Melodrama and Modernity

Early Sensational Cinema and Its Contexts

Author: Ben Singer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231505079

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 256

View: 3706

In this groundbreaking investigation into the nature and meanings of melodrama in American culture between 1880 and 1920, Ben Singer offers a challenging new reevaluation of early American cinema and the era that spawned it. Singer looks back to the sensational or "blood and thunder" melodramas (e.g., The Perils of Pauline, The Hazards of Helen, etc.) and uncovers a fundamentally modern cultural expression, one reflecting spectacular transformations in the sensory environment of the metropolis, in the experience of capitalism, in the popular imagination of gender, and in the exploitation of the thrill in popular amusement. Written with verve and panache, and illustrated with 100 striking photos and drawings, Singer's study provides an invaluable historical and conceptual map both of melodrama as a genre on stage and screen and of modernity as a pivotal idea in social theory.
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Melodrama and Modernity

Early Sensational Cinema and Its Contexts

Author: Ben Singer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231113293

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 256

View: 4302

Surveying the expanding conflict in Europe during one of his famous fireside chats in 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt ominously warned that "we know of other methods, new methods of attack. The Trojan horse. The fifth column that betrays a nation unprepared for treachery. Spies, saboteurs, and traitors are the actors in this new strategy." Having identified a new type of war -- a shadow war -- being perpetrated by Hitler's Germany, FDR decided to fight fire with fire, authorizing the formation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to organize and oversee covert operations. Based on an extensive analysis of OSS records, including the vast trove of records released by the CIA in the 1980s and '90s, as well as a new set of interviews with OSS veterans conducted by the author and a team of American scholars from 1995 to 1997, The Shadow War Against Hitler is the full story of America's far-flung secret intelligence apparatus during World War II. In addition to its responsibilities generating, processing, and interpreting intelligence information, the OSS orchestrated all manner of dark operations, including extending feelers to anti-Hitler elements, infiltrating spies and sabotage agents behind enemy lines, and implementing propaganda programs. Planned and directed from Washington, the anti-Hitler campaign was largely conducted in Europe, especially through the OSS's foreign outposts in Bern and London. A fascinating cast of characters made the OSS run: William J. Donovan, one of the most decorated individuals in the American military who became the driving force behind the OSS's genesis; Allen Dulles, the future CIA chief who ran the Bern office, which he called "the big window onto the fascist world"; a veritable pantheon of Ivy League academics who were recruited to work for the intelligence services; and, not least, Roosevelt himself. A major contribution of the book is the story of how FDR employed Hitler's former propaganda chief, Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstengl, as a private spy. More than a record of dramatic incidents and daring personalities, this book adds significantly to our understanding of how the United States fought World War II. It demonstrates that the extent, and limitations, of secret intelligence information shaped not only the conduct of the war but also the face of the world that emerged from the shadows.
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Melodrama and Modernity

Early Sensational Cinema and Its Contexts

Author: Ben Singer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231113281

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 363

View: 3491

Surveying the expanding conflict in Europe during one of his famous fireside chats in 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt ominously warned that "we know of other methods, new methods of attack. The Trojan horse. The fifth column that betrays a nation unprepared for treachery. Spies, saboteurs, and traitors are the actors in this new strategy." Having identified a new type of war--a shadow war--being perpetrated by Hitler's Germany, FDR decided to fight fire with fire, authorizing the formation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to organize and oversee covert operations. Based on an extensive analysis of OSS records, including the vast trove of records released by the CIA in the 1980s and '90s, as well as a new set of interviews with OSS veterans conducted by the author and a team of American scholars from 1995 to 1997, The Shadow War Against Hitler is the full story of America's far-flung secret intelligence apparatus during World War II. In addition to its responsibilities generating, processing, and interpreting intelligence information, the OSS orchestrated all manner of dark operations, including extending feelers to anti-Hitler elements, infiltrating spies and sabotage agents behind enemy lines, and implementing propaganda programs. Planned and directed from Washington, the anti-Hitler campaign was largely conducted in Europe, especially through the OSS's foreign outposts in Bern and London. A fascinating cast of characters made the OSS run: William J. Donovan, one of the most decorated individuals in the American military who became the driving force behind the OSS's genesis; Allen Dulles, the future CIA chief who ran the Bern office, which he called "the big window onto the fascist world"; a veritable pantheon of Ivy League academics who were recruited to work for the intelligence services; and, not least, Roosevelt himself. A major contribution of the book is the story of how FDR employed Hitler's former propaganda chief, Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstengl, as a private spy. More than a record of dramatic incidents and daring personalities, this book adds significantly to our understanding of how the United States fought World War II. It demonstrates that the extent, and limitations, of secret intelligence information shaped not only the conduct of the war but also the face of the world that emerged from the shadows.
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Literature, Technology, and Modernity, 1860-2000

Author: Nicholas Daly

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521833929

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 161

View: 9561

Industrial modernity takes it as self-evident that there is a difference between people and machines, but the corollary of this has been a recurring fantasy about the erasure of that difference. The central scenario in this fantasy is the crash, sometimes literal, sometimes metaphorical. Nicholas Daly considers the way human/machine encounters have been imagined from the 1860s on, arguing that such scenes dramatize the modernization of subjectivity. This book will be of interest to scholars of moderinism, literature and film.
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Melodrama and Meaning

History, Culture, and the Films of Douglas Sirk

Author: Barbara Klinger

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253208750

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 200

View: 2155

Melodrama and Meaning is a major addition to the new historical approach to film studies. Barbara Klinger shows how institutions most associated with Hollywood cinema—academia, the film industry, review journalism, star publicity, and the mass media—create meaning and ideological identity for films. Chapters focus on Sirk's place in the development of film studies from the 1950s through the 1980s, as well as the history of the critical reception (both academic and popular) of Sirk's films, a history that outlines journalism's role in public tastemaking. Other chapters are devoted to Universal's selling of Written on the Wind, the machinery of star publicity and the changing image of Rock Hudson, and the contemporary "institutionalized" camp response to Sirk that has resulted from developments in mass culture.
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Cinema and Modernity

Author: Murray Pomerance

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 9780813538167

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 373

View: 5608

Brings together several essays by seventeen scholars to explore the complexity of the essential connection between film and modernity. This volume shows us the significant ways that film has both grown in the context of the modern world and played a central role in reflecting and shaping our interactions with it.
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Playing the Race Card

Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson

Author: Linda Williams

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069110283X

Category: Social Science

Page: 401

View: 4714

A professor of film studies examines the mythology of race to find the origins of those images, ideas, and stories that most provoke black and white Americans to hate and mistrust each other.
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Questions of Modernity

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452904170

Category: Social Science

Page: 229

View: 8167

Modernity has always laid claim to universal certainty--which meant assigning a different and lesser significance to anything deemed purely local, non-Western, or lacking a universal expression. This book makes those very non-Western, non-universal elements the tools for fashioning a more complex, rigorous, and multifaceted understanding of how the modern comes about. Focusing on the making of modernity outside the West, eight leading anthropologists, historians, and political theorists explore the production of new forms of politics, sensibility, temporality, and selfhood in locations ranging from nineteenth-century Bengal to contemporary Morocco. Topics include the therapeutics of colonial medical practice, the multiple registers of popular film, television serials and their audiences, psychiatrists and their patients, the iconic figure of the young widow, and the emergence of new political forms beyond the grasp of civil society.
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A Page of Madness

Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan

Author: Aaron Gerow

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 1929280521

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 130

View: 9027

Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies No. 64 Kinugasa Teinosuke’s 1926 film, A Page of Madness (Kurutta ichipeiji), is celebrated as one of the masterpieces of silent cinema. It was an independently produced, experimental, avant-garde work from Japan whose brilliant use of cinematic technique was equal to if not superior to that of contemporary European cinema. Those studying Japan, focusing on the central involvement of such writers as Yokomitsu Riichi and the Nobel Prize winner Kawabata Yasunari, have seen it as a pillar of the close relationship in the Taisho era between film and artistic modernism, as well as a marker of the uniqueness of prewar Japanese film culture. But is this film really what it seems to be? Using meticulous research on the film’s production, distribution, exhibition, and reception, as well as close analysis of the film’s shooting script and shooting notes recently made available, Aaron Gerow draws a new picture of this complex work, one revealing a film divided between experiment and convention, modernism and melodrama, the image and the word, cinema and literature, conflicts that play out in the story and structure of the film and its context. These different versions of A Page of Madness were developed at the time in varying interpretations of a film fundamentally about differing perceptions and conflicting worlds, and ironically realized in the fact that the film that exists today is not the one originally released. Including a detailed analysis of the film and translations of contemporary reviews and shooting notes for scenes missing from the current print, Gerow’s book offers provocative insight into the fascinating film A Page of Madness was—and still is—and into the struggles over this work that tried to articulate the place of cinema in Japanese society and modernity.
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Douglas Sirk, Aesthetic Modernism and the Culture of Modernity

Author: Victoria L. Evans

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 1474409415

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 208

View: 5444

The first truly interdisciplinary analysis to link Douglas Sirk's striking visual aesthetic to key movements in twentieth century art and architecture, this book reveals how the exaggerated artifice of Sirk's formal style emerged from his detailed understanding of the artistic debates that raged in 1920s Europe and the post-war United States. With detailed case studies of Final Chord and All That Heaven Allows, Victoria Evans demonstrates how Sirk attempted to dissolve the boundaries of cinema by assimilating elements of avant-garde art, architecture and design into the colour, composition and setting of many of his most well-known films. Treating Sirk's oeuvre as a continuum between his German and American periods, Evans argues that his mise-en-scene was the result of an interdisciplinary, transnational dialogue, and illuminates the broader cultural context in which his films appeared by establishing links between archival documents, Modernist manifestos and the philosophical writings of his peers.
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The Melodrama of Mobility

Women, Talk, and Class in Contemporary South Korea

Author: Nancy Abelmann

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

ISBN: 9780824827496

Category: Social Science

Page: 325

View: 1509

Through the lives and narratives of eight women, The Melodrama of Mobility chronicles South Korea's experience of dizzyingly rapid development. Nancy Abelmann captures the mood, feeling, and language of a generation and an era while providing a rare window on the personal and social struggles of South Korean modernity. Drawing also from television soap operas and films, she argues that a melodramatic sensibility speaks to South Korea's transformation because it preserves the tension and ambivalence of daily life in unsettled times.
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Melodramatic Voices: Understanding Music Drama

Understanding Music Drama

Author: Professor Sarah Hibberd

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1409494764

Category: Music

Page: 314

View: 2708

The genre of mélodrame à grand spectacle that emerged in the boulevard theatres of Paris in the 1790s - and which was quickly exported abroad - expressed the moral struggle between good and evil through a drama of heightened emotions. Physical gesture, mise en scène and music were as important in communicating meaning and passion as spoken dialogue. The premise of this volume is the idea that the melodramatic aesthetic is central to our understanding of nineteenth-century music drama, broadly defined as spoken plays with music, operas and other hybrid genres that combine music with text and/or image. This relationship is examined closely, and its evolution in the twentieth century in selected operas, musicals and films is understood as an extension of this nineteenth-century aesthetic. The book therefore develops our understanding of opera in the context of melodrama's broader influence on musical culture during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This book will appeal to those interested in film studies, drama, theatre and modern languages as well as music and opera.
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No Mercy Here

Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity

Author: Sarah Haley

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469627604

Category: Social Science

Page: 360

View: 508

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries imprisoned black women faced wrenching forms of gendered racial terror and heinous structures of economic exploitation. Subjugated as convict laborers and forced to serve additional time as domestic workers before they were allowed their freedom, black women faced a pitiless system of violence, terror, and debasement. Drawing upon black feminist criticism and a diverse array of archival materials, Sarah Haley uncovers imprisoned women's brutalization in local, county, and state convict labor systems, while also illuminating the prisoners' acts of resistance and sabotage, challenging ideologies of racial capitalism and patriarchy and offering alternative conceptions of social and political life. A landmark history of black women's imprisonment in the South, this book recovers stories of the captivity and punishment of black women to demonstrate how the system of incarceration was crucial to organizing the logics of gender and race, and constructing Jim Crow modernity.
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Melodrama

Genre, Style and Sensibility

Author: John Mercer,Martin Shingler

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231503067

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 9137

Melodrama: Genre, Style and Sensibility is designed as an accessible overview of one of the most popular genres at undergraduate Film Studies. The book identifies three distinct but connected concepts through which it is possible to make sense of melodrama; either as a genre, originating in European theatre of the 18th and 19th century, as a specific cinematic style, epitomised by the work of Douglas Sirk or as a sensibility that emerges in the context of specific texts, speaking to and reflecting the desires, concerns and anxieties of audiences. Films discussed include All That Heaven Allows, Safe, Fear Eats the Soul, Black Narcissus, Suddenly Last Summer and Rebel Without a Cause. Each chapter includes overviews of key essays, analyses of significant and widely studied films and includes an annotated reading list.
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Melodrama in Contemporary Film and Television

Author: M. Stewart

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137319852

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 262

View: 3650

Melodrama in Contemporary Film and Television debates the ways in which melodrama expresses and gives meaning to: trauma and pathos; memory and historical re-visioning; home and borders; gendered and queer relations; the family and psychic identities; the national and emerging public cultures; and morality and ethics.
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Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films

Attachment in the Age of Global Visibility

Author: Rey Chow

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231508190

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 304

View: 3553

What is the sentimental? How can we understand it by way of the visual and narrative modes of signification specific to cinema and through the manners of social interaction and collective imagining specific to a particular culture in transition? What can the sentimental tell us about the precarious foundations of human coexistence in this age of globalization? Rey Chow explores these questions through nine contemporary Chinese directors (Chen Kaige, Wong Kar-wai, Zhang Yimou, Ann Hui, Peter Chan, Wayne Wang, Ang Lee, Li Yang, and Tsai Ming-liang) whose accomplishments have become historic events in world cinema. Approaching their works from multiple perspectives, including the question of origins, nostalgia, the everyday, feminine "psychic interiority," commodification, biopolitics, migration, education, homosexuality, kinship, and incest, and concluding with an account of the Chinese films' epistemic affinity with the Hollywood blockbuster Brokeback Mountain, Chow proposes that the sentimental is a discursive constellation traversing affect, time, identity, and social mores, a constellation whose contours tends to morph under different historical circumstances and in different genres and media. In contemporary Chinese films, she argues, the sentimental consistently takes the form not of revolution but of compromise, not of radical departure but of moderation, endurance, and accommodation. By naming these films sentimental fabulations screen artifacts of cultural becoming with irreducible aesthetic, conceptual, and speculative logics of their own Chow presents Chinese cinema first and foremost as an invitation to the pleasures and challenges of critical thinking.
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Imperial Affects

Sensational Melodrama and the Attractions of American Cinema

Author: Jonna Eagle

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813583047

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 286

View: 7537

Imperial Affects is the first sustained account of American action-based cinema as melodrama. From the earliest war films through the Hollywood Western and the late-century action cinema, imperialist violence and mobility have been produced as sites of both visceral pleasure and moral virtue. Suffering and omnipotence operate as twinned affects in this context, inviting identification with an American national subject constituted as both victimized and invincible—a powerful and persistent conjunction traced here across a century of cinema.
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Women and the Politics of Representation in Southeast Asia

Engendering discourse in Singapore and Malaysia

Author: Adeline Koh,Yu-Mei Balasingamchow

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317662911

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 7270

Singapore and Malaysia are rapidly modernising, globalising Asian states which, although being distinct nations since 1965, share common elements in the on-going struggle over the meaning of gender and sexuality in their societies. This is the first book to discuss a range of discourses around gender in these two countries. Women and the Politics of Representation in Southeast Asia: Engendering Discourse in Singapore and Malaysia seeks to give an overview of how gender and representation come together in various configurations in the history and contemporary culture of both nations. It examines the discursive construction of gender, sexuality and representation in a variety of areas, including the politics of everyday life, education, popular culture, literature, film, theatre and photography. Chapters examine a range of tropes such as the Orientalist "Sarong Party Girl," the iconic "Singapore Girl" of Singapore Airlines, and the figure of pious Muslim femininity celebrated by Malaysian NGO IMAN, all of which play important roles in delineating limitations for gender roles. The collection also draws attention to resistance to these gender boundaries in theatre, film, blogs and social media, and pedagogy. Bringing together research from a variety of humanistic and social science fields, such as film, material culture, semiotics, literature and pedagogy, the book is a comprehensive feminist survey that will be of use for students and scholars of Women’s Studies and Asian Studies, as well as on courses on gender, media and popular culture in Asia.
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Ford Madox Ford and the Misfit Moderns

Edwardian Fiction and the First World War

Author: R. Hawkes

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137283432

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 196

View: 8140

Ford Madox Ford is a major modernist writer, yet many of his works do not conform to our assumptions about modernism. Examining ways in which he, alongside other 'misfit moderns', undermines 'stabilities' we expect from novels and memoirs, this book poses questions about the nature of narrative and the distinction between modernism and modernity.
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