Synopses & Reviews
In the early days of filmmaking, before many of Hollywoodandrsquo;s elaborate sets and soundstages had been built, it was common for movies to be shot on location. Decades later, Hollywood filmmakers rediscovered the practice of using real locations and documentary footage in their narrative features. Why did this happen? What caused this sudden change?
Renowned film scholar R. Barton Palmer answers this question in Shot on Location by exploring the historical, ideological, economic, and technological developments that led Hollywood to head back outside in order to capture footage of real places. His groundbreaking research reveals that wartime newsreels had a massive influence on postwar Hollywood film, although there are key distinctions to be made between these movies and their closest contemporaries, Italian neorealist films. Considering how these practices were used in everything from war movies like Twelve Oandrsquo;Clock High to westerns like The Searchers, Palmer explores how the blurring of the formal boundaries between cinematic journalism and fiction lent a andldquo;reality effectandrdquo; to otherwise implausible stories.
Shot on Location describes how the periodandrsquo;s greatest directors, from Alfred Hitchcock to Billy Wilder, increasingly moved beyond the confines of the studio. At the same time, the book acknowledges the collaborative nature of moviemaking, identifying key roles that screenwriters, art designers, location scouts, and editors played in incorporating actual geographical locales and social milieus within a fictional framework. Palmer thus offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how Hollywood transformed the way we view real spaces.and#160;
andldquo;A tremendously important advance in our understanding of landscape, cityscape, and place in postwar American cinema, among the most innovative current work in film and media studies, American studies, English literature, and cultural geography.andrdquo;
andquot;Like the tenacious investigators of the post-war semi-documentaries he analyzes (among many other genres and films), Palmer delivers a probing, conceptually sophisticated, multi-faceted, sensitively written account of Hollywoodandrsquo;s return to location shooting. A major achievement that overturns the historical consensus.andquot;
Traditions in World Cinema brings together a colorful and wide ranging collection of world cinematic traditions—national, regional, and global—all of which are in need of introduction, investigation and, in some cases, critical reassessment. The movements described range from well-known traditions such as German expressionism, Italian neorealism, French, British, and Czech new wave, and new Hollywood cinema to those of emerging significance, such as Danish Dogma, postcommunist cinema, Brazilian post–Cinema Novo, new Argentine cinema, pre-independence African film traditions, Israeli persecution films, new Iranian cinema, Hindi film songs, Chinese wenyi pian melodrama, Japanese horror, and global found-footage cinema.
The essays, all written by recognized experts in the field, are jargon free and accessible to both general readers and students. In addition, each chapter is followed by a list of suggested films and readings, offering readers pathways to further viewing and study.
Bringing fresh insights to those movements that have provided significant and noteworthy alternatives to Hollywood, this book is an essential introduction to the rich diversity of world cinema.
Renowned film scholar R. Barton Palmer explores the historical, ideological, economic, and technical developments that led Hollywood filmmakers of the late 1940s and 1950s to increasingly head outside the studio and capture footage of real places. Examining works ranging from Sunset Blvd.
to The Searchers
, Shot on Location
discovers the massive influence that wartime newsreels had on the postwar Hollywood film, as the blurring of the formal boundaries between cinematic journalism and fiction lent a andldquo;reality effectandrdquo; to otherwise implausible stories.and#160;
New York, more than any other city, has held a special fascination for filmmakers and viewers. In every decade of Hollywood filmmaking, artists of the screen have fixated upon this fascinating place for its tensions and promises, dazzling illumination and fearsome darkness.
The glittering skyscrapers of such films as On the Town have shadowed the characteristic seedy streets in which desperate, passionate stories have played out-as in Scandal Sheet and The Pawnbroker. In other films, the city is a cauldron of bright lights, technology, empire, egotism, fear, hunger, and change--the scenic epitome of America in the modern age.
From Street Scene and Breakfast at Tiffany's to Rosemary's Baby, The Warriors, and 25th Hour, the sixteen essays in this book explore the cinematic representation of New York as a city of experience, as a locus of ideographic characters and spaces, as a city of moves and traps, and as a site of allurement and danger. Contributors consider the work of Woody Allen, Blake Edwards, Alfred Hitchcock, Gregory La Cava, Spike Lee, Sidney Lumet, Vincente Minnelli, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Andy Warhol, and numerous others.
Probably no decade saw as many changes in the Hollywood film industry and its product as the 1930s did. At the beginning of the decade, the industry was still struggling with the transition to talking pictures. Gangster films and naughty comedies starring Mae West were popular in urban areas, but aroused threats of censorship in the heartland. Whether the film business could survive the economic effects of the Crash was up in the air. By 1939, popularly called andquot;Hollywood's Greatest Year,andquot; films like Gone With the Wind
and The Wizard of Oz
used both color and sound to spectacular effect, and remain American icons today. The andquot;mature oligopolyandquot; that was the studio system had not only weathered the Depression and become part of mainstream culture through the establishment and enforcement of the Production Code, it was a well-oiled, vertically integrated industrial powerhouse.
The ten original essays in American Cinema of the 1930s focus on sixty diverse films of the decade, including Dracula, The Public Enemy, Trouble in Paradise, 42nd Street, King Kong, Imitation of Life, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Swing Time, Angels with Dirty Faces, Nothing Sacred, Jezebel, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Stagecoach .
The 1940s was a watershed decade for American cinema and the nation. Shaking off the grim legacy of the Depression, Hollywood launched an unprecedented wave of production, generating some of its most memorable classics, including Citizen Kane, Rebecca, The Lady Eve, Sergeant York, and How Green Was My Valley. In 1942, Hollywood joined the national war effort with a vengeance, creating a series of patriotic and escapist films, such as Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver, The Road to Morocco, and Yankee Doodle Dandy.
With the end of the war, returning GIs faced a new America, in which the country had been transformed overnight. Film noir reflected a new public mood of pessimism and paranoia, in such classic films of betrayal and conflict as Kiss of Death, Force of Evil, Caught, and Apology for Murder, depicting a poisonous universe of femme fatales, crooked lawyers, and corrupt politicians.
With the threat of the atom bomb lurking in the background and the beginnings of the Hollywood Blacklist, the 1940s was a decade of crisis and change. Featuring essays by a group of respected film scholars and historians, American Cinema of the 1940s brings this dynamic and turbulent decade to life. Illustrated with many rare stills and filled with provocative insights, the volume will appeal to students, teachers, and to all those interested in cultural history and American film of the twentieth century.
About the Author
R. BARTON PALMER is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature and the director of film studies at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. He is the author or editor of more than thirty-five books, including Larger than Life: Movie Stars of the 1950s
(with Murray Pomerance), andldquo;A Little Solitaireandrdquo;: John Frankenheimer and American Film
(with Murray Pomerance), and Thinking in the Dark: Cinema, Theory, Practice
with Murray Pomerance (all by Rutgers University Press).