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A Hollywood History
The pantheon of big-budget, commercially successful films encompasses a range of genres, including biblical films, war films, romances, comic-book adaptations, animated features, and historical epics. In Epics, Spectacles, and Blockbusters: A Hollywood History authors Sheldon Hall and Steve Neale discuss the characteristics, history, and modes of distribution and exhibition that unite big-budget pictures, from their beginnings in the late nineteenth century to the present. Moving chronologically, the authors examine the roots of today’s blockbuster in the “feature,” “special,” “superspecial,” “roadshow,” “epic,” and “spectacle” of earlier eras, with special attention to the characteristics of each type of picture. In the first section, Hall and Neale consider the beginnings of features, specials, and superspecials in American cinema, as the terms came to define not the length of a film but its marketable stars or larger budget. The second section investigates roadshowing as a means of distributing specials and the changes to the roadshow that resulted from the introduction of synchronized sound in the 1920s. In the third section, the authors examine the phenomenon of epics and spectacles that arose from films like Gone with the Wind, Samson and Deliliah, and Spartacus and continues to evolve today in films like Spider-Man and Pearl Harbor. In this section, Hall and Neale consider advances in visual and sound technology and the effects and costs they introduced to the industry. Scholars of film and television studies as well as readers interested in the history of American moviemaking will enjoy Epics, Spectacles, and Blockbusters.
Women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust
The many powerful accounts of the Holocaust have given rise to women’s voices, and yet few researchers have analyzed these perspectives to learn what the horrifying events meant for women in particular and how they related to them. In Experience and Expression, the authors take on this challenge, providing the first book-length gendered analysis of women and the Holocaust, a topic that is emerging as a new field of inquiry in its own right. Accessible to readers on many levels, the essays portray the experiences of women of various religious and ethnic backgrounds, and draw from the fields of English, religion, nursing, history, law, comparative literature, philosophy, French, and German. The collection explores an array of fascinating topics: rescue and resistance, the treatment of Roma and Sinti women, the fate of female forced laborers, Holocaust politics, nurses at so-called euthanasia centers, women’s experiences of food and hunger in the camps, the uses and abuses of Anne Frank, and the representations of the Holocaust in art, film, and literature in the postwar era. The introduction provides a thorough overview of the current status of research in the field, and each essay seeks to push the theoretical boundaries that shape our understanding of women’s experience and agency during the Holocaust and of the ways in which they have expressed their memories.
From Personal Narratives to a Group Portrait
In the final years of the Soviet Union and into the 1990s, Soviet Jews immigrated to Israel at an unprecedented rate, bringing about profound changes in Israeli society and the way immigrants understood their own identity. In this volume ex-Soviets in Israel reflect on their immigration experiences, allowing readers to explore this transitional cultural group directly through immigrants’ thoughts, memories, and feelings, rather than physical artifacts like magazines, films, or books. Drawing on their fieldwork as well as on analyses of the Russian-language Israeli media and Internet forums, Larisa Fialkova and Maria N. Yelenevskaya present a collage of cultural and folk traditions—from Slavic to Soviet, Jewish, and Muslim—to demonstrate that the mythology of Soviet Jews in Israel is still in the making. The authors begin by discussing their research strategies, explaining the sources used as material for the study, and analyzing the demographic profile of the immigrants interviewed for the project. Chapters use immigrants’ personal recollections to both find fragments of Jewish tradition that survived despite the assimilation policy in the USSR and show how traditional folk perception of the Other affected immigrants’ interaction with members of their receiving society. The authors also investigate how immigrants’ perception of time and space affected their integration, consider the mythology of Fate and Lucky Coincidences as a means of fighting immigrant stress, examine folk-linguistics and the role of the lay-person’s view of languages in the life of the immigrant community, and analyze the transformation of folklore genres and images of the country of origin under new conditions. As the biggest immigration wave from a single country in Israel’s history, the ex-Soviet Jews make a fascinating case study for a variety of disciplines. Ex-Soviets in Israel will be of interest to scholars who work in Jewish and immigration studies, modern folklore, anthropology, and sociolinguistics.
In Defense of William Hull
Details the first major U.S. setback in the War of 1812 and analyzes the background and aftermath of Hull’s surrender.
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.
Translator-Authors in the Age of Goethe
The turn of the nineteenth century was a particularly fertile period in the history of translation theory and practice. With an unprecedented number of works being carefully translated and scrutinized, this era saw a definite shift in the dominant mode of translation. Many translators began attempting, for the first time, to communicate the formal characteristics, linguistic features, and cultural contexts of the original text while minimizing the paraphrasing that distorted most eighteenth-century translations. As soon as these new rules became the norm, authorial translators—defined not by virtue of being authors in their own right but by the liberties they took in their translations—emerged to challenge them, altering translated texts in such a way as to bring them into line with the artistic and thematic concerns displayed in the translators’ own “original” work. In the process, authorial translators implicitly declared translation an art form and explicitly incorporated it into their theoretical programs for the poetic arts. Foreign Words provides a detailed account of translation practice and theory throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, linking the work of actual translators to the theories of translation articulated by Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and, above all, Friedrich Schleiermacher. Employing a variety of critical approaches, author Susan Bernofsky discusses in depth the work of Kleist, Hölderlin, and Goethe, whose virtuoso translations raise issues that serve to delineate a theory of translation that has relevance at the turn of the twenty-first century as well. Combining a broad historical approach with individual readings of the work of several different translators, Foreign Words paints a full picture of translation during the Age of Goethe and provides all scholars of translation theory with an important new perspective.