The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film, Four Volume Set

Overview

Comprising over 90 essays and richly illustrated with over 200 images, the Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film provides a chronological portrait of American film history from its origins to the present day.

Taken as a whole, the essays in this collection represent a comprehensive and nuanced overview of American film history from the intersecting perspectives of industry, audiences, aesthetics, culture, politics, issues, and ideology.

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Overview

Comprising over 90 essays and richly illustrated with over 200 images, the Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film provides a chronological portrait of American film history from its origins to the present day.

Taken as a whole, the essays in this collection represent a comprehensive and nuanced overview of American film history from the intersecting perspectives of industry, audiences, aesthetics, culture, politics, issues, and ideology.

Unabashedly ambitious, deeply historical, and unprecedented in its multi-faceted examination of film history, this collection offers you:

  • Over 90 original essays written by an international cast of film scholars
  • Discussions of the industrial and institutional components of film history, including multiple modes of production, distribution, and marketing
  • Investigations into the political, social, and economic factors that informed industry change and framed the reception of films
  • Engaging close readings and in-depth analysis of canonical and non-canonical films
  • Profiles of essential industry figures - major directors, stars, and producers - along with important figures outside the industrial mainstream
  • An exploration of the history of film criticism and culture, and central issues in American film historiography
  • The most authoritative collection of fresh investigations available in one state-of-the-art resource
  • Selected by Choice as a 2013 Outstanding Academic Title
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Named CHOICE Outstanding Title for 2012

“Both in terms of its scope and in terms of the expertise that has gone into making it, The Wiley Blackwell History of American Film is an almost unique publishing event. The collection not only stands as a history of cinema but also as a time capsule for specific threads of contemporary film theory, capturing the epistemological zeitgeist as well as the cultural.” (Scope, 1 February 2013)

“Several contributions are excellent, e.g., Robert Sklar’s introduction to volume 1, “Writing American Film History.” A superb compendium. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.” (Choice, October 2012)

"Highly recommended for lovers of film, film history, and American culture." (Library Journal, 15 February 2012)

“And, taken together, this is as extensive a consideration of this project as you are likely to read anywhere.” (Splice, November 2012)

Library Journal
Lucia (English & film & media studies, Rider Univ.; Framing Female Lawyers: Women on Trial in Film), Roy Grundmann (film studies, Boston Univ.; Andy Warhol's Blow Job), and Art Simon (film studies, Montclair State Univ.; Dangerous Knowledge: The JFK Assassination in Art and Film) have created an outstanding collection of 90 new essays chronologically examining the history of American film. The books open with an introduction to the time period covered and include a brief explanation for the set's arrangement. For example, Volume 3 covers 1946–75, and the introduction notes that 1975 saw the release of Taxi Driver, a film discussed in several essays, easily found using the index, and referred to by Simon as "the last urban road film of the era." The high-quality essays feature eye-catching titles such as "Pink-Slipped: What Happened to the Women in the Silent Film Industry?", "The Gun in the Briefcase; Or, the Inscription of Class in Film Noir," and "Let 'Em Have It: The Ironic Fate of the 1930s Gangster." They provide a comprehensive and multifaceted overview of American film from its beginnings, covering political, cultural, social, and economic factors such as the Great Depression and World War II; the studio system; the black list; changing audiences; and race, class, and gender. In addition, there is a strong focus on the multitude of elements of film, such as production, distribution, camera techniques, lighting, editing, use of voice-overs, mise-en-scène, etc. VERDICT The physical volumes are attractive, though the approximately 200 black-and-white photos are insignificant to the value of the collection. Access is enhanced by a 37-page index. Highly recommended for lovers of film, film history, and American culture.—Susan L. Peters, Univ. of Texas, Galveston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405179843
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/12/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 2456
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 9.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Lucia is Associate Professor of English and director of the Film and Media Studies Program at Rider University. She is author of Framing Female Lawyers: Women on Trial in Film (2005) and writes for the film journal Cineaste, where she has served on the editorial board for more than two decades. Among her recent essays are those appearing in Film and Sexual Politics: A Critical Reader (2006) and Authorship in Film Adaptation (2008).

Roy Grundmann is Associate Professor of Film Studies and director of the Film Studies Program in the Department of Film and Television at Boston University. He is the author of Andy Warhol’s Blow Job (2003) and the editor of A Companion to Michael Haneke (2010). Grundmann’s essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Continuum, Cinemaya, The Velvet Light Trap, and Cineaste, where he also serves as Contributing Editor. He is the curator of “Michael Haneke: A Cinema of Provocation,” and has further curated retrospectives on Matthias Müller and Andy Warhol.

Art Simon is Associate Professor of Film Studies in the English Department at Montclair State University. He is the author of Dangerous Knowledge: The JFK Assassination in Art and Film (1996). Most recently he contributed to ‘Un-American’ Hollywood: Politics and Film in the Blacklist Era (2007). He has curated two film exhibitions for the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Volume I: Origins to 1928.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Contributors to Volume I.

Part I: Setting the Stage.

Part II: Origins to 1914.

Part III: 1915–1928.

Part IV: Film and Culture: Summary Essays.

Index to Volume I.

Volume II: 1929 to 1945.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Contributors to Volume II.

Part I: Setting the Stage.

Part II: 1929–1938.

Part III: 1939–1945.

Part IV: Film and Culture: Summary Essays.

Index to Volume II.

Volume III: 1946 to 1975.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Contributors to Volume III.

Part I: Setting the Stage.

Part II: 1946–1955.

Part III: 1956–1965.

Part IV: 1966–1975.

Part V: Film and Culture: Summary Essays.

Index to Volume III.

Volume IV: 1976 to the Present.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Contributors to Volume IV.

Part I: Setting the Stage.

Part II: 1976–1988.

Part III: 1989–1998.

Part IV: 1999–Present.

Part V: Film and Culture: Summary Essays.

Index to Volume IV.

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