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xiii, 250 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • The character of post-World War II America
  • Singin' in the (HUAC) rain : job security, stardom, and the abjection of Lena Lamont
  • It's all about Eve
  • "What starts like a scary tale ... " : the right to work On the waterfront
  • "Life could not better be" : disorganized labor, the little man and the court jester
  • Citizens of the free world unite : international tourism and postwar identity in Roman holiday, Teahouse of the August moon, and Sayonara
  • Expedient exaggeration and the scale of Cold War farce in North by northwest
  • Defiant desegregation with no (liberal) way out
  • "'I want to be in America' : urban integration, Pan American friendship, and West Side story."
Prolific literature, both popular and scholarly, depicts America in the period of the High Cold War as being obsessed with normality, implicitly figuring the postwar period as a return to the way of life that had been put on hold, first by the Great Depression and then by Pearl Harbor. Demographic Angst argues that mandated normativity-as a political agenda and a social ethic-precluded explicit expression of the anxiety produced by America's radically reconfigured postwar population. Alan Nadel explores influential non-fiction books, magazine articles, and public documents in conjunction with films such as Singin' in the Rain, On the Waterfront, Sunset Boulevard, and Sayonara, to examine how these films worked through fresh anxieties that emerged during the 1950s.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780813565491 20180205
Green Library
xii, 279 pages ; 25 cm.
  • American ruin, the American dream, and Hollywood
  • Backstory
  • A dangerous world
  • Above and below the shiny surface
  • Rising paranoia
  • Eruption
  • Disillusion
  • Shimmering façade
  • Hollow world
  • Apocalypse realized.
Long before the war in Iraq and the economic crises of the early 21st century, Hollywood has depicted a grim view of life in the United States, one that belies the prosperity and abundance of the so-called American Dream. While the country emerged from World War II as a world power, collectively our sense of security had been threatened. The result is a cinematic body of work that has America's decline and ruin as a central theme. The author draws from popular films across all genres and six decades to illustrate how the political climate of the times influenced their creation. "Projecting the End of the American Dream: Hollywood's Visions of U.S. Decline" combines film history, social history, and political history to reveal important themes in the unfolding American narrative. Discussions focus on a wide variety of films, including "Rambo, " "Planet of the Apes, " and "Easy Rider.".
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780313385643 20160612
Green Library
viii, 290 p. : ill ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction
  • A brief history of the working class in film
  • A cool hand and two Depression-era rebels
  • A not-so-easy ride and its aftermath
  • A war fought on multiple fronts
  • The right reacts
  • New Hollywood takes its turn
  • Blockbusters, blaxploitation, and the return of the working-class hero
  • The ethnic revival
  • Two films reflect on the end of an era
  • Epilogue.
Green Library
x, 238 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
  • Introduction : from Tom Joad to Joe the Plumber (or, the working class of 2008)
  • 1909-1940. Reform and revolution : the Progressive Era and D.W. Griffith
  • Man, machine, apparatus : modern times
  • The promised land (or, many will enter, few will win) : The grapes of wrath
  • 1941-1956. Rally 'round the flag : labor, Hollywood, World War II, and the Cold War
  • In praise of the individual : On the waterfront
  • 1957-1979. The union label : F.I.S.T.
  • American nightmare : Blue collar
  • The dignity of labor (and intellectuals) : Norma Rae
  • 1980-1999. Labor learns its place : Gung ho
  • Requiem for the worker : Matewan
  • White collar revolt : Office space
  • Conclusion : wither the working class?
An examination of the cinematic and cultural discourse surrounding work, the worker, organized labor, and the working class in 20th century America, this book situates textual analysis within the context of labor and politics. Looking at both comedies (Modern Times, Gung Ho, Office Space) and dramas (The Grapes of Wrath, On the Waterfront, F.I.S.T., Blue Collar, Norma Rae, and Matewan), the book reveals how these films are not merely products of their times, but also producers of ideological stances concerning the status of capitalism, class struggle, and democracy in America. Common themes among the films include: the myth of the noble worker; the shifting status of the American Dream; and the acceptability of reform versus the unacceptability of revolution in affecting economic, political, and social change in America.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780786447343 20160604
Green Library
x, 228 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
This work analyzes popular films produced in the years of significant historical change from 1946 to the end of the twentieth century. Although the American middle class expanded significantly with the economic prosperity that followed World War II, postwar films often depict middle-class men as discontented with the mundane nature of work and with declining autonomy in an increasingly corporate-bureaucratic society. Disaffected male characters represent traditional values of independent thought and action as they negotiate life in the "organized system" (corporate life and the consumer culture) increasingly demanding dependence and conformity, which they resist. Such tensions between independence and conformity remain constant and central themes in American culture, and the phenomenon is rooted in silent feature films, early film shorts, and in nineteenth-century literary texts created as early as the 1850s.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780786469918 20160609
Green Library
xii, 287 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
  • A visit to the Oriental
  • The sing-along tradition
  • Practices and tools
  • Community singing and the "class house"
  • Community singing and local outreach
  • The advent of sound.
During the 1920s, a visit to the movie theater almost always included a sing-along. Patrons joined together to render old favorites and recent hits, usually accompanied by the strains of a mighty Wurlitzer organ. The organist was responsible for choosing the repertoire and presentation style that would appeal to his or her patrons, so each theater offered a unique experience. When sound technology drove both musicians and participatory culture out of the theater in the early 1930s, the practice faded and was eventually forgotten.Despite the popularity and ubiquity of community singing-it was practiced in every state, in theaters large and small-there has been scant research on the topic. This volume is the first dedicated account of community singing in the picture palace and includes nearly one hundred images, such as photographs of the movie houses' opulent interiors, reproductions of sing-along slides, and stills from the original Screen Songs "follow the bouncing ball" cartoons.Esther M. Morgan-Ellis brings the era of movie palaces to life. She presents the origins of theater sing-alongs in the prewar community singing movement, describes the basic components of a sing-along, explores the unique presentation styles of several organists, and assesses the aftermath of sound technology, including the sing-along films and children's matinees of the 1930s.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780820352046 20180226
Green Library
xiv, 205 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
The large literature about the politics of Hollywood in the period of McCarthy and the blacklist has largely overlooked political filmmaking during those agitated years. "Hollywood Riots" examines the most vibrant cycle of independently produced political films made while House Committee on Un-American Activities was investigating communists in the film industry. In doing so, it shifts the focus from the politics of Washington to the politics of Los Angeles and from the films of the Hollywood Ten to the more politically complex films of the progressive community at large. Dibbern shows how the movies produced by progressives at the end of the 1950s, including "The Lawless", "The Sound of Fury", "The Underworld", were the logical cinematic parallel to their political and journalistic advocacy fighting the conservative newspapers. In these films they were recasting political events from California's recent past as politically-engaged narratives that were inflected with their own fears of persecution." Hollywood Riots" re-views the work of notable directors like Joseph Losey and Cy Endfield, as well as introducing unheralded political screenwriters and directors such as Daniel Mainwaring, Jo Pagano, and Leo C. Popkin.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781780766324 20160619
Green Library
viii, 324 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction: film noir and the American dream
  • "Someone else's nightmare": exploring noir dreamscapes
  • Missing persons: self-erasure and reinvention
  • Vet noir: masculinity, memory and trauma
  • Framed: forging noir identities
  • Noir's cars: automobility and amoral space
  • Nocturnes in black and blue: memory, morality and jazz melody
  • Femmes vital: film noir and women's work
  • Left-handed endeavor: crime, capitalism, and the Hollywood left
  • Conclusion: American nightmares.
Desperate young lovers on the lam (They Live by Night), a cynical con man making a fortune as a mentalist (Nightmare Alley), a penniless pregnant girl mistaken for a wealthy heiress (No Man of Her Own), a wounded veteran who has forgotten his own name (Somewhere in the Night) - this gallery of film noir characters challenges the stereotypes of the wise-cracking detective and the alluring femme fatale. Despite their differences, they all have something in common: a belief in self-reinvention. Nightmare Alley is a thorough examination of how film noir disputes this notion at the heart of the American Dream. Central to many of these films, Mark Osteen argues, is the story of an individual trying, by dint of hard work or, more often, illicit enterprises, to overcome his or her origins and achieve material success. In the wake of World War II, the noir genre tested the dream of upward mobility and the ideas of individualism, liberty, equality, and free enterprise that accompany it. Employing an impressive array of theoretical perspectives (including psychoanalysis, art history, feminism, and music theory) and combining close reading with original primary source research, Nightmare Alley proves both the diversity of classic noir and its potency. This provocative and wide-ranging study revises and refreshes our understanding of noir's characters, themes, and cultural significance.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781421407807 20160615
Green Library
xi, 358 pages ; 24 cm
  • Beauty, celebrity, and power in two cultures
  • Mexican princess
  • Hollywood baby beauty
  • Unwelcome triangle
  • Pushing the envelope
  • Fame and its perils
  • Second chance
  • Affair
  • Return
  • Resurrection
  • Diva
  • Icon.
Dolores del Rio's enormously successful career in Hollywood, in Mexico, and internationally illuminates issues of race, ethnicity, and gender through the lenses of beauty and celebrity. She and her husband left Mexico in 1925, as both their well-to-do families suffered from the economic downturn that followed the Mexican Revolution. Far from being stigmatized as a woman of color, this Mexican star was acknowledged as the epitome of beauty in the Hollywood of the 1920s and early 1930s. While she insisted upon her ethnicity, she was nevertheless coded white by the film industry and its fans, and she appeared for more than a decade as a romantic lead opposite white actors. Returning to Mexico in the early 1940s, she brought enthusiasm and prestige to the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, becoming one of the great divas of Mexican film. With struggle and perseverance, she overcame the influence of men in both countries who hoped to dominate her, ultimately controlling her own life professionally and personally.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780804784078 20160609
Green Library
v, 210 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
This book demonstrates how horror films of the 1930s and 1940s reflected specific events and personalities of the era, most notably the Great Depression and World War II. Beginning with "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" (1931), it relates the many ways that horror films and society intersected: Franklin D. Roosevelt's skepticism toward conventional wisdom and the public's distrust of experts was mirrored in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue"; the freaks in Tod Browning's 1932 film of the same name revolted against the powerful people of the circus, much like the Bonus Army protested the sufferings of the Depression; King Kong's rampage on New York personified the anti - New York sentiment in the nation at large; Lon Chaney Jr.'s "Wolf Man" symbolized the experience of his creator, Curt Siodmak, as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780786443130 20160528
Green Library
ix, 253 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction: The American empire in the South Pacific and its representation in Hollywood cinema, 1898-present
  • The South Pacific and Hawaii on screen: territorial expansion and cinematic colonialism
  • World War II Hawaii: Orientalism and the American century
  • Postwar Hawaii and the birth of the military-industrial complex
  • Conclusion: The new cultural amnesia in contemporary cinema and television.
Green Library
xix, 308 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Split Screen Nation traces an oppositional dynamic between the screen West and the screen South that was unstable and dramatically shifting in the decades after WWII, and has marked popular ways of imagining the U.S. ever since. If this dynamic became vivid in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012), itself arguably a belated response to Easy Rider (1969), this book helps us understand those films, and much more, through an eclectic history of U.S. screen media from the postwar era. It deftly analyzes not only Hollywood films and television, but also educational and corporate films, amateur films (aka "home movies"), and military and civil defense films featuring "tests" of the atomic bomb in the desert. Attentive to sometimes profoundly different contexts of production and consumption shaping its varied examples, Split Screen Nation argues that in the face of the Cold War and the civil rights struggle an implicit, sometimes explicit, opposition between the screen West and the screen South nonetheless mediated the nation's most paradoxical narratives - namely, "land of the free"/land of slavery, conquest, and segregation. Whereas confronting such contradictions head-on could capsize cohesive conceptions of the U.S., by now familiar screen forms of the West and the South split them apart to offer convenient, discrete, and consequential imaginary places upon which to collectively project avowed aspirations and dump troubling forms of national waste. Pinpointing some of the most severe yet understudied postwar trends fueling this dynamic - including non-theatrical film road trips, feature films adapted from Tennessee Williams, and atomic test films - and mining their potential for more complex ways of thinking and feeling the nation, Split Screen Nation considers how the vernacular screen forms at issue have helped shape how we imagine not only America's past, but also the limits and possibilities of its present and future.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780190459970 20170424
Green Library
xi, 253 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
  • Constructing Mexican Los Angeles: competing images of an immigrant population
  • "Spectacles of high morality and culture": theatrical culture and aspirations
  • Of Mexican community in the 1920s
  • The audible and the invisible: the transition to sound and "de-Mexicanization" of Hollywood
  • "Fashionable charros and chinas poblanas": Mexican cinema and the dilemma of the comedia ranchera
  • "Now we have Mexican cinema?": navigating transnational mexicanidad in a moment of crisis
  • Conclusion: Hola México/hello Mexico.
In the early decades of the twentieth-century, Main Street was the heart of Los Angeles's Mexican immigrant community. It was also the hub for an extensive, largely forgotten film culture that thrived in L.A. during the early days of Hollywood. Drawing from rare archives, including the city's Spanish-language newspapers, Colin Gunckel vividly demonstrates how this immigrant community pioneered a practice of transnational media convergence, consuming films from Hollywood and Mexico, while also producing fan publications, fiction, criticism, music, and live theatrical events. "Mexico on Main Street" locates this film culture at the center of a series of key debates concerning national identity, ethnicity, class, and the role of Mexicans within Hollywood before World War II. As Gunckel shows, the immigrant community's cultural elite tried to rally the working-class population toward the cause of Mexican nationalism, while Hollywood sought to position them as part of a lucrative transnational Latin American market. Yet ironically, both Hollywood studios and Mexican American cultural elites used the media to present negative depictions of working-class Mexicans, portraying their behaviors as a threat to middle-class respectability. Rather than simply depicting working-class immigrants as pawns of these power players, however, Gunckel reveals their active participation in the era's film culture. Gunckel's innovative approach combines media studies, urban history, and ethnic studies to reconstruct a distinctive, richly layered immigrant film culture. "Mexico on Main Street" demonstrates how a site-specific study of cultural and ethnic issues challenges our existing conceptions of U.S. film history, Mexican cinema, and the history of Los Angeles.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780813570754 20160618
Green Library
xiii, 244 pages ; 24 cm
  • Introduction: From Manchuria to Manchuria, Inc.
  • California dreaming : twentieth-century corporate fictions at the end of the frontier
  • "Domo arigato, Mr. Sakamoto, for the new non-union contract!" : (multi)national threats and the decline of the American auto industry in Ron Howard's Gung ho
  • Good times, bad times . . . you know I had my share(s) : the corporation in five popular films
  • A capital death : medicine, technology, and the care of the self in Don Delillo's White noise
  • Family incorporated : William Gaddis's J R and the embodiment of capitalism
  • Your loss is their gain : the corporate body and the corporeal body in Richard Powers's Gain
  • Conclusion: Corporate hegemony, cubed.
Fictions Inc. explores how depictions of the corporation in American literature, film, and popular culture have changed over time. Beginning with perhaps the most famous depiction of a corporation - Frank Norris's The Octopus - Ralph Clare traces this figure as it shifts from monster to man, from force to "individual, " and from American industry to multinational "Other." Clare examines a variety of texts that span the second half of the twentieth century and beyond, including novels by Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, Don DeLillo, Richard Powers, and Joshua Ferris; films such as Network, Ghostbusters, Gung Ho, Office Space, and Michael Clayton; and assorted artifacts of contemporary media such as television's The Office and the comic strips Life Is Hell and Dilbert. Paying particular attention to the rise of neoliberalism, the emergence of biopolitics, and the legal status of "corporate bodies, " Fictions Inc. shows that representations of corporations have come to serve, whether directly or indirectly, as symbols for larger economic concerns often too vast or complex to comprehend. Whether demonized or lionized, the corporation embodies American anxieties about these current conditions and ongoing fears about the viability of a capitalist system.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780813565880 20160616
Green Library

15. Movie time [2007]

viii, 274 p. ; 22 cm.
"Movie Time" is a study of temporal mythmaking in American popular movies. The work is rooted in American pragmatic philosophy and contemporary traditions of inquiry in the social sciences and humanities. It proceeds on the premise that social beings and social orders are interested in the mediation of time, and attempt to make sense of their present world through the reconstruction of important pasts of interest in the present, develop new presents with the help of popular expressions which define new situations and responses for a new time, and foresee possible futures which impinge upon life in the here-and-now.In particular, the work focuses on the subsequent treatment of the American 1950's in films set in that era, beginning in the 1970's and continuing, with an effort to create a rough tmy themesof mythemes in such retrospective films, and why it is that future times would find the Fifties to be so important that people wish to revisit it. Too, the mediation of time includes the development of a new present, in this case the emergence of conservatism as a social force in the 1970's and beyond. The movies were an important form of expression in the dramatization of the conservative myth, leading to the pervasion of conservative leaders and ideologies into the new century.Finally, the unrealized but imminent future of the country and world was increasingly on people's minds, as both millennial hopes and fears and unanticipated threats began to emerge at century's end, so movies which anticipated alternative futures appeared in response to that prospective interest. It is hoped that this present inquiry will stimulate further work on the social relevance of popular expression and in particular the social mediation of time.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781847183101 20160527
Green Library
viii, 298 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
  • Acknowledgments-- Introduction: Unfinished Promises to an Orphaned Time-- Chapter One: Montage, Realism, and the Male Gaze-- Chapter Two: Eisenstein in America: The !Que Viva Mexico! Debates and Emergent Popular Front U.S. Film Theory and Criticism-- Chapter Three: Screening Race: The Antilynching Film, the Black Press, and U.S. Popular Front Film Criticism-- Chapter Four: Taking Hollywood Back: Gendered Histories of the Hollywood Costume Drama, the Biopic, and Jean Renoir's La Marseillaise-- Conclusion: Fragments of the Future-- Notes-- Bibliography-- Index.
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)9780292722965 20160605
In the 1930s as the capitalist system faltered, many in the United States turned to the political Left. Hollywood, so deeply embedded in capitalism, was not immune to this shift. Left of Hollywood offers the first book-length study of Depression-era Left film theory and criticism in the United States. Robe studies the development of this theory and criticism over the course of the 1930s, as artists and intellectuals formed alliances in order to establish an engaged political film movement that aspired toward a popular cinema of social change. Combining extensive archival research with careful close analysis of films, Robe explores the origins of this radical social formation of U.S. Left film culture. Grounding his arguments in the surrounding contexts and aesthetics of a few films in particularoSergei Eisenstein's Que Viva Mexico!, Fritz Lang's Fury, William Dieterle's Juarez, and Jean Renoir's La MarseillaiseoRobe focuses on how film theorists and critics sought to foster audiences who might push both film culture and larger social practices in more progressive directions. Turning at one point to anti-lynching films, Robe discusses how these movies united black and white film critics, forging an alliance of writers who championed not only critical spectatorship but also the public support of racial equality. Yet, despite a stated interest in forging more egalitarian social relations, gender bias was endemic in Left criticism of the era, and female-centered films were regularly discounted. Thus Robe provides an in-depth examination of this overlooked shortcoming of U.S. Left film criticism and theory.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780292722965 20160605
Green Library
xvi, 279 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
  • Part I Remembering cyberspace 1. There's always . . tomorrowland: Disney and the hypercinematic experience-- 2. Gibson's typewriter-- 3. X-bodies: The torment of the mutant superhero (1994) Part II Kaleidoscopic perceptions 4. The artificial infinite: On special effects and the sublime-- 5. The ultimate trip: Special effects and kaleidoscopic perception Part III The grace of beings 6. Taking shape: Morphing and the performance of self-- 7. Syncopated city: New York in musical film (1929-1961)-- 8. The boys in the hoods: A song of the urban superhero (2000).
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)9780822331322 20160528
The headlong rush, the rapid montage, the soaring superhero, the plunging roller coaster - "Matters of Gravity" focuses on the experience of technological spectacle in American popular culture over the past century. In these essays, leading media and cultural theorist Scott Bukatman reveals how popular culture tames the threats posed by technology and urban modernity by immersing people in delirious, kinetic environments like those traversed by Plastic Man, Superman, and the careening astronauts of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "The Right Stuff". He argues that as advanced technologies have proliferated, popular culture has turned the attendant fear of instability into the thrill of topsy-turvydom, often by presenting images and experiences of weightless escape from controlled space. Considering theme parks, cyberspace, cinematic special effects, superhero comics, and musical films, "Matters of Gravity" highlights phenomena that make technology spectacular, permit unfettered flights of fantasy, and free us momentarily from the weight of gravity and history, of past and present. Bukatman delves into the dynamic ways pop culture imagines that apotheosis of modernity: the urban metropolis. He points to two genres, musical films and superhero comics, that turn the city into a unique site of transformative power. Leaping in single bounds from lively descriptions to sharp theoretical insights, "Matters of Gravity" is a deft, exhilarating celebration of the liberating effects of popular culture.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780822331322 20160528
Green Library
386 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
In this book, author Rosalie Schwartz uses the 1933 RKO-Radio Pictures production Flying Down to Rio to examine the interplay of technology and popular culture that shaped a distinctive twentieth-century sensibility. The musical comedy connected airplanes, movies, and tourism, ending spectacularly with chorus girls dancing on the wings of airplanes high above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Hollywood fantasy capped three decades during which airplanes and movies engendered new expectations and redefined people's sense of well-being, their personal satisfactions, and their interpersonal relations. Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their airplane in 1903, at the same time that film-makers began to project edited, filmed stories onto large screens. Spectators found entertainment value in both airplane competitions and motion pictures, and movie producers brought the thrill of aviators' antics to a rapidly expanding audience. Meanwhile, air shows and competitions attracted large crowds of tourists. Mass tourism grew as a leisure-time activity, stimulated in part by travelogues and feature films. By 1930, the businessmen who envisioned transporting tourists to their destinations by airplane struggled to overcome the movie-exaggerated association of flight with danger. Schwartz weaves these threads into a story of human daring and persistence, political intrigue, and international competition. From Wilbur and Orville to Fred and Ginger, Schwartz's narrative follows the fortunes of aviation and movie pioneers and the foundations and growth of Pan American Airways and RKO-Radio Pictures, the two companies that came together in Flying Down to Rio. By the end of the twentieth century, aviation, movies, and mass tourism had become powerful global industries, contributing to an internationally connected, entertainment-oriented culture. What was once unthinkable had now become expected.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781585444212 20160528
Green Library


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