Latin America: Sights and Sounds. A Guide to Motion Pictures and Music for College Courses (review)
- Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies
- Center for the Study of Film and History
- Volume 5, Number 1, February 1975
- pp. 19-20
- Additional Information
From time to time the editors will provide capsule comments on new books which are thought to be ofparticular interest to the film and history teacher and scholar. Amos Vogel. Film as a Subversive Art. New York: Random House, 1974. 336 pp. $15.00. This volume traces the "subversion" of film form (in the various attempts to alter the accepted techniques of visual communications) and content (in analysis ofpolitical films ofthe left and right and the gradual breakdown of sexual and other taboos of the screen). The sources of revolutionary cinema and contemporary porn receive equal treatment. Steven H. Scheuer, ed. Movies on TV: 1975-76 Edition. New York: Bantam Books, 1974. 621 pp. $1.95. While not by any means a complete list (especially for thirties' films), this is an indispensable guide for the film user. Over 9,000 films are treated and, while the comments would be insufficient for most critical viewers, the plot synopses and tidbits ofproduction information are worthwhile. Molly Haskell. From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies. New York: Penguin Books, 1974. 388 pp. $3.95. An interesting study. While many of the conclusions are obvious, the discussion-chapter by chapter—of films of the twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties document many interesting examples. Richard H. Pells. Radical Visions and American Dreams: Culture and Social Thought in the Depression Years. New York: Harper & Row, 1 973. 424 pp. $12.50. This wide-ranging study contains one chapter of particular interest on Hollywood film in the thirties "From Little Caesar to Citizen Kane." This 25-page essay presents a convincing argument for the essential conservative message of most of the period's film product. Pells' work represents the type of scholarly research into the interplay of film and history that is sorely needed in many other areas. BOOK REVIEW Loy, Jane. Latin America: Sights and Sounds. A Guide to Motion Pictures and Music for College Courses. Gainesville, Florida: Consortium of Latin American Study Programs. 1973. 243 pp. $2.50 The film is ideal to introduce students to foreign areas, cultures, and peoples. The very practical guide prepared by Professor Jane Loy indicates the wide variety of fictional and non-fictional documentaries on Latin America available in the United States. Professors who intend to broaden their coverage of Latin American subjects through the use of film will find this compilation of films and the information in the guide invaluable. Professor Loy has selected, evaluated, and commented on a wide variety of films, a majority of which were produced by North Americans. Further, her guide provides information on where to rent the films, the rental fees (which vary widely among 19 distributors of the same film), an indication ofthe type of audience for which the film is intended, and suggested readings to accompany the film. A topical index increases the usefulness of this guide. Fulfilling a much-needed function, this guide is exactly the kind ofbasic, practical, and useful handbook needed to initiate the incorporation of film into the lecture. It is the kind ofindispensable reference work teachers ofLatin American subjects will keep handy in their own libraries. (This book may be ordered from Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, Box 13362 University Station, Gainesville, FIa. 32601.) E. Bradford Bums, UCLA FILM REVIEWS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER: FROM SOLDIER TO PRESIDENT and THE PRESIDENTIAL YEARS, each 19 min., b&w (American School & Library Film, 1974), rent from A.C.I. Films The 1941 newspaper accounts ofthe United States Army's pre-war Louisiana maneuvers hailed the brilliant tactics of an obscure "Lt. Col. D. D. Ersenbeing." A decade later a major political party, and ultimately the nation, would adulate that same man now personified as "Ike." Currently, despite a boom ofnostalgia about the era linked with his name, and even an aborted attempt at political beautification, no revivals, revisions, or cults surround the military and political career ofDwight D. Eisenhower. At best we have the image ofa benignly smiling patriarch presiding over an era of seeming political and social stagnation. The rise from obscurity has been part ofthe mythopoetic domain ofAmerican tradition while the fall ofthe historical reputation is the province of the historian. The A.C.I...