The American Film Musical
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The American Film Musical

4.02 (34 ratings by Goodreads)
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"... a model of genre criticism and probably the best overall analysis of the film musical to date." Journal of Popular Films and Television"The American Film Musical is a truly admirable book which is well worth making a song and dance about. It will immediately assume biblical authority for all who are seriously interested in the dream-factory's most lavish fantasies, and it may even come to stand as a landmark in our understanding of Hollywood as a whole.... Altman's book is thorough, well informed and warmly good-humored. It has brought the study of musical films out of the dark ages." Times Literary Supplement"... an important addition to both literature and film collections.... a landmark study." Library Journal"Altman's important study of the American film musical combines genre theory with film criticism and history.... Recommended... " ChoiceThe American Film Musical is at once the most advanced statement on genre theory and the most complete treatment of the American musical. Altman's unique interweaving of theory, history, and criticism represents an original and challenging contribution to film studies. Illustrated with over 200 frame enlargements and production stills.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 200.66 x 251.46 x 22.86mm | 929.86g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 91 b&w photos
  • 025320514X
  • 9780253205148
  • 564,491

Review quote

1992 French Film Critics Award for Best Film Book NP"The American Film Musical is a truly admirable book which is well worth making a song and dance about. It will immediately assume biblical authority for all who are seriously interested in the dream-factory's most lavish fantasies, and it may even come to stand as a landmark in our understanding of Hollywood as a whole... Altman's book is thorough, well informed and warmly good-humoured. It has brought the study of musical films out of the dark ages." Times Literary Supplement "... a model of genre criticism and probably the best overall analysis of the film musical to date." Journal of Popular Films and Television " ... an important addition to both literature and film collections... a landmark study." Library Journal "Altman's important study of the American film musical combines genre theory with film criticism and history... Recommended ..." Choiceshow more

Table of contents

PREFACEI. An Introduction to the Theory of Genre AnalysisGeneral Discourse on MeaningThe Role of Generic Formations in Meaning ProductionThe Role of the CriticToward Objective Evaluation of Subjective CriticismEstablishing a CorpusII. The American Film Musical as Dual-Focus NarrativeIII. The Structure of the American Film MusicalThe film process through a series of paired segments matching the male and female leadsEach separate part of the film recapitulates the film's overall dualityThe basic sexual duality overlays a secondary dichotomyThe marriage which resolves the primary (sexual) dichotomy also mediates between the two terms of the secondary (thematic) oppositionIV. The Style of the American Film MusicalAudio DissolveVideo DissolvePersonality DissolveV. The Problem of Genre HistoryProblems with Current TerminologyTowards a New TerminologyDefining the CorpusReformulating Genre HistoryThe History of the American Film Musical: A New ApproachVI. The Fairy Tale MusicalPrehistorySex as SexSex as BattleSex as AdventureVII. The Show MusicalThe Sources of Show Musical SemanticsBackstage: The Syntax of IllusionTaking it Out of the TheaterSaving the Dying Myth: Reflexivity as ReinforcementVIII. The Folk MusicalElements of the Folk MusicalBuilding a Folk SyntaxA Folk Art in the Age of Mass MediaIX. Genre and CultureThe Fundamental Characteristics of Genre FilmSymbolic SpectatorshipWork and EntertainmentThe Musical's Operational RoleThe Practice of Music in the Age of Electronic ReproductionConclusionBIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTESNOTESYEARLY TABLE OF MUSICALS BY SUBGENREINDEXshow more

Rating details

34 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 32% (11)
4 44% (15)
3 18% (6)
2 6% (2)
1 0% (0)
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