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Whether it's Double Indemnity, Kiss Me Deadly, or The Big Sleep, roam a screen world of dark and brooding elegance with this essential handbook to Film Noir. From private eyes and perfect crimes to corrupt cops and doomed affairs, editors Paul Duncan and Jurgen Muller examine noir's key themes and their most representative movies from 1940 to 1960.Copiously illustrated with film stills as well as original posters, this book offers page after page of noir's masterful visual compositions while exploring the narrative paradigms of this cryptic, compelling, and evolving genre. If that weren't enough to tickle your cinematic appetite, the volume concludes with TASCHEN's top 50 pick of noir classics. Brimming with the enigmatic dames, desperate gangsters, and psycho killers that continue to cast a long and captivating shadow over cinema, this is a must-have handbook for noir aficionados and amateurs alike.
In this essential study of film noir editors Alain Silver and James Ursini select the most significant and influential articles on the movement from their highly respected Film Noir Reader series and assemble them into a single convenient heavily illustrated volume. Still included of course are many rare early articles and such seminal essays as Borde and Chaumeton's Towards a Definition of Film Noir from EPanorama du Film Noir AmericainE Paul Schrader's Notes on Film Noir and Paint It Black: the Family Tree of the Film Noir by Raymond Durgnat. With newer studies such as Lounge Time by Vivian Sobchack Manufacturing Heroines in Classic Noir Films by Sheri Chinen Biesen and Voices from the Deep: Film Noir as Psychodrama J. P. Telotte this collection of over 30 articles probes this most influential American film movement from varying angles: formalist feminist structuralist sociological and stylistic; narrative-thematic historical and even from the point of view of a pure aficionado. There is something in this volume for every student or devotee of film noir. Plus like the readers that have proven an invaluable tool for academics planning a syllabus it can serve as the most complete core text for any of the myriad of film noir courses taught throughout the world.
Film noir is one of the most enduring and popular genres in cinema. But it did not spring up spontaneously fully formed. Rather its origins can be traced to sources as varied as Victorian literature German Expressionism and American art and photography. In this comprehensive collection of essays that's packed with illustrations and artwork a team of eminent scholars and film writers present thorough analyses of the influence of prototypes on the classic period of film noir.THSome essays focus on particularly influential genres such as the rogue cop film and gothic thrillers; while others discuss the choices of individual filmmakers including John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock in their most well-loved films.THThe editors and all of the featured contributors a Sheri Chinen Biesen Todd Erickson Richard Edwards Julie Grossman Robert Miklitsch Homer Pettey Robert Porfirio Tom Ryall Marlisa Santos Jesse Schlotterbeck and Tony Williams a are noted scholars in the field of film noir most of whom have written book-length studies of their own.THFrom the gangster and horror genres to social realism and Hitchcock's spy films of the 1930s EFilm Noir PrototypesE offers compelling accounts of the genre's influences. As befits the topic over 300 illustrations keyed to the text capture the richness and breadth of the classic period's imagery.
Despite a glut of black and white filters the digital revolution in videography has all but abandoned the art science beauty and power of cinematic lighting that literally illuminated the Golden Age of motion pictures. EFilm Noir Light and ShadowE explores an era before CGI a a time when every photon mattered and the lighting of a set served a grander purpose than simply rendering its subjects visible. Edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini the duo behind numerous critically acclaimed studies of other aspects of noir this anthology presents a series of essays that examine the visual style of the filmmakers of cinema's classic period. Some focus on individual pictures or directors; others discuss elements of style or sub-groups of movies within the movement. All are sharply focused on what makes the noir phenomenon unique in American a and global a cinematic history. Aside from highlighting the innovative work of its editors and their late colleague Robert Porfirio EFilm Noir Light and ShadowE also shares its light with a bevy of contributors who have written and edited their own books on the subject a a list of luminaries that includes Sheri Chinen Biesen Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards Julie Grossman Delphine Letort Robert Miklitsch R. Barton Palmer Homer Pettey Marlisa Santos Imogen Sara Smith and Tony Williams. As befits the topic this volume is lavishly illustrated with 500 images that capture the richness and breadth of the classic period's imagery making it an ideal companion for students of the genre film historians sprocket fiends and the retrospectively inclined.
From birth, Katharine Hepburn seemed destined to become a symbol of the modern woman on stage, on screen, and in the world. Fiercely competitive, private, and independent, Hepburn was one part Olympic athlete Babe Didrikson, one part Amelia Earhart, and two parts Greta Garbo. Although often paired with the greatest actors in Hollywood - Humphrey Bogart ("The African Queen"); Cary Grant ("Bringing Up Baby"), James Stewart ("The Philadelphia Story"), and Spencer Tracy ("Adam's Rib", "Woman of the Year") - Hepburn was able to carry her own films like "Summertime", "Little Women", and "Sylvia Scarlett" over a stage and screen career that spanned eight decades. Her home was never in Hollywood (where she won four Oscars) or New York but in Connecticut, where she died lamenting "I could have accomplished three times as much. I haven't realized my full potential." "The Movie Icon" series: People talk about Hollywood glamour, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren't actors but were icons. Other people talk about these things, TASCHEN shows you. "Movie Icons" is a series of photo books that feature the most famous personalities in the history of cinema. These 192-page books are visual biographies of the stars. For each title, series editor Paul Duncan has painstaking selected approximately 150 high quality enigmatic and sumptuous portraits, colorful posters and lobby cards, rare film stills, and previously unpublished candid photos showing the stars as they really are. These images are accompanied by concise introductory essays by leading film writers; each book also includes a chronology, a filmography, and a bibliography, and is peppered with apposite quotes from the movies and from life.
This bountiful anthology combines all the key early writings on film noir with many newer essays, including some published here for the first time. Part one reprints eight seminal essays that classify and analyse the period and its product and also offers the initial extensive discussion of film noir in English. In Part Two there are 'case studies' of individual film and film makers. Part Three probes deeper into the question 'What Is This Thing Called Noir?' -- the title of one of the new essays. Other original pieces consider such issues as narrative structure, the femme fatale, the influence of film noir on early television and, finally the rebirth of the genre in the neo-noir films of our own day.
Based on 15 hours of interviews conducted by film scholar Alain Silver, this new book on legendary director of photography James Wong Howe (1899-1976) is a must-read for anyone interested in what happens behind the scenes on a Hollywood set from film aficionados to industry professionals. A two-time Academy-Award(r) winner and still considered one of the greatest cinematographers in the history of American motion pictures, James Wong Howe began his career in 1917 at Famous Players-Lasky as a camera assistant working on silent features directed by such pioneers of narrative cinema as Cecil B. DeMille. Promoted to Director of Photography in 1922, Howe spent almost three decades shooting A-projects while under contract at Paramount, MGM, 20th Century-Fox, Selznick International, and Warner Bros. then another twenty-plus years as a freelance cameraman. At those studios, he shot projects as diverse as the silent Peter Pan, Viva Villa , The Prisoner of Zenda, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, King's Row, Body and Soul, The Rose Tattoo, Picnic, Hud, Seconds, and almost 60 sixty years after his first job Funny Lady in 1975. "It was the people who were interested in movies as a living art form, people that loved to experiment and found the results gratifying, who made the technical progress in motion pictures." Such comments by Howe about his career, his style, actors, producers, and directors with whom he worked, and his beliefs about what constitutes good camerawork are extensively annotated and profusely illustrated with over 500 images, many of which are keyed to Howe's remarks about specific scenes and shots reflect his direct, professional approach: "There must be a reason for all lighting: what it's for and where it's coming from." Howe provides considerable detail about his work with such producers and directors as DeMille, David O. Selznick, Hall Wallis, William Cameron Menzies, Victor Fleming, John Cromwell, Martin Ritt, Herbert Brenon, John Frankenheimer, and Sidney Lumet. Among the star performers discussed are Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Sean Connery, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, John Garfield, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth, William Holden, Hedy Lamarr, Burt Lancaster, Vivien Leigh, Myrna Loy, Robert Mitchum, Paul Newman, Kim Novak, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Edward G. Robinson, Ann Sheridan, Barbara Stanwyck, Barbra Streisand, Spencer Tracy, and Natalie Wood. Also included are the most complete filmography ever compiled of all of Howe's work (with some newly discovered credits), two essays about lighting and preparation written by Howe himself, a biographical summary, select bibliography, and a complete inde
In the 1930s the gangster film in the United States coincided with a very real and very sensational gangsterism at large in American society. Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931), and Scarface (1932) borrowed liberally from the newspapers and books of the era. With the release of just these three motion pictures in barely more than a year's time, Hollywood quintessentially defined the genre. The characters, the situations, and the icons-from fast cars and tommy-guns to fancy fedoras and fancier molls-established the audience expectations associated with the gangster film that remain in force to this day. As with their Film Noir Reader series, using both reprints of seminal articles and new pieces, editors Silver and Ursini have assembled a group of essays that presents an exhaustive overview of this still vital genre. Reprints of work by such well-known film historians as Robin Wood, Andrew Sarris, Carlos Clarens, Paul Schrader, and Stuart Kaminsky explore the evolution of the gangster film through the 1970s and The Godfather. Parts 2 and 3 comprise two dozen newer articles, most of them written expressly for this volume by Ursini and Silver. These case studies and thematic analyses, from White Heat to the remake of Scarface to "The Sopranos," complete the anthology.
Departing from the approach of its pre-decessors, this third volume is not a collection of essays by a diverse assembly of critics and scholars but a collection of interviews largely by the book's editors, its focus mainly on directors responsible for many of the land-mark films of the Classic Noir Period. Few of them are alive today, which makes this book all the more remarkable. Appropriately enough, perhaps from beyond the grave thoughts filmmakers expressed long ago are presented here for the first time, to help us better understand their vision and their techniques.
This book begins with seminal essays, several dating back to the 1950s, that uncover the roots of the genre and explain its wide-ranging, indestructible appeal. These writings include, among many others, 'The Horror of It All' by Hollis Alpert and Charles Beaumont, 'The Subconscious: From Pleasure Castle to Libido Motel' by Raymond Durgnat and 'Satisfaction: A Most Unpleasant Feeling' by Roman Polanski. The second part of the book, New Perspectives, focuses on such specific films as Tod Browning's Freaks and The Devil Doll, The Haunting, in both its 1963 and 1999 incarnations, and The Devil and Daniel Webster; and on such sequel-driven characters as Frankenstein's monster and Freddy Kruegar and the Candyman. The scope of the collection is thus surprisingly broad considering as it does the horror film genre from different times, different perspectives, different angles. But the book's purpose is unvarying: to increase our understanding of how these movies succeed (or do not) in making our flesh creep, our skin turn pale and our hair stand on end. Indeed, the stills alone -- about 100 of them -- may occasionally do that.
In the wake of the remarkable success of Film Noir Reader, this new collection further explores a genre of limitless fascination -- and one that continues to inspire and galvanise the latest generation of film-makers. Again heavily illustrated, with close to 150 stills, Film Noir Reader 2 is organised much like the earlier volume. It begins with 'More Seminal Essays', including a New York Times attack on crime pictures, written more than half a century ago, before the French had even given the genre its name; a look at its early development by the noted French director Claude Chabrol; and an analysis, by the American critic Stephen Farber, of how film noir reflects the violence and 'Bitch Goddess' values of contemporary society.
(Limelight). Noted film noir historians Alain Silver and James Ursini, acting as editors, concentrate in this work on the thirty key directors of the classic noir period. These include well-known luminaries, such as Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Nicholas Ray, and Joseph Losey as well as lesser-known lights of noir, such as Gerd Oswald, Felix E. Feist, Ida Lupino, and John Brahm. Each article will include a short biography of the director, a list of their major noir films, as well as a deep analysis of the films themselves. The book boasts over two dozen collaborators from the world of film history and criticism. Lavishly illustrated with high-resolution photos illustrating the points made by the authors, this book is a must for any aficionado of the American style of film noir.
"There was something about Robert Aldrich's artistic temperament that enabled him to transcend the apparent vulgarity of so many of his motion picutres. Besides the great films, such as Kiss Me Deadly which is certainly one of the finest examples of film noir, are several little-seen or underrated later works such as the revisionist Western, Ulzana's Raid, the gangster love story, The Grissom Gang, or the grim cop picture, Hustle. Aldrich's career has long deserved the detailed evaluation which this book provides." - Andrew Sarris
The Third and most recent edition of The Vampire Film featuring a new chapter, "The Vampire at the Millennium," was released in October 1996 to coincide with the centennial of Stoker's novel Dracula. More vampire films have been produced since the First Edition of The Vampire Film appeared in 1974 than in the entire history of motion pictures prior to that year. The first completely revised and updated edition was published in 1993. The Third Edition, at over 340 pages in length and with well over 200 illustrations, insures that what began as the first book-length study of the subject in 1974 remains the most comprehensive available. The authors, Alain Silver and James Ursini, are continuing their research for future revisions and invite comments from their readers.
The earlier Film Noir Readers, which now boast a combined sale of well over 30,000 copies, have all quite deliberately conveyed a sweeping overview of the classic period, demonstrating how broad and inclusive noir movies are. Film Noir Reader 4 moves in a different direction. Its purpose is to identify the key films and motifs of noir and to analyze in depth the prototypical pictures that, while vivid examples of certain cinematic themes, bend and break their molds to find new ways to enthrall and frighten us. Like its predecessors, Film Noir Reader 4 is generously illustrated and features essays by such respected film critics and scholars as Robin Wood, J.P. Telotte, R. Barton Palmer, and Robert Porfirio. All have as their purpose to explain why and how these classic films work; the way screenplay, direction, acting, cinematography, editing and all the other filmmaking crafts blended together to produce work that exemplifies both a particular movement in film history and the innovations that keep the noir style fresh and compelling.
(Applause Books). After scores of books and commentaries on film noir and its classic period, experts Alain Silver and James Ursini turn their full attention to neo-noir, the self-conscious, mannered, sometimes ersatz, and often surprising genre that sprang from the original movement. This volume surveys the full breath of American neo-noir, its style and substance, its evolution over succeeding generations of filmmakers, from activist through postmodern to millennial and on, with extensive illustrations in black-and-white and full-color that capture the genre's dramatic and visual essence.
For centuries, perhaps from the beginning of time, people young and old have been drawn to the genre of supernatural horror, first on the printed page and then on the screen. From fairy tales to Freddy Krueger, the appeal of the genre rests on the all too human search for something above nature, something unknown and unnameable. This search has produced works as memorable as they are terrifying, and we feel their power once again in More Things Than Are Dreamt Of. The sweep of the book encompasses almost two centuries as it reconsiders in detail such classics of literature as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, right up to such contemporary novels of horror as Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist and Stephen King's The Dead Zone. But what sets this book apart is that the authors go on to study the most significant feature films derived from these and many other works of fiction, from the silent era until today. Theme, plot, characters and place, the primary elements of the novels and stories, are considered first as originally conceived and then again as they achieve a new and often different life on the screen. Explaining the why and the how of these acts of transformation is the great accomplishment of More Things Than Are Dreamt Of, a book that enhances our understanding of both literature and film. And of course all the while it helps us to experience again those agreeable shudders and chills that come from beyond our dreams.
The photos in this book include production stills from many noir gems which illustrate the style and capture the impact of this atmospheric cinematic genre. The accompanying text explores the origins of noir and its history from the early 1940s to the present day.
Popularized and perfected by one of the greatest auteurs in the history of cinema, Akira Kurosawa, the themes of the Samurai film have consistently crossed over into western film. Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" builds on this long tradition of appropriation. "The Magnificent Seven" and "A Fistful of Dollars" are both adaptations of Kurosawa films. Long regarded as one of the world's most astute film analysts, Alain Silver deconstructs the key aspects of this vital film genre, from its focus on violence and death as a means of understanding life and the significance of swords and weaponry, to key elements and motifs such as hara-kiri, rebellion and nostalgia for Japan's feudal past. With comprehensive filmographies of the major directors and films, a survey of the history and myths of the Samurai and extensively illustrated with more than 200 photographs, "The Samural Film" is the ultimate resource for one of world cinema's most influential and compelling genres.
This newest edition will track the form's evolution from such 1970s reinventions as Count Yorga Vampire and Blacula, The Hunger and Vampire's Kiss in the Eighties, Interview with the Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and the Blade series in the Nineties, through 30 Days of Night, I Am Legend, and the Underworld series in the first decade of the 21st century. All these films plus celebrated international examples such as Thirst and Let the Right One In and the hit television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, New Amsterdam, Angel, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood are covered in this long-awaited, completely revised, expanded, and redesigned fourth edition that follows the vampire figures, both male and female, through the millennium and beyond.
Roger Corman just might be one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of motion pictures. Not because of his work as a director, although he has directed more than 600 movies, and not because of his success as a producer -- although, as the title of his autobiography boasts, he has made more than 100 pictures and never lost a dime. He might be one of the most influential filmmakers because, along the way to directing and producing more than 200 films, he ran a de facto school for young filmmakers, the alumni of which have garnered more money and awards than any other group in film history. Among them are James Cameron, Francis Coppola, and Jonathan Demme. Through research and a series of interviews with Corman, the authors trace his humble beginnings in post-World War II Hollywood to his current mythic status as the Godfather of all independent movie makers. Discussed in detail are each of Corman's films as a director -- from such two-day wonders as Little Shop of Horrors to such studio pictures as St Valentine's Day Massacre.
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