Film & History

Film & History is a magazine focusing on Movies

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 1, 2004

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided
Taking its place among the growing number of documentaries dealing with Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War, PBS's Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided (a part of its popular American Experience series) appears to have two related goals....
A Conversation with Lordes Portillo
[Mesilla, New Mexico, April 5lh, 2003]H.T. We're here, celebrating the Border Book Festival, brainchild of Chicana author Denise Chavez.L.P. Right.H.T. We're here to talk a little bit with Lourdes Portillo, filmmaker. What other kinds of works do you...
Adrian Cronauer Is Conference Speaker!
A good friend of Film & History is Adrian Cronauer, a man whose "life" was captured in the Robin Williams/Barry Levinson film Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Veteran, communications lawyer, POW/MIA expert, his varied career makes him the perfect keynote...
Andy Warhol's Blow Job
Roy Grundmann. Andy Warhol's Blow Job. Temple University Press, 2003. 228 pages; $22.95.Teasing QualityThe early underground cinema of Andy Warhol points the way to the spangled postmodernism of our own times. This is not just a matter of the fascination...
Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History with Illustrations
William B. Jones, Jr. Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History with Illustrations. McFarland, 2002. 287 pages; $55.00.Postwar PeriodFrom approximately 1945 until 1955 another generation of American teenagers emerged onto the adolescent stage. Here, during...
Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture
Thomas Doherty. Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture. Columbia University Press, 2OO3. 3O5 pages; $27.95.Exchange of IdeasThe premise for Thomas Doherty's thoughtful and nuanced study, Cold War, Cool Medium, is that there...
Contemporary Hi(stories) of Mexico: Fictional Re-Creation of Collective Past on Television
The term historical soap opera can be defined as a regular domestic soap opera in the sense of a television melodrama with the basic elements of a fictional narrative created through language and mimesis: story, characters, discourse and theme. A historical...
Finding Nemo
Disney has, over the years, received its share of well-deserved criticism. Feminist critics in particular, as well as vigilant parents everywhere, worry about young, animated heroines with tiny waists and amble bosoms-heroines who, more often than not,...
Hollywood Comedians, the Film Reader
Frank Krutnik, editor. Hollywood Comedians, The Film Reader. Routledge, 2003. $22.95; 224 pages.Captivating and EnlighteningProposing to fill a twenty-year void of books examining the comedian film, editor Frank Krutnik has amassed thirteen scholarly...
Hollywood's White House, the American Presidency in Film and History/The West Wing, the American Presidency as Television Drama
Peter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor, editors. Hollywood's White House, the American Presidency in Film and History. University Press Kentucky, 2003 441 pages; $32.OO hardcoverPeter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor, editors. The West Wing, the American...
Impossible Bodies: Femininity and Masculinity at the Movies
Chris Holmlund. Impossible Bodies: Femininity and Masculinity at the Movies. Routledge, 2002. 237 pages; $26.50 softcover.Murky RelativismChris Holmlund's Impossible Bodies begins with the statement that "Hollywood films shape and express how we see-or...
Jim Welsh: In Appreciation of a Pioneer
"We do not believe film should be used merely to illustrate classics of literature." This was James M. Welsh setting the tone for a day-long 1977 Rockefeller Foundation invitational conference entitled Film and the Humanities. "A humanities course that...
Lagaan: Once upon a Time in India (Dir. Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001)
On the surface, the Hollywood film Lagaan offers a story of resistance. Set in the traditional musical mode of films coming out of the prolific Mumbai (Bombay) studios, Lagaan tells/sings/dances the story of the resistance of Indian villagers against...
Manifesting la Historia: Systems of 'Development' and the New Latin American Cinema Manifesto
New Latin American Cinema both feeds into and is fed by the contentious and at times contradictory nature of Latin American culture, social politics, and economy. Manifesto documents, theoretical statements made by the filmmakers-cultural activists themselves,...
Michael Reeves
Benjamin Halligan. Michael Reeves. Manchester University Press, 20O3. 248 pages, $69.95.Might-Have-BeensSomewhere in the archives at Princeton, there is a tattered sheet of paper, half-filled with scrawled sentences. This is the final page of F. Scott...
No Dumb Questions
No Dumb Questions centers on a topic that necessarily interrogates "traditional family values." The film follows a white middle-class family of five closely as mother, father and in turn, their three children, digest the challenging news: their loved...
"Outlawed" in Oz: A Film & History Associate Editor Visits Australia
At the invitation of the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, I had the opportunity to travel to the land down under in early February 2004 to participate in an international conference, "Representing Outlaws: Bushrangers, Rebels, and Revolutionaries...
Piracy in the Motion Picture Industry
Kerry Segrave. Piracy In The Motion Picture Industry. McFarland, 2003. $36.50; 222 pages.Another CrisisThe FBI warning which appears at the beginning of copyrighted videos and DVD's should not be taken lightly. Jack Valenti and The Motion Picture Association...
Radical Hollywood: The Untold Story Behind America's Favorite Movies
Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner. Radical Hollywood: The Untold Story Behind America's Favorite Movies. The New Press, 2OO2. 46O pages; $29.95.Sympathetic to the LeftPaul Buhle and Dave Wagner, building upon the ideas introduced in their biography of leftist...
Ridicule
During the English Revolution in the 164Os, the gap between "court" and "country" symbolized the profound ideological and religious split in that country. In France a similar rift existed between provincial France-"Ia France profonde"-and the gay decadence...
San Martin, from Bronze to Celluloid: Argentina's Liberator as Film Character
National history has always been a major theme in Argentine cinema. Elfusilamiento de Dorrego ("The Execution of Dorrego", Mario Gallo, 1910), Argentina's first narrative film, portrayed an incident reflecting the internal political conflict that had...
Sex, Class, and Mexico in Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien
Woman is... the Enigma.Octavio Paz'The recent success of some foreign films in the American art-house exhibition circuit could be interpreted as a sign of the crisis of national specificity in commercial World cinemas. The apparent neutralization of...
Special Issue Introduction: Historical Reflections/Cinematic Projections of Latin American Film
Looking for Latin American history: to interrogate the ideas of "history"1 and to "look" at and through cinema is an appropriate way to address this first of two special issues of Film & Histon>34.1 devoted to Latin American film and history....
The Editor's Reflections and Reports
We of Film & History have been busy since the last issue of the journal and here are some of the highlights of the past few months.Conference News for November, 2004The "War in Film, TV, and History" conference for November of 2004 is taking shape....
The Historian-Filmmaker's Dilemma. Historical Documentaries in Sweden in the Era of Hager and Villius
David Ludvigsson.The Historian-Filmmaker's Dilemma. Historical Documentaries in Sweden in the Era of Hager and Villius.Uppsala University Press, 2OO3. 411 p.Swedish Insights on Historical DocumentaryThe Swedish historian David Ludvigsson (Uppsala University)...
The House of Yes
In The House of Yes (1997) Parker Posey puts on one of her most glamorous performances as "Jackie-O." Based on a costume for an Ides of March party that she attended as an adolescent with her twin brother Marty (Josh Hamilton), Jackie-O has adopted her...
The Imperial Screen: Japanese Film Culture in the Fifteen Years' War, 1931-1945
Peter B. High. The Imperial Screen: Japanese Film Culture in the Fifteen Years' War, 1931-1945. The University of Wisconsin Press, 2003 586 pgs; $60.OOVictimized Nation?The Imperial Screen is the first scholarly work in English to systematically analyze...
The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader
Christoph Lindner, editor. The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader. Manchester University Press, 2OO3. 268 pages, $74.95.Hero as GlobetrotterWhen Ursula Andress arose from the waves, like a discreet Venus, in Dr. No in 1962, she became, for all...
The Matter of Images: Essays on Representations. Second Edition
Richard Dyer The Matter of Images: Essays on Representations. Second edition. Routledge, 2003. 183 pages; $75.00.The Invisible VisibleBack in the days when music hall was the staple diet of British entertainment, most artists had a tag line, which neatly...
U.S.-Argentine Co-Productions, 1982-1990: Roger Corman, Aries Productions, "Schlockbuster" Movies, and the International Market
IntroductionA series of low budget films were made jointly by U.S. producer Roger Corman and Argentine director-producer Hector Olivera in the 1980s. Produced primarily for the direct-to-video and cable market, these commercial entertainment films with...
War and Film in America: Historical and Critical Essays
Marilyn J. Matelski and Nancy Lynch Street, editors. War and Film in America: Historical and Critical Essays. McFarland, 2003. 208 pages; $32.00 paper.Key DistinctionsWar and Film in America is another addition to the evergrowing number of written exercises...