Hollywood Shot by Shot: Alcoholism in American Cinema (Google eBook)

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Transaction Publishers, 1991 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 292 pages
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To what extent have Hollywood feature films shaped the meanings that Americans attach to alcoholics, their families, and the alcoholic condition? To what extent has the mass culture of the movie industry itself been conceptually shaped by a broad, external societal discourse? Norman Denzin brings to his life-long study of alcoholism a searching interest in how cultural texts signify and lend themselves to interpretation within a social nexus. Both historical and diachronic in his approach, Denzin identifies five periods in the alcoholism films made between 1932 and the end of the 1980s, and offers a detailed critical reading of thirty-seven films produced during these six decades. "Professor Denzin has produced a searching and provocative interpretation of more than a half-century of Hollywood's social and personal construction of the problem drinker in America. Readable by both lay persons and specialists, Denzin's book provides us with the most comprehensive understanding of this topic to date."--Stanford M. Lyman, Robert J. Morrow Eminent Scholar in Social Science, Florida Atlantic University "An eminent sociologist and leading authority on alcoholism, Denzin also writes skillfully about films as films and is comfortable with postmodern interpretive theoryŗa genuinely interdisciplinary work of the first order." --Robert L. Carringer, author, The Making of Citizen Kane "Denzin has gone on an exhaustive bar-crawl through hundreds of movies, returning with evidence that the film about drinking is a genre of its own. He writes from sound knowledge about alcoholism--which, unlike other diseases, is frequently viewed with bittersweet romanticism."--Roger Ebert Norman K. Denzin is professor of sociology, cinema studies, and interpretive theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was awarded the George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He is the author of several books, including Screening Race: Hollywood and a Cinema of Racial Violence, The Recovering Alcoholic, Interpretive Ethnography, Images of Postmodernism: Social Theory and Contemporary Cinema, and Interpretive Interactionism.

  

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Contents

INTERPRETIVE STRUCTURES
1
ELWOOD
19
The Critics Read Harvey and Find Alcoholism
25
The Critics Read Arthur and Ignore Alcoholism
31
Notes
37
IN SEARCH OF
41
The Critics
47
The Critics Read The Lost Weekend
53
CREATING THE ALCOHOLIC FAMILY
95
EQUIVOCAL
129
The Lady Sings the Blues 1972
135
THE DISEASED ALCOHOLIC FAMILY
153
THE NEW ALCOHOLIC HEROINE
175
THE NEW ALCOHOLIC HERO
201
HOLLYWOOD AND THE AMERICAN
237
The Alcoholic CoupleFamily and Alcoholics
243

The Critics Read the Film
60
Notes
66
The Story of a Woman
74
Back to the Film
81
The Critics
87
Film Critics and the Creation of the Alcoholic
251
SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY
265
INDEX
287
Copyright

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