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Books

Allister Mactaggart – The Film Paintings of David Lynch Challenging Film Theory (2010)

One of the most distinguished filmmakers working today, David Lynch is a director whose vision of cinema is firmly rooted in fine art. He was motivated to make his first film as a student because he wanted a painting that ‘would really be able to move’. Most existing studies of Lynch, however, fail to engage fully with the complexities of his films’ relationship to other art forms. “The Film Paintings of David Lynch” fills this void, arguing that Lynch’s cinematic output needs to be considered within a broad range of cultural references. Aimed at both Lynch fans and film studies specialists, Allister Mactaggart addresses Lynch’s films from the perspective of the relationship between commercial film, avant-garde art, and cultural theory. Individual Lynch works – “The Elephant Man”, “Blue Velvet”, “Twin Peaks”, “Lost Highway”, “The Straight Story”, “Mulholland Drive”, and “Inland Empire” – are discussed in relation to other films and directors, illustrating that the solitary, or seemingly isolated, experience of film is itself socially, culturally, and politically important. “The Film Paintings of David Lynch” offers a unique perspective on an influential director, weaving together a range of theoretical approaches to Lynch’s films to make exciting new connections among film theory, art history, psychoanalysis, and cinema. Read More »

Simon Roy – Kubrick Red: A Memoir (2016)

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The Shining by Stanley Kubrick – that strange story in which a writer and his wife and young son with ESP stay in a mysterious hotel in low season – has been fascinating viewers since its release in 1980.
Simon Roy first saw the film when he was 10 and was mesmerized by a particular line: “How’d you like some ice cream, Doc?” He has since seen the movie at least 42 times, because “it encompasses the tragic symptoms of a deep-seated defect that has haunted [it] for generations.” The painstaking bond he has knitted with this story of evil has enabled him to absorb the disquieting traits of its “macabre lineage” and fully reveal its power over him. This is an unusual and astonishing book. Read More »

Elena Gorfinkel – Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960’s (2017)

Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960’s
by Elena Gorfinkel
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: University Of Minnesota Press; 1st edition (Oct. 15 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1517900174
ISBN-13: 978-1517900175

The untold story of the American sexploitation film—a major development in screen sex in the decade before “porno chic”
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Ian Olney & Antonio Lázaro-Reboll – The Films of Jess Franco (2018)

The Films of Jess Franco
Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series
Edited by Ian Olney, Antonio Lázaro-Reboll
Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: Wayne State University Press (June 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0814343163
ISBN-13: 978-0814343166 Read More »

Yuriko Furuhata – Cinema of Actuality: Japanese Avant-Garde Filmmaking in the Season of Image Politics (2013)

During the 1960s and early 1970s, Japanese avant-garde filmmakers intensely explored the shifting role of the image in political activism and media events. Known as the “season of politics,” the era was filled with widely covered dramatic events from hijackings and hostage crises to student protests. This season of politics was, Yuriko Furuhata argues, the season of image politics. Well-known directors, including Oshima Nagisa, Matsumoto Toshio, Wakamatsu Kōji, and Adachi Masao, appropriated the sensationalized media coverage of current events, turning news stories into material for timely critique and intermedial experimentation. Cinema of Actuality analyzes Japanese avant-garde filmmakers’ struggle to radicalize cinema in light of the intensifying politics of spectacle and a rapidly changing media environment, one that was increasingly dominated by television. Furuhata demonstrates how avant-garde filmmaking intersected with media history, and how sophisticated debates about film theory emerged out of dialogues with photography, television, and other visual arts. Read More »

Roger Ebert – Herzog by Ebert (2017)

Roger Ebert was the most influential film critic in the United States, the first to win a Pulitzer Prize. For almost fifty years, he wrote with plainspoken eloquence about the films he loved for the Chicago Sun-Times, his vast cinematic knowledge matched by a sheer love of life that bolstered his appreciation of films. Ebert had particular admiration for the work of director Werner Herzog, whom he first encountered at the New York Film Festival in 1968, the start of a long and productive relationship between the filmmaker and the film critic. Read More »

Philip Powrie & Keith Reader – French Cinema: A Student’s Guide (2003)

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The study of French cinema has expanded dramatically in recent years, as it is increasingly taught alongside literature in modern language departments. Many entrants to courses have no previous experience of film study. This book, written by two leading scholars of French film, offers students an introduction to the history and theory of French cinema, while giving them an understanding of the concepts and techniques involved in the study of film. It also contains a model essay, sample film analyses, and an appendix of statistics, filmography, bibliography and glossary, making this book an indispensable and comprehensive resource. Read More »