Revisioning History: Film and the Construction of a New Past

Overview

In Revisioning History thirteen historians from around the world look at the historical film on its own terms, not as it compares to written history but as a unique way of recounting the past. How does film construct a historical world? What are the rules, codes, and strategies by which it brings the past to life? What does that historical construction mean to us? In grappling with these questions, each contributor looks at an example of New History cinema. Different from Hollywood costume dramas or documentary ...

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Overview

In Revisioning History thirteen historians from around the world look at the historical film on its own terms, not as it compares to written history but as a unique way of recounting the past. How does film construct a historical world? What are the rules, codes, and strategies by which it brings the past to life? What does that historical construction mean to us? In grappling with these questions, each contributor looks at an example of New History cinema. Different from Hollywood costume dramas or documentary films, these films are serious efforts to come to grips with the past; they have often grown out of nations engaged in an intense quest for historical connections, such as India, Cuba, Japan, and Germany.

The volume begins with an introduction by Robert Rosenstone. Part I, "Contesting History," comprises essays by Geoff Eley (on the film Distant Voices, Still Lives), Nicholas B. Dirks (The Home and the World), Thomas Kierstead and Deidre Lynch (Eijanaika), and Pierre Sorlin (Night of the Shooting Stars). Contributing to Part II, "Visioning History," are Michael S. Roth (Hiroshima Mon Amour), John Mraz (Memories of Underdevelopment), Min Soo Kang (The Moderns) and Clayton R. Koppes (Radio Bikini). Part III, "Revisioning History" contains essays by Denise J. Youngblood (Repentance), Rudy Koshar (Hitler: A Film from Germany), Rosenstone (Walker), Sumiko Higashi (Walker and Mississippi Burning), and Daniel Sipe (From the Pole to the Equator).

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Editorial Reviews

Virginia Quarterly Review
This excellent book of 13 articles explores how films construct an image of the past. . . . Revisioning History asks: what are the particular set of rules by which the past in represented on moving images? How does the present influence the representation of the past in films? Dealing with such topics as colonialism and Nazism, the films were made in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
From the Publisher
"This excellent book of 13 articles explores how films construct an image of the past. . . . Revisioning History asks: what are the particular set of rules by which the past in represented on moving images? How does the present influence the representation of the past in films? Dealing with such topics as colonialism and Nazism, the films were made in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America."Virginia Quarterly Review
Virginia Quarterly Review
This excellent book of 13 articles explores how films construct an image of the past. . . . Revisioning History asks: what are the particular set of rules by which the past in represented on moving images? How does the present influence the representation of the past in films? Dealing with such topics as colonialism and Nazism, the films were made in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691025346
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/1994
  • Series: Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 Distant Voices, Still Lives: The Family Is a Dangerous Place: Memory, Gender, and the Image of the working Class 17
2 The Home and the World: The Invention of Modernity in Colonial India 44
3 Eijanaika: Japanese Modernization and the Carnival of Time 64
4 The Night of the Shooting Stars: Fascism, Resistance, and the Liberation of Italy 77
5 Hiroshima Mon Amour: You Must Remember This 91
6 Memories of Underdevelopment: Bourgeois Consciousness/Revolutionary Context 102
7 The Moderns: Art, Forgery, and a Postmodern Narrative of Modernism 115
8 Radio Bikini: Making and Unmaking Nuclear Mythology 128
9 Repentance: Stalinist Terror and the Realism of Surrealism 139
10 Hitler: A Film from Germany: Cinema, History, and Structures of Feeling 155
11 From the Pole to the Equator: A Vision of a Worldless Past 174
12 Walker and Mississippi Burning: Postmodernism Versus Illusionist Narrative 188
13 Walker: The Dramatic Film as (Postmodern) History 202
Notes 215
List of Contributors 243
Film Credits 247
Index 249
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