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Cinema: Theory/Criticism

Cinema: Theory/Criticism

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Action and Image: Dramatic Structure in Cinema, Armes, Roy
1 Armes, Roy Action and Image: Dramatic Structure in Cinema
Manchester/New York Manchester University Press (c.1994) 0-7190-3555-4 / 9780719035555 1st printing Softcover Near Fine 
[solid clean book, minor external wear]. Trade PB "The concern of film theorists to read films as texts has led them to neglect the equally pressing need to see films as drama. [The author] sets out to redress the balance by drawing on the insights offered by recent developments in the theoretical study of drama and performance. Issues relating to plot and protagonist are explored through detailed analysis of the structure of a wide range of readily accessible classics films," among them NORTH BY NORTHWEST, L'AVVENTURA, RASHOMON, THE BIG SLEEP, LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD and PIERROT LE FOU. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Soul of the Moving Picture, Bloem, Walter S. (translated from the German by Allen W. Porterfield)
2 Bloem, Walter S. (translated from the German by Allen W. Porterfield) The Soul of the Moving Picture
New York E.P. Dutton & Company (c.1924) NO First American Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [light wear to extremities and a bit along hinges, gilt spine lettering a bit dulled but still fully readable, one-time owner's name at top of ffep, light staining to rear free endpaper]. (B&W photographs) An early attempt to formulate an aesthetic of the cinema, not on a purely theoretical basis but also grounded in the realities of film production and economics: the author, as a scenarist himself, was well aware that this still-nascent art form operated as a unique fusion of art and business, and that "the task of the film artist is always....to effect a happy union between [the two]." (He makes plenty of observations that wouldn't sound at all odd coming from the lips of someone like Samuel Goldwyn or Darryl Zanuck, e.g.: "A work, let it be ever so artistic and valuable in itself, which brings economic distress to the film company that produces it, harms indirectly the entire film business as an art.") Writing from within the midst of the glory days of the German silent cinema, many of his examples are naturally drawn from films still regarded as classics today -- THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, DIE NIEBELUNGEN, DR. MABUSE, DESTINY -- and the 22 photographic plates (all present) are drawn from those films as well. One wonders what a close reading of this book (which I have not performed) might bring out, since Bloem reportedly welcomed Hitler's rise to power in 1933, and indeed went on to become a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II. I'll let you work on that one. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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Film Hieroglyphs: Ruptures in Classical Cinema, Conley, Tom
3 Conley, Tom Film Hieroglyphs: Ruptures in Classical Cinema
Minneapolis/Oxford University of Minnesota Press (c.1991) 0-8166-1920-4 / 9780816619207 Softcover Near Fine 
[light soiling to bottom edge, very minor handling wear; binding solid, text clean]. Trade PB (B&W frame blowups) "While traditional film theory has focused on the visual image, [this book] examines the ways in which writing bears upon cinema. Special consideration is given to the points (ruptures) at which story, image, and writing appear to be at odds with one another. [The author] hypothesizes that among major directors -- Renoir, Lang, Walsh, Rossellini -- writing tends unconsciously to meld history and ideology. Graphic elements are seen as simultaneously foreign and integral to the field of the image. From these contradictions hieroglyphs emerge that mark a design attesting to...." (Well, you get the idea.) 
Price: 10.00 USD
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Cinematic Landscapes: Observations on the Visual Arts and Cinema of China and Japan, Ehrlich, Linda C., and David Desser, eds.
4 Ehrlich, Linda C., and David Desser, eds. Cinematic Landscapes: Observations on the Visual Arts and Cinema of China and Japan
Austin University of Texas Press 1994 0-292-72087-4 / 9780292720879 2nd printing Softcover Near Fine 
[minor exterior wear only]. (Texas Film Studies Series) Series Trade PB (B&W/color photos, other illus.) "This major first study of the relationship between Chinese and Japanese art and fim brings together writers from the United States, Europe, Australia, China, and Japan, including Japan's well-known film critic Sato Tadao and Beijing Film Academy's Ni Zhen. The essays discuss the influence of the traditional arts, including scroll painting and printmaking, on Chinese and Japanese cinema and demonstrate that national cinemas cannot be completely understood without considering their indigenous traditions." 
Price: 18.00 USD
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Film Reader 2 (January 1977), Erens, Patricia, and Bill Horrigan, eds.
5 Erens, Patricia, and Bill Horrigan, eds. Film Reader 2 (January 1977)
[Evanston IL] The Silver Screen 1977 (No. 2) Softcover Very Good- 
[moderate edgewear, covers rubbed/scuffed, a bit of creasing to front cover]. (B&W photographs) Second issue of this film theory periodical, with articles grouped under two themes, "Narrative Structures" and "Industry/Technology/Ideology." Includes analyses of various aspects of the films STAGE FRIGHT (Alfred Hitchcock), MILDRED PIERCE (Michael Curtiz), SUNRISE (F.W. Murnau), THE SEARCHERS (John Ford), SUNSET BOULEVARD (Billy Wilder), RUN OF THE ARROW ( Samuel Fuller), JAWS (Steven Spielberg), and an interview with Cornel Wilde. Yes, Cornel Wilde. Plus Eisenstein, Godard, and more. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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American Film Genres [Second Edition], Kaminsky, Stuart M.
6 Kaminsky, Stuart M. American Film Genres [Second Edition]
Chicago Nelson-Hall (c.1985) 0-8304-1048-1 / 9780830410484 First printing Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj 
[ex-library book but virtually unmarked (just small library stamp on top edge), remnants of former jacket cover (now replaced) on both pastedowns (covered by jacket flaps); jacket has some minor creasing/wrinkling]. (B&W photographs) Updated and considerably-revised edition of the author's groundbreaking book, originally published in 1974; much harder to find than the original. The chapters from the previous edition on the big-caper film and the musical have been removed; new material includes a chapter on Sergio Leone and ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, a chapter about Kung Fu films, a chapter on literary adaptation with special attention paid to THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, and material on Woody Allen and Mel Brooks in the chapter on comedy and social change. 
Price: 65.00 USD
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American Film Genres: Approaches to a Critical Theory of Popular Film, Kaminsky, Stuart M.
7 Kaminsky, Stuart M. American Film Genres: Approaches to a Critical Theory of Popular Film
Dayton OH Pflaum Publishing (c.1974) 0-8278-0277-3 / 9780827802773 First Edition Softcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj 
(yes, it's a softcover book with a dust jacket) [minor edgewear, some rubbing to covers, soft crease across bottom of front cover, inside very clean; jacket moderately worn at edges/corners]. Trade PB (B&W photographs) Pioneering work in genre film criticism, one of the first published books by this cinema professor who, just a couple of years later, would embark on a more notable (and undoubtedly more lucrative) career as a mystery novelist. This book was widely used in academic film classes throughout the 1970s, and was issued in a revised version in 1985 (minus the chapters on big caper films and musicals, the latter by another contributor). 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Dada and Surrealist Film, Kuenzli, Rudolf E., ed.
8 Kuenzli, Rudolf E., ed. Dada and Surrealist Film
New York Willis Locker & Owens (c.1987) 0-930279-11-5 / 9780930279110 1st printing Softcover Very Good+ 
[good clean copy, some rubbing and surface wear to covers, slight curling at fore-edge of front cover]. Trade PB (B&W photographs) "A groundbreaking collection of original essays that analyze connections between film and these two highly influential 20th-century movements. These essays explore for the first time the differences between Dada and Surrealist film, discuss film scenarios as part of a much larger discursive field, and present new research and challenging analyses of major Dada and Surrealist films. The 'Documents' section contains a photographic reproduction of Robert Desnos and Man Ray's manuscript scenario L'Etoile de mer, earlier believed lost, but which is published here for the first time. The extensive bibliography on Dada and Surrealist film is by far the most comprehensive one on this topic." 
Price: 15.00 USD
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The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses, Marks, Laura U.
9 Marks, Laura U. The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses
Durham NC/London Duke University Press 2000 0-8223-2391-5 / 9780822323914 Unstated ed Softcover Very Good+ 
[clean tight copy, mild handling wear, short diagonal crease (almost invisible) at top right-hand corner of front cover]. Trade PB (B&W photographs) "Memories that evoke the physical awareness of touch, smell, and bodily presence can be vital links to home for people living in diaspora from their culture of origin. How can filmmmakers working between cultures use cinema, a visual medium, to transmit that physical sense of place and culture? [The author] provides an answer, building on the theories of Gilles Deleuze and others to explain how and why intercultural cinema represents embodied experience in a postcolonial, transnational world." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema, Metz, Christian (translated by Celia Britton, Annwyl Williams, Ben Brewster and Alfred Guzzetti)
10 Metz, Christian (translated by Celia Britton, Annwyl Williams, Ben Brewster and Alfred Guzzetti) The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema
Bloomington Indiana University Press (c.1982) 0-253-33105-6 / 9780253331052 1st printing Hardcover Fair in Good dj 
[moderate external wear, intermittent underlining/margin notes in first half of text; jacket somewhat scuffed and worn, small dampstain (mostly internal) at bottom rear corner, some uneven fading and color-shifting between green and blue, no doubt signifying something]. "In the first half of the book Metz explores a number of aspects of the psychological anchoring of cinema as a social institution, using Freudian psychoanalysis to examine the nature of cinematic spectatorship, the relations of cinema and voyeurism, fetishism, and so on. In the second half he shifts his approach to look at the operations of meaning in the film text, at the figures of image and sound concatenation. Thus he is led to consider metaphor and metonymy in film." (Thus I am led to doze off.) A "culmination" (it sez here) of the work of this "most influential contemporary theorist of cinema [and] a leading contributor to the development of semiotics generally." (Q: How many translators does it take to change French to English? A: Four. What, you were expecting a joke? Maybe it was funnier in French.) 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968, Sarris, Andrew
11 Sarris, Andrew The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968
New York E.P. Dutton & Co. 1968 NO 1st Edition (see notes) Softcover Near Fine Illustrated by (cover design) Milton Glaser 
[a beautiful clean book, with just the teensiest bit of wear along the top edge of the front cover and a minor bump at the top front hinge]. Trade PB One of the most influential and frequently-referenced (by both devotees and detractors) of all critical/historical film texts -- nothing less, in fact, than the Bible of the American branch of the Church of the Auteur. No matter what direction the later critical assessment of any given director might haven taken, for those who first encountered this book within the first decade or so after its publication it's always been nearly impossible to avoid thinking of, say, John Huston's work as "Less Than Meets the Eye," Mitchell Leisen as "Lightly Likable," or Richard Brooks as a purveyor of "Strained Seriousness." And even though Sarris himself re-assessed various filmmakers (both upward and downward) in subsequent years, it's worth noting that every one of the directors he placed in his "Pantheon" remains worthy of that ranking today. This particular copy, it's to be noted, apparently failed to lure its previous owner(s) into the lap of auteurism, for it remains in virtually brand-new condition -- with an uncreased spine and nary a thumb-smudge or dog-eared page corner to be seen. [NOTE that although this is a stated "First Edition," and is also designated "A Dutton Paperback Original," there was a hardcover edition issued as well, and as far as I know no precedence, i.e. no "true first," has been determined. But the paperback edition was the one that EVERYBODY had, back in the day.] 
Price: 35.00 USD
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The Art of Looking in Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW, Sharff, Stefan
12 Sharff, Stefan The Art of Looking in Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW
New York Limelight Editions 1997 0-87910-087-7 / 9780879100872 First Edition Thus Softcover Near Fine 
[small surface flaw at lower right-hand corner of front cover, otherwise a nice clean copy, virtually as new]. Trade PB (B&W photographs) The author "shows us how Hitchcock achieved the mounting excitement and fear that mark this film. [He] first provides a detailed overview of the director's skill in developing the story from intriguing start to shattering climax. In the second part of the book, he goes on to a shot-by-shot analysis; using the film's continuity as his text, he describes how Hitchcock's technique accomplished its magic. Illustrated throughout with stills from the film, [the book] is a unique appreciation of the art of Alfred Hitchcock, made even more valuable by the first publication in any form of the full dialogue of [the film]." 
Price: 10.00 USD
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Crisis Cinema: The Apocalyptic Idea in Postmodern Narrative Film, Sharrett, Christopher, ed.
13 Sharrett, Christopher, ed. Crisis Cinema: The Apocalyptic Idea in Postmodern Narrative Film
Washington DC Maisonneuve Press 1993 0-944624-19-7 / 9780944624197 Unstated edition Softcover Near Fine 
[minor wear at edges, slight bump at base of spine; text clean, binding solid]. (PostModernPositions, Vol. 6) Series Trade PB (B&W photographs) Anthology of critical essays, including individual articles devoted to these films: RUMBLE FISH (Francis Ford Coppola); FELLINI'S CASANOVA; BRAZIL (Terry Gilliam); TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese); BLADE RUNNER (Ridley Scott); MAD MAX (George Miller). 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Film Criticism and Caricatures 1943-53, Winnington, Richard (selected and with an introduction by Paul Rotha)
14 Winnington, Richard (selected and with an introduction by Paul Rotha) Film Criticism and Caricatures 1943-53
London Elek Books Limited 1975 0-236-40007-X / 9780236400072 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[very light shelfwear to bottom edge; jacket spine a bit sunned, but no significant wear]. (cartoon drawings) Per the jacket blurb, "Winnington is to be ranked as a film critic with James Agee, Eric Knight, Otis Fergusion, André Bazin and Louis Delluc. His masterly economy of style, his persuasiveness and wit make his reviews devastating and compulsive reading two and three decades after they were written. The caricatures that accompanied them are no mere satirical likenesses. His figures, with their air of witless gaiety (or tragedy), wide-eyed glare and glitter, and melting simplicity -- and his settings too, Georgian manor or Arizona desert -- point eloquently and unerringly to the mood, the moral, and the ultimate quality of a film." (Well, maybe -- but how to explain why the (mercifully uncredited) jacket designer chose to include, along with perfectly passable sketches of Jimmy Cagney and Peter Lorre, an absolutely dreadful drawing of Barbara Stanwyck that doesn't pass muster as either a caricature or a decent piece of draftsmanship?) 
Price: 10.00 USD
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