Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and Its Contexts - Film and Culture Series (Paperback)Ben Singer (author)
Paperback 256 Pages
In this groundbreaking investigation into the nature and meanings of melodrama in American culture between 1880 and 1920, Ben Singer offers a challenging new reevaluation of early American cinema and the era that spawned it. Singer looks back to the sensational or "blood and thunder" melodramas (e.g., The Perils of Pauline, The Hazards of Helen, etc.) and uncovers a fundamentally modern cultural expression, one reflecting spectacular transformations in the sensory environment of the metropolis, in the experience of capitalism, in the popular imagination of gender, and in the exploitation of the thrill in popular amusement. Written with verve and panache, and illustrated with 100 striking photos and drawings, Singer's study provides an invaluable historical and conceptual map both of melodrama as a genre on stage and screen and of modernity as a pivotal idea in social theory.
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 239 x 180 x 21 mm
A remarkably readable work on the contextual relationship of modernity to stage and screen melodramas in the early 20th century... He accompanies his text with one of the best and most unusual selections of illustrated materials this reviewer has ever seen... He elucidates the cluster ideas of both melodrama and modernity with uncommon good sense and clarity. Highly recommended. -- T. Lindvall Choice A fluent, precise, and excellently historicized account of the interaction between early narrative film and the processes of industrial modernization. Modernism/Modernity Singer's excellent monography Melodrama and Modernity operates firmly within this historiographic field. -- Melanie Nash Cinema and Its Context
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