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Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies
Author: Harry M. Benshoff
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Performing Arts
A comprehensive and insightful examination of the representation of diverse viewpoints and perspectives in American cinema throughout the 20th and 21st centuries America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies, now in its third edition, is an authoritative and lively examination of diversity issues within American cinema. Celebrated authors and academics Harry M. Benshoff and Sean Griffin provide readers with a comprehensive discussion and overview of the industrial, socio-cultural, and aesthetic factors that contribute to cinematic representations of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. The book incorporates several different theoretical perspectives, including film genre, auteurism, cultural studies, Orientalism, the "male gaze," feminism, and queer theory. The authors examine each selected subject via representative films, figures, and movements. Each chapter also includes an in-depth analysis of a single film to illuminate and inform its discussion of the chosen topic. America on Film fearlessly approaches and tackles several controversial areas of representation in film, including the portrayal of both masculinity and femininity in film and African- and Asian-Americans in film. It devotes the entirety of Part V to an analysis of the depiction of sex and sexuality in American film, with a particular emphasis on the portrayal of homosexuality. Topics covered include: The structure and history of American filmmaking, including a discussion of the evolution of the business of Hollywood cinema African Americans and American film, with a discussion of BlacKkKlansman informing its examination of broader issues Asian, Latin/x, and Native Americans on film Classical Hollywood cinema and class, with an in-depth examination of The Florida Project Women in classical Hollywood filmmaking, including a discussion of the 1955 film, All that Heaven Allows Perfect for undergraduate and graduate students in film, media, and diversity-related courses, the book also belongs on the shelves of anyone interested in diversity issues in the context of American studies, communications, history, or gender studies. Lastly, it's ideal for use within corporate diversity training curricula and human relations training within the entertainment industry.
Rhetorical Takes on Horror, War, Thriller, and Sci-Fi Films
Author: John S. Nelson
Category: Political Science
Popular movies can be surprisingly smart about politics - from the portentous politics of state or war, to the grassroots, everyday politics of family, romance, business, church and school. Politics in Popular Movies analyses the politics in many well-known films across four popular genres: horror, war, thriller and science fiction. The book's aims are to appreciate specific movies and their shared forms, to understand their political engagements and to provoke some insightful conversations. The means are loosely related 'film takes' that venture ambitious, playful and engaging arguments on political styles encouraged by recent films. Politics in Popular Movies shows how conspiracy films expose oppressive systems; it explores how various thrillers prefigured American experiences of 9/11 and shaped aspects of the War on Terror; how some horror films embrace new media, while others use ultra-violence to spur political action; it argues that a popular genre is emerging to examine non-linear politics of globalisation, terrorism and more. Finally it analyses the ways in which sci-fi movies reflect populist politics from the Occupy and Tea Party movements, rethink the political foundations of current societies and even remake our cultural images of the future.
Beginning film studies offers the ideal introduction to this vibrant subject. Written accessibly and with verve, it ranges across the key topics and manifold approaches to film studies. Andrew Dix has thoroughly updated the first edition, and this new volume includes new case studies, overviews of recent developments in the discipline, and up-to-the-minute suggestions for further reading. The book begins by considering some of film's formal features - mise-en-scène, editing and sound - before moving outwards to narrative, genre, authorship, stardom and ideology. Later chapters on film industries and on film consumption - where and how we watch movies - assess the discipline's recent geographical 'turn'. The book references many film cultures, including Hollywood, Bollywood and contemporary Hong Kong. Case studies cover such topics as sound in The Great Gatsby and narrative in Inception. The superhero movie is studied; so too is Jennifer Lawrence. Beginning film studies is also interactive, with readers enabled throughout to reflect critically upon the field.
An Introduction to LGBTQ History, Society, and Culture
Author: Michael J. Murphy
Category: Social Science
Living Out Loud: An Introduction to LGBTQ History, Society, and Culture offers students an evidence-based foundation in the interdisciplinary field of LGBTQ Studies. Chapters on history, diversity, dating/relationships, education, sexual health, and globalization reflect current research and thinking in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences. Coverage of current events and recommendations for additional readings, videos, and web resources help students apply the contents in their lives, making Living Out Loud the perfect core text for LGBTQ+ Studies (and similar) courses.
The Wire is widely considered to be the blueprint of a post-racial TV show. It features more Black characters than any other US TV show has ever done before. African Americans are depicted in all possible positions of social and professional hierarchies. However, the show maintains some of the stereotypical depictions of African Americans that have been prevalent throughout the history of film and television as well as the history of the US. With a close look on the history of Black representation in the United States and the stereotypes used in 20th century film and television, Eike Rüdebusch analyzes The Wire with regard to social as well as media stereotypes of African Americans. Thereby he shows the changes in African American representation on The Wire, but also that The Wire is not deserving of such idealistic post-race praises.
Fantasy addresses a previously neglected area within film studies. The book looks at the key aesthetics, themes, debates and issues at work within this popular genre and examines films and franchises that illustrate these concerns. Contemporary case studies include: Alice in Wonderland (2010) Avatar (2009) The Dark Knight (2008) Edward Scissorhands (1990) Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-2007) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) Shrek (2001) Twelve Monkeys (1995) The authors also consider fantasy film and its relationship to myth, legend and fairy tale, examining its important role in contemporary culture. The book provides an historical overview of the genre, its influences and evolution, placing fantasy film within the socio-cultural contexts of production and consumption and with reference to relevant theory and critical debates. This is the perfect introduction to the world of fantasy film and investigates the links between fantasy film and gender, fantasy film and race, fantasy film and psychoanalysis, fantasy film and technology, fantasy film storytelling and spectacle, fantasy film and realism, fantasy film and adaptation, and fantasy film and time.
Science Fiction Film and the Militarization of America after World War II
Author: Steffen Hantke
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Category: Performing Arts
During the 1950s and early 1960s, the American film industry produced a distinct cycle of films situated on the boundary between horror and science fiction. Using the familiar imagery of science fiction--from alien invasions to biological mutation and space travel--the vast majority of these films subscribed to the effects and aesthetics of horror film, anticipating the dystopian turn of many science fiction films to come. Departing from projections of American technological awe and optimism, these films often evinced paranoia, unease, fear, shock, and disgust. Not only did these movies address technophobia and its psychological, social, and cultural corollaries; they also returned persistently to the military as a source of character, setting, and conflict. Commensurate with a state of perpetual mobilization, the US military comes across as an inescapable presence in American life. Regardless of their genre, Steffen Hantke argues that these films have long been understood as allegories of the Cold War. They register anxieties about two major issues of the time: atomic technologies, especially the testing and use of nuclear weapons, as well as communist aggression and/or subversion. Setting out to question, expand, and correct this critical argument, Hantke follows shifts and adjustments prompted by recent scholarly work into the technological, political, and social history of America in the 1950s. Based on this revised historical understanding, science fiction films appear in a new light as they reflect on the troubled memories of World War II, the emergence of the military-industrial complex, the postwar rewriting of the American landscape, and the relative insignificance of catastrophic nuclear war compared to America's involvement in postcolonial conflicts around the globe.
It is often assumed that those outside of academia know very little about the Middle Ages. But the truth is not so simple. Non-specialists in fact learn a great deal from the myriad medievalisms - post-medieval imaginings of the medieval world - that pervade our everyday culture. These, like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, offer compelling, if not necessarily accurate, visions of the medieval world. And more, they have an impact on the popular imagination, particularly since there are new medievalisms constantly being developed, synthesised and remade. But what does the public really know? How do the conflicting medievalisms they consume contribute to their knowledge? And why is this important? In this book, the first evidence-based exploration of the wider public's understanding of the Middle Ages, Paul B. Sturtevant adapts sociological methods to answer these important questions. Based on extensive focus groups, the book details the ways - both formal and informal - that people learn about the medieval past and the many other ways that this informs, and even distorts, our present. In the process, Sturtevant also sheds light, in more general terms, onto the ways non-specialists learn about the past, and why understanding this is so important. The Middle Ages in Popular Imagination will be of interest to anyone working on medieval studies, medievalism, memory studies, medieval film studies, informal learning or public history.
Many believe that religion plays a positive role in men’s identity development, with religion promoting good behavior, and morality. In contrast, we often assume that the media is a negative influence for men, teaching them to be rough and violent, and to ignore their emotions. In Does God Make the Man?, Stewart M. Hoover and Curtis D. Coats draw on extensive interviews and participant observation with both Evangelical and non-Evangelical men, including Catholics as well as Protestants, to argue that neither of these assumptions is correct. Dismissing the easy notion that media encourages toxic masculinity and religion is always a positive influence, Hoover and Coats argue that not only are the linkages between religion, media, and masculinity not as strong and substantive as has been assumed, but the ways in which these relations actually play out may contradict received views. Over the course of this fascinating book they examine crises, contradictions, and contestations: crises about the meaning of masculinity and about the lack of direction men experience from their faith communities; contradictions between men’s religious lives and media lives, and contestations among men’s ideas about what it means to be a man. The book counters common discussions about a “crisis of masculinity,” showing that actual men do not see the world the way the “crisis talk” has portrayed it—and interestingly, even Evangelical men often do not see religion as part of the solution.