Film Theory: An Anthology / Edition 1

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Rather than look at film theory in terms of schools and allegiances, the book investigates questions including: What is the cinema? What is the cinematic apparatus? How do spectators differ in their desires? What is realism? Is realism desirable? What does the spectator want? This anthology offers a collection of provocative and influential writings of film theory from the 1960s and 1970s, and presents new directions from the last two decades. An introductory essay summarizes developments in film theory from the beginning through the 1980s, while introductions to specific sections debate those issues.

Robert Stam is a Professor in the Cinema Studies Department at New York University. His many books include Tropical Multiculturalism: A Comparative History of Race in Brazilian Cinema and Culture (1997), Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media with Ella Shohat (1994), which won the Katherine Singer Kovocs 'Best Film Book Award'; and Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural Criticism, and Film (1992).

Toby Miller is a professor in the Cinema Studies Department at New York University. He is the author of a wide range of work in cultural studies, including two recent books Technologies of Truth (1998) and (with Alec McHoul) Popular Culture and Everyday Life (1998). He is also co-editor of the journal Social Text.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A remarkable synthesis, recommended to anyone who wants to understand the questions and debates that have animated film theory in the twentieth century. Throughout, Stam's discussion is lucid, generous, and intelligent." James Naremore, Indiana University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631206262
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 880
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 1.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Stam is Professor in the Cinema Studies Department at New York University. His many books include Film Theory: An Introduction (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), Tropical Multiculturalism: A Comparative History of Race in Brazilian Cinema and Culture (1997), Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media with Ella Shohat (1994), which won the Katherine Singer Kovocs 'Best Film Book Award'; and Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural Criticism, and Film (1992).

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Author
Introduction 1
1 Dennis Potter and the Question of the Television Author 7
2 To Desire Differently: Feminism and the French Cinema 16
3 The Unauthorized Auteur Today 20
Pt. II Film Language/Specificity
Introduction 31
4 The Specificity of Media in the Arts 39
5 For a Semio-Pragmatics of Film 54
6 The Scene of the Screen: Envisioning Cinematic and Electronic "Presence" 67
Pt. III The Image and Technology 85
7 Necessities and Constraints: A Pattern of Technological Change 102
8 Projections of Sound on Image 111
9 Modes of Production: The Televisual Apparatus 125
Pt. IV Text and Intertext
Introduction 145
10 Questions of Genre 157
11 A Semantic/Syntactic Approach to Film Genre 179
12 The "Force-Field" of Melodrama 191
13 Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess 207
Pt. V The Question of Realism
Introduction 223
14 The Cinema of Attraction: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant-Garde 229
15 Black American Cinema: The New Realism 236
Pt. VI Alternative Aesthetics
Introduction 257
16 Towards a Third Cinema 265
17 For an Imperfect Cinema 287
18 Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Films 298
19 Rethinking Women's Cinema: Aesthetics and Feminist Theory 317
Pt. VII The Historical Spectator/Audience
Introduction 337
20 Cowboys and Indians: Perceptions of Western Films Among American Indians and Anglos 345
21 Television News and Its Spectator 361
22 Addressing the Spectator of a "Third World" National Cinema: The Bombay "Social" Film of the 1940s and 1950s 381
Pt. VIII Apparatus Theory
Introduction 403
23 The Imaginary Signifier 408
24 The Orthopsychic Subject: Film Theory and the Reception of Lacan 437
25 Feminism, Film Theory, and the Bachelor Machines 456
Pt. IX The Nature of the Gaze
Introduction 475
26 Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema 483
27 Film and the Masquerade: Theorizing the Female Spectator 495
28 The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators 510
29 Looking Awry 524
Pt. X Class and the Culture Industries
Introduction 539
30 Constituents of a Theory of the Media 552
31 Ideology, Economy and the British Cinema 565
32 Mass Culture and the Feminine: The "Place" of Television in Film Studies 577
Pt. XI Stars and Performance
Introduction 595
33 Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society 603
34 The She-Man: Postmodern Bi-Sexed Performance in Film and Video 618
35 Roseanne: Unruly Woman as Domestic Goddess 634
36 Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront 644
Pt. XII Permutations of Difference
Introduction 661
37 Gender and Culture of Empire: Toward a Feminist Ethnography of the Cinema 669
38 Fantasies of the Master Race: Categories of Stereotyping of American Indians in Film 697
39 Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation 704
40 White Privilege and Looking Relations: Race and Gender in Feminist Film Theory 715
41 White 733
Pt. XIII The Politics of Postmodernism
Introduction 753
42 Television and Postmodernism 758
43 Critical and Textual Hypermasculinity 774
44 "In My Weekend-Only World...": Reconsidering Fandom 791
Select Bibliography 800
Index 831
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