Description : After more than fifteen years, this initial volume of the American Film Institute Catalog series is again in print. The 1920s set covers the important filmmaking period when "movies" became "talkies," and the careers of many influential directors and actors were launched. Films such as Wings, The Phantom of the Opera, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Jazz Singer are included in this volume. After more than fifteen years, this initial volume of the American Film Institute Catalog series is again in print. The 1920s set covers the important filmmaking period when "movies" became "talkies," and the careers of many influential directors and actors were launched. Films such as Wings, The Phantom of the Opera, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Jazz Singer are included in this volume.
Description : From 1937 through 1945, Hollywood produced over 1,000 films relating to the war. This enormous and exhaustive reference work first analyzes the war films as sociopolitical documents. Part one, entitled “The Crisis Abroad, 1937–1941,” focuses on movies that reflected America’s increasing uneasiness. Part two, “Waging War, 1942–1945,” reveals that many movies made from 1942 through 1945 included at least some allusion to World War II.
Description : "The entire field of film historians awaits the AFI volumes with eagerness."--Eileen Bowser, Museum of Modern Art Film Department Comments on previous volumes: "The source of last resort for finding socially valuable . . . films that received such scant attention that they seem 'lost' until discovered in the AFI Catalog."--Thomas Cripps "Endlessly absorbing as an excursion into cultural history and national memory."--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Description : This path-breaking book reveals how Hollywood became "Hollywood" and what that meant for the politics of America and American film. Working-Class Hollywood tells the story of filmmaking in the first three decades of the twentieth century, a time when going to the movies could transform lives and when the cinema was a battleground for control of American consciousness. Steven Ross documents the rise of a working-class film movement that challenged the dominant political ideas of the day. Between 1907 and 1930, worker filmmakers repeatedly clashed with censors, movie industry leaders, and federal agencies over the kinds of images and subjects audiences would be allowed to see. The outcome of these battles was critical to our own times, for the victors got to shape the meaning of class in twentieth- century America. Surveying several hundred movies made by or about working men and women, Ross shows how filmmakers were far more concerned with class conflict during the silent era than at any subsequent time. Directors like Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith, and William de Mille made movies that defended working people and chastised their enemies. Worker filmmakers went a step further and produced movies from A Martyr to His Cause (1911) to The Gastonia Textile Strike (1929) that depicted a unified working class using strikes, unions, and socialism to transform a nation. J. Edgar Hoover considered these class-conscious productions so dangerous that he assigned secret agents to spy on worker filmmakers. Liberal and radical films declined in the 1920s as an emerging Hollywood studio system, pressured by censors and Wall Street investors, pushed American film in increasingly conservative directions. Appealing to people's dreams of luxury and upward mobility, studios produced lavish fantasy films that shifted popular attention away from the problems of the workplace and toward the pleasures of the new consumer society. While worker filmmakers were trying to heighten class consciousness, Hollywood producers were suggesting that class no longer mattered. Working-Class Hollywood shows how silent films helped shape the modern belief that we are a classless nation.
Description : Giorgio Bertellini traces the origins of American cinema's century-long fascination with Italy and Italian immigrants to the popularity of the pre-photographic aesthetic—the picturesque. Once associated with landscape painting in northern Europe, the picturesque came to symbolize Mediterranean Europe through comforting views of distant landscapes and exotic characters. Taking its cue from a picturesque stage backdrop from The Godfather Part II, Italy in Early American Cinema shows how this aesthetic was transferred from 19th-century American painters to early 20th-century American filmmakers. Italy in Early American Cinema offers readings of early films that pay close attention to how landscape representations that were related to narrative settings and filmmaking locations conveyed distinct ideas about racial difference and national destiny.