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Film Worlds: A Philosophical Aesthetics of Cinema

by Daniel Yacavone Columbia University Press (December 02, 2014)

Film Worlds unpacks the significance of the “worlds” that narrative films create, offering an innovative perspective on cinema as art. Drawing on aesthetics and the philosophy of art in both the continental...

"It's the Pictures That Got Small": Charles Brackett on Billy Wilder and Hollywood's Golden Age

by Anthony Slide & Jim Moore Columbia University Press (November 25, 2014)

Golden Age Hollywood screenwriter Charles Brackett was an extremely observant and perceptive chronicler of the entertainment industry during its most exciting years. He is best remembered as the writing partner...

Maya Deren: Incomplete Control

by Sarah Keller Columbia University Press (December 09, 2014)

Maya Deren (1917–1961) was a Russian-born American filmmaker, theorist, poet, and photographer working at the forefront of the American avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Influenced by Jean Cocteau and Marcel...

On Slowness: Toward an Aesthetic of the Contemporary

by Lutz Koepnick Columbia University Press (October 07, 2014)

Speed is an obvious facet of contemporary society, whereas slowness has often been dismissed as conservative and antimodern. Challenging a long tradition of thought, Lutz Koepnick instead proposes to understand...

Visions of Dystopia in China's New Historical Novels

by Jeffrey C. Kinkley Columbia University Press (November 04, 2014)

The depiction of personal and collective suffering in modern Chinese novels differs significantly from standard Communist accounts and most Eastern and Western historical narratives. Writers such as Yu Hua,...

After the Silents: Hollywood Film Music in the Early Sound Era, 1926-1934

by Michael Slowik Columbia University Press (October 07, 2014)

Many believe Max Steiner’s score for King Kong (1933) was the first important attempt at integrating background music into sound film, but a closer look at the industry’s early sound era (1926–1934) reveals...

Deathwatch: American Film, Technology, and the End of Life

by C. Scott Combs Columbia University Press (September 02, 2014)

While cinema is a medium with a unique ability to “watch life” and “write movement,” it is equally singular in its portrayal of death. The first study to unpack American cinema’s long history of representing...

Let the Right One In

by Anne Billson Columbia University Press (December 13, 2011)

Audiences can't get enough of fang fiction. Twilight, True Blood, Being Human, The Vampire Diaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, Underworld, and the novels of Anne Rice and Darren Shan—against this glut...

Electric Sounds: Technological Change and the Rise of Corporate Mass Media

by Steve J. Wurtzler Columbia University Press (January 23, 2007)

Electric Sounds brings to vivid life an era when innovations in the production, recording, and transmission of sound revolutionized a number of different media, especially the radio, the phonograph, and the...

Black & White & Noir: America's Pulp Modernism

by Paula Rabinowitz Columbia University Press (June 20, 2002)

The first book to treat issues of race and ethnicity as related to noir, offering a cultural history of twentieth-century America through episodic readings of films, photographs, and literature.

Video Revolutions: On the History of a Medium

by Michael Z. Newman Columbia University Press (April 01, 2014)

Since the days of early television, video has been an indispensable part of culture, society, and moving-image media industries. Over the decades, it has been an avant-garde artistic medium, a high-tech consumer...

Lady in the Dark: Iris Barry and the Art of Film

by Robert Sitton Columbia University Press (March 11, 2014)

Iris Barry (1895–1969) was one of the first critics to recognize film as an art form. The mother of film preservation internationally, she founded the film department at New York City's Museum of Modern Art...

New Tunisian Cinema: Allegories of Resistance

by Robert Lang Columbia University Press (March 18, 2014)

Tunisian cinema is often described as the most daring of all Arab cinemas, a model of equipoise between “East” and “West” and the defender of a fierce, sovereign style. Even during the repressive regime...

Continental Strangers: German Exile Cinema, 1933-1951

by Gerd Gemünden Columbia University Press (January 21, 2014)

Hundreds of German-speaking film professionals took refuge in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s, making a lasting contribution to American cinema. Hailing from Austria, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine,...

Cut-Pieces: Celluloid Obscenity and Popular Cinema in Bangladesh

by Lotte Hoek Columbia University Press (October 08, 2013)

Imagine watching an action film in a small-town cinema hall in Bangladesh, and in between the gun battles and fistfights, a short pornographic clip appears. This is known as a cut-piece, a strip of locally made...

Home in Hollywood: The Imaginary Geography of Cinema

by Elisabeth Bronfen Columbia University Press (October 08, 2001)

Who can forget Dorothy’s quest for the great and powerful Oz as she tried to return to her beloved Kansas? She thought she needed a wizard’s magic, only to discover that home—and the power to get there—had...

George Gallup in Hollywood

by Susan Ohmer Columbia University Press (November 07, 2006)

George Gallup in Hollywood is a fascinating look at the film industry's use of opinion polling in the 1930s and '40s. George Gallup's polling techniques first achieved fame when he accurately predicted that...

The New European Cinema: Redrawing the Map

by Rosalind Galt Columbia University Press (March 21, 2006)

New European Cinema offers a compelling response to the changing cultural shapes of Europe, charting political, aesthetic, and historical developments through innovative readings of some of the most popular...

Night Passages: Philosophy, Literature, and Film

by Elisabeth Bronfen & David Brenner Columbia University Press (September 10, 2013)

In the beginning was the night. All light, shapes, language, and subjective consciousness, as well as the world and art depicting them, emerged from this formless chaos. In fantasy, we seek to return to this...

The Utopia of Film: Cinema and Its Futures in Godard, Kluge, and Tahimik

by Christopher Pavsek Columbia University Press (January 29, 2013)

The German filmmaker Alexander Kluge has long promoted cinema’s relationship with the goals of human emancipation. Jean-Luc Godard and Filipino director Kidlat Tahimik also believe in cinema’s ability to...

Where Film Meets Philosophy: Godard, Resnais, and Experiments in Cinematic Thinking

by Hunter Vaughan Columbia University Press (December 25, 2012)

Closely reading the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais, Hunter Vaughan establishes a connection between phenomenology and image-philosophy to analyze the moving image and its challenge to conventional...

Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American

by Peter Decherney Columbia University Press (April 06, 2005)

As Americans flocked to the movies during the first part of the twentieth century, the guardians of culture grew worried about their diminishing influence on American art, education, and American identity itself....

Experiencing Music Video: Aesthetics and Cultural Context

by Carol Vernallis Columbia University Press (June 16, 2004)

-- Nicholas Cook, Professor of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London, Editor, Journal of the Royal Musical Association

Representing Atrocity in Taiwan: The 2/28 Incident and White Terror in Fiction and Film

by Sylvia Li-chun Lin Columbia University Press (November 30, 2007)

In 1945, Taiwan was placed under the administrative control of the Republic of China, and after two years, accusations of corruption and a failing economy sparked a local protest that was brutally quashed by...

Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan...and Beyond: A Revised and Expanded Edition of the Classic Text

by Robin Wood Columbia University Press (July 10, 2003)

This classic of film criticism, long considered invaluable for its eloquent study of a problematic period in film history, is now substantially updated and revised by the author to include chapters beyond the...

Sound Technology and the American Cinema: Perception, Representation, Modernity

by James Lastra Columbia University Press (July 18, 2000)

Representational technologies including photography, phonography, and the cinema have helped define modernity itself. Since the nineteenth century, these technologies have challenged our trust of sensory perception,...

Special Effects: Still in Search of Wonder

by Michele Pierson Columbia University Press (May 23, 2002)

Designed to trick the eye and stimulate the imagination, special effects have changed the way we look at films and the worlds created in them. Computer-generated imagery (CGI), as seen in Hollywood blockbusters...

Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island

by Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh & Darrell William Davis Columbia University Press (July 06, 2005)

Focusing on the work of four contemporary filmmakers—Ang Lee, Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Tsai Ming-liang—the authors explore how these filmmakers broke from tradition, creating a cinema that is both...

Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films: Attachment in the Age of Global Visibility

by Rey Chow Columbia University Press (March 27, 2007)

What is the sentimental? How can we understand it by way of the visual and narrative modes of signification specific to cinema and through the manners of social interaction and collective imagining specific...

Shivers Down Your Spine: Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View

by Alison Griffiths Columbia University Press (August 08, 2008)

From the architectural spectacle of the medieval cathedral and the romantic sublime of the nineteenth-century panorama to the techno-fetishism of today's London Science Museum, humans have gained a deeper understanding...

The New Yorker Theater and Other Scenes from a Life at the Movies

by Toby Talbot & Martin Scorsese Columbia University Press (October 20, 2009)

The nation didn't know it, but 1960 would change American film forever, and the revolution would occur nowhere near a Hollywood set. With the opening of the New Yorker Theater, a cinema located at the heart...

Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet

by Peter Decherney Columbia University Press (April 10, 2012)

Copyright law is important to every stage of media production and reception. It helps determine filmmakers’ artistic decisions, Hollywood’s corporate structure, and the vatieties of media consumption. The...

Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies

by Louis Pizzitola Columbia University Press (January 09, 2002)

Hollywood—crossroads of filmmaking, mythmaking, and politics—was dominated by one man more than any other for most of its history. It was William Randolph Hearst who understood how to use cinema to exploit...

Essays on the Essay Film

by Nora M. Alter & Timothy Corrigan Columbia University Press (March 14, 2017)

The essay—with its emphasis on the provisional and explorative rather than on definitive statements—has evolved from its literary beginnings and is now found in all mediums, including film. Today, the essay...

Mythopoetic Cinema: On the Ruins of European Identity

by Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli Columbia University Press (August 08, 2017)

In Mythpoetic Cinema, Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli explores how contemporary European filmmakers treat mythopoetics as a critical practice that questions the constant need to provide new identities, a new Europe,...

Religion and Film

by S. B. Plate Columbia University Press (September 05, 2017)

Religion and cinema share a capacity for world making, ritualizing, mythologizing, and creating sacred time and space. Through cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing, and other production activities, film takes...

Cinematic Overtures

by Annette Insdorf Columbia University Press (November 07, 2017)

A great movie’s first few minutes are the key to the rest of the film. Like the opening paragraphs of a novel, they draw the viewer in and set up the thematic concerns and stylistic approach that will be developed...

The Essay Film After Fact and Fiction

by Nora M. Alter Columbia University Press (January 02, 2018)

Nora M. Alter argues that the essay film is a hybrid genre that fuses three major categories of film: feature, art, and documentary. Much like the written essay, its literary predecessor, the essay film draws...

Cinema by Design

by Lucy Fischer Columbia University Press (March 14, 2017)

Art Nouveau thrived from the late 1890s through the First World War. The international design movement reveled in curvilinear forms and both playful and macabre visions and had a deep impact on cinematic art...

Contemporary Drift

by Theodore Martin Columbia University Press (May 23, 2017)

What does it mean to call something “contemporary”? More than simply denoting what’s new, it speaks to how we come to know the present we’re living in and how we develop a shared story about it. The...

After Uniqueness

by Erika Balsom Columbia University Press (March 14, 2017)

Images have never been as freely circulated as they are today. They have also never been so tightly controlled. As with the birth of photography, digital reproduction has created new possibilities for the duplication...

Left-Wing Melancholia

by Enzo Traverso Columbia University Press (December 20, 2016)

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Cold War but also the rise of a melancholic vision of history as a series of losses. For the political left, the cause lost was communism, and this trauma determined...

Carceral Fantasies

by Alison Griffiths Columbia University Press (July 26, 2016)

A groundbreaking contribution to the study of non-theatrical film exhibition, Carceral Fantasies tells the little-known story of how cinema found a home in the U.S. penitentiary system and how the prison emerged...


by Paula Amad Columbia University Press (August 06, 2010)

From 1908 to 1931, French banker Albert Kahn financed a monumental multimedia archive intended to record the "surface of the globe as inhabited and developed by Man." Stored in a world-themed garden on the outskirts...


by Rosalind Galt Columbia University Press (May 31, 2011)

Film culture often rejects visually rich images, valuing simplicity, austerity, or even ugliness as more provocative, political, and truly cinematic. Although cinema challenges traditional ideas of art, this...


by Michael Z. Newman Columbia University Press (April 04, 2011)

From Stranger than Paradise (1984) to Synecdoche, New York (2008), America's independent films often seem to defy classification. Their strategies of storytelling and representation vary widely, and they range...

China on Screen: Cinema and Nation

by Christopher J. Berry & Mary Ann Farquhar Columbia University Press (April 04, 2006)

In China on Screen, Chris Berry and Mary Farquhar, leaders in the field of Chinese film studies, explore more than one hundred years of Chinese cinema and nation. Providing new perspectives on key movements,...

Hideous Progeny: Disability, Eugenics, and Classic Horror Cinema

by Angela Smith Columbia University Press (December 20, 2011)

Twisted bodies, deformed faces, aberrant behavior, and abnormal desires characterized the hideous creatures of classic Hollywood horror, which thrilled audiences with their sheer grotesqueness. Most critics...

American Showman: Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 1908-1935

by Ross Melnick Columbia University Press (May 01, 2012)

Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel (1882–1936) built an influential and prolific career as film exhibitor, stage producer, radio broadcaster, musical arranger, theater manager, war propagandist, and international celebrity....

Film Studies: An Introduction

by Ed Sikov Columbia University Press (December 01, 2009)

Ed Sikov builds a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader...