Home / Tag: University of Illinois Press
04.02.2014 | 13 days ago | 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 | 54 days ago | 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 | 120 days ago | 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 ...
06.18.2010 | | Posted at 09:54 AM
By David Luhrssen
Movies were once magical, especially in the early days before the marvelous became commonplace. In Disappearing Tricks: Silent Film, Houdini, and the New Magic of the Twentieth Century (University of Illinois Press), Matthew Solomon reminds us that movies were sometimes shown as part of magic shows in the 1890s and early 1900s, and images created by trick photography mirrored the conjuring of ...
06.10.2010 | | Posted at 09:47 AM
By David Luhrssen
Afghanistan has seldom been out of the news or out of the movies since 911. In the years that followed the American counterattack, films ranging from Iron Man to The Kite Runner have depicted the mountainous country and its people for Western audiences. In Afghanistan in the Cinema (University of Illinois Press), Mark Graham subjects those and earlier movies about that land to a close reading. M...

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