In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Recent Books in Film History
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015).
Chris Cagle, Sociology On Film: Hollywood’s Prestige Commodity (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017).
Stephen Charbonneau, Projecting Race: Postwar America, Civil Rights, and Documentary Film (New York: Wallflower Press, 2016).
Susan Courtney, Split Screen Nation: Moving Images of the American West and South (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Mary Desjardins, Recycled Stars: Female Stardom in the Age of Television and Video (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015).
Carmela Garritano, African Video Movies and Global Desires: A Ghanaian History (Athens: Center for International Studies, Ohio University Press, 2013).
Alison Griffiths, Carceral Fantasies: Cinema and Prisons in Early Twentieth-Century America (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016).
Charles Maland, ed., Complete Film Criticism: Reviews, Essays, and Manuscripts, vol. 5, The Works of James Agee (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2017).
Brian Neve, The Many Lives of Cy Endfield: Film Noir, the Blacklist and Zulu (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015).

Reflecting the broad range of new scholarship in the history of cinema, the books included in this section have been selected by the editorial staff of Film History. The summaries have been provided by the authors.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015).


Click for larger view
View full resolution

Cinema, the Regime’s Other Weapon.

Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema is the first in-depth study of the feature and documentary films made during Benito Mussolini’s dictatorship about Italy’s African and Balkan occupations. The fruit of research in military and film archives, it focuses on the dramatic years between the invasion of Ethiopia (1935–36) and the loss of the colonies (1941–43) during World War II. Promoted and created at the highest levels of the regime, empire films were Italy’s entry into an international marketplace of colonial and exotic offerings and engaged many of Italy’s emerging filmmaking talents (Roberto Rossellini) as well as its most experienced and cosmopolitan directors (Augusto Genina, Mario Camerini). Shot partly or wholly in Libya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, these movies [End Page 167] reinforced Fascist racial and labor policies: their sets were sites of violence and of interracial intimacies. Like the imperial histories they recount, they were largely forgotten for most of the postwar period. Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema restores them to Italian and international film history and offers a case study of the intertwining of war and cinema and the unfolding of imperial policy in the context of dictatorship.

Chris Cagle, Sociology On Film: Hollywood’s Prestige Commodity (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017).


Click for larger view
View full resolution

Frame grab, Gentleman’s Agreement (1947).

Sociology on Film revisits the often ignored or maligned social-problem film of 1940s and 1950s Hollywood, arguing that the genre’s popular sociology helped transform Hollywood’s prestige film. The account synthesizes archival research in studio records, reception study, discursive reading of the trade press, textual analysis of individual films, and an intellectual history of twentieth-century sociology. Whereas many film histories examine the genre through the lens of the blacklist and Hollywood’s left, a broader, middlebrow, liberal culture characterized the films and their reception. Many of the films were adapted from best-selling realist novels, and many of the cinematographers [End Page 168] were praised in the trade press for their realism. Sociology on Film argues that the soft genres of melodrama and adaptation were actually in dialogue with the more explicitly political ones of the film noir, social-problem film, and semidocumentary film more canonically associated with postwar Hollywood cinema.

Stephen Charbonneau, Projecting Race: Postwar America, Civil Rights, and Documentary Film (New York: Wallflower Press, 2016).


Click for larger view
View full resolution

Mary Coley as the featured midwife in All My Babies (1952), one of the films discussed in Projecting Race. (Publicity still from George C. Stoney Papers, 1940–2009, Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Drawing on extensive archival research, oral history, and textual analysis, Projecting Race tracks the evolution of race-based, nontheatrical cinema from the forties to the late sixties...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3905
Print ISSN
0892-2160
Pages
pp. 167-175
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-09
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.