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  • 3/15/2005
Cinemas of the MindA Critical History of Film Theory

Edited by Nicolas Tredell

"Photography is truth. The cinema is truth 24 times a second" Jean-Luc Godard

Film theory was one of the twentieth century's great adventures in thought; it shows every sign of flourishing in the twenty-first. How have directors, writers, cultural thinkers and philosophers comprehended the aesthetics, ethics, psychology and politics of this most modern, most popular and most loved of art forms?

Cinemas of the Mind reconstructs and intervenes in the fascinating debates that have pitted the history of thinking about film. Combining key extracts from the major works of film theory with in-depth analysis and trenchant critique, Nicolas Tredell mounts a sustained argument for a new understanding of the relationship of film to reality in the wake of postmodernism.

What is the function of film theory in the age of digital culture?

Both an engaging history and an invaluable sourcebook,Cinemas of the Mind examines a vast pool of thought:

The first hints of theory in the early days of film • Groundbreaking theorists like Münsterberg, Eisenstein, Balلzs, Arnheim and Kracauer • Andre Bazin’s seminal post-war journal Cahiers du cinéma, whose contributors included Godard and Truffaut • Auteur and genre theory • Structuralism, semiotics and post-structuralism • The challenges of feminism and of postcolonialism.

Nicolas Tredell is well-known for his controversial articles on cultural topics. Conversations with Critics, his book of interviews with leading authors such as were one of the Spectator's 'Books of the Year'. He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement and the London Quarterly. He lives in Seaford, East Sussex.

Shakespearean Afterlives: Ten Characters with a Life of their OwnJohn O'Connor

Ben Jonson’s famous observation that Shakespeare was ‘not of an age, but for all time’ has proved to be spectacularly true. From art to advertising, psychology to politics, opera to cinema, Shakespeare’s stories and characters have found an enduring place in our consciousness, enjoying ‘afterlives’ as rich and varied as their original incarnations in the playhouse.

Shakespearean Afterlives is a cultural biography of Shakespeare’s most famous characters. From Shylock to the Shrew, Richard the Third to Romeo, it charts the many and various existences that these characters have led outside the pages of the First Folio.

Each chapter offers an original perspective on a well-known character, examining their role in the play, their history in performance and their intriguingly kaleidoscopic life in the popular consciousness. Episodes from the character’s performance history show how audience perceptions have changed through the centuries; and a broader perspective reveals the new and often unlikely afterlives that the character has enjoyed in a wide variety of cultural fields.

Featuring interviews with experienced actors and directors including Derek Jacobi, Sinead Cusack, Mark Rylance and others this book is for ‘the great Variety of Readers’ who enjoy their Shakespeare and are intrigued by the seemingly endless capacity of his characters for re-invention and reincarnation.

John O'Connor is the editor of the prestigiousLongman Shakespeare series, is married with three children and lives just outside Oxford.

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