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Screening Nostalgia

Populuxe Props and Technicolor Aesthetics in Contemporary American Film

Christine Sprengler

210 pages, 20 ills, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-559-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (January 2009)

ISBN  978-0-85745-161-3 $29.95/£21.00 Pb Published (February 2011)

eISBN 978-1-84545-888-1 eBook


Hb Pb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

"Screening Nostalgia provides a cogent summary of the history of America’s love affair with nostalgia as well as offering useful examples of how to mobilize nostalgia in critically sophisticated ways. The text is engaging and accessible and should have wide appeal, particularly among scholars and students of film and American cultural history."  ·  Southwest Journal of Cultures

"The excellence of the scholarship (the bibliography alone covers a daunting range of fields from seventeenth-century medical case histories through to cutting edge critical theory) and the persuasive arguments which she presents do indeed develop a thorough and solid foundation for her theory of nostalgia in film, which can become an indispensible springboard for future research."  ·  Scope

"In this fascinating in-depth study of the impact of nostalgia on contemporary American cinema, Christine Sprengler unpicks the history of the concept and explores its significance in theory and practice. She offers a lucid analysis of the development of nostalgia in American society and culture, navigating a path through the key debates and aligning herself with recent attempts to recuperate its critical potential. This journey opens up the myriad permutations of nostalgia across visual and material culture and their interface with cinema, with the 1950s emerging as a privileged moment. Four case studies (Sin City, Far From Heaven, The Aviator and The Good German) analyse the ways in which aspects of visual design such as props, costume and colour contribute to the nostalgic aesthetic, allowing for both critical distance and emotion. Written with verve, style and impressive attention to detail, Screening Nostalgia is an invaluable addition to existing scholarship. It is also essential reading for anyone interested in the ways in which we access the past through cinema."  ·  Pam Cook, Professor Emerita in Film, University of Southampton

Christine Sprengler is an Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Western Ontario. She received her Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of London in 2004 and has published on British and American cinema.

Subject: Film Studies
Area: North America

LC: PN1995.9.N67 S67 2009

BL: YK.2009.a.24492

BISAC: PER004010 PERFORMING ARTS/Film & Video/Direction & Production; PER004000 PERFORMING ARTS/Film & Video/General

BIC: APFX Film production: technical & background skills; AP Film, TV & radio




Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter 1. Setting the Stage: The History of Nostalgia
Chapter 2. The Fifties: Nostalgia’s Privileged Object and the Origins of its Dominant American Strain
Chapter 3. The Nostalgia Film in Practice and Theory
Chapter 4. Sin City: Reading the Tails of a Populuxe Prop
Chapter 5. Far From Heaven: Creative Agency, Social History and the Expressive Potential of Costume
Chapter 6. The Aviator: Deliberate Archaism, Technicolor Aesthetics and Style as Substance

Conclusion: The Good German and the Good of Nostalgia

Filmography
References
Index

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