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Lifestyles and Film Styles of American Cinema, 1930-1960
Veronica Pravadelli Translated by Michael Meadows
"Veronica Pravadelli looks back at the classical Hollywood cinema with a powerful magnifying glass. What comes into full view are not only new details, but an entire new geography. Trends, dividing lines, stylistic choices, plots, questions of gender, become much clearer. The result is a cutting edge analysis, surprising and convincing."-Francesco Casetti, author of Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, Modernity
Studies of "Classic Hollywood" typically treat Hollywood films released from 1930 to 1960 as a single interpretive mass. Veronica Pravadelli complicates this idea. Focusing on dominant tendencies in box office hits and Oscar-recognized classics, she breaks down the so-called classic period into six distinct phases that follow Hollywood's amazingly diverse offerings from the emancipated females of the "Transition Era" and the traditional men and women of the conservative 1930s that replaced it to the fantastical Fifties movie musicals that arose after anti-classic genres like film noir and women's films.
Pravadelli sets her analysis apart by paying particular attention to the gendered desires and identities exemplified in the films. Availing herself of the significant advances in film theory and modernity studies that have taken place since similar surveys first saw publication, she views Hollywood through strategies as varied as close textural analysis, feminism, psychoanalysis, film style and study of cinematic imagery, revealing the inconsistencies and antithetical traits lurking beneath Classic Hollywood's supposed transparency.
Veronica Pravadelli is a professor of film studies and director of the Center for American Studies at Roma Tre University and a former visiting professor at Brown University. She is the author of several books including Performance, Rewriting, Identity: Chantal Akerman's Postmodern Cinema, Alfred Hitchcock. Notorious and Le donne del cinema: dive, registe, spettatrici. The Italian edition of Classic Hollywood won two prizes for Best Book in Film Studies.
University of Illinois Press
December 2014 248pp 31 black and white photographs 9780252080340 PB £19.99 now only £14.99* when you quote CSL215FICL when you order
Francis Ford Coppola
"Well researched, well written, compellingly argued. Writing intelligently and coherently about an auteur as significant and complex as Francis Coppola in a short book is more of a challenge than doing so in a more expansive format. Menne proves up to the task."-Jon Lewis, author of Whom God Wishes to Destroy: Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood
Acclaimed as one of the most influential and innovative American directors, Francis Ford Coppola is also lionized as a maverick auteur at war with Hollywood's power structure and an ardent critic of the postindustrial corporate America it reflects.
However, Jeff Menne argues that Coppola exemplifies the new breed of creative corporate person and sees the director's oeuvre as vital for reimagining the corporation in the transformation of Hollywood.
Reading auteur theory as the new American business theory, Menne reveals how Coppola's vision of a new kind of company has transformed the worker into a liberated and well-utilized artist, but has also commodified individual creativity at a level unprecedented in corporate history. Coppola negotiated the contradictory roles of shrewd businessman and creative artist by recognizing the two roles are fused in a postindustrial economy.
Analyzing films like The Godfather (1970) and the overlooked Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) through Coppola's use of opera, Menne illustrates how Coppola developed a defining musical aesthetic while making films that reflected the idea of a corporation as family--and how his studio American Zoetrope came to represent a new brand of auteurism and the model for post-Fordist Hollywood.
Jeff Menne is assistant professor of screen studies and English at Oklahoma State University.
University of Illinois Press
November 2014 176pp 21 black and white photographs, filmography 9780252080371 PB £15.99 now only £11.99* when you quote CSL215FICL when you order
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