Beyond The Stars 5

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The essays in Beyond the Stars 5 examine a small but important sample of the conventional themes and ideologies treated in popular film. Among the topics covered are family, social class, gender roles, politics, warfare, hedonism, and the 1960s. Taken singly or collectively, these essays suggest how certain themes and ideologies persist or evolve while others have only a brief life in movie consciousness. Because the conventions of film are, in themselves, indications of our most basic assumptions, they are rarely noticed or written about. Thematic or ideological conventions - the "isms," doctrines, and ways of thinking imbedded in popular film - provide evidence of many of our most basic cultural assumptions and the ways in which American values and American movies interrelate. Anyone who is interested in the patterns of American life and how popular film reflects and sometimes distorts the patterns of our culture will find in these essays much that is illuminating and thought provoking.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is the final volume in a series presenting new scholarship on American movie conventions deemed worthy of study because they are markers or indicators of the belief system of the culture that produces the films. The more commonplace a convention, the more deeply embedded it likely is in society's unconscious assumptions. Compared with the first four series entries, however, this particular volume has little new to sayeven the editors commented on the paucity of manuscripts submitted compared with the volumes on stock characters or stock plot conventions. Howard Good's piece on the success myth in baseball biopics, William Brigham's on the unrealistic Hollywood portrayals of the homeless, and Martin F. Norden's article on the physically disabled in films are interesting, but most of the pieces lack freshness. Academic and subject collections should buy as demand indicates from use of the first four volumes.Marianne Cawley, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore
A collection of essays examining conventional themes and ideologies treated in popular film, touching on subjects including the family, social class, gender roles, politics, hedonism, and the 1960s. For students of film and popular culture. No index. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879727024
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: American Themes, American Dreams 1
"Like a Tiger in the Trees": Mothers Redeemed in Contemporary American Film 7
"It's a Cold World Out There": Redefining the Family in Contemporary American Film 21
Aggression, Confession, and the Psychiatric Profession: Ideologies of Gender and Agency in Recent "Woman's Films" 43
Surveying Popular Films of Oppression: The Ideological Construction of Women and Madness 65
The Ugly American Syndrome in Films of the Vietnam War 87
Pacifism in Film: Exclusion and Containment as Hegemonic Processes 103
Film's Satirical Rogues at War 121
Diminishing Degrees of Separation: Class Mobility in Movies of the Reagan-Bush Era 141
Down and Out in Tinseltown: Hollywood Presents the Dispossessed 165
The Heart of the Order: The Success Myth in Baseball Biopics 187
Hollywood's Ableist Agenda 211
The Ideology of the "Red Scare" Movement: McCarthyism in the Movies 229
The Pleasures of Evil: Hedonism and the Contemporary Horror Film 249
Discounting the '60s: Hollywood Revisits the Counterculture 265
Dances with Wolves and Unforgiven: Apocalyptic, Postrevisionist Westerns 281
Afterword: Film Convention Studies: A Topographic Model for Film Study 293
Contributors 299
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