Picturing American Modernity

Traffic, Technology, and the Silent Cinema

Author: Kristen Whissel

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822391457

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 286

View: 5705

In Picturing American Modernity, Kristen Whissel investigates the relationship between early American cinema and the experience of technological modernity. She demonstrates how between the late 1890s and the eve of the First World War moving pictures helped the U.S. public understand the possibilities and perils of new forms of “traffic” produced by industrialization and urbanization. As more efficient ways to move people, goods, and information transformed work and leisure at home and contributed to the expansion of the U.S. empire abroad, silent films presented compelling visual representations of the spaces, bodies, machines, and forms of mobility that increasingly defined modern life in the United States and its new territories. Whissel shows that by portraying key events, achievements, and anxieties, the cinema invited American audiences to participate in the rapidly changing world around them. Moving pictures provided astonishing visual dispatches from military camps prior to the outbreak of fighting in the Spanish-American War. They allowed audiences to delight in images of the Pan-American Exposition, and also to mourn the assassination of President McKinley there. One early film genre, the reenactment, presented spectators with renditions of bloody battles fought overseas during the Philippine-American War. Early features offered sensational dramatizations of the scandalous “white slave trade,” which was often linked to immigration and new forms of urban work and leisure. By bringing these frequently distant events and anxieties “near” to audiences in cities and towns across the country, the cinema helped construct an American national identity for the machine age.
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The Civil War Dead and American Modernity

Author: Ian Finseth

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190848340

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 590

The Civil War Dead and American Modernity offers a fundamental rethinking of the cultural importance of the American Civil War dead. Tracing their representational afterlife across a massive array of historical, visual, and literary documents from 1861 to 1914, Ian Finseth maintains that the war dead played a central, complex, and paradoxical role in how Americans experienced and understood the modernization of the United States. From eyewitness accounts of battle to photographs and paintings, and from full-dress histories of the war to fictional narratives, Finseth shows that the dead circulated through American cultural life in ways that we have not fully appreciated, and that require an expanded range of interpretive strategies to understand. While individuals grieved and relinquished their own loved ones, the collective Civil War dead, Finseth argues, came to form a kind of symbolic currency that informed Americans' melancholic relationship to their own past. Amid the turbulence of the postbellum era, as the United States embarked decisively upon its technological, geopolitical, and intellectual modernity, the dead provided an illusion of coherence, intelligibility, and continuity in the national self. At the same time, they seemed to represent a traumatic break in history and the loss of a simpler world, and their meanings could never be completely contained by the political discourse that surrounded them. Reconstructing the formal, rhetorical, and ideological strategies by which postwar American society reimagined, and continues to reimagine, the Civil War dead, Finseth also shows that a strain of critical thought was alert to this dynamic from the very years of the war itself. The Civil War Dead and American Modernity is at once a study of the politics of mortality, the disintegration of American Victorianism, and the role of visual and literary art in both forming and undermining social consensus.
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Electric Dreamland

Amusement Parks, Movies, and American Modernity

Author: Lauren Rabinovitz

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231527217

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 256

View: 4465

Amusement parks were the playgrounds of the working class in the early twentieth century, combining numerous, mechanically-based spectacles into one unique, modern cultural phenomenon. Lauren Rabinovitz describes the urban modernity engendered by these parks and their media, encouraging ordinary individuals to sense, interpret, and embody a burgeoning national identity. As industrialization, urbanization, and immigration upended society, amusement parks tempered the shocks of racial, ethnic, and cultural conflict while shrinking the distinctions between gender and class. Following the rise of American parks from 1896 to 1918, Rabinovitz seizes on a simultaneous increase in cinema and spectacle audiences and connects both to the success of leisure activities in stabilizing society. Critics of the time often condemned parks and movies for inciting moral decline, yet in fact they fostered women's independence, racial uplift, and assimilation. The rhythmic, mechanical movements of spectacle also conditioned audiences to process multiple stimuli. Featuring illustrations from private collections and accounts from unaccessed archives, Electric Dreamland joins film and historical analyses in a rare portrait of mass entertainment and the modern eye.
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Picturing America

The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps

Author: Stephen J. Hornsby

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022638604X

Category: Art

Page: 289

View: 4427

In the United States, the art form flourished during the 1920s to the 1970s, when thousands of innovative maps were mass-produced for use as advertisements and decorative objects the golden age of American pictorial maps. Picturing America is the first book to showcase this vivid and popular genre of maps. Geographer and collector Stephen J. Hornsby gathers together 158 delightful pictorial jewels, most drawn from the extensive collections of the Library of Congress. In his informative introduction, Hornsby outlines the development of the cartographic form, identifies several representative artists, describes the process of creating a pictorial map, and considers the significance of the form in the history of Western cartography. Organized into six thematic sections, Picturing America covers a vast swath of the pictorial map tradition during its golden age, ranging from "Maps to Amuse" to "Maps for War."
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Cinema

A Visual Anthropology

Author: Gordon Gray

Publisher: Berg

ISBN: 1847887600

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 192

View: 2936

Cinema: A Visual Anthropology provides a clear and concise summary of the key ideas, debates, and texts of the most important approaches to the study of fiction film from around the world. The book examines ways to address film and film experience beyond the study of the audience. Cross-disciplinary in scope, Cinema uses ideas and approaches both from within and outside of anthropology to further students' knowledge of and interest in fiction film. Including selected, globally based case studies to highlight and exemplify important issues, the book also contains suggested Further Reading for each chapter, for students to expand their learning independently. Exploring fundamental methods and approaches to engage this most interesting and vibrant of media, Cinema will be essential reading for students of anthropology and film.
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Picturing the future

American modernism from the Lois Q. Spreckels collection

Author: Stanford University. Museum of Art

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 8

View: 7663

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Picturing America

Trauma, Realism, Politics and Identity in American Visual Culture

Author: Antje Dallmann,Reinhard Isensee,Philipp Kneis

Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated

ISBN: N.A

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 204

View: 9859

The essays collected here reflect upon various aspects of the roles and functions of visual media in (and outside of) contemporary US-American culture. By exercising close readings of the visual cultural texts or of visual media in context, we are presented with examples that illustrate the validity and significance of specific critical theories, while other essays point out ambivalences and subversions in the texts' functions or meanings or present texts that may be regarded as models for diverging conceptual approaches. Amongst the texts discussed are popular television shows like The West Wing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI and Nip/Tuck, films like The Big Lebowski, Bambioozled and Traffic, as well as photographs surrounding 9/11 and questions of identity and globalized culture.
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Spectacular Digital Effects

CGI and Contemporary Cinema

Author: Kristen Whissel

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822377144

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 224

View: 6781

By developing the concept of the "digital effects emblem," Kristen Whissel contributes a new analytic rubric to cinema studies. An "effects emblem" is a spectacular, computer-generated visual effect that gives stunning expression to a film's key themes. Although they elicit feelings of astonishment and wonder, effects emblems do not interrupt narrative, but are continuous with story and characterization and highlight the narrative stakes of a film. Focusing on spectacular digital visual effects in live-action films made between 1989 and 2011, Whissel identifies and examines four effects emblems: the illusion of gravity-defying vertical movement, massive digital multitudes or "swarms," photorealistic digital creatures, and morphing "plasmatic" figures. Across films such as Avatar, The Matrix, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jurassic Park, Titanic, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, these effects emblems heighten the narrative drama by contrasting power with powerlessness, life with death, freedom with constraint, and the individual with the collective.
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Editing and Special/Visual Effects

Author: Charlie Keil,Kristen Whissel

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813570832

Category: ART

Page: 268

View: 7853

Most moviegoers think of editing and special effects as distinct components of the filmmaking process. We might even conceive of them as polar opposites, since effective film editing is often subtle and almost invisible, whereas special effects frequently call attention to themselves. Yet, film editors and visual effects artists have worked hand-in-hand from the dawn of cinema to the present day. Editing and Special/Visual Effects brings together a diverse range of film scholars who trace how the arts of editing and effects have evolved in tandem. Collectively, the contributors demonstrate how these two crafts have been integral to cinematic history, starting with the “trick films” of the early silent era, which astounded audiences by splicing in or editing out key frames, all the way up to cutting-edge effects technologies and concealed edits used to create the illusions. Throughout, readers learn about a variety of filmmaking techniques, from classic Hollywood’s rear projection and matte shots to the fast cuts and wall-to-wall CGI of the contemporary blockbuster. In addition to providing a rich historical overview, Editing and Special/Visual Effects supplies multiple perspectives on these twinned crafts, introducing readers to the analog and digital tools used in each craft, showing the impact of changes in the film industry, and giving the reader a new appreciation for the processes of artistic collaboration they involve.
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Picturing Tropical Nature

Author: Nancy Leys Stepan

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 9781861891464

Category: Photography

Page: 283

View: 6963

Whether considered a sublime landscape, malignant wilderness, or the endangered site of environmental conflicts, the tropics are, Picturing Tropical Nature argues, largely a construct of American and European imaginations. Nancy Leys Stephan asserts that images of the tropics conveyed through drawings, paintings, photographs, literature, and travel writings are central to what Stepan calls the “tropicalization of nature,” or the often harmful misrepresentation of the tropics and its peoples. She here examines several aspects of such tropicalization as they emerge through the work of nineteenth- and twentieth-century scientists and artists, including Alexander von Humboldt, Alfred Russel Wallace, Louis Agassiz, Sir Patrick Manson, and Margaret Mee. From the earliest photographic attempts to represent tropical hybrid races to depictions of disease in new tropical medicines, Picturing Tropical Nature offers new insight into the convergence of the tropics with European and American science and art. “A brilliant and provocative book . . . the kind of book that carries forward a field in a single stride . . . undoubtedly the finest account of ‘tropicality’ we have.”—Social History of Medicine
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20 Thesen zu Politik

Author: Enrique Dussel

Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster

ISBN: 3643122535

Category: Political science

Page: 174

View: 4639

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Drei Bauern auf dem Weg zum Tanz

Roman

Author: Richard Powers

Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag

ISBN: 3104010072

Category: Fiction

Page: 464

View: 1043

Richard Powers arbeitete als Programmierer in den Docks von Boston. Während der Nachtschicht las er Thomas Manns »Zauberberg«. Als er im Museum die berühmte Fotografie des Kölner August Sanders von drei jungen Männer aus dem Jahr 1914 entdeckt, denkt er, dem Jahrhundert in die Augen zu schauen. Der Erzähler Richard Powers war geboren. Der Held in Powers Geschichte ist ebenso von Sanders Fotografie in Bann gezogen. Fieberhaft recherchiert er die Hintergründe der Bildes, bis die drei Bauern aus dem Westerwald ihre Lebensgeschichten erzählen: vom Verschwinden und vom Überleben im Ersten Weltkrieg, und von der fast unmöglichen Wende zum Glück, als sich der Weg des einen mit der Biographie von Henry Ford, dem großen Erfinder und Autobauer, kreuzt.
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Unnatural Selections

Eugenics in American Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance

Author: Daylanne K. English

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 0807863521

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 2722

Challenging conventional constructions of the Harlem Renaissance and American modernism, Daylanne English links writers from both movements to debates about eugenics in the Progressive Era. She argues that, in the 1920s, the form and content of writings by figures as disparate as W. E. B. Du Bois, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, and Nella Larsen were shaped by anxieties regarding immigration, migration, and intraracial breeding. English's interdisciplinary approach brings together the work of those canonical writers with relatively neglected literary, social scientific, and visual texts. She examines antilynching plays by Angelina Weld Grimke as well as the provocative writings of white female eugenics field workers. English also analyzes the Crisis magazine as a family album filtering uplift through eugenics by means of photographic documentation of an ever-improving black race. English suggests that current scholarship often misreads early-twentieth-century visual, literary, and political culture by applying contemporary social and moral standards to the past. Du Bois, she argues, was actually more of a eugenicist than Eliot. Through such reconfiguration of the modern period, English creates an allegory for the American present: because eugenics was, in its time, widely accepted as a reasonable, progressive ideology, we need to consider the long-term implications of contemporary genetic engineering, fertility enhancement and control, and legislation promoting or discouraging family growth.
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Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir

Author: Patrick Keating

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231520204

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 312

View: 6695

Lighting performs essential functions in Hollywood films, enhancing the glamour, clarifying the action, and intensifying the mood. Examining every facet of this understated art form, from the glowing backlights of the silent period to the shaded alleys of film noir, Patrick Keating affirms the role of Hollywood lighting as a distinct, compositional force. Closely analyzing Girl Shy (1924), Anna Karenina (1935), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), and T-Men (1947), along with other brilliant classics, Keating describes the unique problems posed by these films and the innovative ways cinematographers handled the challenge. Once dismissed as crank-turning laborers, these early cinematographers became skillful professional artists by carefully balancing the competing demands of story, studio, and star. Enhanced by more than one hundred illustrations, this volume counters the notion that style took a backseat to storytelling in Hollywood film, proving that the lighting practices of the studio era were anything but neutral, uniform, and invisible. Cinematographers were masters of multifunctionality and negotiation, honing their craft to achieve not only realistic fantasy but also pictorial artistry.
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Picturing the City

Urban Vision and the Ashcan School

Author: Rebecca Zurier

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520220188

Category: Art

Page: 407

View: 1985

"Zurier vividly locates the Ashcan School artists within the early twentieth-century crosscurrents of newspaper journalism, literary realism, illustration, sociology, and urban spectatorship. Her compassionate study newly assesses the artists' rejection of 'genteel' New York, their alignments with mass media, and their innovative ways of seeing in the modern city."—Wanda M. Corn, author of The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-35 If the Ashcan School brought a special and embracing eye to the city, Rebecca Zurier in her richly contextual and impressively interdisciplinary book explains and evokes that historically specific urban vision in all its richness. Finally, in Picturing the City, we have the study these painters have long deserved. And we gain new and delightful access to New York City at the moment of its emergence as a compelling embodiment of metropolitan modernity."—Thomas Bender, Director, International Center for Advanced Studies, New York University "Picturing the City is both meticulous and wide-ranging in its assessment of the Ashcan artists and their passionate efforts to represent New York. It charts their pleasures and problems, warmth and prejudices, generosity and differences, originality and formula. It takes seriously their habits as journalists and provides the most complete sense of their immersion in a world of urban spectatorship and vision. Rebecca Zurier has written a wonderful, timely book that will be a benchmark for any future discussions of them."—Anthony W. Lee, author of Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco "Rebecca Zurier takes us on an intellectually exhilarating and breathtakingly beautiful visual voyage through turn-of-the-century New York City as the Ashcan painters saw it. As we watch them learn a new way of looking in the commercially dynamic, sensual New York of a century ago, we too see that time and place with fresh eyes. Inevitably, thanks to Zurier, the way we look at city life today will change as well."—Lizabeth Cohen, author of A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America
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Shivers Down Your Spine

Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View

Author: Alison Griffiths

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231503466

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 392

View: 5531

From the architectural spectacle of the medieval cathedral and the romantic sublime of the nineteenth-century panorama to the techno-fetishism of today's London Science Museum, humans have gained a deeper understanding of the natural world through highly illusionistic representations that engender new modes of seeing, listening, and thinking. What unites and defines many of these wondrous spaces is an immersive view-an invitation to step inside the virtual world of the image and become a part of its universe, if only for a short time. Since their inception, museums of science and natural history have mixed education and entertainment, often to incredible, eye-opening effect. Immersive spaces of visual display and modes of exhibition send "shivers" down our spines, engaging the distinct cognitive and embodied mapping skills we bring to spectacular architecture and illusionistic media. They also force us to reconsider traditional models of film spectatorship in the context of a mobile and interactive spectator. Through a series of detailed historical case studies, Alison Griffiths masterfully explores the uncanny and unforgettable visceral power of the medieval cathedral, the panorama, the planetarium, the IMAX theater, and the science museum. Examining these structures as exemplary spaces of immersion and interactivity, Griffiths reveals the sometimes surprising antecedents of modern media forms, suggesting the spectator's deep-seated desire to become immersed in a virtual world. Shivers Down Your Spine demonstrates how immersive and interactive museum display techniques such as large video displays, reconstructed environments, and touch-screen computer interactives have redefined the museum space, fueling the opposition between public and private, science and spectacle, civic and corporate interests, voice and text, and life and death. In her remarkable study of sensual spaces, Griffiths explains why, for centuries, we keep coming back for more.
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Cities in Modernity

Representations and Productions of Metropolitan Space, 1840-1930

Author: Richard Dennis

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521464706

Category: Architecture

Page: 436

View: 984

An exploration of what made cities 'modern' in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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Film and Stereotype

A Challenge for Cinema and Theory

Author: Jörg Schweinitz

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231525214

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 396

View: 9143

Since the early days of film, critics and theorists have contested the value of formula, cliché, conventional imagery, and recurring narrative patterns of reduced complexity in cinema. Whether it's the high-noon showdown or the last-minute rescue, a lonely woman standing in the window or two lovers saying goodbye in the rain, many films rely on scenes of stereotype, and audiences have come to expect them. Outlining a comprehensive theory of film stereotype, a device as functionally important as it is problematic to a film's narrative, Jörg Schweinitz constructs a fascinating though overlooked critical history from the 1920s to today. Drawing on theories of stereotype in linguistics, literary analysis, art history, and psychology, Schweinitz identifies the major facets of film stereotype and articulates the positions of theorists in response to the challenges posed by stereotype. He reviews the writing of Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, Theodor W. Adorno, Rudolf Arnheim, Robert Musil, Béla Balázs, Hugo Münsterberg, and Edgar Morin, and he revives the work of less-prominent writers, such as René Fülöp-Miller and Gilbert Cohen-Séat, tracing the evolution of the discourse into a postmodern celebration of the device. Through detailed readings of specific films, Schweinitz also maps the development of models for adapting and reflecting stereotype, from early irony (Alexander Granowski) and conscious rejection (Robert Rossellini) to critical deconstruction (Robert Altman in the 1970s) and celebratory transfiguration (Sergio Leone and the Coen brothers). Altogether a provocative spectacle, Schweinitz's history reveals the role of film stereotype in shaping processes of communication and recognition, as well as its function in growing media competence in audiences beyond cinema.
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Shocking Representation

Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film

Author: Adam Lowenstein

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231132468

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 272

View: 6568

In this imaginative new work, Adam Lowenstein explores the ways in which a group of groundbreaking horror films engaged the haunting social conflicts left in the wake of World War II, Hiroshima, and the Vietnam War. Lowenstein centers Shocking Representation around readings of films by Georges Franju, Michael Powell, Shindo Kaneto, Wes Craven, and David Cronenberg. He shows that through allegorical representations these directors' films confronted and challenged comforting historical narratives and notions of national identity intended to soothe public anxieties in the aftermath of national traumas. Borrowing elements from art cinema and the horror genre, these directors disrupted the boundaries between high and low cinema. Lowenstein contrasts their works, often dismissed by contemporary critics, with the films of acclaimed "New Wave" directors in France, England, Japan, and the United States. He argues that these "New Wave" films, which were embraced as both art and national cinema, often upheld conventional ideas of nation, history, gender, and class questioned by the horror films. By fusing film studies with the emerging field of trauma studies, and drawing on the work of Walter Benjamin, Adam Lowenstein offers a bold reassessment of the modern horror film and the idea of national cinema.
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