Michael Witt – Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian (2013)

Winner of the 2014 Limina Award for Best International Film Studies Book
Originally released as a videographic experiment in film history, Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma has been widely hailed as a landmark in how we think about and narrate cinema history, and in how history is taught through cinema. In this stunningly illustrated volume, Michael Witt explores Godard’s landmark work as both a specimen of an artist’s vision and a philosophical statement on the history of film. Witt contextualizes Godard’s theories and approaches to historiography and provides a guide to the wide-ranging cinematic, aesthetic, and cultural forces that shaped Godard’s groundbreaking ideas on the history of cinema. Continue reading

Daisuke Miyao – The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema (2014)

The reality of transnational innovation and dissemination of new technologies, including digital media, has yet to make a dent in the deep-seated culturalism that insists on reinscribing a divide between the West and Japan, even in realms of technological activity that are quite evidently dispersed across cultures. Film and media studies are not immune to this trend. They continue to fret over the “Westernness” of film technologies vis-à-vis the apparently self-evident “Japaneseness” of other modes of cultural production. The main goal of The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema is to counter this trend toward dichotomizing the West and Japan and to challenge the pervasive culturalism of today’s film and media studies. This volume addresses productive debates about what Japanese cinema is, where Japanese cinema is, and where Japanese cinema is going at the period of crisis of national boundary under globalization. In order to do so, this volume attempts to foster dialogue between Japanese scholars of Japanese cinema, film scholars of Japanese cinema based in Anglo-American and European countries, film scholars of non-Japanese cinema, film archivists, film critics, and filmmakers familiar with film scholarship. Continue reading

Thomas Leitch – Crime Films (2002)

Focusing on ten films that span the range of the twentieth century, Thomas Leitch traces the transformation of three figures common to all crime films: the criminal, the victim and the avenger. He shows how the distinctions among them become blurred throughout the course of the century, reflecting and fostering a deep social ambivalence towards crime and criminals. The criminal, victim and avenger characters effectively map the shifting relations between subgenres (such as the erotic thriller and the police film) within the larger genre of crime film. Continue reading

Paul Newland – Don’t Look Now: British Cinema in the 1970s (2010)

While postwar British cinema and the British new wave have received much scholarly attention, the misunderstood period of the 1970s has been comparatively ignored. Don’t Look Now uncovers forgotten but richly rewarding films, including Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and the films of Lindsay Anderson and Barney Platts-Mills. This volume offers insight into the careers of important filmmakers and sheds light on the genres of experimental film, horror, rock and punk films, as well as representations of the black community, shifts in gender politics, and adaptations of television comedies. The contributors ask searching questions about the nature of British film culture and its relationship to popular culture, television, and the cultural underground.
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