American Cinema: One Hundred Years of Filmmaking

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9780847818143: American Cinema: One Hundred Years of Filmmaking
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This extraordinary book, published to commemorate the centennial celebration of the birth of American film and a 10-part television series to be aired on the 320 PBS stations beginning in January 1995, surveys the phenomenon that is Hollywood, past and present.
The movies, like no other art form, are deeply embedded in the American psyche. They are our heritage and our entertainment. In a text as epic in scope as its subject, and drawing on exclusive interviews with actors and filmmakers conducted specifically for the American Cinema project, author Jeanine Basinger presents the evolution of the Hollywood saga, from its early roots in rural California to an industry that has adapted to - and thrived during - such metamorphoses as the advent of sound, the "threat" of foreign films and of television, and even the age of the conglomerate.
Basinger examines in depth the language of film - focusing on the nature of the art form during the "golden age" as well as in the age of television - and its power, in Hollywood's skilled hands, to keep you in your seat and forever coming back for more.
With more than 300 illustrations from the world's leading film archives, including some never before published, this book celebrates the best of American films, from the glamorous defining films of Hollywood in such favorite genres as the screwball comedy and the western to today's blockbusters and film-school generation of directors, Scorsese, Spielberg, DePalma, Lucas, and Coppola. Also included are the new filmmakers redefining the Hollywood film today.

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About the Author:

Jeanine Basinger is Chair of the Film Studies program and Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University.

From Library Journal:

Though Europe was perhaps first in capturing moving images on celluloid strips, Hollywood invented "The Movies." Film is one of our nation's few native art forms, and as this book amply illustrates, we could have done worse. Although essentially a tie-in to a PBS series of the same name, this luscious coffee-table volume stands well on its own. In 13 chapters, film scholar Basinger covers a century of domestic filmmaking, from Edison's 1894 capturing of a man's sneeze to recent full-length features. Fans of old classics and those of modern films will find something of interest as the text surveys both the film-factory world of the long-deceased studio system and today's independent productions. The text, which not only follows the history of film but dabbles in its sociology and psychology as well, is buttressed with 300 photographs (100 in color)-some standards, some new. Basinger rounds up the usual information, but there's an equal amount of original material on today's movies and stars here, making this a worthy purchase for large film collections. Smaller collections may wait to see how much interest the PBS series generates before ordering. [For a review of the accompanying video series, see p. 194.-Ed.]-Michael Rogers, "Library Journal.
--Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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