International Cinema Titles

1. Napoli/New York/Hollywood: film between Italy and the United States
Muscio, Giuliana. Fordham, 2019

Author of Hollywood’s New Deal (CH, Sep’97, 35-0184) and one of the coeditors of Mediated Ethnicity: New Italian-American Cinema (CH, Aug’11, 48-6797), Muscio (Univ. of Padova, Italy) now presents a tremendously informative account of cinematic exchange between Italy and the US from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. She comes at these exchanges from multiple directions: Italian actors in silent and classical Hollywood films; American films made in Italy; Italian-language cinema made in the US; transnational neorealism. Sometimes the book assumes the format of an encyclopedia, as individual actors are provided with compressed biographical and filmographic entries. But Muscio also takes on many overarching themes having to do with nationalism, ethnicity, race, and gender.
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2. Roots of the new Arab film
Armes, Roy. Indiana, 2018

Tracing the trajectory of Arab cinema in the Maghreb and the Middle East in the 1980s and 1990s, Armes (emer., Middlesex Univ. London, UK) illustrates how pre-independence national cinema was mostly deployed as a mode of resistance against Western colonization and how European cinema—namely French, Italian, and British—influenced this new wave of Arab filmmakers and postcolonial Arab cinema in general. Armes draws intimate portraits of leading Arab filmmakers, examining their financial woes and their rebelliousness toward the despotic governments that controlled every aspect of film production. The author highlights the plight of Arab filmmakers who incessantly searched for funding, from mostly Western sponsors, and negotiated their newfound freedom to create work that appealed primarily to Western audiences without compromising the core of their stories.
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3. Contemporary Peruvian cinema: history, identity and violence on screen
Barrow, Sarah. I. B. Tauris, 2018

In this meticulously researched, clearly organized, well-written study, Barrow (Univ. of East Anglia, UK) examines Peruvian fiction film of the late 20th and early 21st centuries—in particular features produced in the period from 1988 to 2004, when the Peruvian state was undergoing a political crisis due to the Shining Path insurgency. Barrow skillfully and fruitfully combines sociopolitical contextual analysis with close readings of individual films to examine key themes such as trauma, memory, the political violence between Sendero Luminoso and the military, cultural responses to terrorism, and the relationship between state, cinema, and cultural and national identity.
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4. Inhospitable world: cinema in the time of the Anthropocene
Fay, Jennifer. Oxford, 2018

In this stunningly original and deeply troubling book, Fay (Vanderbilt Univ.) argues that in the Anthropocene age, humans—having laid waste to Earth through overpopulation, pollution, and the sheer plundering of its natural resources—have pushed the planet past the point of no return and into an inevitable spin toward the apocalypse. Ranging across a vast array of films to prove her point, Fay examines the work of Buster Keaton and Andy Warhol, US government atomic-test films such as Operation Cue (1955), Jack Arnold’s sci-fi classic The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), Robert Aldrich’s brutal film noir Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Jia Zhangke’s Still Life (2006), and documentary films set in the unforgiving landscape of the Antarctic.
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