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Studying Early and Silent Cinema

Keith Withall

Studying Early and Silent Cinema by Keith WithallIn this accessible introduction to early and silent cinema, which is currently enjoying a renaissance, both academically and in the popular imagination thanks to The Artist, Keith Withall provides both a comprehensive chronology of the period until the birth of sound and also a series of detailed case studies on the key films from the period – some well known (including Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, Eisenstein's Strike and Chaplin's The Kid), some perhaps less well familiar (including Murnau's The Last Laugh and Oscar Micheaux's Within Our Gates). As well as covering in detail the major...
2014 / 7 / 29
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Studying French Cinema

Isabelle Vanderschelden

Studying French Cinema by Isabelle VanderscheldenTaking a text-led approach, with the emphasis on more recent popular films, Studying French Cinema is directed at non-specialists such as students of French, Film Studies, and the general reader with an interest in post-war French cinema. Each of the chapters focuses on one or more key films from the ground-breaking films of the nouvelle vague (Les 400 coups, 1959) to contemporary documentary (Etre et avoir, 2002) and puts them into their relevant contexts. Depending on the individual film, these include explorations of childhood, adolescence and coming of age (Les 400 coups, L'Argent de poche);...
2015 / 5 / 4
$26.99

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Studying Talk to Her

Emily Hughes

Studying Talk to Her by Emily HughesTalk to Her (2002) is a hugely rich and interesting, but ambiguous, film which met with both popular success and critical acclaim. The film won the 2003 Oscar for best original screenplay and has been hailed by some critics as Pedro Almodóvar's masterpiece. But like most of Almodóvar's films, little is clear cut; the characters are complex and our affinity and empathy for them shifts throughout the film. In Studying Talk to Her, Emily Hughes provides an in-depth analysis of both the formal elements of the film (narrative, genre, auteur study) and the themes and issues that arise, including...
2017 / 2 / 10
$14.99

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The Thing

Jez Conolly

The Thing by Jez ConollyConsigned to the deep freeze of critical and commercial reception upon its release in 1982, The Thing has bounced back spectacularly to become one of the most highly regarded productions from the 1980s 'Body Horror' cycle of films, experiencing a wholesale and detailed reappraisal that has secured its place in the pantheon of modern cinematic horror. Thirty years on, and with a recent prequel reigniting interest, Jez Conolly looks back to the film's antecedents and to the changing nature of its reception and the work that it has influenced. The themforwardes discussed include the significance...
2014 / 7 / 29
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Halloween

Murray Leeder

Halloween by Murray LeederThe 1970s represented an unusually productive and innovative period for the horror film, and John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) is the film that capped that golden age – and some say ruined it, by ushering in the era of the slasher film. Considered a paradigm of low-budget ingenuity, its story of a seemingly unremarkable middle-American town becoming the site of violence on October 31 struck a chord within audiences. The film became a surprise hit that gave rise to a lucrative franchise, and it remains a perennial favourite. Much of its success stems from the simple but strong constructions of...
2014 / 7 / 29
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Studying Fight Club

Mark Ramey

Studying Fight Club by Mark RameyFight Club is, on one level, pop-culture phenomena and on another, a deeply philosophical and satirical exploration of modern life. David Fincher's 1999 film (and Chuck Palahniuk's source novel) has had a huge impact on audiences worldwide leading to spoofs, homage, merchandising and numerous Internet fan sites. On initial release the film was met with wide hostility from critics who either failed to appreciate its satirical intent or believed the film failed to deliver on its satirical promise. Early in its DVD afterlife, however, a wider audience began to appreciate the film's significance...
2014 / 7 / 29
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Carrie

Neil Mitchell

Carrie by Neil MitchellBrian De Palma's adaptation of Stephen King's debut novel, Carrie (1976), is one of the defining films of 1970s "New Hollywood" style and a horror classic. The story of a teenage social outcast who discovers she possesses latent psychic powers that allow her to deliver retribution to her peers, teachers, and abusive mother, Carrie was an enormous commercial and critical success and is still one of the finest screen adaptations of a King novel. This contribution to the Devil's Advocates series not only breaks the film down into its formal componenets--its themes, stylistic tropes, technical approaches,...
2014 / 7 / 29
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Let the Right One In

Anne Billson

Let the Right One In by Anne BillsonAudiences 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 of bloodsuckers, it takes an incredible film to make a name for itself. Directed by Tomas Alfredson and adapted for the screen by John Ajvide Lindqvist, The Swedish film Làt den rätte komma in (2008), known to American audiences as Let the Right One In, is the most exciting, subversive, and original horror production since the genre's best-known works of the 1970s. Like Twilight, Let the...
2014 / 8 / 13
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Saw

Ben Poole

Saw by Ben PooleLike all game changers within the horror genre, SAW was an independent success, a low-budget champion that flourished without the patronage of a big studio. Not bad for the most successful horror franchise ever, which has spawned subsidiary media and masses of merchandise, including a theme park rollercoaster ride. What is it about SAW that attracted such a following? In his contribution to the "Devil's Advocates" series, Ben Poole considers the SAW phenomenon from all aspects of film and media studies – from its generic pedigree in both literature and film, to the visceral audience pleasures...
2014 / 11 / 23
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Witchfinder General

Ian Cooper

Witchfinder General by Ian CooperWitchfinder General (1968), known as The Conqueror Worm in America, was directed by Michael Reeves and occupies a unique place in British cinema. Equally praised and vilified, the film fictionalizes the exploits of Matthew Hopkins, a prolific, real-life "witch hunter," during the English Civil War. For critic Mark Kermode, the release proved to be "the single most significant horror film produced in the United Kingdom in the 1960s," while playwright Alan Bennett called the work "the most persistently sadistic and rotten film I've ever seen." Steadily gaining a cult reputation, unimpeded by the...
2014 / 11 / 23
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The Descent

James Marriott

The Descent by James MarriottThe story of an all-female caving expedition gone horribly wrong, The Descent (2005) is arguably the best of the mid-2000s horror entries to return verve and intensity to the genre. Unlike its peers (Saw [2004], Hostel [2011], etc.), The Descent was both commercially and critically popular, providing a genuine version of what other films could only produce as pastiche. For Mark Kermode, writing in the Observer, it was "one of the best British horror films of recent years," and Derek Elley in Variety described it as "an object lesson in making a tightly-budgeted, no-star horror pic." Time Out's critic praised...
2014 / 11 / 23
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The Silence of the Lambs

Barry Forshaw

The Silence of the Lambs by Barry ForshawThe 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs, based on Thomas Harris's bestseller, was a game-changer in the fields of both horror and crime cinema. FBI trainee Clarice Starling was a new kind of heroine, vulnerable, intuitive, and in a deeply unhealthy relationship with her monstrous helper/opponent, the serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

Jonathan Demme's film skillfully appropriated the tropes of police procedural, gothic melodrama and contemporary horror and produced something entirely new. The resulting film was both critically acclaimed and massively popular, and went on to have an enormous influence...

2014 / 11 / 23
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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

James Rose

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre by James RoseNo-one who has ever seen the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) is ever likely to forget the experience. An intense fever dream (or nightmare), it is remarkable for its sense of sustained threat and depiction of an insane but nonetheless (dys)functional family on the furthest reaches of society who have regressed to cannibalism in the face of economic hardship. As well as providing a summary of the making of the film, James Rose discusses the extraordinary censorship history of the film in the UK (essentially banned for two decades) and provides a detailed textual analysis of the film...
2014 / 11 / 23
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Studying the British Crime Film

Paul Elliott

Studying the British Crime Film by Paul ElliottEver since its inception, British cinema has been obsessed with crime and the criminal. One of the first narrative films to be produced in Britain, the Hepworth's 1905 short Rescued by Rover, was a fast-paced, quick-edited tale of abduction and kidnap, and the first British sound film, Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail (1930), centered on murder and criminal guilt. For a genre seemingly so important to the British cinematic character, there is little direct theoretical or historical work focused on it. The Britain of British cinema is often written about in terms of national history, ethnic diversity,...
2015 / 3 / 23
$29.99

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The Blair Witch Project

Pete Turner

The Blair Witch Project by Pete TurnerFew films have had the influence and impact of The Blair Witch Project (1999). Its arrival was a horror cinema palette cleanser after a decade of serial killers and postmodern intertextuality, a bare bones 'found footage' trend setter. In this Devil's Advocate, Peter Turner tells the story of the film from his conception and production then provides a unique analysis of the techniques used, their appeal to audiences and the themes that helped make the film such an international hit, including the pionerring internet marketing.
2015 / 3 / 23
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Black Sunday

Martyn Conterio

Black Sunday by Martyn ConterioDespite its reputation as one of the greatest and most influential of all horror films, there is surprisingly little literature dedicated to Mario Bava's Black Sunday (1960), and this contribution to the Devil's Advocates series is the first single book dedicated to it. Martyn Conterio places the film in the historical context of being one of the first sound Italian horror films and how its success kick-started the Italian horror boom. The author considers the particularly Italian perspective on the gothic that the film pioneered and its fresh and pioneering approach to horror tropes such as...
2015 / 4 / 19
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Studying Indian Cinema

Omar Ahmed

Studying Indian Cinema by Omar AhmedThis book is traces the historical evolution of Indian cinema through a number of key decades. The book is made up of 14 chapters with each chapter focusing on one key film, the chosen films analysed in their wider social, political and historical context whilst a concerted engagement with various ideological strands that underpin each film is also evident. In addition to exploring the films in their wider contexts, the author analyses selected sequences through the conceptual framework common to both film and media studies. This includes a consideration of narrative, genre, representation,...
2015 / 5 / 5
$31.99

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The Curse of Frankenstein

Marcus K. Harmes

The Curse of Frankenstein by Marcus K. HarmesCritics abhorred it, audiences loved it, and Hammer executives where thrilled with the box office returns: The Curse of Frankenstein was big business. The 1957 film is the first to bring together in a horror movie the ‘unholy two', Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, together with the Hammer company, and director Terence Fisher, combinations now legendary among horror fans. In his Devil's Advocate, Marcus Harmes goes back to where the Hammer horror production started, looking at the film from a variety of perspectives: as a loose literaryadaptation of Mary Shelley's novel; as a film that had,...
2015 / 7 / 26
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Antichrist

Amy Simmons

Antichrist by Amy SimmonsWritten and directed by Lars von Trier, one of the most influential and provocative filmmakers working today, Antichrist (2009), tells a story of parental loss, mourning and despair that result from the tragic death of a child. When the film screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, it split audiences down the middle. Some attacked von Trier for misogyny (amongst other things), while others defended him for creating a daring and poetic portrait of grief and separation. Dense, shocking, and thought-provoking, Antichrist is a film which calls for careful analysis and in her Devil's Advocate on...
2015 / 10 / 18
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Studying Hot Fuzz

Neil Archer

Studying Hot Fuzz by Neil ArcherBy the power of Greyskull! In their second big-screen collaboration after Shaun of the Dead (2004), with Hot Fuzz (2007) director and co-writer Edgar Wright and co-writer and star Simon Pegg took aim at the conventions of the Hollywood action movie, transplanting gratuitous slo-mo action sequences into the English village supermarket and local pub. In this first critical study of arguably the most influential British film-makers to emerge this century, Neil Archer considers to what extent a modestly funded film such as this can be considered ‘British' at all, given its international success...
2015 / 10 / 19
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06/25/2017
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