New eBooks on Film and Theater, July 2016

A selected list of new eBooks on Film and Theater/Drama relevant for German Studies and Comparative Literature. Millions of eBooks are available to WU faculty, students, and staff! For tips on finding them, see our guide on finding eBooks.

globalauteur          companionwarfilm             promisecinema

China reinterpreted : staging the Other in Muromachi noh theater / Leo Shingchi Yip. Lanham : Lexington Books, 2016.

SUMMARY: China Reinterpreted is the first comprehensive study on the representation of Chinese figures and motifs in Muromachi Japanese noh theater. Given that China had a strong influence on Japanese culture from the sixth to the early seventeenth centuries, research on Japanese reception of Chinese culture abounds.This book examines how noh theater integrated earlier reception of Chinese culture in various disciplines to produce its reinterpretation of China and Chinese culture on stage. Centering on a group of noh plays that features Chinese characters and motifs, China Reinterpreted explores not only the different means and methods of adaptation, but also the intricate (re)construction of diverse and complex images of China. This study situates the selected Chinese plays in the context of the dramaturgy and artistic conventions of noh, as well as the sociopolitical stances and artistic preferences of the audiences, and thus highlights the aesthetics, cultural, and sociopolitical agendas of noh theater of the time. By analyzing the various images of China (Japan’s cultural Other) staged in Muromachi noh theater, China Reinterpreted offers a case study of the representation of the Other in an intra-Asia context.”–Publisher description.

Chinese cinemas : international perspectives / edited by Felicia Chan and Andy Willis. London : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

SUMMARY: “Chinese Cinemas: International Perspectives examines the impact the rapid expansion of Chinese filmmaking in mainland China has had on independent and popular Chinese cinemas both in and outside of China. While the large Chinese markets are coveted by Hollywood, the commercial film industry within the People’s Republic of China has undergone rapid expansion since the 1990s. Its own production, distribution and exhibition capacities have increased exponentially in the past 20 years, producing box-office success both domestically and abroad. This volume gathers the work of a range of established scholars and newer voices on Chinese cinemas to address questions that interrogate both Chinese films and the place and space of Chinese cinemas within the contemporary global film industries, including the impact on independent filmmaking both within and outside of China; the place of Chinese cinemas produced outside of China; and the significance of new internal and external distribution and exhibition patterns on recent conceptions of Chinese cinemas. This is an ideal book for students and researchers interested in Chinese and Asian Cinema, as well as for students studying topics such as World Cinema and Asian Studies.”–Publisher description.

Commerce, peace and the arts in Renaissance Venice : Ruzante and the empire at center stage / Linda L. Carroll. London : Routledge, 2016.

CONTENTS: Introduction: Mercury, Venus and the muses: commerce, peace and the arts in Renaissance Venice — Twelve monuments, five altarpieces, five chapels and a fresco: Frari patronage and Renaissance Venetian political economy — Bodleian Library Canonician Ital. 36: Stefano Magno and the move from commerce to culture — Concordiae dedicatum: the triumphanti, the Beolco, and the politics of prosperity in Renaissance Venice — 1526: state lotteries, the final Ruzantine performance, and a Machiavellian coda — Conclusion.

A companion to the war film / edited by Douglas A. Cunningham and John C. Nelson. Malden, MA : Wiley Blackwell, 2016.

SUMMARY: “A Companion to the War Film contains 27 original essays that examine all aspects of the genre, from the traditional war film, to the new global nature of conflicts, and the diverse formats that war stories assume in today’s digital culture. Includes new works from experienced and emerging scholars that expand the scope of the genre by applying fresh theoretical approaches and archival resources to the study of the war film ; Moves beyond the limited confines of ‘the combat film’ to cover home-front films, international and foreign language films, and a range of conflicts and time periods ; Addresses complex questions of gender, race, forced internment, international terrorism, and war protest in films such as Full Metal Jacket, Good Kill, Grace is Gone, Gran Torino, The Messenger, Snow Falling on Cedars, So Proudly We Hail, Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, Tender Comrade, and Zero Dark Thirty ; Provides a nuanced vision of war film that brings the genre firmly into the 21st Century and points the way for exciting future scholarship”–Provided by publisher.

Electoral guerrilla theatre  : radical ridicule and social movements / L.M. Bogad. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2016.

CONTENTS: Introduction: Electoral guerrilla theatre in recent democracies: speaking mirth to power — A prank too far? the Kabouters’ electoral guerrilla theatre, Amsterdam 1970-71 — Sturm und drag: the fabulous camp-pains of Miss Joan Jettblakk — Electoral guerrilla theatre in Australia: Pauline Hanson vs. Pauline Pantsdown — Earthalujah!: the importance of being earnest with the church of life after shopping — Conclusion: a tricky new play.

The global auteur : the politics of authorship in 21st century cinema / edited by Seung-hoon Jeong and Jeremi Szaniawski. London ; New York, NY : Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

CONTENTS: Machine generated contents note: Introduction (Jeremi Szaniawski, and Seung-hoon Jeong) — The Global Author: Control, Creative Constraints and Performative Self Contradiction (Thomas Elsaesser) — Abderrahmane Sissako: On the Politics of African Auteurs (Rachel Gabara) — Godard’s Stereoscopic Essay: Thinking in and with Adieu au langage (Rick Warner) — Michael Winterbottom: A Self-Effacing Auteur? (William Brown) — Provocation and Perversity: Lars von Trier’s Cinematic Anti-Philosophy (Robert Sinnerbrink) — From Political Engagement to Politics of Abjection in Polish Auteur Cinema: The Case of Wojtek Smarzowski (Izabela Kalinowska) — Of Intruders (and Guests): The Films of Michael Haneke and Aleksey Balabanov (Jeremi Szaniawski) — Contemporary Romanian Auteurs: Politics, Irony and Reflevixity (Dominique Nasta) — Fatih Akin’s Moral Geometry (Dudley Andrew) — Richard Linklater’s Post-Nostalgia and the Temporal Logic of Neoliberalism (Dan Hassler-Forest) — ‘Black in White’: Language, World-making and the American Contract in the Cinema of Quentin Tarantino (John Pitseys) — Battle with History: Carlos Reygadas and the Cinema of Being (Michael Cramer) — The Art of Encounter and (Self)Fabulation: Eduardo Coutinho’s Cinema of Bodies and Words (Consuelo Lins) — Shareable Cinema: The Politics of Abbas Kiarostami — (Nico Baumbach) — Migration and Contemporary Indian Cinema: A Consideration of Anurag Kashyap and la politique des auteurs in the Times of Globalization (Kaushik Bhaumik) — Space and Time in the Land of the End of History (Marco Grosoli) — Revisiting Jia Zhangke: Individuality, Subjectivity, and Autonomy in Contemporary Chinese Independent Cinema (Victor Fan) — Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Dis/continuity, and the Ghostly Ethics of Meaning and Auteurship (Aaron Gerow) — A Generational Spectrum of Global Korean Auteurs: Political Matrix and Ethical Potential (Seung-hoon Jeong).

A handbook to the reception of Greek drama / edited by Betine van Zyl Smit. Chichester, West Sussex : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.

Mediating mobility : visual anthropology in the age of migration / Steffen Kohn. London ; New York : Wallflower Press, 2016.

SUMMARY: Images have become an integral part of the political regulation of migration: they help produce categories of legality versus illegality, foster stereotypes, and mobilize political convictions. Yet how are we to understand the relationship between these images and the political in the discourse surrounding migration’ How can we, as anthropologists, migration scholars, or documentary filmmakers visually represent people who are excluded from political representation’ And how can such visual representations gain political momentum’ This volume not only considers the images that circulate with reference to migrants or draw attention to those that accompany, show, or conceal them. The book explores the phenomena of migration with the help of images. It offers an in-depth analysis of the documentary approaches of Ursula Biemann, Renzo Martens, Bouchra Khalili, Silvain George, Raphael Cuomo and Maria Iorio, Alex Rivera, and Rania Stepha, which evoke the particularities of migrant lifeworlds and examine urgent questions regarding the interrelations between politics and putics, mobility and mediation, and the ethics of probability and possibility. The author also discusses his own cinematic practice in the making of Tell Me When. (2011), A Tale of Two Islands (2012), and Intimate Distance (2015), a trilogy of films that explore the potential to communicate the bodily, spatial, and temporal dimensions of the experience of migration.

Of treason, God and testicles : political masculinities in British and American films of the early Cold War / by Kathleen Starck. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.

SUMMARY: “Gender in general, and masculinity in particular, might not be the first associations the mind produces when presented with the subject matter of the Cold War. More likely contenders would be the arms race or the ideological dichotomy of Communism versus Capitalism. However, recent research has established beyond a doubt that the politics and diplomacy of the superpower conflict were not only strongly influenced by beliefs about gender, but simultaneously also generated them. In fact, in a social climate where gender conformity was considered as crucial as ideological conformity, the conflict gave rise to what might be called distinctive “Cold War masculinities.” At the same time, the socio-historical context of the Cold War markedly shaped the cinemas of one of the main Cold War players, the United States, and of its close ally, Great Britain. Both film industries produced films overtly or covertly depicting the Cold War, characterised by propaganda, coercion and resistance to varying degrees.Integrating these findings from the fields of masculinity studies and (cultural) Cold War studies, this book analyses in what shape the interplay between widespread political and ideological Cold War convictions and Cold War notions of masculinity found its way onto British and American cinema screens of the early Cold War.”–Publisher description.

The promise of cinema : German film theory, 1907–1933 / edited by Anton Kaes, Nicholas Baer, and Michael Cowan. Oakland : University of California Press, 2016.

SUMMARY: “Rich in implications for our present era of media change, The Promise of Cinema offers a compelling new vision of film theory. The volume conceives of “theory” not as a fixed body of canonical texts, but as a dynamic set of reflections on the very idea of cinema and the possibilities once associated with it. Unearthing more than 275 early-twentieth-century German texts, this ground-breaking documentation leads readers into a world that was striving to assimilate modernity’s most powerful new medium. We encounter lesser-known essays by Béla Balázs, Walter Benjamin, and Siegfried Kracauer alongside interventions from the realms of aesthetics, education, industry, politics, science, and technology. The book also features programmatic writings from the Weimar avant-garde and from directors such as Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau. Nearly all documents appear in English for the first time; each is meticulously introduced and annotated. The most comprehensive collection of German writings on film published to date, The Promise of Cinema is an essential resource for students and scholars of film and media, critical theory, and European culture and history.”– Provided by publisher.

Rewriting narratives in Egyptian theatre : translation, performance, politics / edited by Sirkku Aaltonen and Areeg IbrahimNew York : Routledge, 2016.

SUMMARY: “This study of Egyptian theatre and its narrative construction explores the ways representations of Egypt are created of and within theatrical means, from the 19th century to the present day. Essays address the narratives that structure theatrical, textual, and performative representations and the ways the rewriting process has varied in different contexts and at different times. Drawing on concepts from Theatre and Performance Studies, Translation Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Diaspora Studies, scholars and practitioners from Egypt and the West enter into dialogue with one another, expanding understanding of the different fields. The articles focus on the ways theatre texts and performances change (are rewritten) when crossing borders between different worlds. The concept of rewriting is seen to include translation, transformation, and reconstruction, and the different borders may be cultural and national, between languages and dramaturgies, or borders that are present in people’s everyday lives. Essays consider how rewritings and performances cross borders from one culture, nation, country, and language to another. They also study the process of rewriting, the resulting representations of foreign plays on stage, and representations of the Egyptian revolution on stage and in Tahrir Square. This assessment of the relationship between theatre practices, exchanges, and rewritings in Egyptian theatre brings vital coverage to an undervisited area and will be of interest to developments in theatre translation and beyond.”–Publisher description.

The Routledge dictionary of performance and contemporary theatre / Patrice Pavis ; translated by Andrew BrownMilton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2016.

The silents of Jesus in the early cinema (1897-1927) / edited by David J. Shepherd.  New York, NY ; Milton Park, Abingdon : Routledge, 2016.

SUMMARY: While Jesus has been a star attraction at the cinema since the epics of the 1950s, it is often forgotten that between the advent of motion pictures in the 1890s and the close of the ‘silent’ era at the end of the 1920s, some of the longest, most expensive, and most popular films on both sides of the Atlantic were focused on the Life and Passion of the Christ. Drawing upon rarely seen archival footage and the work of the era’s most important directors, such as Alice Guy, Ferdinand Zecca, Sidney Olcott, D.W. Griffith, and C.B. DeMille, this volume offers a representative survey of the Silents of Jesus, illustrating the ways in which a host of cinematic Saviors not only shaped the cinema, but were shaped by it. Featuring essays written by leading scholars in biblical and early film studies using a variety of approaches, this collection offers a seminal treatment of the genesis and evolution of the cinematic Jesus.

Theatre history and historiography : ethics, evidence and truth / edited by Claire Cochrane and Jo RobinsonHoundmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, [2016]

SUMMARY: This collection of essays explores how historians of theatre apply ethical thinking to the attempt to truthfully represent their subject – whether that be the life of a well-known performer, or the little known history of colonial theatre in India – by exploring the process by which such histories are written, and the challenges they raise.

For questions, contact Brian (bvetruba@wustl.edu ; 5-4824 ; IM/chat ; Olin, rm. 124).

About the author

Brian Vetruba is Germanic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, and European Studies Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis