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Life After Death in the Modern World
In 1896, French magician and filmmaker George Méliès brought forth the first celluloid vampire in his film Le manoir du diable. The vampire continues to be one of film’s most popular gothic monsters and in fact, today more people become acquainted with the vampire through film than through literature, such as Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula. How has this long legacy of celluloid vampires affected our understanding of vampire mythology? And how has the vampire morphed from its folkloric and literary origins? In this entertaining and absorbing work, Stacey Abbott challenges the conventional interpretation of vampire mythology and argues that the medium of film has completely reinvented the vampire archetype. Rather than representing the primitive and folkloric, the vampire has come to embody the very experience of modernity. No longer in a cape and coffin, today’s vampire resides in major cities, listens to punk music, embraces technology, and adapts to any situation. Sometimes she’s even female. With case studies of vampire classics such as Nosferatu, Martin, Blade, and Habit, the author traces the evolution of the American vampire film, arguing that vampires are more than just blood-drinking monsters; they reflect the cultural and social climate of the societies that produce them, especially during times of intense change and modernization. Abbott also explores how independent filmmaking techniques, special effects makeup, and the stunning and ultramodern computer-generated effects of recent films have affected the representation of the vampire in film.
Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction
Censorship in South Asia offers an expansive and comparative exploration of cultural regulation in contemporary and colonial South Asia. These provocative essays by leading scholars broaden our understanding of what censorship might mean -- beyond the simple restriction and silencing of public communication -- by considering censorship's productive potential and its intimate relation to its apparent opposite, "publicity." The contributors investigate a wide range of public cultural phenomena, from the cinema to advertising, from street politics to political communication, and from the adjudication of blasphemy to the management of obscenity.
Charles Burnett (b. 1944) is a groundbreaking African American filmmaker and one of this country's finest directors, yet he remains largely unknown. His films, most notably Killer of Sheep(1977) and To Sleep with Anger (1990), are considered classics, yet few filmgoers have seen them or heard of Burnett. The interviews in this volume explore this paradox and collectively shed light on the work of a rare film master whose stories bring to the screen the texture and poetry of life in the black community.The best qualities of Burnett's films-rich characterizations, morally and emotionally complex narratives, and intricately observed tales of African American life-are precisely the things that make his films a tough sell in the mass marketplace. As many of the interviews reveal, Hollywood has been largely inept in responding to this marketing challenge. "It takes an extraordinary effort to keep going," Burnett told Terrence Rafferty in 2001, "when everybody's saying to you, 'No one wants to see that kind of movie,' or 'There's no black audience.'" All the interviews selected for this volume (spanning more than three decades of Burnett's directorial career including his recent work) examine, in various degrees, Burnett's status as a true independent filmmaker and explore his motivation for making films that chronicle the black experience in America.
Cheche, a radical, socialist student magazine at the University of Dares Salaam, first came out in 1969. Featuring incisive analyses of key societal issues by prominent progressives, it gained national and international recognition in a short while. Because it was independent of authority, and spoke without fear or favor, it was banned after just a year of existence. The former editors and associates of Cheche revive that salutory episode of student activism in this book with fast-flowing, humor spiced stories, and astute socio-economic analyses. Issues covered include social and technical aspects of low-budget magazine production, travails of student life and activism, contents and philosophy of higher education, socialism in Tanzania, African liberation, gender politics and global affairs. They also reflect on the relevance of past student activism to the modern era. If your interests cover higher education in Africa, political and development studies, journalism, African affairs, socialism and capitalism, or if you just seek elucidation of student activism in a nation then at the center of the African struggle for liberation, this book presents the topic in a lively but unorthodox and ethically engaging manner.
Race, Sex, and Cinema
The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens looks at the way in which issues of race and sexuality have become central concerns in cinema generated by and about Chinese communities in America after the mid-1990s. This companion volume to Marchetti's From Tian'anmen to Times Square looks specifically at the Chinese diaspora in relation to ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual identity as depicted in the cinema.
Examining films from the United States and Canada, as well as transnational co-productions, The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens includes analyses of films such as The Wedding Banquet and Double Happiness in addition to interviews with celebrated filmmakers such as Wayne Wang.
Marchetti also reflects on how Chinese identity is presented in a multitude of media forms, including commercial cinema, documentaries, experimental films, and hybrid digital media to offer a textured look at representations of the Chinese diasporic experience after Tian'anmen.
Toward a Democratic Accommodation
The mass media and religious groups in America regularly argue about news bias, sex and violence on television, movie censorship, advertiser boycotts, broadcast and film content rating systems, government regulation of the media, the role of mass evangelism in a democracy, and many other issues. In the United States the major disputes between religion and the media usually have involved Christian churches or parachurch ministries, on the one hand, and the so-called secular media, on the other. Often the Christian Right locks horns with supposedly liberal Eastern media elite and Hollywood entertainment companies. When a major Protestant denomination calls for an economic boycott of Disney, the resulting news reports suggest business as usual in the tensions between faith groups and media empires.
Schultze demonstrates how religion and the media in America have borrowed each other’s rhetoric. In the process, they have also helped to keep each other honest, pointing out respective foibles and pretensions. Christian media have offered the public as well as religious tribes some of the best media criticism— better than most of the media criticism produced by mainstream media themselves. Meanwhile, mainstream media have rightly taken particular churches to task for misdeeds as well as offered some surprisingly good depictions of religious life.
The tension between Christian groups and the media in America ultimately is a good thing that can serve the interest of democratic life. As Alexis de Tocqueville discovered in the 1830s, American Christianity can foster the “habits of the heart” that ward off the antisocial acids of radical individualism. And, as John Dewey argued a century later, the media offer some of our best hopes for maintaining a public life in the face of the religious tribalism that can erode democracy from within. Mainstream media and Christianity will always be at odds in a democracy. That is exactly the way it should be for the good of each one.
How the Agency Shapes Film and Television
Using case studies of The Agency, In the Company of Spies, Alias, The Recruit, The Sum of All Fears, Enemy of the State, Syriana, The Good Shepherd, and more, this book raises important and troubling questions about the nature and extent of the CIA’s influence on film and television
Filmmaking in Revolutionary Nicaragua
Following the Sandinista Revolution in 1979, young bohemian artists rushed to the newly formed Nicaraguan national film institute INCINE to contribute to “the recovery of national identity” through the creation of a national film project. Over the next eleven years, the filmmakers of INCINE produced over seventy films—documentary, fiction, and hybrids—that collectively reveal a unique vision of the Revolution drawn not from official FSLN directives, but from the filmmakers’ own cinematic interpretations of the Revolution as they were living it. This book examines the INCINE film project and assesses its achievements in recovering a Nicaraguan national identity through the creation of a national cinema. Using a wealth of firsthand documentation—the films themselves, interviews with numerous INCINE personnel, and INCINE archival records—Jonathan Buchsbaum follows the evolution of INCINE’s project and situates it within the larger historical project of militant, revolutionary filmmaking in Latin America. His research also raises crucial questions about the viability of national cinemas in the face of accelerating globalization and technological changes which reverberate far beyond Nicaragua’s experiment in revolutionary filmmaking.
From Iceland to Iran, from Singapore to Scotland, a growing intellectual and cultural wave of production is taking cinema beyond the borders of its place of origin—exploring faraway places, interacting with barely known peoples, and making new localities imaginable. In these films, previously entrenched spatial divisions no longer function as firmly fixed grid coordinates, the hierarchical position of place as “center” is subverted, and new forms of representation become possible. In Cinema at the Periphery, editors Dina Iordanova, David Martin-Jones, and Belén Vidal assemble criticism that explores issues of the periphery, including questions of transnationality, place, space, passage, and migration. Cinema at the Periphery examines the periphery in terms of locations, practices, methods, and themes. It includes geographic case studies of small national cinemas located at the global margins, like New Zealand and Scotland, but also of filmmaking that comes from peripheral cultures, like Palestinian “stateless” cinema, Australian Aboriginal films, and cinema from Quebec. Therefore, the volume is divided into two key areas: industries and markets on the one hand, and identities and histories on the other. Yet as a whole, the contributors illustrate that the concept of “periphery” is not fixed but is always changing according to patterns of industry, ideology, and taste. Cinema at the Periphery highlights the inextricable interrelationship that exists between production modes and circulation channels and the emerging narratives of histories and identities they enable. In the present era of globalization, this timely examination of the periphery will interest teachers and students of film and media studies.