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Resetting the Scene

Classical Hollywood Revisited

Edited by Philippa Gates and Katherine Spring

Film Theory and Criticism, Gender, Performance Studies

Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series

Published: August 2021
ISBN: 9780814347799
Pages: 304 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 44 b&w illus.
Published: August 2021
ISBN: 9780814347805
Pages: 304 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 44 b&w illus.
Published: August 2021
ISBN: 9780814347812

More than a century after its emergence, classical Hollywood cinema remains popular today with cinephiles and scholars alike. Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited, edited by Philippa Gates and Katherine Spring, showcases cutting-edge work by renowned researchers of Hollywood filmmaking of the studio era and proposes new directions for classical Hollywood studies in the twenty-first century.

Resetting the Scene includes twenty-six accessible chapters and an extensive bibliography. In Part 1, Katherine Spring’s introduction and David Bordwell’s chapter reflect on the newest methods, technological resources, and archival discoveries that have galvanized recent research of studio filmmaking. Part 2 brings together close analyses of film style both visual and sonic with case studies of shot composition, cinematography, and film music. Part 3 offers new approaches to genre, specifically the film musical, the backstudio picture, and the B-film. Part 4 focuses on industry operations, including the origins of Hollywood, cross-promotion, production planning, and talent management. Part 5 offers novel perspectives on the representation of race, in regard to censorship, musicals, film noir, and science fiction. Part 6 illuminates forgotten histories of women’s labor in terms of wartime propaganda, below-the-line work, and the evolution of star persona. Part 7 explores the demise of the studio system but also the endurance of classical norms in auteur cinema and screenwriting in the post-classical era. Part 8 highlights new methods for studying Hollywood cinema, including digital resources as tools for writing history and analyzing films, and the intersection of film studies with emergent fields like media industry studies.

Intended for scholars and students of Hollywood film history, Resetting the Scene intersects with numerous fields consonant with film studies, including star studies, media industry studies, and critical race theory.

Philippa Gates is a professor of film studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada.

Katherine Spring is associate professor of film studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada.

Contributors Include:
Tino Balio, David Bordwell, Chris Cagle, Liz Clarke, Steven Cohan, Blair Davis, Lisa Dombrowski, Kyle Edwards, Ryan Jay Friedman, Philippa Gates, Barry Keith Grant, Helen Hanson, Scott Higgins, Eric Hoyt, Kathryn Kalinak, Patrick Keating, Charlie Keil, Richard Maltby, Denise McKenna, Paul Monticone, Charlene Regester, Bradley Schauer, Will Scheibel, Katherine Spring, Janet Staiger, Kirsten Moana Thompson

Resetting the Scene more than fulfills the promise of its title. This is a marvelous collection of concise, lively, revelatory, incisive work from an array of first-rate scholars who continue to examine, refine, and revise our notions of the crucially important classical Hollywood cinema. This is must reading for anyone interested in the topic and state of the art research.

– Matthew H. Bernstein, author of Walter Wanger, Hollywood Independent

Resetting the Scene surveys recent academic research on classical Hollywood cinema, twenty-five years after Bordwell/Thompson/Staiger literally defined the term. Covering all approaches from new analyses of style and genre to studio operations and race and gender studies, authored by both established and younger scholars, this volume is a succinct introduction to classical Hollywood.

– Jan-Christopher Horak, UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television

This excellent collection of essays covers a wide range of interests, from the musicals of Vincente Minnelli to science fiction genre films, as well as the advent of color cinematography, the world of ‘B’ film production, how contract players were built up by the major studios, issues of race and gender in the classical Hollywood film, the roles of women both in front of and behind the camera, and the ways in which the films of the studio era are now viewed through the critical lens of contemporary film criticism. This is an immensely readable volume that captures one’s attention and fires the imagination.

– Wheeler Winston Dixon, James Ryan Emeritus Professor of Film Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited is an anthology of scholarly essays by a variety of learned authors about the classical Hollywood films and their history. Resetting the Scene is a erudite contribution to public and college library Theatre/ Cinema shelves, highly recommended.

– James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

It is an engaging, readable, and entertaining work of significant scholastic import. Containing twenty-five approachable—not to mention historiographically and culturally rel- evant—essays, Resetting the Scene will be of interest to readers ranging from critical film theorists in academia to film enthusiasts whose interest in classical Hollywood stems from the era and its media pro- viding a means of escapist comfort.

– Eric Deutsch, Journal of Popular Culture

Not for the casual moviegoer, but serious students of cinema will find inspiration and ideas for research here.

– Library Journal