American Film and Society since 1945 / Edition 3

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Although films rarely act as mirror reflections of everyday reality, they are, nevertheless, powerful cultural expressions of the dreams and desires of the American public. In the third edition of their seminal work, Leonard Quart and Albert Auster provide a complete post-World War II survey of American cinema and its often complex and contradictory values. From the self-confident affirmations of the immediate postwar era, through the social and cinematic turbulence of the sixties and seventies, to the darker, more pessimistic works of the nineties, America cinema has reflected and refracted American concerns.

While adhering to the chronological structure and critical premises of the previous editions, American Film and Society Since 1945, Third Edition, adds key analyses of post-Cold War and Clinton-era cinema. While films of the nineties evoked no single political or cultural current, their diversity provides a panoramic view of this most complicated time. Movies that reaffirmed American patriotism (Saving Private Ryan) and debunked its politics (Bulworth), explored life in the inner city (Boyz N the Hood), dealt with homosexuality (Philadelphia), women's issues (Thelma & Louise), suburbia (American Beauty), and sexuality (Eyes Wide Shut) add up to a decade as multifaceted as any that Quart and Auster have considered. No other work provides such an exhaustive and rigorous account of this parallel history of the United States. The breadth and depth of this latest edition will hold appeal for scholars, students, and general readers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

A decade-by-decade survey of the critically or popularly acclaimed films since the end of World War II, considering their social and culture significance, and the formal elements that have shaped the art. Only five illustrations. The first edition was published in 1984. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275967420
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2001
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

LEONARD QUART is Professor of Cinema Studies at the College of Staten Island and at the CUNY Graduate Center. His essays and articles have appeared in Film Quarterly, Dissent, The Forward, and London Magazine, among others, and for over twenty years, he has been an editor and contributing editor of Cineaste. He is the co-author of books including The Films of Mike Leigh and How the War was Remembered: Hollywood and Vietnam (Praeger, 1988).

ALBERT AUSTER is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University and a research associate at the McGannon Communications Research Center. He is a frequent contributor to Television Quarterly, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, and other journals, and is the author or co-author of books including How the War was Remembered: Hollywood and Vietnam (Praeger, 1988).

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition
1 Introduction 1
2 The Forties 13
3 The Fifties 39
4 The Sixties 67
5 The Seventies 97
6 The Eighties 127
7 The Nineties 163
Selected Bibliography 209
Index 213
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