Home / Tag: University of Illinois Press
06.11.2014 | | Posted at 12:45 PM
By David Luhrssen
  On June 6, 1894 a motion picture was projected for the first time onto a screen for public viewing, as opposed to the private peep-show experience. The public was small, the family and friends of inventor Charles Francis Jenkins (1867-1934); the setting was the interior of a jewelry store in Richmond, Indiana; the event drew local attention but was eclipsed by breakthro...
04.02.2014 | | Posted at 05:13 PM
By David Luhrssen
  Love and hate, it’s always been the same, right? Not necessarily, according to the authors of Doing Emotions History (University of Illinois Press). As pointed out by the editors of the essay collection, Susan J. Matt and Peter N. Stearns, emotions are biologically and culturally constructed, at least in their human expression. Emotion, not unlike economics, has a his...
02.21.2014 | | Posted at 10:25 AM

From Ring Shout to Bamboozled

By David Luhrssen
  I wasn’t alone in writing off Spike Lee’s 2000 film Bamboozled as an incomprehensible misstep; in the years since its unsuccessful theatrical release, Bamboozled has found an audience that understands—as I did not—the movie’s point. As Katrina Dyonne Thompson mentions at the conclusion of her book, Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance...
12.16.2013 | | Posted at 11:38 AM

German Director Christian Petzold

By David Luhrssen
  For those who consider him one of contemporary Germany’s most important directors, Christian Petzold holds the torch carried in the 1970s by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. In his perceptive critical biography, simply called Christian Petzold (published by University of Illinois Press), Jaimey Fisher sees the filmmaker as an exemplary cultural figure in post...
11.16.2013 | | Posted at 12:00 PM

New Perspectives on a Dark Chapter in German Film

By David Luhrssen
  Laura Heins has written one of the more perceptive books on culture under the Third Reich. Her Nazi Film Melodrama (published by University of Illinois Press), is a close examination of a fact will known to film historians but not always well investigated: Germany’s state-directed movie industry produced relatively few overt propaganda pictures or war movies, but f...
10.07.2013 | | Posted at 03:10 PM
By David Luhrssen
  Probably no late 20th century author was more prophetic than William Gibson, the novelist who coined the word cyberspace before the space actually existed. The influence of Gibson novels such as Neuromancer and Count Zero can be seen in The Matrix and its imitators, along with a slew of derivative cyberpunk fiction. Oddly, only one film was ever shot from a Gibson story, the Keanu Re...
03.30.2013 | | Posted at 09:17 AM

I’m Finally There, Thanks to New Book

By David Luhrssen
  Let me confess: the films of Todd Haynes were always off-putting to me. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story struck me as mocking the fallen pop singer; Safe just seemed sterile (but that’s the point!); and his generally acknowledged masterpiece, the fractured Dylan biography I’m Not There, somehow seemed brilliantly wrong. Well, I was probably wrong on all counts—or just ...