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Criticism, Theory & History

R to S by author

See also: On Individual Films and Media > Film Criticism

Film FablesFilm Fables
Jacques Ranciere
Encyclopedic in scope, Film Fables is that rare work that manages to combine extraordinary breadth and analysis with a lyricism that attests time and again to a love of cinema. Jacques Ranciere moves effortlessly from Eisenstein's and Murnau's transition from theatre to film to Fritz Lang's confrontation with television; from the classical poetics of Mann's Westerns to Ray's romantic poetics of the image; from Rossellini's neo-realism to Deleuze's philosophy of the cinema and Marker's documentaries. Film Fables shows us how, between its images and its stories, the cinema tells the truth. Softcover, 196 pp. $39.95.

Subversion: The Definitive History of Underground CinemaSubversion: The Definitive History of Underground Cinema
Duncan Reekie
Subversion is the first complete history of underground cinema, tracing the hidden life of subterranean filmmaking from its pre-history in bohemian cabaret, through the early cinematic avant-gardes of the 1920s, to the worldwide blossoming of microcinema festivals in the 1990s. Part cultural history, part radical polemic, Subversion is set to become an essential text for scholars as well as filmmakers. Softcover, 259 pp. $29.95.

Cinema in the Digital AgeCinema in the Digital Age
Nicholas Rhombes
Cinema in the Digital Age examines the fate of cinema in this new era, paying special attention not only to the technologies that are reshaping film, but to the cultural meaning of those technologies. Weaving together a rich variety of sources, Cinema in the Digital Age is a deeply humanistic look at the meaning of cinematic images in the era of digital perfection. Softcover, 171 pp. $32.95.

Surrealism and CinemaSurrealism and Cinema
Michael Richardson
Surrealism has long been recognised as having made a major contribution to film theory and practice, and many contemporary filmmakers acknowledge its influence. However, most of the critical literature focuses either on the 1920s or the work of Bunuel. The aim of this book is to open up a broader picture of surrealism's contribution to the conceptualisation and making of film. Softcover, 202 pp. $33.95.

The Science Fiction Film Reader The Science Fiction Film Reader
Gregg Rickman
This lavishly illustrated collection of essays covers an astonishing amount of territory, real, imagined or somewhere in between, digging as they go to find insights and adventures that deeply enrich our understanding of science fiction on film. Included are essays by Arthur C. Clarke, Anthony Burgess, J. Hoberman, Pauline Kael, Robin Wood, Susan Sontag, and several others. Softcover, 432 pp. $37.95.

Orson Welles and the Unfinished RKO ProjectsOrson Welles and the Unfinished RKO Projects: A Postmodern Perspective
Marguerite H. Rippy
This book provides the first in-depth examination of early film and radio projects shelved by RKO or by Welles himself. While previous studies of Welles largely fall into the categories of biography or modernist film studies, this book extends the understanding of Welles via postmodern narrative theory and performance analysis, weaving his work into the cultural and commercial background of its production. Softcover, $48.95.

Hollywood's WestHollywood's West: The American Frontier in Film, Television, & History

Peter C. Rollins & John E. O'Connor
In Hollywood West, a group of distinguished American film scholars analyze popular conceptions of "the frontier" as a fundamental element of American history and culture. This volume examines classic Western films and programs that span nearly a century, including some films that are considered among the greatest cinematic landmarks of all time. Hardcover, 373 pp. $57.50.

Hollywood's White HouseHollywood's White House
The American Presidency in Film and History

Peter C. Rollins & John F. O'Connor
According to the introduction of this book, whenever Hollywood attempts to portray American presidents, "movies always get the facts wrong". When it comes to portaying the leaders of the United States, Hollywood movies tend to provide one-dimensional characterizations, lacking emotional depth and credibility. This interesting and highly readable book looks at this unique intersection of art and politics, and it will make sure that you never mistake the reel president for the real president again. Softcover, 441 pp. $39.95.

Essential CinemaEssential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons
Jonathan Rosenbaum
In Essential Cinema, Jonathan Rosenbaum considers the overall mediocrity of contemporary cinema and forcefully argues for the necessity of canons of great films. He proposes specific definitions of excellence in film art through the creation of a personal canon of both well-known and obscure movies from around the world and suggests ways in which other canons might be similarly constructed. Hardcover, 445 pp. $52.95.

The "I" of the CameraThe "I" of the Camera: Essays in Film Criticism, History, and Aesthetics
William Rothman
Originally published in 1988, The "I" of the Camera has become a classic in the literature of film. In a series of eloquent essays examining particular films, filmmakers, genres, and movements, Willam Rothman offers convincing alternatives to the doctrinaire approaches that have gained most prominence in academic film study. This stimulating book will challenge readers to look at film in new and adventurous ways. Softcover, 389 pp. $40.95.

Moving Pictures, Migrating IdentitiesMoving Pictures, Migrating Identities
Eva Rueschmann
In recent decades, the experiences and political struggles of immigrants, exiles, and sojurners have inspired some of our most provocative feature films and documentaries in world cinema. These have sparked theoretical debates about cultural identity, place, and representation in the media. The thirteen essays in this anthology contribute to a growing interest in the emerging international genre of exile and diaspora films, treating a variety of motion pictures from Europe and the United States in their national and transnational contexts. Hardcover, 265 pp. $62.95.

Virtual Voyages: Cinema and TravelVirtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel
Jeffery Ruoff
Virtual Voyages illuminates the pivotal role of travelogues within the history of cinema. The travelogue dominated the early life of cinema period from 1895-1905, was central to the consolidation of documentary in the 1910s and 1920s, proliferated in teh postwar era of 16mm distribution, and today continues to flourish in IMAX theatres and a host of non-theatrical venues. In this collection, leading film scholars trace the intersection of technology and ideology in representations of travel across a wide variety of cinematic forms. In so doing, they demonstrate how attention to the role of travel imagery in film blurs distinctions between genres and heightens awarness of cinema as a technology for moving through space and time, of cinema itself as a mode of travel. Softcover, 300 pp. $29.95.

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Film Criticism, Theory & History titles are listed alphabetically by author's last name.
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Film Studies
Director Biographies
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Film Criticism
Film Noir
Gay, Lesbian & Queer Criticism, Theory and History
Horror Films
Women, Gender & Feminist Criticism, Theory & History

Film Glossaries & Encylopedias
Film History
On Individual Films
Directing & Producing
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Technical Film
Actors & Acting

Celluloid SkylineCelluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies
James Sanders
New York City is one of the most indelible film locations in all of cinema. Able to transcend the label of "setting", the Big Apple often functions as a full-fledged character in the films in which it appears. This magnificent book chronicles the romance between the movies and New York City and ultimately offers a fresh way to look at America's greatest Metropolis. Softcover, 496 pp. $44.95.

Adaptation and AppropriationAdaptation and Appropriation
Julie Sanders
From the apparently simple adaptation of a text into film, theatre, or a new literary work, to the more complex appropriation of style or meaning, it is arguable that all texts are somehow connected to a network of existing texts and art forms. This well rounded volume brings clarity to the complex debates around adaptation and appropriation, offering a much-needed resource for those studying literature, film or culture. Softcover, 184 pp. $24.50.

Deathtripping: The Extreme UndergroundDeathtripping: The Extreme Underground
Jack Sargeant
Deathtripping focuses on the post-punk New York filmmakers that coalesced around the radical manifesto by downtown filmmaker Nick Zedd, exploring in depth his demand for a cinema from which "none shall emerge unscathed." Contextualizing the work of these filmmakers within the wider underground film and downtown post-punk No Wave scenes, Deathtripping offers detailed analysis of the extreme cult films produced but this loose knit movement. Also presented are interviews with infamous and legendary filmmakers, including Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Tommy Turner, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Beth B and Casandra Stark. Softcover, 282 pp. $19.95.

Naked LensNaked Lens: Beat Cinema
John Sargeant
Naked Lens is a vital collection of essays and interviews focusing on the most significant interfaces between the Beat writers, Beat culture and cinema. New, updated and expanded version. Softcover, 255 pp., $32.95.


Direct Cinema Direct Cinema: Observational Documentary and the Politics of the Sixties
Dave Saunders
Direct Cinema is the first comprehensive study of the seminal 'reactive obeservationalist' movement of 1960s America. Outlining the methods and achievements of a diverse range of filmmakers who together created the notion of the 'fly on the wall' documentary, this volume suggests that direct cinema was not only closely attuned to the artistic and political revolutions of the 1960s, but also representative of a resurgence of the United States' homegrown philosophical ideals. Softcover, 236 pp. $31.95.

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. StoryYou Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story
Richard Schickel
You must remember this is the companion to Richard Schickel's five-hour television documentary commemorating the 85th anniversary of Warner Bros. Studios. The story of Warner Bros. is entwined with America's place in the 20th century, and here, for the first time, that story is told with incisive depth and candor. Hardcover, 480 pp. $53.50.

Film on Paper: The Inner Life of MoviesFilm on Paper: The Inner Life of Movies
Richard Schickel
In this absorbing collection of brief essays on books about film, the distinguished critic Richard Schickel offers more insights into moviemaking than a reader will find in an entire shelf of film encyclopedias. He uses particular books about the movies as a launching pad for trenchant observations about films, actors, directors, producers, and the machinations of an always fascinating industry. Softcover, 292 pp. $22.95.

Trancendental Style in Film Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, & Dreyer
Paul Schrader
Acclaimed filmmaker Paul Schrader here analyzes the film style of three great directors: Yasajiro Ozu, Robert Bresson, and Carl Dreyer. Even though these artists come from divergent cultures, Schrader identifies within their work a common dramatic language: "Trancendental Style", a spiritual expression characterized by austere camerawork, acting devoid of self-consciousness, and editing that avoids editorial comment. Softcover, 194 pp. $28.00.

Cinema's Illusions, Opera's Allure: The Operatic Impulse in FilmCinema's Illusions, Opera's Allure: The Operatic Impulse in Film
David Schroeder
Inventor Thomas Edison originally saw the moving picture as a tool for presenting opera. While this did not become film's primary use, the influence of opera on cinema is striking. This book examines how the influence is seen in works of many contemporary and past cinematographers and directors. Softcover, $25.95.

On Hollywood: The Place, The IndustryOn Hollywood: The Place, The Industry
Allen J. Scott
Why is the U.S. motion picture industry concentrated in Hollywood and why does it remain there in the age of globalization? Allen uses the tools of economic geography to explore these questions and to provide a number of highly original answers. On Hollywood will appeal to not only to general readers with an interest in the motion picture industry, but also to economic geographers, business professionals, regional development practioners, and cultural theorists as well. Hardcover, 200 pp. $59.95.

Sontag & KaelSontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me
Craig Seligman
With a wit and style worthy of his subjects, Craig Seligman explores the enduring influence of two critics who defined the cultural sensibilities of a generation: Susan Sontag and Pauline Kael. By considering their similarities as well as their differences -- both as writers as well as women -- Seligman ultimately explores a far broader issue: can criticism be art? This highly readable duo-analysis will be of interest to any student of cultural criticism, particularly devotees of Sontag and Kael. Hardcover, 244 pp. $36.00.

Teen Movies: American Youth on ScreenTeen Movies: American Youth on Screen
Timothy Shary
This is a detailed look at the depiction of teens on film, the influence they have had on the cinema, and the impact that they have had throughout film history. Timothy Shary looks at the development of the teen movie from the earliest days of cinema up to the most contemporary films. Profiled films include Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass, Carrie, The Breakfast Club, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and American Pie. Softcover, 125 pp. $28.00.

The Age of Gold: Surrealist CinemaThe Age of Gold: Surrealist Cinema
Robert Short
The Age of God revisits the two quinessential films of Surrealist cinema -- Un Chien Andalou and L'Age d'Or -- and places them within the context of the subversive cultural movement that was Surrealism. The expertly written text is supplemented by a host of striking images which clearly illustrate the Surrealists' themes of sex, mutilation, sadism, murder, and excremental mania. Softcover, 188 pp. $23.99.

Film Studies: An IntroductionFilm Studies: An Introduction
Ed Sikov
Ed Sikov builds a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader and critic. This book can be utilized alongside any screening list and can be used within courses on film history, film theory, or popular culture. Softcover, 212 pp. $34.95.

John Simon on FilmJohn Simon on Film: Criticism 1982 - 2001
John Simon
Providing evidence of both a wide-ranging intellect as well as scrupulous critical faculties, John Simon's film reviews make for intensely satisfying reading. His criticism, collected here, provides a wonderous overview of cinema from 1982 - 2001. This provocative book is but one volume of a major publishing event that wil bring together the cultural writing of this highly respected cultural critic. Hardcover, 662 pp. $38.95.

Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in FilmCinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film
Irving Singer
In Cinematic Mythmaking, Irving Singer explores the hidden and overt use of myth in various films and, in general, the philosophical elements of a film's meaning. Mythological themes, Singer writes, perform a crucial role in cinematic art and even philosophy itself. Hardcover, 245 pp. $29.95.

Shadows, Specters, ShardsShadows, Specters, Shards: Making History in Avant-Garde Films
Jeffrey Skoller
In Shadows, Specters, Shards, Jeffrey Skoller challenges the myth that avant-garde films are obscurantist and disconnected from the realities of social and political history and identifies a group of experimental films that take up some of the most important historical events of our era. This cinema of evocation rather than representation calls attention to those aspects of history that exceed the visible and representable but nonetheless profoundly impact our experience of everyday life. Softcover, 233 pp. $37.95.

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Silent PlayersSilent Players
Anthony Slide
100 of the best, brightest, and most unusual silent film actors and actresses are profiled in this illuminating collection of biographical and autobiographical sketches. Silent Players also offers fascinating insight into silent film performance, from makeup to acting techniques and pantomine to the role of the director. A remarkable resource for fans of the silent cinema. Hardcover, 439 pp. $65.95.

Cinema NirvanaCinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons from the Movies

Dean Sluyter
Movie fans and spiritual seekers, unite! In Cinema Nivana, meditation teacher and award-winning film critic Dean Sluyter illuminates the hidden enlightenment teachings of Casablanca, Jaws, The Graduate, The Godfather, Memento, and ten other classic films, revealing spiritual wisdom in everything from 007's secret weapons to the colours of the Seven Dwarf's eyes. Softcover, 309 pp. $21.00.

Gangster FilmsGangster Films
Jim Smith
Tracing a path through the iconography and shifting morality of the genre, detailing technical interests and exploring cast and crew histories, Gangster Films is a fascinating journey through cinema's portrayal of criminals and organised crime. Softcover, 291 pp. $37.50.

The YouTube ReaderThe YouTube Reader
Pelle Snickars & Patrick Vonderau
YouTube is the very epitome of today's digital media culture. The platform has rapidly developed into the world's largest archive of moving images, promising endless opportunities for amateur video, entertainment formats and viral marketing. This is the first comprehensive book to study YouTube as an industry, an archive and a cultural form. Bringing together original contributions by renowned scholars from the US and Europe, The YouTube Reader critically discusses the potentials and pitfalls of "broadcasting yourself." Hardcover, 511 pp. $31.50.

 Queer Screen: A Screen ReaderQueer Screen: A Screen Reader
Jackie Stacey & Sarah Street
Queer Screen: A Screen Reader brings together a selection of key articles on queer audio-visual cultures published over the past two decades in the internationally renowned journal, Screen, with a new introduction by Jackie Stacey and Sarah Street. This book considers a wide range of case studies including mainstream films as well as experimental audio-visual work. Softcover, 304 pp. $40.50.

Literature and FilmLiterature and Film
Robert Stam and Alessandra Raengo
This is a superb collection of vibrant essays that chart the history and confluence of literature and film. Bringing together the very latest scholarship in the field, this guide contains astute and readable contributions -- both theatrical and thematic -- on the translation of literary into filmic texts. Softcover, 359 pp. $48.95.

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The B ListThe B List
David Sterritt & John Anderson
Once upon a time, the B movie was the Hollywood stepchild, the underbelly of the double feature. Today, it is a more inclusive category, embracing films that fall outside the mainstream by dint of their budgets, their visions, their grit, and frequently their lack of "good taste". This book features an excellent collection of articles disecting the choiciest noir, neo-noir, science fiction, horror, western, midnight movies, and more. Softcover, 240 pp. $17.00.

Guiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film ReaderGuiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film Reader

David Sterritt
Guiltless Pleasures brings together David Sterritt's most incisive essays from 1970 to the present. The collection emphasizes films and filmmakers that are often overlooked or undervalued because they stray from ordinary norms of commercial cinema, including the works of Stan Brakhage, Gaspar Noe, Jean-Luc Godard, David Cronenberg, and others. Softcover, 281 pp. $28.95.

Dogme UncutDogme Uncut
Jack Stevenson
In 1995, a group of Danish directors swore allegiance to the landmark "Dogme 95" manifesto. Using natural light, hand-held camerawork, and stories of everyday life, they created a cinema that subverted the slick, high-concept, emotionally manipulative movies of the status-quo. Dogme Uncut is a richly illustrated survey of the entire Dogme canon that is both entertaining and hugely informative. Softcover, 302 pp. $25.95.

Cinema's Sexual Myth Makers & Taboo BreakersFleshpot: Cinema's Sexual Myth Makers & Taboo Breakers
Jack Stevenson
is an indispensible guide to the alternative realms of erotic cinema, and a delirious sampling of the genres, personalities and trends that have set screens aflame since the dawn of motion pictures. This anthology of texts by an international group of experts and cult film personalities provides a fascinating and informative introduction to this multifarious subject. Softcover, 256 pp. $32.95.

Land of a Thousand BalconiesLand of a Thousand Balconies
Jack Stevenson
Most books about B-movies are straight forward genre guides, biographies or encyclopedias. Not this one. In addition to chapters on film showmen, gimmicks and cult films, Land of a Thousand Balconies documents incidents and unusual film happenings, and the special theatres and renegade exhibition spaces where they took place. It's all here, the secret history of cult cinema! Softcover, 189 pp. $29.95.

Migrating to the MoviesMigrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity
Jacqueline Najuma Stewart
The rise of cinema around the turn of the last century coincided with the migration of hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the South to the Urban "land of hope" in the North. This richly illustrated book, discussing many early films and illuminating Black urban life in this period, is the first detailed look at the numerous early relationships between African Americans and cinema. Softcover, 343 pp. $34.95.

Hollywood Abroad: Audiences and Cultural Exchange Hollywood Abroad: Audiences and Cultural Exchange
Melvyn Stokes & Richard Maltby
Hollywood Abroad is the first book to examine the reception of Hollywood movies by non-American audiences. Herein, a number of key international scholars cover topics from the first major penetration of American films into France, Britain and Australia through to the impact of such films as The Best Years of Our Lives and the response of Belgian young people in the age of the multiplex. Softcover, 183 pp. $34.95.

The Cinema of Attractions ReloadedThe Cinema of Attractions Reloaded
Wanda Strauven
This anthology traces the history of the "cinema of attractions," reconstructs its conception and questions its attractiveness and usefulness for both pre-classical and post-classical cinema. Softcover, 460 pp. $49.95.

The Power of FilmThe Power of Film
Howard Suber
America's most distinguished film professor provides the definitive A to Z course on the intricacies of the motion picture. While you may not be able to attend UCLA and sit in Howard's class like hundreds of the top directors, screenwriters, and producers in Hollywood, you can now share the knowledge that has had a major impact on the film industry. Softcover, 424 pp. $36.95.

Guts & Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in FilmGuts & Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film
Lawrence H. Suid
Guts & Glory
is the definitive examination of the relationship between the film industry and the United States armed services. In this expanded edition, which contains over 400 pages of new material, Suid meshes his study of the classic war films -- Wings, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Longest Day, Patton, Apocalypse Now -- with his views on the most recent additions to the genre such as, Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down , and Windtalkers. Softcover, 748 pp. $49.50.

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