SEEING THROUGH MOVIES (Pantheon Guide to Popular Culture)

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9780394574912: SEEING THROUGH MOVIES (Pantheon Guide to Popular Culture)
From Publishers Weekly:

These six essays pose a number of absorbing and insightful points, but also make an exaggerated case for the larger significance of mass culture films like Star Wars. Moreover, by focusing mainly on Hollywood money-makers, the authors, however ironically, reinforce the notion that the movies worth assessing are the ones that are big, expensive, popular and (above all) American. Citing A Face in the Crowd , Network and Broadcast News , Todd Gitlin's article, the least convincing of the lot, addresses the often-argued subject of cinema's capitulation to the eroding influences of television. In a perceptive piece on Vietnam films, Pat Aufderheide shows how subtle shifts in our attitudes about that war have contributed to these films' success. Peter Biskind's look at blockbusters says they have abandoned cynicism and critical perspective for childhood and childish views. Douglas Gomery analyzes the decline of movie theaters, and Stuart Klawans discusses colorization, cogently separating hysteria from the facts. Miller's ( Boxed In: The Culture of TV ) own work demonstrates the symbiotic relationship that has developed between advertising and films. First serial to the Atlantic.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

The six essays in this volume, all appearing in print for the first time, offer a hard look at the current state of movies. Todd Gitlin examines how television has replaced movies as the focal point of our culture; Douglas Gomery casts a despairing eye on the rise of the mall multiplex theaters; Pat Aufderheide analyzes the "noble grunt" spate of Vietnam War movies; Peter Biskind tries to make sense out of the worlds created in the blockbuster films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The best essays are saved for last: Stuart Klawans's superb dissection of the colorization controversy; and the editor's long, repetitive, pessimistic, and provocative take on how "don't worry, be happy" films of the 1980s arose from the world of advertising. With a variety of less "serious" writing on film available in book form, this is a welcome volume.
- Thomas Wiener, formerly with "Ameri can Film," Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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