The Columbia Companion to American History on Film

Author: Peter C. Rollins
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231508395
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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American history has always been an irresistible source of inspiration for filmmakers, and today, for good or ill, most Americans'sense of the past likely comes more from Hollywood than from the works of historians. In important films such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), Roots (1977), Apocalypse Now (1979), and Saving Private Ryan (1998), how much is entertainment and how much is rooted in historical fact? In The Columbia Companion to American History on Film, more than seventy scholars consider the gap between history and Hollywood. They examine how filmmakers have presented and interpreted the most important events, topics, eras, and figures in the American past, often comparing the film versions of events with the interpretations of the best historians who have explored the topic. Divided into eight broad categories—Eras; Wars and Other Major Events; Notable People; Groups; Institutions and Movements; Places; Themes and Topics; and Myths and Heroes—the volume features extensive cross-references, a filmography (of discussed and relevant films), notes, and a bibliography of selected historical works on each subject. The Columbia Companion to American History on Film is also an important resource for teachers, with extensive information for research or for course development appropriate for both high school and college students. Though each essay reflects the unique body of film and print works covering the subject at hand, every essay addresses several fundamental questions: What are the key films on this topic? What sources did the filmmaker use, and how did the film deviate (or remain true to) its sources? How have film interpretations of a particular historical topic changed, and what sorts of factors—technological, social, political, historiographical—have affected their evolution? Have filmmakers altered the historical record with a view to enhancing drama or to enhance the "truth" of their putative message?

Why We Fought

Author: Peter Rollins
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813172977
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Film moves audiences like no other medium; both documentaries and feature films are especially remarkable for their ability to influence viewers. Best-selling author James Brady remarked that he joined the Marines to fight in Korea after seeing a John Wayne film, demonstrating how a motion picture can change the course of a human life—in this case, launching the career of a major historian and novelist. In Why We Fought: America’s Wars in Film and History, editors Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor explore the complexities of war films, describing the ways in which such productions interpret history and illuminate American values, politics, and culture. This comprehensive volume covers representations of war in film from the American Revolution in the 18th century to today’s global War on Terror. The contributors examine iconic battle films such as The Big Parade (1925), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), From Here to Eternity (1953), and Platoon (1986), considering them as historical artifacts. The authors explain how film shapes our cultural understanding of military conflicts, analyzing how war is depicted on television programs, through news media outlets, and in fictional and factual texts. With several essays examining the events of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath, the book has a timely relevance concerning the country’s current military conflicts. Jeff Chown examines controversial documentary films about the Iraq War, while Stacy Takacs considers Jessica Lynch and American gender issues in a post-9/11 world, and James Kendrick explores the political messages and aesthetic implications of United 93. From filmmakers who reshaped our understanding of the history of the Alamo, to Ken Burns’s popular series on the Civil War, to the uses of film and media in understanding the Vietnam conflict, Why We Fought offers a balanced outlook— one of the book’s editors was a combat officer in the United States Marines, the other an antiwar activist—on the conflicts that have become touchstones of American history. As Air Force veteran and film scholar Robert Fyne notes in the foreword, American war films mirror a nation’s past and offer tangible evidence of the ways millions of Americans have become devoted, as was General MacArthur, to “Duty, honor, and country.” Why We Fought chronicles how, for more than half a century, war films have shaped our nation’s consciousness.

Spectacle in Classical Cinemas

Author: Tom Brown
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317527054
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Spectacle is not often considered to be a significant part of the style of ‘classical’ cinema. Indeed, some of the most influential accounts of cinematic classicism define it virtually by the supposed absence of spectacle. Spectacle in ‘Classical’ Cinemas: Musicality and Historicity in the 1930s brings a fresh perspective on the role of the spectacular in classical sound cinema by focusing on one decade of cinema (the 1930s), in two ‘modes’ of filmmaking (musical and historical films), and in two national cinemas (the US and France). This not only brings to light the special rhetorical and affective possibilities offered by spectacular images but refines our understanding of what ‘classical’ cinema is and was.

History in the Media

Author: Robert Niemi
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 157607952X
Format: PDF, Docs
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A resource on the depiction of historical events in film, on television, and on the Internet combines the latest scholarship with reviews of specific works.

Specters of War

Author: Elisabeth Bronfen
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813553997
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Specters of War looks at the way war has been brought to the screen in various genres and at different historical moments throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Elisabeth Bronfen asserts that Hollywood has emerged as a place where national narratives are created and circulated so that audiences can engage with fantasies, ideologies, and anxieties that take hold at a given time, only to change with the political climate. Such cultural reflection is particularly poignant when it deals with America’s traumatic history of war. The nation has no direct access to war as a horrific experience of carnage and human destruction; we understand our relation to it through images and narratives that transmit and interpret it for us. Bronfen does not discuss actual conflicts but the films by which we have come to know and remember them, including All Quiet on the Western Front, The Best Years of Our Lives, Miracle at St. Anna, The Deer Hunter, and Flags of Our Fathers. Battles and campaigns, the home front and women-who-wait narratives, war correspondents, and court martials are also explored as instruments of cultural memory. Bronfen argues that we are haunted by past wars and by cinematic re-conceptualizations of them, and reveals a national iconography of redemptive violence from which we seem unable to escape.

Historical Film

Author: Jonathan Stubbs
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1472520025
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Although precise definitions have not been agreed on, historical cinema tends to cut across existing genre categories and establishes an intimidatingly large group of films. In recent years, a lively body of work has developed around historical cinema, much of it proposing valuable new ways to consider the relationship between cinematic and historical representation. However, only a small proportion of this writing has paid attention to the issue of genre. In order to counter this omission, this book combines a critical analysis of the Hollywood historical film with an examination of its generic dimensions and a history of its development since the silent period. Historical Film: A Critical Introduction is concerned not simply with the formal properties of the films at hand, but also the ways in which they have been promoted, interpreted and discussed in relation to their engagement with the past.

American History through Hollywood Film

Author: Melvyn Stokes
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441153497
Format: PDF, Mobi
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American History through Hollywood Film offers a new perspective on major issues in American history from the 1770s to the end of the twentieth century and explores how they have been represented in film. Melvyn Stokes examines how and why representation has changed over time, looking at the origins, underlying assumptions, production, and reception of an important cross-section of historical films. Chapters deal with key events in American history including the American Revolution, the Civil War and its legacy, the Great Depression, and the anti-communism of the Cold War era. Major themes such as ethnicity, slavery, Native Americans and Jewish immigrants are covered and a final chapter looks at the way the 1960s and 70s have been dealt with by Hollywood. This book is essential reading for anyone studying American history and the relationship between history and film.

Reframing the Past

Author: Mia E. M. Treacey
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317273206
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Reframing the Past traces what historians have written about film and television from 1898 until the early 2000s. Mia Treacey argues that historical engagement with film and television should be reconceptualised as Screened History: an interdisciplinary, international field of research to incorporate and replace what has been known as ‘History and Film’. It draws from the fields of Film, Television and Cultural Studies to critically analyse key works and connect past scholarship with contemporary research. Reconsidered as Screened History, the works of Pierre Sorlin, Marc Ferro, John O’Connor, Robert Rosenstone and Robert Toplin are explored alongside lesser known but equally important contributions. This book identifies a number of common themes and ideas that have been explored by historians for decades: the use of history on film and television as a way to teach the past; the challenge of filmic and televisual history to more traditional historiography; and an ongoing battle to find an ‘appropriate’ historical way to engage with Film Studies and Theory. Screened History offers an approach to exploring History, Film and Television that allows room for future developments, while connecting them to a rich and diverse body of past scholarship. Combining a narrative of historical research on film and television over the past century with a reconceptualisation of the field as Screened History, Reframing the Past is essential reading both for established scholars of History and Film, Film History and other related disciplines, and to students new to the field.

Library Journal

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Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.