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Film After Film by J. Hoberman Book Resume:
One of the world’s most erudite and entertaining film critics on the state of cinema in the post-digital—and post-9/11—age. This witty and allusive book, in the style of classic film theorists/critics like André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, includes considerations of global cinema’s most important figures and films, from Lars von Trier and Zia Jiangke to WALL-E, Avatar and Inception.
Genre Trouble and Extreme Cinema by Troy Bordun Book Resume:
This volume re-evaluates theories of genre and spectatorship in light of a critic-defined tendency in recent art cinema, coined ‘extreme cinema’. In Genre Trouble and Extreme Cinema, Bordun argues that the films of Mexican director Carlos Reygadas and French director Catherine Breillat expand generic classifications. Bordun contends that their films make it apparent that genre is not established prior to the viewing of a work but is recollected and assembled by spectators in ways that matter for them in both personal and experiential terms. The author deploys contemporary film theories on the senses, both phenomenological and affect theory, and partakes in close readings of the films’ forms and narratives. The book thus adds to the present literature on extreme cinema and film theory, yet sets itself apart by fully deploying genre theory alongside the methodological and stylistic approaches of Stanley Cavell, Vivian Sobchack, Laura U. Marks, and Eugenie Brinkema.
Downtown Film and TV Culture 1975-2001 by Joan Hawkins Book Resume:
Downtown Film and TV Culture 1975-2001 brings together essays by film-makers, exhibitors, cultural critics, and scholars from multiple generations of the New York Downtown scene to illuminate individual films and film-makers and explore the creation of a Downtown Canon, the impact of AIDS on younger film-makers, community access to cable television broadcasts, and the impact of the historic downtown scene on contemporary experimental culture. The book includes J. Hoberman’s essay ‘No Wavelength: The Parapunk Underground,’ as well as historical essays by Tony Conrad and Lynne Tillman, interviews with film-makers Bette Gordon and Beth B, and essays by Ivan Kral and Nick Zedd.
Vulgar Modernism by J. Hoberman Book Resume:
For the past dozen years, J. Hoberman has been publishing witty, impassioned, vivid film criticism in the pages of New York's alternative weekly, The Village Voice. His first collection includes a variety of these (mostly) movie reviews, as well as a number of longer essays and film-festival reports, all written during the 1980s. For Hoberman, film criticism is a form of social commentary, and his articles reflect a decade when an actor was president, the Vietnam War was refought on the nation's movie screens, and soundbites determined elections. The variety of Hoberman's interests and the intellectual depth of his critiques are remarkable. Writing from the perspective of Lower Manhattan, he places movies in the context of the other visual arts--painting, photography, comics, video, and TV--as well as that of postmodem theorists such as Leslie Fiedler and Jean Baudrillard. Demonstrating the widest range of any American film critic writing today, Hoberman is equally at home discussing the work of Steven Spielberg and Andrei Tarkovsky, films by cutting-edge artists Raul Ruiz and Yvonne Rainer, and historical figures as disparate as Charles Chaplin and Andy Warhol. Vulgar Modernism offers an entertaining, trenchant, informed, and informative view of the past decade's popular culture.
Make My Day by J. Hoberman Book Resume:
Acclaimed media critic J. Hoberman’s masterful and majestic exploration of the Reagan years as seen through the unforgettable movies of the era The third book in a brilliant and ambitious trilogy, celebrated cultural and film critic J. Hoberman’s Make My Day is a major new work of film and pop culture history. In it he chronicles the Reagan years, from the waning days of the Watergate scandal when disaster films like Earthquake ruled the box office to the nostalgia of feel-good movies like Rocky and Star Wars, and the delirium of the 1984 presidential campaign and beyond. Bookended by the Bicentennial celebrations and the Iran-Contra affair, the period of Reagan’s ascendance brought such movie events as Jaws, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Ghostbusters, Blue Velvet, and Back to the Future, as well as the birth of MTV, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the Second Cold War. An exploration of the synergy between American politics and popular culture, Make My Day is the concluding volume of Hoberman’s Found Illusions trilogy; the first volume, The Dream Life, was described by Slate’s David Edelstein as “one of the most vital cultural histories I’ve ever read”; Film Comment called the second, An Army of Phantoms, “utterly compulsive reading.” Reagan, a supporting player in Hoberman’s previous volumes, here takes center stage as the peer of Indiana Jones and John Rambo, the embodiment of a Hollywood that, even then, no longer existed.
An Army of Phantoms by J. Hoberman Book Resume:
The film critic’s sweeping analysis of American cinema in the Cold War era is both “utterly compulsive reading [and] majestic” in its “breadth and rigor” (Film Comment). An Army of Phantoms is a major work of film history and cultural criticism by leading film critic J. Hoberman. Tracing the dynamic interplay between politics and popular culture, Hoberman offers “the most detailed year-by-year look at Hollywood during the first decade of the Cold War ever published, one that takes film analysis beyond the screen and sets it in its larger political context” (Los Angeles Review of Books). By “tell[ing] the story not just of what’s on the screen but of what played out behind it,” Hoberman demonstrates how the nation’s deep-seated fears and wishes were projected onto the big screen. In this far-reaching work of historical synthesis, Cecil B. DeMille rubs shoulders with Douglas MacArthur, atomic tests are shown on live TV, God talks on the radio, and Joe McCarthy is bracketed with Marilyn Monroe (The American Scholar). From cavalry Westerns to apocalyptic sci-fi flicks, and biblical spectaculars; from movies to media events, congressional hearings and political campaigns, An Army of Phantoms “remind[s] you what criticism is supposed to be: revelatory, reflective and as rapturous as the artwork itself” (Time Out New York). “An epic . . . alternately fevered and measured account of what might be called the primal scene of American cinema.” —Cineaste “There’s something majestic about the reach of Hoberman’s ambitions, the breadth and rigor of his research, and especially the curatorial vision brought to historical data.” —Film Comment
Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan-- and Beyond by Robin Wood Book Resume:
This new edition includes all the chapters of the original work, supplemented with analysis of comedy films of the 1990s, a chapter on contemporary filmmakers, including David Fincher & Jim Jarmusch, & an essay on 'Day of the Dead'
Midnight Movies by J. Hoberman,Jonathan Rosenbaum Book Resume:
These are a few of the over 100 films discussed in Midnight Movies, a comprehensive and in-depth look at the subculture movies of the past three decades. Here is the complete history of cult films, their makers, and their audience; an examination of how films become "midnight movies," and what keeps audiences coming back to see them over and over; an exploration of the connections between subversive film and the subcultures from which it emerges. Supplemented with a new afterward detailing the accommodation of midnight movies into the mainstream and speculating on the future of the genre, Midnight Movies is essential reading for anyone interested in the history and future of American cinema.
Synthetic Cinema by Wheeler Winston Dixon Book Resume:
In this book, Wheeler Winston Dixon argues that 21st-century mainstream filmmaking is increasingly and troublingly dominated by "synthetic cinema." He details how movies over the last two decades have fundamentally abandoned traditional filmmaking values through the overwhelming use of computer generated imagery, digital touch ups for the actors, and extensive use of green screen technology that replace sets and location shooting. Combined with the shift to digital cinematography, as well as the rise of comic book and franchise cinema, the temptation to augment movies with lavish, computer generated spectacle has proven irresistible to both directors and audiences, to the point that, Dixon argues, 21st-century commercial cinema is so far removed from the real world that it has created a new era of flawless, fake movies.
The Most Typical Avant-Garde by David James Book Resume:
Los Angeles has nourished a dazzling array of independent cinemas: avant-garde and art cinema, ethnic and industrial films, pornography, documentaries, and many other far-flung corners of film culture. This glorious panoramic history of film production outside the commercial studio system reconfigures Los Angeles, rather than New York, as the true center of avant-garde cinema in the United States. As he brilliantly delineates the cultural perimeter of the film business from the earliest days of cinema to the contemporary scene, David James argues that avant-garde and minority filmmaking in Los Angeles has in fact been the prototypical attempt to create emancipatory and progressive culture. Drawing from urban history and geography, local news reporting, and a wide range of film criticism, James gives astute analyzes of scores of films—many of which are to found only in archives. He also looks at some of the most innovative moments in Hollywood, revealing the full extent of the cross-fertilization the occurred between the studio system and films created outside it. Throughout, he demonstrates that Los Angeles has been in the aesthetic and social vanguard in all cinematic periods—from the Socialist cinemas of the early teens and 1930s; to the personal cinemas of psychic self-investigation in the 1940s; to attempts in the 1960s to revitalize the industry with the counterculture’s utopian visions; and to the 1970s, when African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, women, gays, and lesbians worked to create cinemas of their own. James takes us up to the 1990s and beyond to explore new forms of art cinema that are now transforming the representation of Southern California’s geography.
The Red Atlantis by J. Hoberman Book Resume:
For most of the twentieth century, American and European intellectual life was defined by its fascination with a particular utopian vision. Both the artistic and political vanguards were spellbound by the Communist promise of a new human era -- so much so that its political terrors were rationalized as a form of applied evolution and its collapse hailed as the end of history. The Red Atlantis argues that Communism produced a complex culture with a dialectical relation to both modernism and itself. Offering examples ranging from the Stalinist show trial to Franz Kafka's posthumous career as a dissident writer and the work of filmmakers, painters, and writers, which can be understood only as criticism of existing socialism made from within, The Red Atlantis suggests that Communism was an aesthetic project -- perhaps the aesthetic project of the twentieth century.Considering the meaning of Communist culture in its absence, these essays sift through the wrecking age of Marxist fantasy to exhibit exhumed fossils (Socialist Realist canvases), vanished monuments (the Berlin Wall), imaginary territories (the Jewish state, Birobidzhan), and ideological memories (the Crime of the Century). The Cold War notwithstanding, the greatest of these exotic artifacts and obsolete scenarios is the lost Communist utopia, which, in fact, never existed.
Post Cinematic Affect by Steven Shaviro Book Resume:
Post-Cinematic Affect is about what it feels like to live in the affluent West in the early 21st century. Specifically, it explores the structure of feeling that is emerging today in tandem with new digital technologies, together with economic globalization and the financialization of more and more human activities. The 20th century was the age of film and television; these dominant media shaped and reflected our cultural sensibilities. In the 21st century, new digital media help to shape and reflect new forms of sensibility. Movies (moving image and sound works) continue to be made, but they have adopted new formal strategies, they are viewed under massively changed conditions, and they address their spectators in different ways than was the case in the 20th century. The book traces these changes, focusing on four recent moving-image works: Nick Hooker's music video for Grace Jones' song Corporate Cannibal; Olivier Assayas' movie Boarding Gate, starring Asia Argento; Richard Kelly's movie Southland Tales, featuring Justin Timberlake, Dwayne Johnson, and other pop culture celebrities; and Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's Gamer.
The Decadent Society by Ross Douthat Book Resume:
From the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Bad Religion, a powerful portrait of how our turbulent age is defined by dark forces seemingly beyond our control Today the Western world seems to be in crisis. But beneath our social media frenzy and reality television politics, the deeper reality is one of drift, repetition, and dead ends. The Decadent Society explains what happens when a rich and powerful society ceases advancing—how the combination of wealth and technological proficiency with economic stagnation, political stalemates, cultural exhaustion, and demographic decline creates a strange kind of “sustainable decadence,” a civilizational languor that could endure for longer than we think. Ranging from our grounded space shuttles to our Silicon Valley villains, from our blandly recycled film and television—a new Star Wars saga, another Star Trek series, the fifth Terminator sequel—to the escapism we’re furiously chasing through drug use and virtual reality, Ross Douthat argues that many of today’s discontents and derangements reflect a sense of futility and disappointment—a feeling that the future was not what was promised, that the frontiers have all been closed, and that the paths forward lead only to the grave. In this environment we fear catastrophe, but in a certain way we also pine for it—because the alternative is to accept that we are permanently decadent: aging, comfortable and stuck, cut off from the past and no longer confident in the future, spurning both memory and ambition while we wait for some saving innovation or revelations, growing old unhappily together in the glowing light of tiny screens. Correcting both optimists who insist that we’re just growing richer and happier with every passing year and pessimists who expect collapse any moment, Douthat provides an enlightening diagnosis of the modern condition—how we got here, how long our age of frustration might last, and how, whether in renaissance or catastrophe, our decadence might ultimately end.
Andy Warhol by Donna M. De Salvo,Jessica Beck (Art museum curator) Book Resume:
A unique 360‐degree view of an incomparable 20th-century American artist One of the most emulated and significant figures in modern art, Andy Warhol (1928-1987) rose to fame in the 1960s with his iconic Pop pieces. Warhol expanded the boundaries by which art is defined and created groundbreaking work in a diverse array of media that includes paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, films, and installations. This ambitious book is the first to examine Warhol's work in its entirety. It builds on a wealth of new research and materials that have come to light in recent decades and offers a rare and much-needed comprehensive look at the full scope of Warhol's production--from his commercial illustrations of the 1950s through his monumental paintings of the 1980s. Donna De Salvo explores how Warhol's work engages with notions of public and private, the redefinition of media, and the role of abstraction, while a series of incisive and eye-opening essays by eminent scholars and contemporary artists touch on a broad range of topics, such as Warhol's response to the AIDS epidemic, his international influence, and how his work relates to constructs of self-image seen in social media today.
The Magic Hour by J. Hoberman,Mariade Los Angeles Torres Book Resume:
The magic hour is the name film-makers give the pre-dusk late afternoon, when anything photographed can be bathed in a melancholy golden light. This work anthologizes J. Hoberman's movie reviews, cultural criticism, and political essays, published in The Village Voice, Artforum, and elsewhere during the period bracketed by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the World Trade Towers.