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December 2008, Week 3


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Clare Cottrell <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 16 Dec 2008 13:45:41 -0000
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Dear SCREEN-L Subscribers,


I hope the following title will be of interest to you:



Inventing Film Studies

Edited by Lee Grieveson & Haidee Wasson

"This is the best film book that I've read in years. It covers the history of film studies, certainly the least historicized discipline in the humanities and social sciences. Contributors show that the field dates at least to the early twentieth century and that it can be traced through a number of institutions: not just the academy but also government, the museum, and the publishing industry, to name just three. Lee Grieveson and Haidee Wasson have produced a book that will change the way film scholars think about their field."-Eric Smoodin, co-editor of Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method


"This collection contributes new understandings to the history of film studies, particularly regarding the discipline's development in the humanities and its gradual abandonment of the methodological practices of the social sciences, in which it had its origins. Inventing Film Studies will be welcomed by academics working in cinema studies, and it will provide new entrants to the field with an important introduction to the history of their study."-Richard Maltby, author of Hollywood Cinema


Inventing Film Studies offers original and provocative insights into the institutional and intellectual foundations of cinema studies. Many scholars have linked the origins of the discipline to late-1960s developments in the academy such as structuralist theory and student protest. Yet this collection reveals the broader material and institutional forces-both inside and outside of the university-that have long shaped the field. Beginning with the first investigations of cinema in the early twentieth century, this volume provides detailed examinations of the varied social, political, and intellectual milieus in which knowledge of cinema has been generated. The contributors explain how multiple instantiations of film study have had a tremendous influence on the methodologies, curricula, modes of publication, and professional organizations that now constitute the university-based discipline. Extending the historical insights into the present, contributors also consider the directions film study might take in changing technological and cultural environments.


Duke University Press

September 2008 472pp £16.99 PB 9780822343073




Postage and Packing £2.75

(PLEASE QUOTE REF NUMBER:   IF161208SL for discount)

To order a copy please contact Marston on 44(0)1235 465500 or email [log in to unmask]  or visit our website





Carl Theodor Dreyer's Gertrud

The Moving Word

James Schamus

"James Schamus has great faith in the viewer's active role when facing a work of art. He pries open a single image of Carl Dreyer's Gertrud and, like a passionate explorer, leads us through a labyrinth of meanings. For him, this is a journey of discovery, and while guiding us he traces his own map to that most mythical treasure hidden in the depths of cinema: the mirror that reflects the self." - Alfonso Cuarón, director of Y Tu Mamá También

"In this stunningly brilliant excursus of a single moment in Carl Theodor Dreyer's Gertrud, James Schamus has written a work of alchemical ekphrasis. Schamus has forged a new mode of film writing that should encourage scholars to emulate the depth and breadth of its investigation." - Anne Friedberg, University of Southern California

"Schamus creates an intricate web of connections that sheds light especially on the conflicted relation of image and text in Dreyer's films." - Brigitte Peucker, Yale University


If there is one film in the canon of Carl Theodor Dreyer that can be said to be, as Jacques Lacan might put it, his most "painfully enjoyable," it is Gertrud. The film's Paris premier in 1964 was covered by the Danish press as a national scandal; it was lambasted on its release for its lugubrious pace, wooden acting, and old-fashioned, stuffy milieu. Only later, when a younger generation of critics came to its defense, did the method in what appeared to be Dreyer's madness begin to become apparent.

To make vivid just what was at stake for Dreyer, and still for us, in his final work, James Schamus focuses on a single moment in the film. He follows a trail of references and allusions back through a number of thinkers and artists (Boccaccio, Lessing, Philostratus, Charcot, and others) to reveal the richness and depth of Dreyer's work - and the excitement that can accompany cinema studies when it opens itself up to other disciplines and media. Throughout, Schamus pays particular attention to Dreyer's lifelong obsession with the "real," developed through his practice of "textual realism," a realism grounded not in standard codes of verisimilitude but on the force of its rhetorical appeal to its written, documentary sources.

James Schamus is a professor in the School of Arts, Columbia University, and the CEO of Focus Features. His screenwriting and producing credits include The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and a number of other films from his long collaboration with Ang Lee.


Washington University Press

September 2008 128pp 15 illustrations £12.99 PB 9780295988542



Postage and Packing £2.75

(PLEASE QUOTE REF NUMBER:   CT161208SL for discount)

To order a copy please contact Marston on 44(0)1235 465500 or email [log in to unmask]  or visit our website





Understanding Indian Movies

Culture, Cognition, and Cinematic Imagination

By Patrick Colm Hogan

"Hogan achieves a minor miracle in applying his deep knowledge of classical Indian thought-about emotions and vision and narrative-to the Indian films that he is so clearly mad about, films that run the gamut from high art to pop culture, Muslim and Hindu, in Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, and English-all sorts of films. The result is a delightfully readable book that will explain much about Indian films to people who thought they knew all about them, and will make many people who thought they never wanted to see an Indian film start watching them." - Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions, University of Chicago, and author of The Woman Who Pretended To Be Who She Was

"The Bollywood musical is one of the most influential cultural phenomena of our time. Patrick Hogan provides a crisp and original analysis of this art form from a cognitive point of view." - Jamshed Bharucha, Provost and Senior Vice President; Professor in the Departments of Music, Psychology, and Neuroscience; Tufts University

Indian movies are among the most popular in the world. However, despite increased availability and study, these films remain misunderstood and underappreciated in much of the English-speaking world, in part for cultural reasons. 

In this book, Patrick Colm Hogan sets out through close analysis and explication of culturally particular information about Indian history, Hindu metaphysics, Islamic spirituality, Sanskrit aesthetics, and other Indian traditions to provide necessary cultural contexts for understanding Indian films. Hogan analyzes eleven important films, using them as the focus to explore the topics of plot, theme, emotion, sound, and visual style in Indian cinema. These films draw on a wide range of South Asian cultural traditions and are representative of the greater whole of Indian cinema. By learning to interpret these examples with the tools Hogan provides, the reader will be able to take these skills and apply them to other Indian films.

But this study is not simply culturalist. Hogan also takes up key principles from cognitive neuroscience to illustrate that all cultures share perceptual, cognitive, and emotional elements that, when properly interpreted, can help to bridge gaps between seemingly disparate societies. Hogan locates the specificity of Indian culture in relation to human universals, and illustrates this cultural-cognitive synthesis through his detailed interpretations of these films. This book will help both scholars and general readers to better understand and appreciate Indian cinema.


University of Texas Press

October 2008 314pp 69 b&w photos £32.00 HB 9780292717862



Postage and Packing £2.75

(PLEASE QUOTE REF NUMBER:   IM161208SL for discount)

To order a copy please contact Marston on 44(0)1235 465500 or email [log in to unmask]  or visit our website





The Cinema of Naruse Mikio

Women and Japanese Modernity

Catherine Russell


"Even for those who read Japanese and are familiar with Naruse Mikio's work, Catherine Russell's book contributes to a new understanding of his cinema. Russell shows how Naruse's films participated in and contributed to Japanese modernity as a cultural movement, and, using feminist film criticism and Miriam Hansen's influential concept of 'vernacular modernism,' she traces how his films illuminate female subjectivity throughout the studio era." Daisuke Miyao, author of Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom


"<I>The Cinema of Naruse Mikio</I> presents not only a deft and subtle run-through of the world of an important auteur but a virtual encapsulation of the intellectual history of Japanese cinema during its most important period, the 1930s-60s. Catherine Russell contextulizes Naruse in the commercial situation in which he worked and in the historical, social, political, and intellectual project of mid-twentieth-century Japan. I came away firmly believing that Naruse was more attuned to how modernity was leaving its indelible marks on Japanese women than any other director of classical Japanese cinema. For students of feminist film criticism, Russell's book is an absolute must." David Desser, author of Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to Japanese New Wave Cinema


One of the most prolific and respected directors of the Japanese cinema, Naruse Mikio (1905-69) made eighty-nine films between 1930 and 1967. Yet little has been written about Naruse in English; nor has much of the writing about him in Japanese been translated into English. With The Cinema of Naruse Mikio, Catherine Russell brings deserved critical attention to this under-appreciated director. Besides illuminating Naruse's contributions to Japanese and world cinema, Russell's in-depth study of the director sheds new light on the Japanese film industry between the 1930s and the 1960s. 


Naruse was a studio-based director, a company man renowned for bringing films in on budget and on time. During his long career, he directed movies in different styles of melodrama while displaying a remarkable continuity of tone. His films were based on a variety of Japanese literary sources and original scripts; almost all of them were set in contemporary Japan. Many were "women's films." They had female protagonists, and they depicted women's passions, disappointments, routines, and living conditions. While neither Naruse nor his audiences identified themselves as "feminist," his films repeatedly foreground, if not challenge, the rigid gender norms of Japanese society. Given the complex historical and critical issues surrounding Naruse's cinema, a comprehensive study of the director demands an innovative and interdisciplinary critical approach. Russell draws on the critical reception of Naruse in Japan, in addition to the cultural theory of H. D. Harootunian, Miriam Hansen, and Walter Benjamin. She shows that Naruse's movies were key texts of Japanese modernity, both in the ways that they portrayed the changing roles of Japanese women in the public sphere and in their depiction of an urban, industrialized, mass-media-saturated society.


Duke Press

August 2008 480pp 66 b&w photos £17.99 PB 9780822343127



Postage and Packing £2.75

(PLEASE QUOTE REF NUMBER:   NM161208SL for discount)

To order a copy please contact Marston on 44(0)1235 465500 or email [log in to unmask]  or visit our website




Clare Cottrell

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Combined Academic Publishers

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