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March 2011, Week 2


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harper cossar <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 10 Mar 2011 14:26:44 -0500
text/plain (71 lines)

Please forgive cross-postings and the shameless nature of this marketing
announcement. :)

Now available from University Press of Kentucky:

LETTERBOXED The Evolution of Widescreen
By Harper Cossar


When widescreen technology was introduced to filmmaking in 1953, it changed
the visual framework and aesthetic qualities of cinema forever. Before
widescreen, a director’s vision for capturing beautiful landscapes or city
skylines was limited by what could be included in the boxy confines of an
Academy Ratio film frame. The introduction and subsequent evolution of
widescreen technology has allowed directors to push the boundaries of
filmmaking. *Letterboxed: The Evolution of Widescreen Cinema* explores the
technological changes of the widescreen technique and how the format has
inspired directors and also sparked debates among film critics. Examining
early filmmakers such as Buster Keaton and D. W. Griffith and genre pioneers
like Nicholas Ray and Douglas Sirk, Harper Cossar explains how directors use
wider aspect ratios to enhance their creative visions. Letterboxed tracks
the history of stylistic experimentation with the film frame and
demonstrates how the expansion of the screen has uncovered myriad creative
possibilities for directors.

Harper Cossar, teaches media studies in Atlanta and is a contributor
to *All-Stars
and Movie Stars: Sports in Film and History* and *Convergence Media History*.
His other publications have appeared in the *Journal of Film and Video*, the
*Quarterly Review of Film and Video*, *FLOW*, the *Journal of New Media and
Culture*, and *Film and History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and
Television Studies*.

Critical Response to *Letterboxed*:

“Cossar significantly intervenes in our scholarly understanding of the
aesthetics of widescreen cinema by considering them in relation to both
auteurism and genre.” —Derek Johnson, assistant professor in the Department
of Radio, Television, and Film, University of North Texas

“Complementing the work of John Belton and David Bordwell, this excellent
book provides a detailed and insightful account of widescreen technology,
widescreen aesthetics, and widescreen cinema history in the United States.”
—Stephen Neale, Film Studies, Exeter University

"Cossar documents a number of stylistic changes associated with widescreen,
including longer takes, fewer cuts, fewer close-ups, less camera movement,
and (most surprisingly) lower camera height. Cossar acknowledges some
exceptions to
these rules: Ray continued to rely on close camera distances; Preminger and
Sirk continued to move their cameras." — John Belton, Film Comment

"Cossar provides a new tool for examine the ever-evolving art of filmmaking
as well as a window to understanding the changes that are taking place today
as televisions undergo a similiar change in format." — The Tuscon Citizen

978-0-8131-2651-7 • $60.00 cloth • 6 x 9 • 304 pages

Harper Cossar, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Film
School of Liberal Arts
Georgia Gwinnett College

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