Film and Television After DVD

Author: James Bennett
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135896712
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Heralded as "the most significant invention [for film] since the coming of sound" (The Observer 2003), by 2005 DVD players were in approximately 84 million homes in the US, making it the "fastest selling item in history of US consumer electronics market" (McDonald 2007: 135). This book examines the phenomenal growth of DVDs in relation to the cultures, economies, texts, audiences and histories of film, television and new media. Film and Television After DVD brings together a group of internationally renowned scholars to provide the first focused academic inquiry into this important technology. The book picks up on key issues within contemporary media studies, making a particularly significant contribution to debates about convergence and interactivity in the digital media landscape. Essays consider DVD as a technology that exists outside the boundaries of "new" and "old" media, examining its place within longer histories of home film cultures and production practices of the film and television industries, whilst also critically evaluating what is genuinely "new" about digital media technologies. From DVDs to downloading, peer-to-peer networking and HD-DVD, this book speaks of the rapidly evolving digital mediascape. Ultimately, Film and Television After DVD is a book that considers the convergence of film, television and new media and their academic disciplines through the DVD as a distinct cultural object, pointing to persistent questions in the study of audiovisual culture that will remain intriguing long after the shelf-life of the DVD itself.

Queer Representation Visibility and Race in American Film and Television

Author: Melanie Kohnen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136519890
Format: PDF
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This book traces the uneven history of queer media visibility through crucial turning points including the Hollywood Production Code era, the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, the so-called explosion of gay visibility on television during the1990s, and the re-imagination of queer representations on TV after the events of 9/11. Kohnen intervenes in previous academic and popular accounts that paint the increase in queer visibility over the past four decades as a largely progressive development. She examines how and why a limited and limiting concept of queer visibility structured around white gay and lesbian characters in committed relationships has become the embodiment of progressive LGBT media representations. She also investigates queer visibility across film, TV, and print media, and highlights previously unexplored connections, such as the lingering traces of classical Hollywood cinema's queer tropes in the X-Men franchise. Across all chapters, narratives and arguments emerge that demonstrate how queer visibility shapes and reflects not only media representations, but the real and imagined geographies, histories, and people of the American nation.

Autism and Representation

Author: Mark Osteen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135911495
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Autism, a neuro-developmental disability, has received wide but often sensationalistic treatment in the popular media. A great deal of clinical and medical research has been devoted to autism, but the traditional humanities disciplines and the new field of Disability Studies have yet to explore it. This volume, the first scholarly book on autism in the humanities, brings scholars from several disciplines together with adults on the autism spectrum to investigate the diverse ways that autism has been represented in novels, poems, autobiographies, films, and clinical discourses, and to explore the connections and demarcations between autistic and "neurotypical" creativity. Using an empathetic scholarship that unites professional rigor with experiential knowledge derived from the contributors’ lives with or as autistic people, the essays address such questions as: In what novel forms does autistic creativity appear, and what unusual strengths does it possess? How do autistic representations--whether by or about autistic people--revise conventional ideas of cognition, creativity, language, (dis)ability and sociability? This timely and important collection breaks new ground in literary and film criticism, aesthetics, psychology, and Disability Studies.

Screen Comedy and Online Audiences

Author: Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317672801
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The question of why we laugh (or don't laugh) has intrigued scholars since antiquity. This book contributes to that debate by exploring how we evaluate screen comedy. What kinds of criteria do we use to judge films and TV shows that are meant to be funny? And what might that have to do with our social and cultural backgrounds, or with wider cultural ideas about film, TV, comedy, quality and entertainment? The book examines these questions through a study of audience responses posted to online facilities such as Twitter, Facebook, review sites, blogs and message boards. Bore’s analysis of these responses considers a broad range of issues, including how audiences perceive the idea of "national" comedy; what they think of female comedians; how they evaluate romcoms, sitcoms and web comedy; what they think is acceptable to joke about; what comedy fans get excited about; how fans interact with star comedians; and what comedy viewers really despise. The book demonstrates some of the ways in which we can adapt theories of humour and comedy to examine the practices of contemporary screen audiences, while offering new insights into how they negotiate the opportunities and constrictions of different online facilities to share their views and experiences.

Legitimating Television

Author: Michael Z Newman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136942726
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Legitimating Television: Media Convergence and Cultural Status explores how and why television is gaining a new level of cultural respectability in the 21st century. Once looked down upon as a "plug-in drug" offering little redeeming social or artistic value, television is now said to be in a creative renaissance, with critics hailing the rise of Quality series such as Mad Men and 30 Rock. Likewise, DVDs and DVRs, web video, HDTV, and mobile devices have shifted the longstanding conception of television as a household appliance toward a new understanding of TV as a sophisticated, high-tech gadget. Newman and Levine argue that television’s growing prestige emerges alongside the convergence of media at technological, industrial, and experiential levels. Television is permitted to rise in respectability once it is connected to more highly valued media and audiences. Legitimation works by denigrating "ordinary" television associated with the past, distancing the television of the present from the feminized and mass audiences assumed to be inherent to the "old" TV. It is no coincidence that the most validated programming and technologies of the convergence era are associated with a more privileged viewership. The legitimation of television articulates the medium with the masculine over the feminine, the elite over the mass, reinforcing cultural hierarchies that have long perpetuated inequalities of gender and class. Legitimating Television urges readers to move beyond the question of taste—whether TV is "good" or "bad"—and to focus instead on the cultural, political, and economic issues at stake in television’s transformation in the digital age.

Media Independence

Author: James Bennett
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317690338
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Media independence is central to the organization, make-up, working practices and output of media systems across the globe. Often stemming from western notions of individual and political freedoms, independence has informed the development of media across a range of platforms: from the freedom of the press as the "fourth estate" and the rise of Hollywood’s Independent studios and Independent television in Britain, through to the importance of "Indy" labels in music and gaming and the increasing importance of independence of voice in citizen journalism. Media independence for many, therefore, has come to mean working with freedom: from state control or interference, from monopoly, from market forces, as well as freedom to report, comment, create and document without fear of persecution. However, far from a stable concept that informs all media systems, the notion of media independence has long been contested, forming a crucial tension point in the regulation, shape, size and role of the media around the globe. Contributors including David Hesmondhalgh, Gholam Khiabany, José van Dijck, Hector Postigo, Anthony Fung, Stuart Allan and Geoff King demonstrate how the notion of independence has remained paramount, but contested, in ideals of what the media is for, how it should be regulated, what it should produce and what working within it should be like. They address questions of economics, labor relations, production cultures, ideologies and social functions.

The Adaptation Industry

Author: Simone Murray
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136660240
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Adaptation constitutes the driving force of contemporary culture, with stories adapted across an array of media formats. However, adaptation studies has been concerned almost exclusively with textual analysis, in particular with compare-and-contrast studies of individual novel and film pairings. This has left almost completely unexamined crucial questions of how adaptations come to be made, what are the industries with the greatest stake in making them, and who the decision-makers are in the adaptation process. The Adaptation Industry re-imagines adaptation not as an abstract process, but as a material industry. It presents the adaptation industry as a cultural economy of six interlocking institutions, stakeholders and decision-makers all engaged in the actual business of adapting texts: authors; agents; publishers; book prize committees; scriptwriters; and screen producers and distributors. Through trading in intellectual property rights to cultural works, these six nodal points in the adaptation network are tightly interlinked, with success for one party potentially auguring for success in other spheres. But marked rivalries between these institutional forces also exist, with competition characterizing every aspect of the adaptation process. This book constructs an overdue sociology of contemporary literary adaptation, never losing sight of the material and institutional dimensions of this powerful process.

Artificial Culture

Author: Tama Leaver
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136481230
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Artificial Culture is an examination of the articulation, construction, and representation of "the artificial" in contemporary popular cultural texts, especially science fiction films and novels. The book argues that today we live in an artificial culture due to the deep and inextricable relationship between people, our bodies, and technology at large. While the artificial is often imagined as outside of the natural order and thus also beyond the realm of humanity, paradoxically, artificial concepts are simultaneously produced and constructed by human ideas and labor. The artificial can thus act as a boundary point against which we as a culture can measure what it means to be human. Science fiction feature films and novels, and other related media, frequently and provocatively deploy ideas of the artificial in ways which the lines between people, our bodies, spaces and culture more broadly blur and, at times, dissolve. Building on the rich foundational work on the figures of the cyborg and posthuman, this book situates the artificial in similar terms, but from a nevertheless distinctly different viewpoint. After examining ideas of the artificial as deployed in film, novels and other digital contexts, this study concludes that we are now part of an artificial culture entailing a matrix which, rather than separating minds and bodies, or humanity and the digital, reinforces the symbiotic connection between identities, bodies, and technologies.

The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture

Author: Tom Brown
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113595030X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The biographical film or biopic is a staple of film production in all major film industries and yet, within film studies, its generic, aesthetic, and cultural significance has remained underexplored. The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture fills this gap, conceptualizing the biopic with a particular eye toward the "life" of the genre internationally. New theoretical approaches combine with specially commissioned chapters on contemporary biographical film production in India, Italy, South Korea, France, Russia, Great Britain, and the US, in order to present a selective but well-rounded portrait of the biopic’s place in film culture. From Marie Antoinette to The Social Network, the pieces in this volume critically examine the place of the biopic within ongoing debates about how cinema can and should represent history and "real lives." Contributors discuss the biopic’s grounding in the conventions of the historical film, and explore the genre’s defining traits as well as its potential for innovation. The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture expands the critical boundaries of this evolving, versatile genre.