Understanding film: Marxist perspectives

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Pluto, 2005 - Performing Arts - 253 pages
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Marxism and Film share at least one thing in common: they are both interested in the masses.From the introductionFilm remains one of the most dominant cultural forms in the world today. Crossing classes and cultures, it permeates many aspects of our consciousness. In film, perhaps more than any other medium, we can read the politics of time and place, past and present. The history of Marxism has intersected with film in many ways and this book is a timely reminder of the fruits of that intersection, in film theory and film practice. Marxist film theory returns to film studies some of the key concepts which make possible a truly radical, political understanding of the medium and its place both within capitalism and against it. This book shows how questions of ideology, technology and industry must be situated in relation to class a category which academia is distinctly uncomfortable with. It explores the work of some of the key theorists who have influenced our understanding of film, such as Adorno, Althusser, Benjamin, Brecht, Gramsci, Jameson and others. It shows how films must be situated in their social and historical contexts, whether Hollywood, Russian, Cuban, Chinese or North Korean cinema. The authors explore the political contradictions and tensions within dominant cinema and discuss how Marxist filmmakers have pushed the medium in new and exciting directions.

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Adorno Benjamin Brecht and Film
Gramsci Sembene and the Politics of Culture

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About the author (2005)

Mike Wayne teaches and researches in film and television studies at Brunel University and is the author of Marxism and Media Studies, Political Film: the Dialectics of Third Cinema and the editor of Dissident Voices: The Politics of Television and Cultural Change, all available from Pluto Press.

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