Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film: Volume 1 - Academy Awards - Crime Films

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American Film: A History. New York: W. Norton, Litwack, Leon F. Carnes, ed. Miller, Perry. Errand into the Wilderness. Miller, Richard H. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Mintz, Steven, and Randy Roberts, eds.

James, NY: Brandywine Press, Morris, Charles R. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy. Mulvey, Laura. Feminist Film Theory. A Reader. Myers, James M. Neale, Steve. Genre and Hollywood. London: Routledge, Nichols, Bill. Paolino, Ernest N.

Pramaggiore, Maria, and Tom Wallis. Film: A Critical Introduction. London: Laurence King, Rosenberg, Emily S.

New York: Hill and Wang, Schatz, Thomas. Boston: McGraw-Hill, Shindler, Colin. Hollywood in Crisis: Cinema and American Society, London and New York: Routledge, Sklar, Robert. A World History of Film. New York: Harry N. Abrams, New York: Vintage Books, Strong, Josiah.

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Our Country. Turner, Frederick Jackson. The Frontier in American History. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, Vaughan, Alden T. The Puritan Tradition, , rev. Hanover: University Press of New England, Weeks, William Earl. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, White, Richard.

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Williams, William Appleman. New York: Random House, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. Wisan, Joseph E. American Imperialism in Boston: D. Heath, Wood, Robin. Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan. New York: Columbia University Press, Zinn, Howard.

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New York: Harper Collins, His complex narrative approach invites viewers to use their powers of analysis and relies on stylized visuals and musical choices to convey emotional depth. Toward this end, he developed a small camera that enabled him to shoot his rapidly moving actors at extremely close range. He also cast real boxers to work with Smith in the fight scenes, which were meticulously cho- reographed to mirror what actually transpires in the ring.

The juxtapositions draw connections between boxing and art, sports and celebrity, black culture and politics. As the song cli- maxes, Ali—silent up to that point—bursts through double doors to begin a harangue about rival Sonny Liston, signifying that his famous braggadocio was a product of those formative experiences. Interestingly, Mann was hired after Smith was attached to a screenplay for Ali, which was unusual in that Mann normally plays a larger part in developing his films.

However, he radically revised the existing script with Eric Roth, his collaborator on. In this scene the duo fights for the title in The Insider , making Ali aesthetically and thematically his own. Not only did the role earn him his first Academy Award nomination, it also changed how he was perceived by many in Hollywood. Indeed, playing the young Muhammad Ali— who, before he became a beloved elder statesman, was understood as radical, alien, and unpatriotic—Smith altered his image in the eyes of many of his critics, who had accused him of homophobia and immaturity because he had refused to perform a homosexual kiss in Six Degrees of Separation , and of allowing himself to be portrayed as a.

Ironically, especially because the film was directed by Mann, it seems that some critics saw Ali as flawed because it failed to meet genre expectations of biopics, sports movies, or historical films; Ali, for example, although he is the central character, does not have a clear and singular adver- sary, nor does the film have distinguishable plot points. Reference Gonzalez, Susan. Notable for its extraordinary special effects, it is also unusual in that it features a woman, Sigourney Weaver, in the lead role.

Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film

Alien takes place on the Nostromo, a spaceship that transports mineral ore back to Earth from mining operations on other planets. On its return, the ship receives a dis- tress signal from a nearby planet. The crew is instructed to respond to the signal and lands on the planet. Once they land, they find that the distress signal is coming from an alien spaceship.

They discover the corpse of an alien and a room full of eggs.


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One of the eggs hatches and a small alien creature latches onto the face of Executive Officer Kane John Hurt. The crew returns to the Nostromo with Kane. Later, a seemingly healthy Kane begins to choke during a meal, and in what has become an iconic film moment, an alien being explodes from his chest. From that point forward, the Alien begins to hunt and kill the seven-member crew one by one. Because the spaceship is a civilian vessel, the crew has to improvise weap- ons to use against what seems to be the unstoppable Alien. The film follows the crew members, led by Warrant Officer Ripley Weaver , in trying to track down and destroy the Alien, which continues to grow, reaching its full size within hours.

While female stars had been a mainstay of Hollywood films for decades, their roles usually involved glam- orous portrayals. Unfortunately, even though the Ripley character as a filmic pro- tagonist was cheered by audi- ences, and pointed the way toward casting women as intellec- tually and physically capable fig- ures—such as Linda Hamilton in the Terminator sequels and Demi Moore in G. Jane— Hollywood has resisted portray- ing female characters in these tra- ditionally male roles. Sigourney Weaver in the role of Ripley in the film Alien.

While his follow-up, Blade Runner, is often considered to have had more influence on subsequent science fiction films, Alien already displayed many of the design elements that mark his later films. Thus, like Blade Runner, the future in Alien is depicted as a grimy, decaying, postindustrial world.

Interestingly, while dys- topian themes had long been a feature of science fiction films, the narrative settings were traditionally brighter and more efficient. In Alien, though, the ship, where almost all the action takes place, is a clunking hulk, its corridors narrow and dark; and because the story is set in space, there obviously is nowhere for the crew members to go. Scott faced much the same problem that Steven Spielberg confronted when he made Jaws in as with a foot shark, even an alien with an elongated head and long, razor sharp teeth dripping with toxic saliva becomes less frightening the more audiences see it.

Like Spielberg, Scott chose not to reveal too much too soon. Throughout the film, then, the true horror of the alien creature is revealed to us slowly, part by part. The film spawned three sequels: Aliens , Alien 3 , and Alien Resurrection Although Weaver starred in all three sequels, Scott would not return to direct any of them. References McIntree, David.

Prestatyn, UK: Telos, Schwartz, Richard A. The Films of Ridley Scott. Westport: Praeger, In the history of the American cinema, no other film has set more records than All about Eve. Joseph L.

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Mankiewicz won awards for Best Screenplay and Best Director, and by the end of the evening, the film had captured six Oscars, including Best Picture. Two weeks before filming was to begin, however, Colbert was forced to withdraw because of an accident. Enter Bette Davis. All about Eve is a classic tale of ambition and deception in that most sacrosanct of institutions, the theatre. Eve is ruthless, calculating, and thoroughly manipulative.

When All about Eve was released, however, it was rumored that Margo was modeled on the life and career of Tallulah Bankhead. A celebrated actress, Davis, who was 41 herself, was dropped by Warner Bros. See also: Melodrama, The; Women in Film. References Dick, Bernard F. Boston: Twayne, Geist, Kenneth L. New York: Scribners, Mankiewicz, Joseph L.