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Crowd Scenes

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ISBN: 9780823229017 Year: DOI: 10.26530/oapen_626974 Language: English
Publisher: Fordham University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 100596
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2017-04-07 11:01:20
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The movies and the masses erupted on the world stage together. In a few decades around the turn of the twentieth century, millions of persons who rarely could afford a night at the theater and had never voted in an election became regular paying customers at movie palaces and proud members of new political parties. The question of how to represent these new masses fascinated and plagued politicians and filmmakers alike.

Michael Tratner examines the representations of masses—the crowd scenes—in Hollywood films from The Birth of a Nation through such popular love stories as Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music, and Dr. Zhivago. He then contrasts these with similar scenes in early Soviet and Nazi films. What emerges is a political debate being carried out in filmic style. In both sets of films, the crowd is represented as a seething cauldron of emotions.

Of Elephants and Toothaches

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ISBN: 9780823267101 Year: Pages: 253 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_609947 Language: English
Publisher: Fordham University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched
Subject: Performing Arts
Added to DOAB on : 2016-06-09 11:01:04
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This collection is the first to offer a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue, a ten-film cycle of modern tales that touch on the ethical dilemmas of the Ten Commandments. The cycle’s deft handling of moral ambiguity and inventive technique established Kie?lowski as a major international director. Kie?lowski once said, “Both the deep believer and the habitual skeptic experience toothaches in exactly the same way.” Of Elephants and Toothaches takes seriously the range of thought, from theological to skeptical, condensed in the cycle’s quite human tales. Bringing together scholars of film, philosophy, literature, and several religions, the volume ranges from individual responsibility, to religion in modernity, to familial bonds, to human desire and material greed. It explores Kie?lowski’s cycle as it relentlessly solicits an ethical response that stimulates both inner disquiet and interpersonal dialogue.

The Digital Condition

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ISBN: 9780823234226 Year: DOI: 10.26530/oapen_626991 Language: English
Publisher: Fordham University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 100597
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2017-04-07 11:01:46
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The acceleration in science, technology, communication, and production that began in the second half of the twentieth century— developments which make up the concept of the “digital”—has brought us to what might be the most contradictory moment in human history. The digital revolution has made it possible not only to imagine but to actually realize a world in which social inequality and poverty are vanquished. But instead these developments have led to an unprecedented level of accumulation of private profits. Rather than the end of social inequality we are witness to its global expansion. In The Digital Condition, Rob Wilkie advances a groundbreaking analysis of digital culture which argues that the digital geist—which has its genealogy in such concepts as the “body without organs,” “spectrality,” and “différance”—has obscured the implications of class difference with the phantom of a digital divide.

Realizing the Witch

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ISBN: 9780823274871 Year: Pages: 284 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_605860 Language: English
Publisher: Fordham University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2016-05-09 11:01:13
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Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan (The Witch, 1922) stands as a singular film within the history of cinema. Deftly weaving contemporary scientific analysis and powerfully staged historical scenes of satanic initiation, confession under torture, possession, and persecution, Häxan creatively blends spectacle and argument to provoke a humanist re-evaluation of witchcraft in European history as well as the contemporary treatment of female “hysterics” and the mentally ill. In Realizing the Witch, Baxstrom and Meyers show how Häxan opens a window onto wider debates in the 1920s regarding the relationship of film to scientific evidence, the evolving study of religion from historical and anthropological perspectives, and the complex relations between popular culture, artistic expression, and concepts in medicine and psychology. Häxan is a film that travels along the winding path of art and science rather than between the narrow division of “documentary” and “fiction.” Baxstrom and Meyers reveal how Christensen’s attempt to tame the irrationality of “the witch” risked validating the very “nonsense” that such an effort sought to master and dispel. Häxan is a notorious, genre-bending, excessive cinematic account of the witch in early modern Europe. Realizing the Witch not only illustrates the underrated importance of the film within the canons of classic cinema, it lays bare the relation of the invisible to that which we cannot prove but nevertheless “know” to be there. This title was made Open Access by libraries from around the world through Knowledge Unlatched.

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