invented lives imagined communities the biopic and american national identity

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Invented Lives Imagined Communities

Author : William H. Epstein
ISBN : 9781438460819
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 73. 87 MB
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How Hollywood biopics both showcase and modify various notions of what it means to be an American. Biopics—films that chronicle the lives of famous and notorious figures from our national history—have long been one of Hollywood’s most popular and important genres, offering viewers various understandings of American national identity. Invented Lives, Imagined Communities provides the first full-length examination of US biopics, focusing on key releases in American cinema while treating recent developments in three fields: cinema studies, particularly the history of Hollywood; national identity studies dealing with the American experience; and scholarship devoted to modernity and postmodernity. Films discussed include Houdini, Patton, The Great White Hope, Bound for Glory, Ed Wood, Basquiat, Pollock, Sylvia, Kinsey, Fur, Milk, J. Edgar, and Lincoln, and the book pays special attention to the crucial generic plot along which biopics traverse and showcase American lives, even as they modify the various notions of the national character. “A provocative, critically astute study, this collection examines the biopic as a reflexive, refractive modernist film genre. Admirably researched essays provide close, compelling readings of chosen films, while exploring the multilayered matrices of historical fact, biographical and autobiographical literature, popular media representations, and cultural histories—shaping not only the lives and narratives of the performers, artists, and political/historical figures represented but also the practices of the filmmakers as they worked within or on the margins of the Hollywood industry.” — Cynthia Lucia, Rider University “The volume’s greatest strengths include its range, its variety of ideas on the significance of the biopic, and its research—definitive in several cases—into the relation between historical figures and their cinematic counterparts.” — James Morrison, author of Passport to Hollywood: Hollywood Films, European Directors

Hitchcocks Moral Gaze

Author : E. T. Al PALMER
ISBN : 1438463855
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 56. 13 MB
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In his essays and interviews, Alfred Hitchcock was guarded about substantive matters of morality, preferring instead to focus on discussions of technique. That has not, however, discouraged scholars and critics from trying to work out what his films imply about such moral matters as honesty, fidelity, jealousy, courage, love, and loyalty. Through discussions and analyses of such films as Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Frenzy, the contributors to this book strive to throw light on the way Hitchcock depicts a moral if not amoral or immoral world. Drawing on perspectives from film studies, philosophy, literature, and other disciplines, they offer new and compelling interpretations of the filmmaker s moral gaze and the inflection point it provides for modern cinema."

Whose Lives Are They Anyway

Author : Dennis Bingham
ISBN : 0813549302
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 88. 70 MB
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The biopic presents a profound paradox—its own conventions and historical stages of development, disintegration, investigation, parody, and revival have not gained respect in the world of film studies. That is, until now. Whose Lives Are They Anyway? boldly proves a critical point: The biopic is a genuine, dynamic genre and an important one—it narrates, exhibits, and celebrates a subject's life and demonstrates, investigates, or questions his or her importance in the world; it illuminates the finer points of a personality; and, ultimately, it provides a medium for both artist and spectator to discover what it would be like to be that person, or a certain type of person. Through detailed analyses and critiques of nearly twenty biopics, Dennis Bingham explores what is at their core—the urge to dramatize real life and find a version of the truth within it. The genre's charge, which dates back to the salad days of the Hollywood studio era, is to introduce the biographical subject into the pantheon of cultural mythology and, above all, to show that he or she belongs there. It means to discover what we learn about our culture from the heroes who rise and the leaders who emerge from cinematic representations. Bingham also zooms in on distinctions between cinematic portrayals of men and women. Films about men have evolved from celebratory warts-and-all to investigatory to postmodern and parodic. At the same time, women in biopics have been burdened by myths of suffering, victimization, and failure from which they are only now being liberated. To explore the evolution and lifecycle changes of the biopic and develop an appreciation for subgenres contained within it, there is no better source than Whose Lives Are They Anyway?

Fabricating The Absolute Fake

Author : Jaap Kooijman
ISBN : 9789053564929
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 64. 89 MB
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A fascinating exploration of how global cultures struggle to create their own "America" within a post-9/11 media culture, Fabricating the Absolute Fake reflects on what it might mean to truly take part in American pop culture.

Fanny Hill In Bombay

Author : Hal Gladfelder
ISBN : 9781421405261
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 65. 90 MB
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Reconnecting Cleland’s writing to its literary and social milieu, this study offers new insights into the history of authorship and the literary marketplace and contributes to contemporary debates on pornography, censorship, the history of sexuality, and the contested role of literature in eighteenth-century culture.

No Future

Author : Lee Edelman
ISBN : 0822333694
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 53. 62 MB
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Throwing down the theoretical gauntlet, Lee Edelman outlines a radically uncompromising new ethics of queer theory. His searing polemic takes aim at the figure of the child, whom he contends is the lynchpin of an entire rhetoric and politics of "reproductive futurity." Edelman argues that in the popular imaginary, the child--innocent, angelic, and imperiled--represents the possibility of the future and the queer is constructed as its radical negation, as the embodiment of morbidity, corruption, and stasis. He insists that in such a thoroughly heteronormative culture, the efficacy of queerness lies in its resistance to the social and political order. In No Future, Edelman urges queers to abandon accommodation and embrace their status as figures beyond the consensus of those always "fighting for the children." Looking to literature and film, No Future offers several models of queer characters who take a perverse pleasure in repudiating the cult of the child. Edelman makes a compelling case for imagining Charles Dickens's Ebeneezer Scrooge without Tiny Tim and George Eliot's Silas Marner without little Eppie. Looking to Alfred Hitchcock's films North by Northwest and The Birds, he embraces two of the director's most notorious creations: the sadistic Leonard stepping on the hand that holds the heterosexual couple above the abyss and the birds themselves, predators attacking couples and children. Edelman breathes new life into psychoanalytic theory as he brings it to bear not just upon film and literature but also upon current political issues such as gay marriage and gay parenting. A call to arms for a queer theory too often banalized, No Future is sure to incite passionate debate.

Hollywood S Tennessee

Author : R. Barton Palmer
ISBN : 9780292719217
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 82. 55 MB
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No American dramatist has had more plays adapted than Tennessee Williams, and few modern dramatists have witnessed as much controversy during the adaptation process. His Hollywood legacy, captured in such screen adaptations as A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Suddenly, Last Summer, reflects the sea change in American culture in the mid-twentieth century. Placing this body of work within relevant contexts ranging from gender and sexuality to censorship, modernism, art cinema, and the Southern Renaissance, Hollywood's Tennessee draws on rarely examined archival research to recast Williams's significance. Providing not only cultural context, the authors also bring to light the details of the arduous screenwriting process Williams experienced, with special emphasis on the Production Code Administration--the powerful censorship office that drew high-profile criticism during the 1950s--and Williams's innovative efforts to bend the code. Going well beyond the scripts themselves, Hollywood's Tennessee showcases findings culled from poster and billboard art, pressbooks, and other production and advertising material. The result is a sweeping account of how Williams's adapted plays were crafted, marketed, and received, as well as the lasting implications of this history for commercial filmmakers and their audiences.

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