History on Film/Film on History

 
9785825058443: History on Film/Film on History

History on Film/Film on History has established itself as a classic treatise on the historical film and its role in bringing the past to life. In the third edition of this widely acclaimed text, Robert A. Rosenstone argues that to leave history films out of the discussion of the meaning of the past is to ignore a major means of understanding historical events.

This book examines what history films convey about the past and how they convey it, demonstrating the need to learn how to read and understand this new visual world and integrating detailed analysis of films such as Schindler’s List, Glory, October, and Reds. Advocating for the dramatic feature as a legitimate way of doing history, this edition includes a new introduction, a revised final chapter, a new epilogue that discusses recent history films such as Selma and The Imitation Game, and an extensive and updated guide to further reading.

Examining the codes and conventions of how these films tell us about the past and providing guidance on how to effectively analyse films as historical interpretations, this book is an essential introduction to the field for students of history and film.

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From the Back Cover:

 

History films have often been criticised by academics and journalists as inaccurate depictions of the past. Yet there is no escaping the fact that blockbuster history films, documentaries and docudramas are increasingly influential in shaping our understanding of historical people and events. The very controversies that erupt over so many historical films are testament to the central role that films play in making history accessible.

 

Robert A. Rosenstone argues that to leave history films out of the discussion of the meaning of the past is to ignore a major factor in our understanding of past events. He champions the dramatic feature as a legitimate way of doing history, even though it is largely fictional. He examines what history films convey about the past and how they convey it, demonstrating the need to learn how to read and understand this new visual world. Integrating detailed analysis of individual history films, including Glory, Reds, October and Schindler’s List, Rosenstone examines:

·         different types of films – American, European, Mexican and Soviet – made in different political systems and climates

·         the dramatic feature, the Biofilm, the documentary and the Innovative or Opposition drama.

·         the filmmaker as historian, focusing on Oliver Stone as a brilliant historian of the Vietnam era.

·         how a group of works devoted to a single topic, such as the Holocaust, can engage the larger discourse

 

 

Professor Robert A. Rosenstone of the California Institute of Technology is a leading scholar in the controversial and growing field of history and film.  His award winning biography of John Reed, Romantic Revolutionary (1975), was used as the basis of Warren Beatty's multiple Academy Award winner, Reds, on which Rosenstone served as historical consultant. He is author of several works of history, including Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History (1995) Crusade of the Left: The Lincoln Battalion in the Spanish Civil War (1969) and Mirror in the Shrine: American Encounters with Japan (1988). He is editor of Revisioning History: Film and the Construction of a New Past (1995) and Experiments in Rethinking History (2004). He is the Founding Editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice.

About the Author:

Robert A. Rosenstone is Professor Emeritus of History at the California Institute of Technology, USA. His award-winning biography of John Reed, Romantic Revolutionary (1975), was used as the basis of Warren Beatty's multiple Academy Award winner, Reds, on which Rosenstone served as historical consultant. His other publications include Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History (1995) Crusade of the Left: The Lincoln Battalion in the Spanish Civil War (1969), and Mirror in the Shrine: American Encounters with Japan (1988). He is the editor of Revisioning History: Film and the Construction of a New Past (1995) and Experiments in Rethinking History (2004) and is the Founding Editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice.

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