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'At the very least, this blockbuster is probably the best single volume history of Hollywood we're likely to get for a very long time.' Paul Kerr City Limits
'Persuasively argued, the book is also packed with facts, figures and photographs.' Nigel Andrews Financial Times
Acclaimed for their breakthrough approach, Bordwell, Staiger and Thompson analyze the basic conditions of American film-making as a historical institution and consider to what extent Hollywood film production constitutes a systematic enterprise, in both its style and its business operations.
Despite differences of director, genre or studio, most Hollywood films operate within a set of shared assumptions about how a film should look and sound. Such assumptions are neither natural nor inevitable; but because classical-style films have been the type most widely seen, they have come to be accepted as the 'norm' of film-making and viewing.
The authors show how these classical conventions were formulated and standardized, and how they responded to the arrival of sound, colour, widescreen ratios and stereophonic sound. They argue that each new technological development has served a function within an existing narrational system.
The authors also examine how the Hollywood cinema standardized the film-making process itself. They describe how, over the course of its history, Hollywood developed distinct modes of production in a constant search for maximum efficiency, predictability and novelty.
Set apart by its combination of theoretical analysis and empirical evidence, this book is the standard work on the classical Hollywood cinema style of film-making from the silent era to the 1960s. Now available in paperback, it is a 'must' for film students, lecturers and all those seriously interested in the development of the film industry.
Dyer's illuminating study is based around case studies of three major stars: Marilyn Monroe, Paul Robeson and Judy Garland. He draws on a wide range of sources, including the films in which each star appeared, to illustrate how each star's persona was constructed, and goes on to examine each within the context of particular issues in fan culture and stardom.
Students of film and cultural studies will find this an invaluable part of there course reading.
This pioneering study explores the development and dominance of the high concept movie within commercial Hollywood filmmaking since the late 1970s. Justin Wyatt describes how box office success, always important in Hollywood, became paramount in the era in which major film studios passed into the hands of media conglomerates concerned more with the economics of filmmaking than aesthetics. In particular, he shows how high concept films became fully integrated with their marketing, so that a single phrase ("Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...") could sell the movie to studio executives and provide copy for massive advertising campaigns; a single image or a theme song could instantly remind potential audience members of the movie, and tie-in merchandise could generate millions of dollars in additional income.
Drawing on primary documentary sources, oral history—including interviews with members of the original creative team such as Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents—and early sketch material, Wells explores the creation and dissemination of West Side Story to diverse audiences. After a short history of West Side Story's creation, each chapter investigates the musical from a different cultural perspective, examining its relationship to the classical canon and Leonard Bernstein's investment in that tradition, juvenile delinquency in the 1950s, feminism and the women of West Side Story, Latin-American and Hispanic influences, and its international reception and distribution. Richly illustrated with images and musical examples and complete with factual appendixes like a chronological timeline, discography, and cast and crew list, this fascinating account is exciting for specialists and non-specialists alike.
Dracula is a classic of Gothic horror, an undying wellspring of modern mythology, and an irresistible entertainment.
From the Hardcover edition.