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American Cinema/American Culture

American Cinema/American Culture

ISBN 9780073514291
Edition 5
Publication Date
Publisher Mcgraw-Hill
Author(s)
Overview

Preface

Introduction

 

PART 1            THE MODE OF PRODUCTION

 

CHAPTER 1     THE EMERGENCE OF THE CINEMA AS AN INSTITUTION

“The Cathedral of the Motion Picture”

Developing Systems: Society and Technology

Edison and the Kinetoscope

Capturing Time

Peepshows versus Projectors

Mass Production, Mass Consumption

A Public Spectacle

Middle-Class Amusements

The Nickelodeon: A Collective Experience

Cleaning Up: The Benefits of Respectability

Spectacle and Storytelling: From Porter to Griffith

The Camera as Recorder

The Camera as Narrator

The “Feature” Film

Presenting . . . the Movie Palace

“Gardens of Dreams”

The Great Showmen

An Evolving Institution

Select Filmography

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2     CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA: NARRATION

A National Style

“The Temper of an Age . . .”

A Narrative Machine

Equilibrium and Disruption

Characters and Goals

Problem Solving

Through Time and Space

High Artifice, Invisible Art

Denial and Recognition

Underlying Patterns

Analyzing Film Narratives: Segmentation

A Circular Pattern: Chaplin’s The Gold Rush

Symmetry

At the Center: Imagination

Journey to a New Place: Some Like It Hot

Flight and Pursuit

Narrative Structure and Sexuality

Resolution/Irresolution

Modernist Narration: Citizen Kane

Unresolved Questions

Segmentation of Citizen Kane

Artifice Exposed

Segmentation and Discussion of Moonlight

What's in a Name?

Other Nontraditional Narratives

Select Filmography

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3     CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA: STYLE

 

Film Form and Character Development

Classical Economy: The Opening Sequence of Shadow of a Doubt

The Art of Details

Mise-en-Scène

The Camera

Meaning through Context: Camera Angle and Distance

Systematic Meaning: Some Definitions

Camera Movement

Lighting

Three-Point Lighting

High-Key/Low-Key Lighting

Star Lighting

Sound

Miking and Mixing

The Musical Score

Sound and Continuity

Editing from Scene to Scene

Transitions

Editing and Narrative Structure

Editing within Scenes

Matches

Point-of-View Editing

The 180-Degree Rule

Select Filmography

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4     THE STUDIO SYSTEM

 

Manufacturing Dreams

Movies and Mass Production

Intangible Goods

The Majors and the Minors

Origins

Vertical Integration

Block Booking, Blind Bidding, and Runs, Zones, and Clearances

Studio Production: From Story Idea to Ad Campaign

Under Contract

A Self-Contained World

The Chain of Command

Studio Style

M-G-M and Paramount

Warner Bros.

20th Century-Fox

RKO

Columbia Pictures

Universal Pictures

Poverty Row

Collapse: The End of the Studio Era

Divestment, Independent Production, and a Changing Marketplace

Starting from Scratch: The New “Studios”

Select Filmography: From Four Sample Studios

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5     THE STAR SYSTEM

 

The Mechanics of Stardom

Making Stars

Star Power

Persona

Stardom and Mass Culture: From Persona to Star

Stars, the System, and the Public

Stars and Culture: A Historical Survey

The Early Years

Exoticism, Eroticism, and Modern Morality: Stars of the 1920s

Depression/Repression: The 1930s

World War II and Its Aftermath

Stars and Anti-Stars

Different Faces: The Rise of Black Stars

Economics and Contemporary Stardom

Select Filmography

 

PART 2            GENRE AND THE GENRE SYSTEM

 

CHAPTER 6     SILENT FILM MELODRAMA

 

The Origins of Melodrama

Types of Melodrama

The Melodramatic Mode

A Moral Phenomenon

Democratic Virtue

A Social Vision

Melodrama as a Tool of Reform

Politics and Melodrama

Two Film Melodramatists: Griffith and Vidor

An Agrarian Past

History as Melodrama: The Birth of a Nation

Everyman/No Man: The Crowd

Escape and Transcendence

Home as “Seventh Heaven”

The Lure of the City: Sunrise

Sound and Melodrama

Select Filmography

 

CHAPTER 7     THE MUSICAL

 

From Narrative to Musical Number

Setting the Stage

Narrative Reality

Musical Reality

Shifts in Register

Chicago

Nine

Narrative and Musical Number: Degrees of Integration

Musical Forms

Backstage Musicals

Busby Berkeley Musicals

Moulin Rouge

Showpeople

Transformation of Space: Performer, Props, Audience

Performer

Props

Audience

Stylistic Registers

From Black-and-White to Color

From Noise to Music

The Operetta

The Astaire–Rogers Musical

The Integrated Musical

The Freed Unit

Singin’ in the Rain

Ideology and the Musical

The End of an Era

A New Era Begins

Select Filmography

 

 

CHAPTER 8 AMERICAN COMEDY

 

Laughter and Culture

Comedy, Repression, and Cultural Dreamwork

From Racism to Social Integration

Comic Disintegration and Disorder

Containing Chaos

Comedy, Class, and Democracy

A Short History of American Screen Comedy

Silent Comedy

Early Sound Comedy

Screwball Comedy

After the Screwball

Alienation and Self-Reflection: The 1960s and Beyond

From Animal Comedies to Ironic Romantic Comedies

Bromance

Beta Male Comedies

Serious Jokes

Select Filmography

 

 

CHAPTER 9     WAR AND CINEMA

A World of Extremes

Breaking Rules

A Suspension of Morality

Deviant Narratives: From Individual to Group Goals

Sexual Combat: Masculinity in the War Film

Oedipal Battles

Conventional Homoeroticism

Masculine/Feminine

Back from the Front

Crossovers: War and Genre

The Battle for Public Opinion: Propaganda and the Combat Film

Preaching War and Peace

Mass Conversion: The Politics of Sergeant York

Why We Fight: Education and the War Film

The Vietnam Reversal

Race, Ethnicity, and the War Film

Confl icted: The Psychic Violence of War

The Enemy Is Us

The Aftermath

The 1991 Gulf War and World War II Redux

The Gulf War

World War II

The Iraq War

Mediation and Representation

Select Filmography

 

 

 

CHAPTER 10   FILM NOIR: SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT

 

Made in the USA

Film Noir: Genre, Series, or Mode?

Noir as Genre: A Set of Conventions

Noir as Series: A Certain Style

Noir as Mode: An Uneasy Feeling

Noir Aesthetics, Themes, and Character Types

Noir Stylistics: A Shift in Perspective

American Expressionism

From Disturbing Conventions to Conventional Disturbances

Noir and the Production Code

Forbidden Subjects, Twisted Treatments

The End of Censorship, the End of Noir?

Innocence Lost: The Literary Origins of Film Noir

Hard-Boiled Fiction

The Detective Hero

Noir and Verbal Wit

Women in Film Noir

Women as Social Menace

Women as Psychological Terror

A Critique of Populism

New Culture, Old Myths

Capra and Film Noir

Film Noir: An Undercurrent in the Mainstream

Select Filmography

 

 

CHAPTER 11   THE MAKING OF THE WEST

 

The American Film Genre par Excellence

Frontiers: History and Cinema

Frederick Jackson Turner and the 1890s

“. . . Print the Legend”

The Literary West

Dime Novels and Pulp Magazines

From Natty Bumppo to Shane

Bundles of Oppositions

Adaptation: When East Meets West

Bowlers to Bucksins

Feminine Transformations

Teaching a Tenderfoot

Women, Civilization, and Nature

On Native Ground: Landscape and Conflict

A Struggle for National Identity

From Wilderness to Garden

A Clash of Cultures: Cowboys and Indians

Native Images, White Values

Out of Time Anti-Heroes

Contemporary Visions, Enduring Myths

Back to the Garden

Unforgiven

Dead Man

True Grit

Periods of Popularity

Ambivalence: Land, Technology, and Utopia

Space: The Final Frontier

Select Filmography

 

 

 

CHAPTER 12   HORROR AND SCIENCE FICTION

Horror versus Science Fiction

The Two Things; Alien versus Aliens

“What If?” or “Oh No!”

What It Means to Be Human

Human versus Animal; Human versus Machine

Borderline Figures

Human versus Nonhuman

A Search for Knowledge

The Horror Film

The Science Fiction Film

Self and Other

The Return of the Repressed

The Threat of the Other

Emotions and the Other

Human Takeover

How We Became Posthuman

Sources of Cultural Anxieties

Horror and Class

The Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution

Genres of Science Fiction

Extrapolative versus Speculative

Utopian versus Dystopian

A Brief History of Horror

Classic Horror

Modern Horror

Modern Horror and the American Family

Modern Horror and Gender

A Case Study in Modern Horror: Carrie

A Brief History of Science Fiction

1930s Science Fiction

1950s Science Fiction

1970s Science Fiction: Lucas and Spielberg

Posthuman Science Fiction

A Case Study in Posthuman Science Fiction: Blade Runner

The Posthuman as Affi rmation of the Human

Select Filmography

 

 

PART 3            A POSTWAR HISTORY

 

CHAPTER 13   HOLLYWOOD AND THE COLD WAR

 

Origins: Communism, Hollywood, and the American Way

Revolution and Repercussion

In the Red: The Depression Era

Antifascists, Populists, and “Dupes”

World War II and Government Policy

Inquisition: HUAC, McCarthy, and the Hollywood Ten

Friends and Foes

“Are You Now or Have You Ever Been . . .?”

Blacklisting

Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and Senator McCarthy

Naming Names

The Cold War Onscreen

Pro-Soviet Wartime Films

The Anti-Commie Cycle

Us versus Them: Science Fiction and Paranoia

God and Country

Subversions

Chaplin in Exile

In Defense of the Informers: On the Waterfront

Aftermath

The Fight Continues

Win, Lose, or Draw?

Select Filmography

 

 

 

CHAPTER 14   HOLLYWOOD IN THE AGE OF TELEVISION

 

The Big Decline: Hollywood Loses Its Audience

At Leisure: Recreation in Postwar America

The Role of Television

Do Something! Passive Entertainment versus Action

The House, the Car . . .

. . . The Drive-In

Fewer, Bigger, Wider, Deeper

This Is Cinerama

The 3-D Assault

CinemaScope

Todd-AO and the Theatrical Experience

War with Television, Peace with Its Revenues

From Villain to Partner

Panning and Scanning: Making CinemaScope Fit on TV

DVDs and Widescreen TV

Movie-“Going”

Spectacles

Big Event Pictures

Digital Cinema and Digital 3-D

Select Filmography

 

 

 

CHAPTER 15   THE 1960S: THE COUNTERCULTURE STRIKES BACK

 

Youth and Challenge

The Kennedy Era

“The New Frontier”

The Civil Rights Movement

Against the War

Liberation: The Women’s Movement

Projections: Women on the Screen

Youth Films: Activism as Lifestyle

“Solving” the Race Problem

On the Offensive: Money, Films, and Changing Morality

Controversy and Conservatism

A New Vocabulary

Live Fast, Die Young: Bonnie and Clyde

Sex, Violence, and Ratings

The Great Teen Pic: Easy Rider

Transformation: The Counterculture Goes Mainstream

Blaxploitation and Beyond

An Emerging Black Audience

A Revolutionary Film: Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Outlaws or Role Models?

Split Screen: The Two 1960s

Rejuvenation

Select Filmography

 

 

 

CHAPTER 16   THE FILM SCHOOL GENERATION

 

The New Wave

The Auteur Theory: Directors as Stars

Cahiers du cinéma and Andrew Sarris

Retrospective: America Discovers Its Cinematic Past

The Critic as Filmmaker

Training Ground: The Rise of Film Schools

The Color of Money: Young Directors and the Box Office

Youth Films and Economics

The Roger Corman School

Exploitation on a Grand Scale

References, Meaning, and Postmodernism

The Art of Allusion

De Palma and Hitchcock

“The Failure of the New”

Schizophrenia and Incoherence

A Postmodern Case Study: Taxi Driver

Reassurance: Comfort, Comics, and Nostalgia

A Return to Innocence

Opposing Visions

Back in Time

Contradictory Impulses

The Brat Pack

The Reagan Years

“This Time Do We Get to Win?”

Physical Culture: Biology as Destiny

Another Generation

Select Filmography

 

 

CHAPTER 17   INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

 

Contradictions: From the Gipper to Blue Velvet

Reaganite Cinema: “Morning in America”

Regeneration

Nostalgia: Coming of Age in the Past

Paradise Lost/Paradise Regained

Striking Back

Castles in the Air: Reimagining Traditional Institutions

Having It Both Ways

Being All That You Can Be

Oedipus with a Happy Ending: The Return of the Father

Parents and Babies: A Wide Spectrum

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