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The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity
Allyson Nadia Field
"Even before The Birth of a Nation, African American filmmakers envisioned cinema as a means of presenting a new image of black culture in the USA. With peerless archaeological research, Allyson Nadia Field excavates the roots of African American film within a rhetoric of social uplift. Offering more than a prologue to later black filmmaking, Field reveals the origins of an alternative film culture based in ideological address and political rhetoric, as cinema forged an effective political voice."- Tom Gunning, author of The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity
"A significant and remarkable book, Uplift Cinema revises African American cinematic history. Allyson Field's illuminating scholarship and close reading of primary archival sources will compel historians to reimagine how the history of black cinema is told."-Maurice Wallace, author of Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideology in African American Men's Literature and Culture, 1775-1995
"Undaunted by the profound lack of surviving films, Allyson Nadia Field deftly excavates the rich discursive history of how African Americans mobilized and fine-tuned the rhetoric of uplift in the context of visual culture. Uplift Cinema is an essential mapping of the ideological, economic, and aesthetic tensions structuring the emergence of Black American film production and exhibition, and a vital account of Black participation in the history of industrial filmmaking."- Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, author of Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity
In Uplift Cinema, Allyson Nadia Field recovers the significant yet forgotten legacy of African American filmmaking in the 1910s. Like the racial uplift project, this cinema emphasized economic self-sufficiency, education, and respectability as the keys to African American progress. Field discusses films made at the Tuskegee and Hampton Institutes to promote education, as well as the controversial The New Era, which was an antiracist response to D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. She also shows how Black filmmakers in New York and Chicago engaged with uplift through the promotion of Black modernity. Uplift cinema developed not just as a response to onscreen racism, but constituted an original engagement with the new medium that has had a deep and lasting significance for African American cinema. Although none of these films survived, Field's examination of archival film ephemera presents a method for studying lost films that opens up new frontiers for exploring early film culture.
Allyson Nadia Field is Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Duke University Press
June 2015 344pp 68 illustrations 9780822358817 PB £18.99 now only £15.19* when you quote CSL815FILM when you order
Realism and Fantasy in Hindi Cinema
"Dayal does an excellent job of bringing together diverse films, theorists, and critics on such issues as cosmopolitanism, secularism, terrorism, gender, and sexuality, often linking his analyses with contemporaneous historical events to provide fuller context. The most exciting aspect of Dream Machine is its new engagement of psychoanalytic theories of fantasy and the production of 'Indianness' in transnational Bollywood cinema. This is a fascinating book."-Kavita Daiya, Associate Professor of English at George Washington University
"Dayal's writing is bright and supple, and his reading of films is consistently interesting and entertaining. The meshing of realism and fantasy in prominent Bollywood films and genres argues that the fantasy elements are integral to imagining 'Indianness' over a range of interruptions that trouble a coherent national identity. Dayal avers that fantastic imagination is far more than mere escapism. A very engaging, rewarding project and a solid scholarly book, Dream Machine is also an interesting read for the non-expert cinephile."-Henry Schwarz, Professor of English at Georgetown University
Popular Hindi films offer varied cinematic representations ranging from realistic portraits of patriotic heroes to complex fantasies that go beyond escapism. In Dream Machine, Samir Dayal provides a history of Hindi cinema starting with films made after India's independence in 1947. He constructs a decade-by-decade consideration of Hindi cinema's role as a site for the construction of "Indianness."
Dayal suggests that Hindi cinema functions as both mirror and lamp, reflecting and illuminating new and possible representations of national and personal identity, beginning with early postcolonial films including Awaara and Mother India, a classic of the Golden Age. More recent films address critical social issues, such as My Name is Khan and Fire, which concern terrorism and sexuality, respectively. Dayalalso chronicles changes in the industry and in audience reception, and the influence of globalization, considering such films as Slumdog Millionaire.
Dream Machine analyzes the social and aesthetic realism of these films concerning poverty and work, the emergence of the middle class, crime, violence, and the law while arguing for their sustained and critical attention to forms of fantasy.
Samir Dayal is a Professor of English and Media Studies at Bentley University in Massachusetts. He is the author of Resisting Modernity: Counternarratives of Nation and Masculinity in Pre-Independence India; a co-editor, with Margueritte Murphy, of Global Babel: Questions of Discourse and Communication in a Time of Globalization; and the editor of the Cultural Studies Series, which includes Julia Kristeva's Crisis of the European Subject.
Temple University Press
August 2015 318pp 9781439910641 PB £22.99 now only £18.39* when you quote CSL815FILM when you order
Meaning and Interpretation of Music in Cinema
David P. Neumeyer
With contributions by James Buhler
"David Neumeyer's lively engagement with an entire generation of multi-disciplinary scholars yields robust frameworks for understanding how music works in "verbocentric" narrative film. Meaning and Interpretation of Music in Cinema is a work of great erudition, clarity, precision, and authority." -Claudia Gorbman, author of Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music (IUP, 1987)
"Neumeyer is a gifted writer who knows how to engage a reader from page to page." -Julie Hubbert, author of Celluloid Symphonies: Texts and Contexts in Film Music History
By exploring the relationship between music and the moving image in film narrative, David Neumeyer shows that film music is not conceptually separate from sound or dialogue, but that all three are manipulated and continually interact in the larger acoustical world of the sound track. In a medium in which the image has traditionally trumped sound, Neumeyer turns our attention to the voice as the mechanism through which narrative (dialog, speech) and sound (sound effects, music) come together. Complemented by music examples, illustrations, and contributions by James Buhler, Meaning and Interpretation of Music in Cinema is the capstone of Neumeyer's 25-year project in the analysis and interpretation of music in film.
David Neumeyer is Marlene and Morton Meyerson Professor of Music in the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, The University of Texas at Austin.
James Buhler is Associate Professor of Music Theory in the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, The University of Texas at Austin.
Indiana University Press
August 2015 336pp 73 music exx., 129 b&w illus. 9780253016492 PB £24.99 now only £19.99* when you quote CSL815FILM when you order
2012 and Other Ends of the World
Translated by Will Bishop
Foreword by Samuel Weber
"In this prodigiously intelligent book, Peter Szendy reflects on the specific nature of apocalyptic cinema. Organized as a series of brief essays on individual films and recurrent cinematic strategies, Apocalypse-Cinema offers brilliant insights on a genre that has yet to receive all the critical attention it deserves." -Marie-Helene Huet, Princeton University
"Apocalypse-Cinema is a brilliantly-executed, timely book, a tour-de-force encounter with a major film genre that has been too much neglected by serious film scholars. Szendy s survey of the highs and lows of the apo canon is nuanced and impeccably grounded in contemporary philosophy and film theory." -Terry Harpold, University of Florida
Apocalypse-cinema is not only the end of time that has so often been staged as spectacle in films like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Terminator. By looking at blockbusters that play with general annihilation while also paying close attention to films like Melancholia, Cloverfield, Blade Runner, and Twelve Monkeys, this book suggests that in the apocalyptic genre, film gnaws at its own limit.
Apocalypse-cinema is, at the same time and with the same double blow, the end of the world and the end of the film. It is the consummation and the (self-)consumption of cinema, in the form of an acinema that Lyotard evoked as the nihilistic horizon of filmic economy. The innumerable countdowns, dazzling radiations, freeze-overs, and seismic cracks and crevices are but other names and pretexts for staging film itself, with its economy of time and its rewinds, its overexposed images and fades to white, its freeze-frames and digital touch-ups.
The apocalyptic genre is not just one genre among others: It plays with the very conditions of possibility of cinema. And it bears witness to the fact that, every time, in each and every film, what Jean-Luc Nancy called the cine-world is exposed on the verge of disappearing.
In a Postface specially written for the English edition, Szendy extends his argument into a debate with speculative materialism. Apocalypse-cinema, he argues, announces itself as cinders that question the "ultratestimonial" structure of the filmic gaze. The cine-eye, he argues, eludes the correlationism and anthropomorphic structure that speculative materialists have placed under critique, allowing only the ashes it bears to be heard.
Peter Szendy is Professor of Philosophy at Paris Ouest Nanterre and musicological adviser for the concert programs at the Cite de la musique. His books to have been translated into English (all from Fordham) are Kant in the Land of Extraterrestrials, Hits: Philosophy in the Jukebox, Prophecies of Leviathan: Reading Past Melville, and Listen: A History of Our Ears.
Will Bishop received his doctorate in French Literature from the University of California Berkeley. He lives in Paris, where he teaches and translates.
Samuel Weber is Avalon Professor of Comparative Literature at Northwestern University and Director of Northwestern's Paris Program in Critical Theory. He is the author of numerous books, including The Legend of Freud, Institution and Interpretation, Mass Medianras: Form, Technics, Media, Theatricality as Medium, and Targets of Opportunity: On the Militarization of Thinking. (Fordham)
Fordham University Press
August 2015 192pp 9780823264810 PB £18.99 now only £15.19* when you quote CSL815FILM when you order
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