This course emphasizes the reading and writing of film criticism. This guide focuses on tools and techniques that aid your discovery and incorporation of the literature of film criticism, both popular and scholarly, into your work for this course.
Subjects: Film StudiesTags: Film Musicals, Movie Musicals
A large body of critical material, as well as excellent background sources, are published in books and in collections of essays. Here are some sample strategies based on the three large units into which the course is divided (some examples are live links and some are not):
AUTHORSHIP - searching the director as the Subject
For more than a century, original music has been composed for the cinema. From the early days when live music accompanied silent films to the present in which a composer can draw upon a full orchestra or a lone synthesizer to embody a composition, music has been an integral element of most films. By the late 1930s, movie studios had established music departments, and some of the greatest names in film music emerged during Hollywood's Golden Age, including Alfred Newman, Max Steiner, Dimitri Tiomkin, and Bernard Herrmann. Over the decades, other creators of screen music offered additional memorable scores, and some composers--such as Henry Mancini, Randy Newman, and John Williams--have become household names. The Encyclopedia of Film Composers features entries on more than 250 movie composers from around the world. It not only provides facts about these artists but also explains what makes each composer notable and discusses his or her music in detail. Each entry includes Biographical material, Important dates, Career highlights, Analysis of the composer's musical style, and Complete list of movie credits This book brings recognition to the many men and women who have written music for movies over the past one hundred years. In addition to composers from the United States and Great Britain, artists from dozens of other countries are also represented.
Books in the General Collection - director / genre focused
Amy Herzog ...examines those instances where music and movement erupt from within more linear narrative frameworks. The representational strategies found in these films are often formulaic, repeating familiar story lines and stereotypical depictions of race, gender, and class. Yet ...the musical moment contains a powerful disruptive potential. Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same [asks] "how does the musical moment work? "Herzog looks at an eclectic mix of works, including the musicals of French director Jacques Demy,.... she demonstrates the transformative power of the unexpected."
Saccharine for some, poignant for others, Jacques Demy's 'enchanted' world is familiar to generations of French audiences accustomed to watching Christmas repeats of his fairytale Peau d'âne (1970) or seeing Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac prance and pirouette in Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1966). Demy achieved international recognition with Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1963), which was awarded the Palme d'Or at Cannes. However, beneath the apparently sugary coating of his films lie more philosophical reflections on some of the most pressing issues that preoccupy Western societies, including affect, subjectivity, self/other relations and free will. This wide-ranging book addresses many of the key aspects of Demy's cinema, including his associations with the New Wave, his unique approach to musicals, his adaptations of fairytales, his representations of gender and sexuality and his legacy as an iconic director for generations of audiences and filmmakers.
Prolific director Howard Hawks made films in nearly every genre, from gangster movies like Scarface to comedies like Bringing Up Baby and Monkey Business and westerns like Rio Bravo. In this new edition of a classic text, author Robin Wood explores the ways in which Hawks pushed the boundaries of each genre and transformed the traditional forms in new, interesting, and creative ways. .... Certain to be of interest to film scholars and students, this book will also be particularly useful as a text on authorship in film.
Film reviews originally published in Variety, the newspaper of the "entertainment" industry since a time before films could talk and recordings were still cylinders! If you wanted to know whether "Hix Nix Pix in Stix" before 1995, you had to read Variety. [Translation: unsophisticated rural audiences gave a poor reception to a film when it played in theaters outside major cities]
The New York Times - which is justly renowned for the writing of its arts and culture critics - has been reviewing commercially released films since the days of the silents, both in short "initial release" reviews and often in subsequent analytical critiques.