New Books in Film podkast

Phil Rosenzweig, "Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men" (Fordham UP, 2021)

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Phil Rosenzweig's Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men (Fordham Press, 2021) is the first biography of a great television writer, and the story of his magnum opus In early 1957, a low-budget black and white movie opened across the country. Consisting of little more than a dozen men arguing in a dingy room, it was a failure at the box office and soon faded from view. Today, 12 Angry Men is acclaimed as a movie classic, revered by the critics and beloved by the public, and widely performed as a stage play, touching audiences around the world.  Rosenzweig is a Professor of Business Administration at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he has used 12 Angry Men for many years to teach executives about interpersonal behavior and group dynamics. It is also a favorite of the legal profession for its portrayal of ordinary citizens reaching a just verdict, and widely taught for its depiction of group dynamics and human relations. The book tells two stories: the life of a great writer and the journey of his most famous work, one that ultimately that outshined its author. More than any writer in the Golden Age of Television, Reginald Rose took up vital social issues of the day - from racial prejudice to juvenile delinquency to civil liberties - and made them accessible to a wide audience. His 1960s series, The Defenders, was the finest drama of its age, and set the standard for legal dramas. This book brings Reginald Rose's long and successful career, its origins and accomplishments, into view at long last.  Drawing on extensive research, and brimming with insight, it casts new light on one of America's great dramas - and about its author, a man of immense talent and courage. Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film

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    Gary Bettinson, "The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai: Film Poetics and the Aesthetic of Disturbance" (Hong Kong UP, 2014)

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    The widely acclaimed films of Wong Kar-wai are characterized by their sumptuous yet complex visual and sonic style. This study of Wong’s filmmaking techniques uses a poetics approach to examine how form, music, narration, characterization, genre, and other artistic elements work together to produce certain effects on audiences. Bettinson argues that Wong’s films are permeated by an aesthetic of sensuousness and “disturbance” achieved through techniques such as narrative interruptions, facial masking, opaque cuts, and other complex strategies. The effect is to jolt the viewer out of complete aesthetic absorption. Each of the chapters focuses on a single aspect of Wong’s filmmaking. The book also discusses Wong’s influence on other filmmakers in Hong Kong and around the world. The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai: Film Poetics and the Aesthetic of Disturbance (Hong Kong University Press, 2014) will appeal to all who are interested in authorship and aesthetics in film studies, to scholars in Asian studies, media and cultural studies, and to anyone with an interest in Hong Kong cinema in general, and Wong’s films in particular. Gary Bettinson is a senior lecturer in film studies at Lancaster University, UK. He is editor of Asian Cinema, Directory of World Cinema: China and author (with Richard Rushton) of What is Film Theory? An Introduction to Contemporary Debates. Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is MA in Anthropology, and BA in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, Film theory and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
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    Esther De Dauw, "Hot Pants and Spandex Suits: Gender Representation in American Superhero Comic" (Rutgers UP, 2021)

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    Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Iron Man are names that are often connected to the expansive superhero genre, including the multi-billion-dollar film and television franchises. But these characters are older and have been woven into American popular culture since their inception in the early days of comic books. The history of these comic book heroes are histories that include bulging muscles, flashy fight scenes, four-color panels, and heroic rescues of damsels in distress. Esther De Dauw’s new book, Hot Pants and Spandex Suits: Gender Representation in American Superhero Comic (Rutgers UP, 2021),analyzes these characters with a critical lens to explore what exactly these figures teach the readers and the public about identity, embodiment, and sexuality. De Dauw, a comics scholar, focuses her research on the intersectionality of race and gender in comic books. Hot Pants and Spandex Suits takes the audience through the 80-year evolution of comic books to discuss the changes in identity and culture, and explore what these heroes say about and to the American people. As an expert in Comic Studies and Cultural Studies, De Dauw uses theories of structural power relations to explain the disenfranchisement of women, LGBTQIA+, and the Black community in comics. As she notes, superheroes are often metaphors for the concerns of the dominant culture, and are informed by the dominant gender ideology and the American cultural landscape. Hot Pants and Spandex Suits unpacks superhero actions to examine who these heroes are serving, how, and what this has to say about American culture and identity. These questions frame the discussion throughout the book as De Dauw traces the changing perceptions of identity, cultural, and historical shifts through comic books and their many different heroes. A significant avenue of analysis focuses on the fragility of white masculinity, and how the superheroes essentially became an antidote to the cultural sense that white men were “losing” in American society. With a fascinating tour of the history of comic books, De Dauw welcomes both the academic community and comic-book lovers to venture through this analysis to better understand the role of superheroes within our culture and our politics. Shaina Boldt assisted with this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
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    Rebecca L. Stein, "Screen Shots: State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine" (Stanford UP, 2021)

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    In the last two decades, amid the global spread of smartphones, state killings of civilians have increasingly been captured on the cameras of both bystanders and police. Screen Shots: State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine (Stanford UP, 2021) studies this phenomenon from the vantage point of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Here, cameras have proliferated as political tools in the hands of a broad range of actors and institutions, including Palestinian activists, Israeli soldiers, Jewish settlers, and human rights workers. All trained their lens on Israeli state violence, propelled by a shared dream: that advances in digital photography-closer, sharper, faster-would advance their respective political agendas. Most would be let down. Drawing on ethnographic work, Rebecca L. Stein chronicles Palestinian video-activists seeking justice, Israeli soldiers laboring to perfect the military's image, and Zionist conspiracy theorists accusing Palestinians of "playing dead." Writing against techno-optimism, Stein investigates what camera dreams and disillusionment across these political divides reveal about the Israeli and Palestinian colonial present, and the shifting terms of power and struggle in the smartphone age. Mathew Gagné in an independent writer, scholar, and educator, currently teaching in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
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    Christie Milliken and Steve F. Anderson, "Reclaiming Popular Documentary" (Indiana UP, 2021)

    1:16:28

    The documentary has achieved rising popularity over the past two decades, thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Despite this fact, documentary studies still tends to favor works that appeal primarily to specialists and scholars. Reclaiming Popular Documentary (Indiana UP, 2021) reverses this longstanding tendency by showing that documentaries can be--and are--made for mainstream or commercial audiences. Editors Christie Milliken and Steve Anderson, who consider popular documentary to be a subfield of documentary studies, embrace an expanded definition of popular to acknowledge documentary's many evolving forms, including branded entertainment, fictional hybrids, and works with audience participation. Together, these essays address emerging documentary forms--including web-docs, virtual reality, immersive journalism, viral media, interactive docs, and video-on-demand--and offer the critical tools that viewers need in order to analyze contemporary documentaries and consider how they are persuaded by and represented in documentary media. By combining perspectives of scholars and makers, Reclaiming Popular Documentary brings new understandings and international perspectives to familiar texts using critical models that will engage media scholars and fans alike. Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
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    Cyrus R. K. Patell, "Lucasfilm: Filmmaking, Philosophy, and the Star Wars Universe" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

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    From A New Hope to The Rise of Skywalker and beyond, this book offers the first complete assessment and philosophical exploration of the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm: Filmmaking, Philosophy, and the Star Wars Universe (Bloomsbury, 2021) examines the ways in which these iconic films were shaped by global cultural mythologies and world cinema, as well as philosophical ideas from the fields of aesthetics and political theory, and now serve as a platform for public philosophy. Cyrus R. K. Patell also looks at how this ever-expanding universe of cultural products and enterprises became a global brand and asks: can a corporate entity be considered a "filmmaker and philosopher"? More than any other film franchise, Lucasfilm's Star Wars has become part of the global cultural imagination. The new generation of Lucasfilm artists is full of passionate fans of the Star Wars universe, who have now been given the chance to build on George Lucas's oeuvre. Within these pages, Patell explores what it means for films and their creators to become part of cultural history in this unprecedented way. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. To discuss and propose the book for an interview you can reach her at galina.limorenko@epfl.ch. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
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    Leslie Barnes and Joseph Mai, "The Cinema of Rithy Panh: Everything Has a Soul" (Rutgers UP, 2021)

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    In this episode I chatted with Leslie Barnes and Joseph Mai, two scholars of film, about their new anthology The Cinema of Rithy Panh: Everything Has a Soul out with Rutgers University Press, 2021. As a child Rithy Panh survived the Khmer Rouge regime yet lost his immediate family during those awful years. He was fortunate enough to emigrate to France where he studied film and became a prolific director. Rithy Panh is now the most important film maker in Cambodia and in the Khmer diaspora. Committed to mentoring a new generation of Cambodian storytellers, he helped found the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center which trains young Khmer film makers. The essays in The Cinema of Rithy Panh: Everything Has a Soul cover his diverse offerings but focus on the memory of the disaster of the Khmer Rouge years, as well as the 1976-1975 civil war and the Vietnamese occupation of the 1980s. Rithy Panh also engages the history of French colonialism and the explores social difficulties of workers caught in neo-liberal development projects. Leslie Barnes is a Senior Lecturer in French Studies in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics at Australian National University. Dr. Barnes has written Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). Joseph Mai is an Associate Professor of French at Clemson University. Dr. Mai has published Robert Gay dig e on Guédiguian (Manchester University Press, 2017) and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (University of Illinois Press, 2010). Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
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    Richard Grusin and Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece, "Ends of Cinema" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

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    At the dawn of the digital era in the final decades of the twentieth century, film and media studies scholars grappled with the prospective end of what was deemed cinema: analog celluloid production, darkened public movie theaters, festival culture. The notion of the “end of cinema” had already been broached repeatedly over the course of the twentieth century—from the introduction of sound and color to the advent of television and video—and in Ends of Cinema (U Minnesota Press, 2020), contributors reinvigorate this debate to contemplate the ends, as well as directions and new beginnings, of cinema in the twenty-first century. In this volume, scholars at the forefront of film and media studies interrogate multiple potential “ends” of cinema: its goals and spaces, its relationship to postcinema, its racial dynamics and environmental implications, and its theoretical and historical conclusions. Moving beyond the predictable question of digital versus analog, the scholars gathered here rely on critical theory and historical research to consider cinema alongside its media companions: television, the gallery space, digital media, and theatrical environments. Ends of Cinema underscores the shared project of film and media studies to open up what seems closed off, and to continually reinvent approaches that seem unresponsive. Richard Grusin is director of the Center for 21st Century Studies and distinguished professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is editor of The Nonhuman Turn, Anthropocene Feminism, and After Extinction, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece is associate professor of English and film studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and author of The Optical Vacuum: Spectatorship and Modernized American Theater Architecture. Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is a MSc. in Anthropology, and BA. in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Film theory and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
  • New Books in Film podkast

    Luci Marzola, "Engineering Hollywood: Technology, Technicians, and the Science of Building the Studio System" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    1:08:50

    Luci Marzola's book Engineering Hollywood: Technology, Technicians, and the Science of Building Studio System (Oxford University Press, 2021) tells the story of the formation of the Hollywood studio system not as the product of a genius producer, but as an industry that brought together creative practices and myriad cutting-edge technologies in ways that had never been seen before.  Using extensive archival research, Marzola's book examines the role of technicians, engineers, and trade organizations in creating a stable technological infrastructure on which the studio system rested for decades. Here, the studio system is seen as a technology-dependent business with connections to the larger American industrial world. By focusing on the role played by technology, we see a new map of the studio system beyond the backlots of Los Angeles and the front offices in New York. In this study, Hollywood includes the labs of industrial manufacturers, the sales routes of independent firms, the garages of tinkerers, and the clubhouses of technicians' societies. Rather than focusing on the technical improvements in any particular motion picture tool, this book centers on the larger systems and infrastructures for dealing with technology in this creative industry. Engineering Hollywood argues that the American industry was stabilized and able to dominate the motion picture field for decades through collaboration over technologies of everyday use. Hollywood's relationship to its essential technology was fundamentally one of interdependence and cooperation-with manufacturers, trade organizations, and the competing studios. As such, Hollywood could be defined as an industry by participation in a closed system of cooperation that allowed a select group of producers and manufacturers to dominate the motion picture business for decades. Luci Marzola is a film and media historian who writes about the technology, labor, and infrastructure of the American film industry in the silent and classical eras. She teaches in the Department of Film and Media Studies at University of California Irvine and at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
  • New Books in Film podkast

    Phil Rosenzweig, "Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men" (Fordham UP, 2021)

    1:08:25

    Phil Rosenzweig's Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men (Fordham Press, 2021) is the first biography of a great television writer, and the story of his magnum opus In early 1957, a low-budget black and white movie opened across the country. Consisting of little more than a dozen men arguing in a dingy room, it was a failure at the box office and soon faded from view. Today, 12 Angry Men is acclaimed as a movie classic, revered by the critics and beloved by the public, and widely performed as a stage play, touching audiences around the world.  Rosenzweig is a Professor of Business Administration at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he has used 12 Angry Men for many years to teach executives about interpersonal behavior and group dynamics. It is also a favorite of the legal profession for its portrayal of ordinary citizens reaching a just verdict, and widely taught for its depiction of group dynamics and human relations. The book tells two stories: the life of a great writer and the journey of his most famous work, one that ultimately that outshined its author. More than any writer in the Golden Age of Television, Reginald Rose took up vital social issues of the day - from racial prejudice to juvenile delinquency to civil liberties - and made them accessible to a wide audience. His 1960s series, The Defenders, was the finest drama of its age, and set the standard for legal dramas. This book brings Reginald Rose's long and successful career, its origins and accomplishments, into view at long last.  Drawing on extensive research, and brimming with insight, it casts new light on one of America's great dramas - and about its author, a man of immense talent and courage. Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film
  • New Books in Film podkast

    Christina Lane, "Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock" (Chicago Review Press, 2020)

    1:03:42

    A platinum beauty with an ugly secret; a tall, dark, and handsome husband with murder in his eyes; starkly lit interiors that may or may not include the silhouette of a rotund British gentleman…. This may sound like a catalog of images from the films of Alfred Hitchcock, but it is just as much an encapsulation of the works of Joan Harrison, a studio-era producer, a prolific cinematic storyteller, and a pioneer of female-centered suspense media at mid-century. Harrison remains best known as Alfred Hitchcock’s right-hand woman—that is, to the extent that she is known at all. Christina Lane has written the first-ever book dedicated to the life and art of Joan Harrison, entitled Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, The Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock (Chicago Review Press, February 2020). Born into a middle-class family in Surrey, Harrison took a secretarial job with Alfred Hitchcock as an aimless twenty-something, only to become a producer on films including Foreign Correspondent (1940), Rebecca (1940), and Suspicion (1941). In the 1940s, Harrison branched out, building a solo career producing movies for RKO and Universal Studios, only to return to the Hitchcock fold to run TV’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962). In this discussion, Lane shares how she uncovered this obscure history, placing this “phantom lady” at the center of her own story. She also discusses the trajectory of Harrison’s career and how she adapted her research for a broader readership. Christina Lane is Professor in the Cinematic Arts Department at the University of Miami and Edgar®-Award winning author of Phantom Lady: Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock. She provides commentary for such outlets as the Daily Mail, CrimeReads and AirMail, and has been a featured guest speaker at the Film Forum, and on NPR and Turner Classic Movies. Annie Berke is the Film Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and author of Their Own Best Creations: Women Writers in Postwar Television (University of California Press, 2022). Her scholarship and criticism has been published in Feminist Media Histories, Public Books, Literary Hub, and Ms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/film

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