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Genre: Performing Arts
Author: Tom Gunning
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release: 1994
File: 316 Pages
ISBN-13: 025206366X

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In this deeply researched and vividly written volume, Melvyn Stokes illuminates the origins, production, reception and continuing history of this ground-breaking, aesthetically brilliant, and yet highly controversial movie. By going back to the original archives, particularly the NAACP and D. W. Griffith Papers, Stokes explodes many of the myths surrounding The Birth of a Nation (1915). Yet the story that remains is fascinating: the longest American film of its time, Griffith's film incorporated many new features, including the first full musical score compiled for an American film. It was distributed and advertised by pioneering methods that would quickly become standard. Through the high prices charged for admission and the fact that it was shown, at first, only in "live" theaters with orchestral accompaniment, Birth played a major role in reconfiguring the American movie audience by attracting more middle-class patrons. But if the film was a milestone in the history of cinema, it was also undeniably racist. Stokes shows that the darker side of this classic movie has its origins in the racist ideas of Thomas Dixon, Jr. and Griffith's own Kentuckian background and earlier film career. The book reveals how, as the years went by, the campaign against the film became increasingly successful. In the 1920s, for example, the NAACP exploited the fact that the new Ku Klux Klan, which used Griffith's film as a recruiting and retention tool, was not just anti-black, but also anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish, as a way to mobilize new allies in opposition to the film. This crisply written book sheds light on both the film's racism and the aesthetic brilliance of Griffith's filmmaking. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the cinema.

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Genre: History
Author: Melvyn Stokes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 2008-01-15
File: 432 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780199887514

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Genre: Performing Arts
Author: Miriam HANSEN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release: 2009-06-30
File: 389 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780674038295

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The most comprehensive volume on one of the most controversial directors in American film history A Companion to D.W. Griffith offers an exhaustive look at the first acknowledged auteur of the cinema and provides an authoritative account of the director’s life, work, and lasting filmic legacy. The text explores how Griffith’s style and status advanced along with cinema’s own development during the years when narrative became the dominant mode, when the short gave way to the feature, and when film became the pre-eminent form of mass entertainment. Griffith was at the centre of each of these changes: though a contested figure, he remains vital to any understanding of how cinema moved from nickelodeon fixture to a national pastime, playing a significant role in the cultural ethos of America. With the renewed interest in Griffith’s contributions to the film industry, A Companion to D.W. Griffith offers a scholarly look at a career that spanned more than 25 years. The editor, a leading scholar on D.W. Griffith, and the expert contributors collectively offer a unique account of one of the monumental figures in film studies. Presents the most authoritative, complete account of the director’s life, work, and lasting legacy Builds on the recent resurgence in the director’s scholarly and popular reputation Edited by a leading authority on D.W. Griffith, who has published extensively on this controversial director Offers the most up-to-date, singularly comprehensive volume on one of the monumental figures in film studies

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Genre: Performing Arts
Author: Charles Keil
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release: 2018-02-05
File: 624 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781118341254

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BOOK EXCERPT:

The most comprehensive volume on one of the most controversial directors in American film history A Companion to D.W. Griffith offers an exhaustive look at the first acknowledged auteur of the cinema and provides an authoritative account of the director’s life, work, and lasting filmic legacy. The text explores how Griffith’s style and status advanced along with cinema’s own development during the years when narrative became the dominant mode, when the short gave way to the feature, and when film became the pre-eminent form of mass entertainment. Griffith was at the centre of each of these changes: though a contested figure, he remains vital to any understanding of how cinema moved from nickelodeon fixture to a national pastime, playing a significant role in the cultural ethos of America. With the renewed interest in Griffith’s contributions to the film industry, A Companion to D.W. Griffith offers a scholarly look at a career that spanned more than 25 years. The editor, a leading scholar on D.W. Griffith, and the expert contributors collectively offer a unique account of one of the monumental figures in film studies. Presents the most authoritative, complete account of the director’s life, work, and lasting legacy Builds on the recent resurgence in the director’s scholarly and popular reputation Edited by a leading authority on D.W. Griffith, who has published extensively on this controversial director Offers the most up-to-date, singularly comprehensive volume on one of the monumental figures in film studies

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Genre: Performing Arts
Author: Charles Keil
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release: 2018-02-05
File: 624 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781118341254

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“More than half a century since its initial publication, this deceptively compact book remains among the most incisive analyses of the formal and perceptual dynamics of cinema. No one who cares about film can afford to remain ignorant of its insights and wisdom. As digital technology fundamentally alters motion pictures, the lessons of Film as Art commend themselves as excellent insurance against reinventing the wheel in the new media landscape and hailing it as progress.”—Edward Dimendberg author of Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity “After more than eight decades, Rudolph Arnheim's small book of film theory remains one of the essential works in defining film art, understanding film less as reproducing the world than as opening up new possibilities for formal play and unexpected imagery. Anyone serious about film, whether scholar, filmmaker or simply a lover of cinema, must take Arnheim seriously.”—Tom Gunning, author of The Films of Fritz Lang and D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film “An aesthetic theory based on the formal ‘limitations’ of the medium, Arnheim’s Film as Art always provokes students in an age of few limits and less formality, and they argue and engage this classic text with unparalleled passion. Written in the wake of sound’s transformation of the cinema, Arnheim’s essays are not only central to understanding a major historical moment in theoretical debates about what constitutes the ‘essence’ of film, but also are a must read for anyone seeking a lucid, detailed, and rigorous argument about how works of art emerge from expressive constraint as much as expressive freedom.”—Vivian Sobchack, author of Carnal Thoughts

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Genre: Art
Author: Rudolf Arnheim
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release: 1957
File: 230 Pages
ISBN-13: 0520248376

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This collection of essays by leading American film scholars charts a whole new territory in genre film criticism. Rather than assuming that genres are self-evident categories, the contributors offer innovative ways to think about types of films, and patterns within films, in a historical context. Challenging familiar attitudes, the essays offer new conceptual frameworks and a fresh look at how popular culture functions in American society. The range of essays is exceptional, from David J. Russell's insights into the horror genre to Carol J. Clover's provocative take on "trial films" to Leo Braudy's argument for the subject of nature as a genre. Also included are essays on melodrama, race, film noir, and the industrial context of genre production. The contributors confront the poststructuralist critique of genre head-on; together they are certain to shape future debates concerning the viability and vitality of genre in studying American cinema.

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Genre: Performing Arts
Author: Nick Browne
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release: 1998-04-22
File: 326 Pages
ISBN-13: 0520207319

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ln this volume Tom Gunning examines the films of Fritz Lang not only as a stylistically coherent body of work, but as an attempt to portray the modern world through cinema. The world of modernity in which systems replace individuals is conveyed by Lang's mastery of cinematic set design, composition and editing. Lang presents not only a decades-long vision of cinematic narrative which can be compared to that of Alfred Hitchcock or Jean Renoir, but a view of modernity that relates strongly to the ideas of Adorno, Brecht, Benjamin and Kracauer. From the sweeping allegorical films of the 20s to the chilly and abstract thrillers of the 50s, Lang's films, Gunning claims, are 'among the most precious records of the twentieth century'. The Films of Fritz Lang immeasurably enriches our understanding of a great artist and, in so doing, reimagines what a film arlist is: an author who fades away even in being recognised and interpreted, an enigmatic figure at the junction of aesthetics, history, biography and theory.

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Genre: Performing Arts
Author: Tom Gunning
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release: 2019-07-25
File: 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781838718855

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In 1935, the foundation of the Film Library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York marked the transformation of the film medium from a passing amusement to an enduring art form. Haidee Wasson maps the work of the MoMA film library as it pioneered the preservation of film & promoted the concept of art cinema.

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Genre: Art
Author: Haidee Wasson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release: 2005-05-27
File: 314 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780520241312

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"Pearson writes beautifully, clearly, and entertainingly (with a touch of sardonic sarcasm here and there). This is the single best work centering on performance in film that I have read."—Thomas Gunning, author of D. W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film

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Genre: Performing Arts
Author: Roberta Pearson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release: 1992-11-02
File: 184 Pages
ISBN-13: 0520073665

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