British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

New books in December

Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory
Edited by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett & Jeffrey Shandler
(Indiana University Press, November 2012), 448 pages
ISBN: 978-0253007391 (paperback), £18.99
As millions of people around the world who have read her diary attest, Anne Frank, the most familiar victim of the Holocaust, has a remarkable place in contemporary memory. Anne Frank Unbound< looks beyond this young girl’s words at the numerous ways people have engaged her life and writing. Apart from officially sanctioned works and organizations, there exists a prodigious amount of cultural production, which encompasses literature, art, music, film, television, blogs, pedagogy, scholarship, religious ritual, and comedy. Created by both artists and amateurs, these responses to Anne Frank range from veneration to irreverence. Although at times they challenge conventional perceptions of her significance, these works testify to the power of Anne Frank, the writer, and Anne Frank, the cultural phenomenon, as people worldwide forge their own connections with the diary and its author.
About the editors: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor of Performance Studies and Affiliated Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. Her books include (with Mayer Kirshenblatt) They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland before the Holocaust and The Art of Being Jewish in Modern Times. She currently leads the exhibition development team for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.  Jeffrey Shandler is Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. He is author of Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture and While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust, editor of Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland before the Holocaust, and editor (with Hasia R. Diner and Beth S. Wenger) of Remembering the Lower East Side (IUP, 2000).


Censorship and Sexuality in Bombay Cinema
By Monika Mehta
(University of Texas Press, December 2012), 310 pages
ISBN: 978-0292747593 (paperback), £18.74
Monika Mehta breaks new ground by analyzing Hindi films and exploring the censorship of gender and heterosexuality in Bombay cinema. She studies how film censorship on various levels makes the female body and female sexuality pivotal in constructing national identity, not just through the films themselves but also through the heated debates that occur in newspapers and other periodicals. The standard claim is that the state dictates censorship and various prohibitions, but Mehta explores how relationships among the state, the film industry, and the public illuminate censorship’s role in identity formation, while also examining how desire, profits, and corruption are generated through the act of censoring. Committed to extending a feminist critique of mass culture in the global south, Mehta situates the story of censorship in a broad social context and traces the intriguing ways in which the heated debates on sexuality in Bombay cinema actually produce the very forms of sexuality they claim to regulate.
About the Author: Monika Mehta is Associate Professor of English at Binghamton University, SUNY. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial literature and film; globalization, diaspora, and cultural production; gender and sexuality; cinema in South Asia; and the state and the entertainment industry.


From Light to Byte: Toward an Ethics of Digital Cinema
By Markos Hadjioannou
(University of Minnesota Press, 1 December 2012), 288 pages
ISBN: 978-0816677627 (Paperback), £18.99
This book explores the question of technological change in cinema. Concerned with the debate surrounding digital cinema’s ontology and the interrelationship between cinema cultures, Markos Hadjioannou investigates the idea of change as it is expressed in the current technological transition. Hadjioannou asks what is different in the way digital movies depict the world and engage with the individual and how we might best address the technological shift within media archaeologies.
About the author: Markos Hadjioannou is assistant professor of literature and arts of the moving image at Duke University.


Screen Jesus: Portrayals of Christ in Television and Film
By Peter Malone
(Scarecrow Press, 1 December 2012), 348 pages
ISBN: 978-0810883895 (hardback), £34.95
Since the dawn of film in the 1890s, religious themes and biblical subjects have been a staple of cinema. One of the earliest focuses of screen presentations was the Bible, especially the New Testament and the Gospels. In Screen Jesus: Portrayals of Christ in Television and Film, Peter Malone takes a close look at films in which Jesus is depicted. From silent renditions of The Passion Play to 21st-century blockbusters like The Passion of the Christ, Malone examines how the history of Jesus films reflects the changes in artistic styles and experiments in cinematic forms for more than a century. In addition to providing a historical overview of the Jesus films, this book also reveals the changes in piety and in theological understandings of the humanity and divinity of Jesus over the decades. While most of the Jesus films come from the United States and the west, an increasing number of Jesus films come from other cultures, which are also included in this study. Fans and scholars interested in the history of religious cinema will find this an interesting read, as will students and teachers in cinema and religious studies, church pastors, parish groups, and youth ministry.
About the Author: Peter Malone, of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart order in Australia, has served as president of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication. He is the author or editor of more than 25 books on film studies, including the Lights, Camera, Faith: A Movie Lover’s Guide to Scripture series (2001-2006) and Through a Catholic Lens: Religious Perspectives of 19 Film Directors from Around the World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).


The Sounds of the Silents in Britain
Edited by Julie Brown and Annette Davison
(Oxford University Press, December 2012), 352 pages
ISBN: 978-0199797615 (hardback), £65
ISBN: 978-0199797547 (paperback), £22.50
The Sounds of the Silents in Britain explores the sonic dimension of film exhibition in Britain, from the emergence of cinema through to the introduction of synchronized sound. The essays provide an introduction to diverse aspects of early film sound: vocal performance, from lecturing and reciting, to voicing the drama; music, from the forerunners of music for visual spectacle to the impact of legislation and the development of film music practice; and performance in cinemas more generally, from dancing and singalong films, to live stage prologues, and even musical performances captured in British Pathé’s early sound shorts. Other topics include the sonic eclecticism of performances at the Film Society, British International Pictures’ first synchronized sound films, and the role of institutions such as the Musicians’ Union and the Performing Right Society in relation to cinema music and musicians. The book also debunks some of the myths about the sonic dimension of film exhibition. For example, the book reveals that local venue licensing decisions had a profound effect on whether music could even be performed with film in some British performances spaces and cities, and that the same was true of live acts alongside film – even into the late 1920s.
About the editors: Julie Brown is Reader in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has written on early twentieth-century music (especially Schoenberg and Bartók), television music and film music. Her publications include Bartók and the Grotesque: Studies in Modernity, the Body and Contradiction in Music (2007), and Western Music and Race (2007).  Annette Davison is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on film music and sound, music for the stage and for television. Publications include Hollywood Theory, Non-Hollywood Practice: Cinema Soundtracks in the 1980s and 1990s (2004), Alex North’s A Streetcar Named Desire: A Film Score Guide (2009), and, with Erica Sheen, American Dreams, Nightmare Visions: The Cinema of David Lynch (2004).


Theatres on Film: How the Cinema Imagines the Stage
By Russell Jackson
(Manchester University Press, January 2013), 320 pages
ISBN: 978-0719088797 (hardback), £70
Theatres on Film is an innovative contribution to the study of both theatre and film history. With its detailed discussion of popular and influential films that have taken the theatre as their subject, informed by a strong sense of the cultural and historical background. This book focuses on the significance and effect of theatrical subject matter in key films in several genres, and range from Busby Berkeley to Ingmar Bergman, and from the haunted backstage world of The Phantom of the Opera to the sinister glamour of The Red Shoes and the theatrical politics of Mephisto and The Lives of Others. Theatres on Film will appeal to film- and theatregoers, as well as to readers with an academic or professional interest in its subject.
About the Author: Russell Jackson is Allardyce Nicoll Professor of Drama in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, University of Birmingham. His previous books include Shakespeare Films in the Making: Vision, Production and Reception (Cambridge University Press, 2007).


The War That Won’t Die: The Spanish Civil War in Cinema
By Dave Archibald
(Manchester University Press, December 2012), 224 pages
ISBN: 978-0719078088 (hardback), £65
The war that won’t die charts the changing nature of cinematic depictions of the Spanish Civil War. In 1936, a significant number of artists, filmmakers and writers – from George Orwell and Pablo Picasso to Joris Ivens and Joan Miro – rallied to support the country’s democratically-elected Republican government. The arts have played an important role in shaping popular understandings of the Spanish Civil War and this book examines the specific role cinema has played in this process. The book’s focus is on fictional feature films produced within Spain and beyond its borders between the 1940s and the early years of the twenty-first century – including Hollywood blockbusters, East European films, the work of the avant garde in Paris and films produced under Franco’s censorial dictatorship. The book will appeal to scholars and students of Film, Media and Hispanic Studies, but also to historians and, indeed, anyone interested in why the Spanish Civil War remains such a contested political topic.
About the Author: Dr David Archibald is Lecturer in Theatre Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow

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