Screening Nostalgia: Populuxe Props and Technicolor Aesthetics in Contemporary American Film

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Berghahn Books, 2009 - Performing Arts - 198 pages

"In this fascinating in-depth study of the impact of nostalgia on contemporary American cinema, Christine Sprengler unpicks the history of the concept and explores its significance in theory and practice. She offers a lucid analysis of the development of nostalgia in American society and culture, navigating a path through the key debates and aligning herself with recent attempts to recuperate its critical potential. This journey opens up the myriad permutations of nostalgia across visual and material culture and their interface with cinema, with the 1950s emerging as a privileged moment. Four case studies (Sin City, Far From Heaven, The Aviator and The Good German) analyse the ways in which aspects of visual design such as props, costume and colour contribute to the nostalgic aesthetic, allowing for both critical distance and emotion. Written with verve, style and impressive attention to detail, Screening Nostalgia is an invaluable addition to existing scholarship. It is also essential reading for anyone interested in the ways in which we access the past through cinema." - Pam Cook, Professor Emerita in Film, University of Southampton


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The History of Nostalgia
Nostalgias Privileged Object and the Origins
The Nostalgia Film in Practice and Theory
Reading the Tails of a Populuxe Prop
Creative Agency Social History
The Aviator Deliberate Archaism Technicolor Aesthetics
Conclusion The Good German and the Good of Nostalgia

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About the author (2009)

Christine Sprengler is an Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Western Ontario. She received her Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of London in 2004 and has published on British and American cinema.

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