The American Success Myth on Film

Author: Julie Levinson
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 0230363369
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Contemporary cultural narratives, like ancient myths, speak to our common aspirations, anxieties, and perplexities. These ritually retold stories help to create a sense of communal identity. The American Success Myth on Film considers how movies, as bearers of modern myths, have illuminated – if not resolved – the ideological contradictions at the heart of the American idea of success. In examining the enduring appeal that the success myth exerts on our collective imagination, it highlights the central role that films have played in the ongoing cultural conversation about success and work in America. Analyses of a range of movies from the late 1920s to the present are grounded in the history of rags-to-riches tales and in a consideration of the social functions of myth. This expansive analysis of the American success myth exposes the insistent, but sometimes implicit, attitudes toward success that infuse our cultural narratives and, not incidentally, underlie our national self-image, our public discourse, and our personal ideals.

The American Success Myth on Film

Author: J. Levinson
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9781349348916
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In examining the enduring appeal that rags-to-riches stories exert on our collective imagination, this book highlights the central role that films have played in the ongoing cultural discourse about success and work in America.

Pixar s America

Author: Dietmar Meinel
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319316346
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book examines the popular and critically acclaimed films of Pixar Animation Studios in their cultural and historical context. Whether interventionist sheriff dolls liberating oppressed toys (Toy Story) or exceptionally talented rodents hoping to fulfill their dreams (Ratatouille), these cinematic texts draw on popular myths and symbols of American culture. As Pixar films refashion traditional American figures, motifs and narratives for contemporary audiences, this book looks at their politics - from the frontier myth in light of traditional gender roles (WALL-E) to the notion of voluntary associations and neoliberalism (The Incredibles). Through close readings, this volume considers the aesthetics of digital animation, including voice-acting and the simulation of camera work, as further mediations of the traditional themes and motifs of American culture in novel form. Dietmar Meinel explores the ways in which Pixar films come to reanimate and remediate prominent myths and symbols of American culture in all their cinematic, ideological and narrative complexity.

American Film and Society Since 1945

Author: Leonard Quart
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313382522
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This post-World War II survey of American cinema provides an in-depth exploration of how film acts as a powerful cultural expression of the American public's dreams and desires. * Includes an introduction that addresses the history of the last decade and discusses events such as the attacks of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economic crisis, and the election of President Barack Obama

Intertextual Encounters in American Fiction Film and Popular Culture

Author: Michael Dunne
Publisher: Popular Press
ISBN: 9780879728489
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Intertextual encounters occur whenever an author or the author's text recognizes, references, alludes to, imitates, parodies, or otherwise elicits an audience member's familiarity with other texts. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West use the fiction of Horatio Alger, Jr., as an intertext in their novels, The Great Gatsby and A Cool Million. Callie Khouri and Ridley Scott use the buddy-road-picture genre as an intertext for their Thelma and Louise. In all these cases, intertextual encounters take place between artists, between texts, between texts and audiences, between artists and audiences. Michael Dunne investigates works from the 1830s to the 1990s and from the canonical American novel to Bugs Bunny and Jerry Seinfeld.

Evil Arabs in American Popular Film

Author: Tim Jon Semmerling
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292795734
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The "evil" Arab has become a stock character in American popular films, playing the villain opposite American "good guys" who fight for "the American way." It's not surprising that this stereotype has entered American popular culture, given the real-world conflicts between the United States and Middle Eastern countries, particularly since the oil embargo of the 1970s and continuing through the Iranian hostage crisis, the first and second Gulf Wars, and the ongoing struggle against al-Qaeda. But when one compares the "evil" Arab of popular culture to real Arab people, the stereotype falls apart. In this thought-provoking book, Tim Jon Semmerling further dismantles the "evil" Arab stereotype by showing how American cultural fears, which stem from challenges to our national ideologies and myths, have driven us to create the "evil" Arab Other. Semmerling bases his argument on close readings of six films (The Exorcist, Rollover, Black Sunday, Three Kings, Rules of Engagement, and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut), as well as CNN's 9/11 documentary America Remembers. Looking at their narrative structures and visual tropes, he analyzes how the films portray Arabs as threatening to subvert American "truths" and mythic tales--and how the insecurity this engenders causes Americans to project evil character and intentions on Arab peoples, landscapes, and cultures. Semmerling also demonstrates how the "evil" Arab narrative has even crept into the documentary coverage of 9/11. Overall, Semmerling's probing analysis of America's Orientalist fears exposes how the "evil" Arab of American popular film is actually an illusion that reveals more about Americans than Arabs.

Acting

Author: Claudia Springer
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813564344
Format: PDF, ePub
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Screen performances entertain and delight us but we rarely stop to consider actors’ reliance on their craft to create memorable characters. Although film acting may appear effortless, a host of techniques, artistic conventions, and social factors shape the construction of each role. The chapters in Acting provide a fascinating, in-depth look at the history of film acting, from its inception in 1895 when spectators thrilled at the sight of vaudeville performers, Wild West stars, and athletes captured in motion, to the present when audiences marvel at the seamless blend of human actors with CGI. Experts in the field take readers behind the silver screen to learn about the craft of film acting in six eras: the silent screen (1895–1928), classical Hollywood (1928–1946), postwar Hollywood (1947–1967), the auteur renaissance (1968–1980), the New Hollywood (1981–1999), and the modern entertainment marketplace (2000–present). The contributors pay special attention to definitive performances by notable film stars, including Lillian Gish, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, Beulah Bondi, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Nicholas Cage, Denzel Washington, and Andy Serkis. In six original essays, the contributors to this volume illuminate the dynamic role of acting in the creation and evolving practices of the American film industry. Acting is a volume in the Behind the Silver Screen series—other titles in the series include Animation; Art Direction and Production Design; Cinematography; Costume, Makeup, and Hair; Directing; Editing and Special/Visual Effects; Producing; Screenwriting; and Sound.

Stadtgeschichten

Author: Claudia Schnurmann
Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster
ISBN: 9783825892548
Format: PDF, Docs
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Tales of Two Cities compares both metropolises and soon discovers differences as well as similarities. American and German experts from different fields (for example historians, geographers, architects, journalists or Americanists) join our 'guided tours' through Chicago and Hamburg. They introduce the reader to the sister cities as migration magnets and spaces of different interests. They discuss challenges and chances of urban life, city planning, safety measures or media cities within an Atlantic context. The volume includes contributions in German as well as English. Claudia Schnurmann is a researcher at the Department of History at the University of Hamburg (Germany). Iris Wigger is a researcher at the School of Sociology at University College in Dublin (Ireland).

Choreographing Asian America

Author: Yutian Wong
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 0819571083
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Poised at the intersection of Asian American studies and dance studies, Choreographing Asian America is the first book-length examination of the role of Orientalist discourse in shaping Asian Americanist entanglements with U.S. modern dance history. Moving beyond the acknowledgement that modern dance has its roots in Orientalist appropriation, Yutian Wong considers the effect that invisible Orientalism has on the reception of work by Asian American choreographers and the conceptualization of Asian American performance as a category. Drawing on ethnographic and choreographic research methods, the author follows the work of Club O’ Noodles—a Vietnamese American performance ensemble—to understand how Asian American artists respond to competing narratives of representation, aesthetics, and social activism that often frame the production of Asian American performance.