Short Book Reviews

Women in Iberian Filmic Culture (Book)
Publisher: Intellect Books
A Feminist Approach to the Cinemas of Portugal and Spain
Editor Elena Cordero-Hoyo and Begoña Soto-Vázquez
GBP 32.95 | 222 pages | Jun 24, 2020

Though cinema arrived in Spain and Portugal at the end of the nineteenth century, national and industrial problems as well as the dictatorships of Salazar and Caetano (in Portugal) and Franco (in Spain) meant Iberian cinemas were isolated from European cultural trends.

Strict censorship in both countries limited the themes and artistic practices adopted, while a specific cinematographic language, in many cases full of metaphors and symbolism, sought alternatives to the imposed official discourse and preconceived definitions of supposed national identities.

By contrast, the arrival of democracy from the 1970s onwards widened not just the panorama of film production and criticism, but also opened the film industry to women’s participation in areas historically assigned to men.

Focusing on Portuguese and Spanish cinema, this collection brings together research about women and their status in relation to Iberian filmic culture. The volume contributes to ongoing debates about the position of women in the cinemas of Portugal and Spain from interdisciplinary and feminist perspectives as well as new accounts of film history. It also aims to promote comparisons between Iberian cinemas and visual culture, a topic that is almost unexplored in academia, despite the similar histories of the two countries, particularly throughout the twentieth century.

The Anarchist Cinema (Book)
Publisher: Intellect Books
By James Newton
GBP 76.95 | 173 pages | Apr 12, 2019
This book examines the complex relationships that exist between anarchist theory and film. No longer hidden in obscure corners of cinematic culture, anarchy is a theme that has traversed arthouse, underground and popular film.

The Anarchist Cinema examines the complex relationships that exist between anarchist theory and film. No longer hidden in obscure corners of cinematic culture, anarchy is a theme that has traversed arthouse, underground and popular film.

James Newton explores the notion that cinema is an inherently subversive space, establishes criteria for deeming a film anarchic, and examines the place of underground and DIY filmmaking within the wider context of the category. The author identifies subversive undercurrents in cinema and uses anarchist political theory as an interpretive framework to analyse filmmakers, genres and the notion of cinema as an anarchic space.

The Global Road Movie (Book)
Alternative Journeys around the World
Publisher: Intellect Books
Edited by José Duarte and Timothy Corrigan
GBP 76.95 | 280 pages | Jul 15, 2018

The road movie is one of the most tried and true genres, a staple since the earliest days of cinema. This book looks at the road movie from a wider perspective than ever before, exploring the motif of travel not just in American films—where it has been most prominent—but via movies from other nations as well.

Gathering contributions from around the world, the book shows how the road movie, altered and refracted in every new international iteration, offers a new way of thinking about the ever-shifting sense of place and space in the globalized world.

Through analyses of such films as Guantanamera (Cuba), Wrong Side of the Road (Australia), Five Golden Flowers (China), Africa United (South Africa), and Sightseers (England), The Global Road Movie enables us to think afresh about how today’s road movies fit into the history of the genre and what they can tell us about how people move about in the world today.

Building Successful and Sustainable Film and Television Businesses
A Cross-National Perspective
Publisher: Intellect Books
Edited by Eva Bakoy, Roel Puijk and Andrew Spicer
GBP 39.95 | 300 pages | Dec 15, 2017

This edited collection focuses on the production cultures of successful small and medium-sized (SME) film and television companies in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, based on a three-year research project, ‘Success in the Film and Television Industries’ (SiFTI) funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

It explores case studies of multiple businesses that have thrived over a period of at least five years and have made several successful productions: both in terms of popularity and critical acclaim. Chapters investigate their histories and evolution, contextualising these companies and the people who work for them within macro-economic and cultural conditions. This anthology goes further – to compare and contrast these companies cross-nationally, in order to seek common elements that may explain how they have been able to survive and thrive.

Activist Film Festivals
Towards a Political Subject
Publisher: Intellect Books
Edited by Sonia Tascon and Tyson Wils
GBP 52.95 | 245 pages | Dec 5, 2016

Film festivals are an ever-growing part of the film industry, but most considerations of them focus almost entirely on their role in the business of filmmaking.
This book breaks new ground by bringing scholars from a range of disciplines together with industry professionals to explore the concept of festivals as spaces where the sociopolitical identities of communities and individuals are confronted and shaped.

Tracing the growth of activist and human rights-focused films from the 1970s to the present, and using case studies from San Francisco, Brazil, Bristol and elsewhere, the book addresses such contentious topics as whether activist films can achieve humanitarian aims or simply offer ‘cinema of suffering’. Ultimately, the contributors attack the question of just how effective festivals are at producing politically engaged spectators?

The Multisensory Film Experience
A Cognitive Model of Experiental Film Aesthetics
Publisher: Intellect Books
By Luis Rocha Antunes Preface by Michael Grabowski
GBP 32.95 | 218 pages | Jun 15, 2016

When the lights dim in a movie theatre and the projector begins to click and whir, the light and sounds of the motion picture become the gateway to a multisensory experience. Moving beyond the oft-discussed perceptual elements of vision and hearing, The Multisensory Film Experience analyses temperature, pain and balance in order to argue that it is the experience of film that’s inherently multisensory, not the medium.

Luis Rocha Antunes here explores the work of well-loved filmmakers Erik Jensen, Gus Van Sant and Ki-Duk Kim to offer new insights into how viewers experience films and understand their stories. This is an original contribution to an emerging field of research and will become essential reading for film scholars.

Directory of World Cinema: Africa
Publisher: Intellect Books
Edited by Blandine Stefanson By Sheila Petty
GBP 46.95 | 302 pages | Oct 15, 2015

Eschewing the postcolonial hubris that suggests Africa could only define itself in relation to its colonizers, a problem plaguing many studies published in the West on African cinema, this entry in the Directory of World Cinema series instead looks at African film as representing Africa for its own sake, values, and artistic choices.

With a film industry divided by linguistic heritage, African directors do not have the luxury of producing comedies, thrillers, horror films, or even love stories, except perhaps as DVDs that do not travel far outside their country of production.

Instead, African directors tend to cover serious sociopolitical ground, even under the cover of comedy, in the hopes of finding funds outside Africa. Contributors to this volume draw on filmic representations of the continent to consider the economic role of women, rural exodus, economic migration, refugees and diasporas, culture, religion and magic as well as representations of children, music, languages and symbols.

A survey of national cinemas in one volume, Directory of World Cinema: Africa is a necessary addition to the bookshelf of any cinephile and world traveller.

Shooting Women
Behind the Camera, Around the World
Publisher: Intellect Books
By Harriet Margolis, Alexis Krasilovsky and Julia Stein
GBP 40.95 | 364 pages | Nov 15, 2015

Shooting Women takes readers around the world to explore the lives of camerawomen working in features, TV news, and documentaries. From pioneers like African American camerawoman Jessie Maple Patton who got her job only after suing the union – to China’s first camerawomen – who travelled with Mao – to rural India where women in poverty have learned camerawork as a means of empowerment, Shooting Women reveals a world of women working with courage and skill in what has long been seen as a male field.

Gay Men at the Movies
Publisher: Intellect Books
Film reception, cinema going and the history of a gay male community
By Scott McKinnon
GBP 49.95 | 250 pages | Nov 15, 2016

Cinema has long played a major role in the formation of community among marginalised groups, and this book details that process for gay men in Sydney, Australia from the 1950s to the present.

Scott McKinnon builds the book from a variety of sources, including film reviews, media reports, personal memoirs, oral histories and a striking range of films, all deployed to answer the question of understanding cinema-going as a moment of connection to community and identity – how the experience of seeing these films and being part of an audience helped to build a community among the gay men of Sydney in the period.

Lure of the Big Screen
Cinema in Rural Australia and the United Kingdom
Publisher: Intellect Books
By Karina Aveyard
GBP 57.95 | 200 pages | Feb 15, 2015
Lure of the Big Screen explores film exhibition and consumption in rural parts of the UK and Australia, where film theatres are often highly valued as spaces around which isolated communities can gather and interact. Going beyond national borders, this book examines how theatres in areas of social and economic decline are sustained by resourceful individuals and sub-commercial operating structures.

Systematic analysis of cinemas in non-metropolitan locations has yielded an original five-tiered clustering model through which Karina Aveyard recognizes a range of types between large commercial multiplexes in stable regional centres and their smallest improvised counterparts in remote settlements.

Passion of the Reel
Cinematic versus Modernist Political Fictions in Cameroon
Publisher: Intellect Books
By Jean-Olivier Tchouaffe
GBP 76.95 | 216 pages | Jul 1, 2014

Highlighting the challenges faced by a nascent national cinema with limited resources, Passion of the Reel provides an in-depth analysis of the output of the Cameroonian film industry. Jean-Olivier Tchouaffe shows that, far from an empty receptacle for colonial legacies, Cameroon – and Africa – must move beyond their colonial legacies to focus on indigenous productions of meaning informed by traditional wisdom and ordinary Cameroonian life experience. Tchouaffe’s analysis sets the stage for a film-driven exploration of postcolonialism, social construction and modernization.

3D Cinema and Beyond
Publisher: Intellect Books
Edited by Janine Marchessault, Dan Adler and Sanja Obradovic
GBP 40.95 | 234 pages | Feb 15, 2014

This book brings together essays that engage with mainstream entertainment, experimental film and historical scholarship as part of a larger context for examining the grammar of 3D cinema, its histories and its futures. From cinema and television to video games and augmented reality, the essays consider an ‘expanded field’ of stereoscopic visual culture. Contributors explore historic and emerging technologies, singular and trendsetting practices, narrative and documentary approaches and the overall perceptual experiences of 3D media.

This groundbreaking collection includes Sergei Eisenstein’s extraordinary 1947 essay ‘On Stereocinema,’ translated for the first time in its entirety; a landmark address by Wim Wenders; and the last essay written by 3D-pioneer researcher Ray Zone. The first book of its kind to investigate 3D arts in its various forms, it will be admired for its rigour and accessibility by scholars across disciplines in the visual arts.

Watching Films
New Perspectives on Movie-Going, Exhibition and Reception
Publisher: Intellect Books
Edited by Karina Aveyard and Albert Moran
GBP 23.95 | 288 pages | Aug 15, 2013

Whether we stream them on our laptops, enjoy them in theatres or slide them into DVD players to watch on our TVs, movies are part of what it means to be socially connected in the twenty-first century. Despite its significant role in our lives, the act of watching films remains an area of social activity that is little studied and thus, little understood.

In Watching Films, an international cast of contributors correct this problem with a comprehensive investigation of movie going, cinema exhibition, and film reception around the world. With a focus on the social, economic and cultural factors that influence how we watch and think about movies, this volume centres its investigations on four areas of inquiry: Who watches films? Under what circumstances? What consequences and affects follow? And what do these acts of consumption mean? Responding to these questions, the contributors provide both historical perspective and fresh insights about the ways in which new viewing arrangements and technologies influence how films get watched everywhere from Canada to China to Ireland.

A long-overdue consideration of an important topic, Watching Films provides an engrossing overview of how we do just that in our homes and across the globe.

Iranian Cinema and Globalization
National, Transnational, and Islamic Dimensions
Publisher: Intellect Books
By Shahab Esfandiary
GBP 28.95 | 240 pages | May 15, 2012

Despite critical acclaim and a recent surge of popularity with Western audiences, Iranian cinema has been the subject of lamentably few academic studies—and those have by and large been limited to the films and filmmakers most visible on the international film circuit.

Iranian Cinema and Globalization seeks to broaden readers’ exposure to other dimensions of Iranian cinema, including the works of the many prolific filmmakers whose films have received little outside attention despite being widely popular within Iran.

Combining theories of globalization and national cinema with in-depth, interdisciplinary analyses of individual films, this volume expands the current literature on Iranian cinema with insights into the social, and religious political contexts involved.

South African Cinema 1896-2010
Publisher: Intellect Books
By Martin Botha
GBP 35.95 | 307 pages | Apr 15, 2012

Taking an inclusive approach to South African film history, this volume represents an ambitious attempt to analyze and place in appropriate sociopolitical context the aesthetic highlights of South African cinema from 1896 to the present. Thoroughly researched and fully documented by renowned film scholar Martin Botha, the book focuses on the many highly creative uses of cinematic form, style, and genre as set against South Africa’s complex and often turbulent social and political landscape. Included are more than two hundred illustrations and a look at many aspects of South African film history that haven’t been previously documented.

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