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The phenomenon of risk has been seriously neglected in connection with the study of film, yet many of those who write about film seem to have intuitions about how various forms of risk-taking shape aspects of the filmmaking or film-viewing process. Film and Risk fills this gap as editor Mette Hjort and interdisciplinary contributors discuss film’s relation to all types of risk. Bringing together scholars from philosophy, anthropology, film studies, economics, and cultural studies, as well as experts from the fields of law, filmmaking, and photojournalism, this volume discusses risk from multiple intriguing angles. In thirteen chapters, contributors consider concrete risks (e.g., stunts or financial decisions); theoretical aesthetic and artistic risks (e.g., filmmakers who incorporate excessive hazards into their films); and the real-world jeopardy spectators might put themselves in when viewing films. The first three chapters tackle the conceptual terrain that is relevant to understanding risk in film. The next three chapters focus on risk as it pertains to the practice of filmmaking. Subsequent chapters deal with economic risk and the role that risk has in the development of film’s institutional landscape. The scholarship in this collection is impressive, boasting some of the top writers in their respective fields. Through the contributors’ clear and thorough discussions, this cohesive but diverse collection shows that risk arises in many different areas that tend to be thought of as central to film studies. Scholars of film studies will appreciate this daring and inventive collection, and readers with a general interest in film studies will enjoy its accessible style.
Theodore Roosevelt to Walt Disney
Portraits and Interviews
In 1989 Susan Johann was hired to photograph Christopher Durang for a magazine article about his play Naomi in Her Living Room. The playwright was known for his outrageous comedy, so Johann anticipated a session with a rather wild, young eccentric. To her surprise, the man who came to her studio was mild mannered and buttoned down. Johann found this twist captivating, and it was then that this project was born. Over the ensuing twenty-year period, she photographed more than ninety playwrights, including many winners of the Pulitzer Prize and other prestigious awards. Johann photographed Wendy Wasserstein, Anna Deavere Smith, August Wilson, and Nilo Cruz in the weeks after they won the Pulitzer. Tony Kushner sat for his portrait between the productions of part 1 and part 2 of Angels in America. Eve Ensler came to Johann’s studio during the week she was previewing her famous one-woman show, The Vagina Monologues, and George C. Wolfe sat for her the morning after his play Spunk opened at the Public Theater. Each playwright was photographed in Johann’s studio using the same film, a single light, and a plain backdrop, creating a portrait that captures and distills something essential—an intimate view. Her interviews explore the writers’ personal and creative journeys including their inspirations, roadblocks, and obsessions, which influenced their work on paper and on the stage. Even those who know Edward Albee’s plays intimately, for example, may be surprised by his incisive wit and inimitable voice as revealed in his interview with Johann. Beyond the book, Focus on Playwrights is also a live, multimedia presentation in which Johann narrates an inside look at creativity—the theater and photography. It has been given at such venues as the New Dramatists in New York, the Eugene O’Neill Theater, the Tryon Fine Arts Center and at the Photo Expo in New York.
A GI's Experience
As an Official Army Photographer, "Mac" Fleming’s assignment was to take motion pictures of significant wartime events for the US Army. In the pouch intended to carry his first-aid kit on his belt, he instead carried a small personal camera, which he used to take pictures of the people and places that interested him, capturing in his field notes details of the life he observed. From these records, Fleming has assembled this absorbing private chronicle of war and peace. Assigned to the European Theater in February 1945, he filmed the action from the battle for the Remagen Bridge across the Rhine, to the fighting in the Hartz Mountains, on to the linkup with the Russian forces at the Elbe River. After the armistice, Fleming helped document how the Allied Expeditionary Force established a military government in Germany to cope with masses of POWs, establish control of the country, deal with the atrocities committed by the German army, and help thousands of newly released slave laborers return home to Poland, France, and Russia. He also recorded how the army provided rest, recreation, and rehabilitation to the remaining US soldiers and sent them home by truck, train, and ship. Awaiting shipment home, Fleming explored postwar German town and country life and toured some famous castles and historic spots. The foreword by historian James H. Madison describes the important role of photography in war and the special contribution of Fleming’s photographic diary.
Environmental Justice in East Texas
In 1982, a toxic waste facility opened in the Piney Woods in Winona, Texas. The residents were told that the company would plant fruit trees on the land left over from its ostensible salt-water injection well. Soon after the plant opened, however, residents started noticing huge orange clouds rising from the facility and an increase in rates of cancer and birth defects in both humans and animals. The company dismissed their concerns, and confusion about what chemicals it accepted made investigations difficult. Outraged by what she saw, Phyllis Glazer founded Mothers Organized to Stop Environmental Sins (MOSES) and worked tirelessly to publicize the problems in Winona. The story was featured in People , the Houston Chronicle magazine, and The Dallas Observer . The plant finally closed in 1998, citing the negative publicity generated by the group. This book originated in 1994 when Cromer-Campbell was asked by Phyllis Glazer to produce a photograph for a poster about the campaign. She was so touched by the people in the town that she set out to document their stories. Using a plastic Holga camera, she created hauntingly distorted images that are both works of art and testaments to the damage inflicted on the people of a small Texas town by one company’s greed. In the accompanying essays, Phyllis Glazer describes the history of Winona and the fight against the facility; Roy Flukinger discusses Cromer-Campbell's striking photographic technique; Eugene Hargrove explores issues of environmental justice; and Marvin Legator elaborates on how industry and government discourage victims of chemical exposure from seeking or obtaining relief.
Photographs from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection
This portfolio of eighty-three photographs constitutes a stunning celebration of African American achievement in the twentieth century. Carl Van Vechten, a longtime patron of black writers and artists, took these photographs over the course of three decades—primarily as gifts to his subjects, such luminaries as W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Joe Louis, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ruby Dee, Lena Horne, and James Earl Jones.
The photographs Rudolph P. Byrd has selected for this volume come from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of Negro Arts and Letters, which Van Vechten established at Yale University. Byrd has arranged the images chronologically, according to the time at which each subject emerged as a vital presence in African American tradition.
Complementing the photographs are a substantial introduction by Byrd, biographical sketches of each subject, and poems by the noted writer Michael S. Harper. The result is a volume of beauty and power, a record of black excellence that will engage and inform new generations.
Life Below the Blue
A Visual Journey
The Great Smoky Mountains have inspired, challenged, and entertained millions of visitors for hundreds of years.To preserve thesplendorof the mountains and valleys for all to enjoy, Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicatedthis beautiful area as a protected area and National Park in 1940. In this breathtaking book, the husband-and-wife photography team captures a new vision of the Great Smoky Mountains including both popular attractions and spectacular sites off the beaten path.Stunning photos represent all four seasons, including colorful fall foliage, spring’s wildflower riches, intense summer sunsets, and serene winter snowfalls. Majestic views of mountains from Clingman’s Dome to Morton Overlook along Newfound Gap Road will entice new visitors, while regulars will cherish the book as a memory album of their own, enjoying images of Cades Cove, Roaring Fork Motor Trail and the wildlife of the area. This book of new and remarkable photographs is a necessity for everyone who appreciates natural landscapes, wildlife, and beauty in an area rich with history and culture.