretical framework by considering features of the political landscape of the Reagan era. Theories about political representation and the place of ideology in film are also examined. Chapters 2 through 5 focus on the major cycles of political films. Chapter 2 examines the new Cold War films which played upon fears of the Soviet menace (Rambo, Invasion USA, Red Dawn, and Top Gun). Chapter 3 discusses the small group of films--Under Fire, Salvador, El Norte and others--that addressed the wars in Latin America and the ways they explained the origins of the conflicts and the U.S. role therein. Various histories and mythologies on film of the Vietnam War are examined in Chapter 4 as examples of the symbolic reconstruction of social memory. Chapter 5 looks at politicized science fiction films (Blade Runner, Aliens, Robocop, and Total Recall) offering critical commentaries on the pathologies of contemporary urban society and capitalism.
First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
A lively and engaging study of on-screen and off-screen performances of masculinity, focusing on well-known male actors in American film and popular culture in the 1990s and 2000s. Peberdy examines specific social, cultural, historical and political contexts that have affected age, race, sexuality and fatherhood on screen.
From Easy Rider to The Blair Witch Project, this book is a comprehensive examination of the independent film scene. Exploring the uneasy relationship between independent films and the major studios, the contributors trace the changing ideas and definitions of independent cinema, and the diversity of independent film practices. They consider the ways in which indie films are marketed and distributed, and how new technologies such as video, cable and the internet, offered new opportunities for filmmakers to produce and market independent films. Turning to the work of key auteurs such as John Sayles and Haile Gerima, contributors ask whether independent filmmakers can also be stars, and consider how indie features like Boys Don't Cry and Shopping for Fangs address issues of gender, sexuality and ethnicity normally avoided by Hollywood. For all students of film studies and American studies, this cultural journey through independent film history will be an absolute must read.
This engaging book explores some of the most significant films to emerge from Latin America since 2000, an extraordinary period of international recognition for the region's cinema. Each chapter assesses an individual film, with some contributors considering the reasons for the unprecedented commercial and critical successes of movies such as City of God, The Motorcycle Diaries, Y tu mamá también, and Nine Queens, while others examine why equally important films failed to break out on the international circuit. Written by leading specialists, the chapters not only offer textual analysis, but also trace the films' social context and production conditions, as well as critical national and transnational issues. Their well-rounded analyses provide a rich picture of the state of contemporary filmmaking in a range of Latin American countries. Nuanced and thought-provoking, the readings in this book will provide invaluable interpretations for students and scholars of Latin American film. Contributions by: Sarah Barrow, Nuala Finnegan, David William Foster, Miraim Haddu, Geoffrey Kantaris, Deborah Shaw, Lisa Shaw, Rob Stone, Else R. P. Vieira, and Claire Williams.
"Encompassing the careers of up to 600 directors - over 60 new to this edition - working in the US and Canada today, this volume is an invaluable reference for students, researchers and enthusiasts of film and popular culture. Each entry provides biographical information as well as insightful textual and thematic analysis of the director's work. In comprehensively covering a wide range of film-makers - from more established mainstream luminaries such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott and Kathryn Bigelow, through independent mavericks like Hal Hartley, Atom Egoyan, Jim Jarmusch and the Coen brothers, to innovative emerging talents including Marc Forster (Monster's Ball), Todd Field (In the Bedroom) and David Gordon Green (George Washington) - the shifting landscape of contemporary film-making is brought into sharp focus." Sur la 4e de couv.