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March 2016, Week 3


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"Brown, Tom" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 14 Mar 2016 13:30:43 +0000
text/plain (78 lines)
Dear List Members,

Apologies for the cross-posting and self-promotion…

This email announces the recent publication by Routledge of Tom Brown, 
/Spectacle in ‘Classical’ Cinemas/: /Musicality and Historicity in the 

(The book’s index is accessible from the above link.)

Spectacle is not often considered to be a significant part of the style 
of ‘classical’ cinema. Indeed, some of the most influential accounts of 
cinematic classicism define it virtually by the supposed absence of 
spectacle./Spectacle in ‘Classical’ Cinemas: Musicality and Historicity 
in the 1930s/brings a fresh perspective on the role of the spectacular 
in classical sound cinema by focusing on one decade of cinema (the 
1930s), in two ‘modes’ of filmmaking (musical and historical films), and 
in two national cinemas (the US and France). This not only brings to 
light the special rhetorical and affective possibilities offered by 
spectacular images but refines our understanding of what ‘classical’ 
cinema is and was.

As well as the broader questions outlined above, the book contains 
numerous case studies likely to be of interest: for example, the 
consideration of Marx Brothers films as ‘musicals’; the relatively 
cynical, sceptical almost “dystopian” uses of musical spectacle in 
France; biopics of the 1930s (a comparison of films on Louis Pasteur); 
‘critical’ historiography in France and the US (extended discussions of 
Jean Renoir in the former and /Young Mr Lincoln/, 1939, in the latter).

Some endorsements of /Spectacle in "Classical" Cinemas/.

Professor Veronica Pravadelli, author of /Classic Hollywood. Life Styles 
and Film Styles 1930-1960 /(University of Illinois Press, 2015):

"In /Spectacle in 'Classical' Cinemas,/ Tom Brown brings back to the 
center an almost forgotten topic, classical cinema. For decades /the/ 
most debated topic in film studies, in the last twenty years or so 
classical cinema has been relegated to the margins of academic research. 
But Brown does more than this: he compares notions and forms of 'the 
classical' in American and French cinema of the 1930s. This move forces 
us to rethink altogether what the classical is. A surprising, original 
and much needed analysis."

Emeritus Professor Stephen Neale, co-author of /Epics, Spectacles, and 
Blockbusters: A Hollywood History /(Wayne State University Press, 2010):

"/Spectacle in 'Classical' Cinemas/ is of particular value for its 
comparative studies of musicals and historical films in the US and 
France in the 1930s. In undertaking these studies, Tom Brown opens up 
the stylistic and generic variety of these films in ways which lead us 
to re-think our approach to other genres too."

Please ask your library to order a copy!

Many thanks.

Dr. Tom Brown,
Senior Lecturer in Film
Tel +44 (0) 207 848 2018
Film Studies Department
King's College London
Norfolk Building
Strand Campus
Room number N565

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