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Surveillance and Film (Hardback)
  • Surveillance and Film (Hardback)
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Surveillance and Film (Hardback)

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£65.00
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 08/09/2016
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Winner of the Surveillance Studies Network Book Award: 2017 Surveillance is a common feature of everyday life. But how are we to make sense of or understand what surveillance is, how we should feel about it, and what, if anything, can we do? Surveillance and Film is an engaging and accessible book that maps out important themes in how popular culture imagines surveillance by examining key feature films that prominently address the subject. Drawing on dozens of examples from around the world, J. Macgregor Wise analyzes films that focus on those who watch (like Rear Window, Peeping Tom, Disturbia, Gigante, and The Lives of Others), films that focus on those who are watched (like The Conversation, Cache, and Ed TV), films that feature surveillance societies (like 1984, THX 1138, V for Vendetta, The Handmaid's Tale, The Truman Show, and Minority Report), surveillance procedural films (from The Naked City, to Hong Kong's Eye in the Sky, The Infernal Affairs Trilogy, and the Overheard Trilogy of films), and films that interrogate the aesthetics of the surveillance image itself (like Sliver, Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), Der Riese, and Look). Wise uses these films to describe key models of understanding surveillance (like Big Brother, Panopticism, or the Control Society) as well as to raise issues of voyeurism, trust, ethics, technology, visibility, identity, privacy, and control that are essential elements of today's culture of surveillance. The text features questions for further discussion as well as lists of additional films that engage these topics.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN: 9781628924848
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 449 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Wise claims this book is not a survey of surveillance film; he is right. This work is infinitely more useful. The examples chosen display a curatorial expertise that only comes from years of immersion in the subject. Wise combines close, textual reading of individual movies, thematic analysis, and historical contextualisation to create that most elusive of scholarly achievements: an eminently accessible yet original contribution. Teachers, students, and researchers will all find something of use in Wise's brilliant analysis of the surveillant imaginary. Guiding the reader through surveillant subjectivities, aesthetics, politics, and structures of feeling, this book fully unpacks the meaning of surveillance films in the contemporary conjuncture. * Clare Birchall, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Culture, King's College London, UK *
This book is not (only) about a certain group of films, but about the surveillance culture we live in: Its central concern is the taken-for-grantedness of the myriad technologies that monitor, record, and process the minutiae of our daily lives. By discussing not only the classics of popular surveillance fiction (The Truman Show, Enemy of the State, and many more), but also lesser known, but not less intriguing examples of this genre, Wise provides us with important philosophical, historical, and sociological insights into how surveillance practices and technology came to pervade our everyday lives. It is highly readable and balances detailed analysis of the films with the most current theoretical concepts in surveillance studies. This publication is recommended to students and scholars of film and media studies as well as the social sciences. * Dietmar Kammerer, Research Associate, Institute for Media Studies, University of Margurg, Germany *
With enviable clarity and insight, Wise demonstrates how film provides a rich set of cultural resources for addressing one of the pressing questions of our time: how to think about the surveillance society we are building for ourselves. Drawing on a wide range of films, he probes in original, productive, and sometimes surprising ways the relationship between desire, control, and the monitoring gaze. This book is a work of care -- Wise is a careful and generous interpreter -- but also one of concern about our increasingly monitored moment. * Mark Andrejevic, Professor of Media Studies, Pomona College, USA *
"Overall, Wise provides an accessible and engaging introduction to surveillance in film, and each of the five main chapters considers a number of critical questions about surveillance more generally." * Surveillance & Society *

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