University of Texas Press

Texas Film and Media Studies Series

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Texas Film and Media Studies Series

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Cinema and the Sandinistas

Filmmaking in Revolutionary Nicaragua

By Jonathan Buchsbaum

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.

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Coming Attractions

Reading American Movie Trailers

By Lisa Kernan

Movie trailers—those previews of coming attractions before the start of a feature film—are routinely praised and reviled by moviegoers and film critics alike: “They give away too much of the movie.” “They’re better than the films.” “They only show the spectacular parts.” “They lie.” “They’re the best part of going to the movies.” But whether you love them or hate them, trailers always serve their purpose of offering free samples of a film to influence moviegoing decision-making. Indeed, with their inclusion on videotapes, DVDs, and on the Internet, trailers are more widely seen and influential now than at any time in their history. Starting from the premise that movie trailers can be considered a film genre, this pioneering book explores the genre’s conventions and offers a primer for reading the rhetoric of movie trailers. Lisa Kernan identifies three principal rhetorical strategies that structure trailers: appeals to audience interest in film genres, stories, and/or stars. She also analyzes the trailers for twenty-seven popular Hollywood films from the classical, transitional, and contemporary eras, exploring what the rhetorical appeals within these trailers reveal about Hollywood’s changing conceptions of the moviegoing audience. Kernan argues that movie trailers constitute a long-standing hybrid of advertising and cinema and, as such, are precursors to today’s heavily commercialized cultural forms in which art and marketing become increasingly indistinguishable.

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Hollywood TV

The Studio System in the Fifties

By Christopher Anderson

This pioneering study offers the first thorough exploration of the movie industry's shaping role in the development of television and its narrative forms.

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Indie, Inc.

Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s

By Alisa Perren

Pioneering the field of media industry studies, Indie, Inc. explores how Miramax changed the landscape not only of independent filmmaking but of Hollywood itself during the 1990s.

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Latino Images in Film

Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance

By Charles Ramírez Berg

The bandido, the harlot, the male buffoon, the female clown, the Latin lover, and the dark lady—these have been the defining, and demeaning, images of Latinos in U.S. cinema for more than a century. In this book, Charles Ramírez Berg develops an innovative theory of stereotyping that accounts for the persistence of such images in U.S. popular culture. He also explores how Latino actors and filmmakers have actively subverted and resisted such stereotyping. In the first part of the book, Berg sets forth his theory of stereotyping, defines the classic stereotypes, and investigates how actors such as Raúl Julia, Rosie Pérez, José Ferrer, Lupe Vélez, and Gilbert Roland have subverted stereotypical roles. In the second part, he analyzes Hollywood’s portrayal of Latinos in three genres: social problem films, John Ford westerns, and science fiction films. In the concluding section, Berg looks at Latino self-representation and anti-stereotyping in Mexican American border documentaries and in the feature films of Robert Rodríguez. He also presents an exclusive interview in which Rodríguez talks about his entire career, from Bedhead to Spy Kids, and comments on the role of a Latino filmmaker in Hollywood and how he tries to subvert the system.

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Soviet Cinema in the Silent Era, 1918–1935

By Denise J. Youngblood

A study of the lost golden age of Soviet cinema, which was a time of both achievement and contradiction, as reflected in the films of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Kuleshov.

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Television Talk

A History of the TV Talk Show

By Bernard M. Timberg

Flip through the channels at any hour of the day or night, and a television talk show is almost certainly on. Whether it offers late-night entertainment with David Letterman, share-your-pain empathy with Oprah Winfrey, trash talk with Jerry Springer, or intellectual give-and-take with Bill Moyers, the talk show is one of television’s most popular and enduring formats, with a history as old as the medium itself. Bernard Timberg here offers a comprehensive history of the first fifty years of television talk, replete with memorable moments from a wide range of classic talk shows, as well as many of today’s most popular programs. Dividing the history into five eras, he shows how the evolution of the television talk show is connected to both broad patterns in American culture and the economic, regulatory, technological, and social history of the broadcasting industry. Robert Erler’s "A Guide to Television Talk" complements the text with an extensive "who’s who" listing of important people and programs in the history of television talk.

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Veni, Vidi, Video

The Hollywood Empire and the VCR

By Frederick Wasser

A funny thing happened on the way to the movies. Instead of heading downtown to a first-run movie palace, or even to a suburban multiplex with the latest high-tech projection capabilities, many people’s first stop is now the neighborhood video store. Indeed, video rentals and sales today generate more income than either theatrical releases or television reruns of movies. This pathfinding book chronicles the rise of home video as a mass medium and the sweeping changes it has caused throughout the film industry since the mid-1970s. Frederick Wasser discusses Hollywood’s initial hostility to home video, which studio heads feared would lead to piracy and declining revenues, and shows how, paradoxically, video revitalized the film industry with huge infusions of cash that financed blockbuster movies and massive marketing campaigns to promote them. He also tracks the fallout from the video revolution in everything from changes in film production values to accommodate the small screen to the rise of media conglomerates and the loss of the diversity once provided by smaller studios and independent distributors.

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