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Download The Hollywood Musical (BFI Cinema) epub

by Jane Feuer

Download The Hollywood Musical (BFI Cinema) epub
ISBN: 0333583418
ISBN13: 978-0333583418
Category: Humor
Subcategory: Movies
Author: Jane Feuer
Language: English
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company; 2nd edition (February 1993)
Pages: 162 pages
ePUB size: 1131 kb
FB2 size: 1830 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 400
Other Formats: azw mbr docx mbr

A review, with comments, of Hollywood musicals. To understand this book must have seen or expect to see, the musical of which mention is made, otherwise it will be incomprehensible. For those who have seen them at least once, the book can be interesting.
The writer has a perverse view of movie musicals and it shows in her so-called writings. She whines and moans and groans throughout the short,thankfully,book. In short,it stinks.
Review of The Hollywood Musical
Hot Toasty Rag, October 24, 2017

This is such a great book, for students and for moviegoers who love musicals. I was both when I read it, and used it as a part of my research for a term paper in college. From a student’s perspective, it’s extremely informative and could easily be added to required reading lists for relative classes. The book, originally published in 1983, and with a second edition released in 1993, takes readers through the history of movie musicals, from Al Jolson’s singing phenomenon through to Flashdance.

Those reading it for pleasure rather than a class will be equally entertained. Much of the book is dedicated to Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, as it should be, since their techniques and films shaped the entire musical genre forever. Not only does Jane Feuer discuss movie musicals as a whole, but she dissects the power of the camera in show-stopping musical numbers, and how films can bring musicals to audiences in a way the stage never can.

Dozens of stills from movie musicals pepper the pages, and with a list of credits as well as an index in the back of all the films mentioned, you can easily pick out movies you haven’t seen that look interesting and add them to your to-watch list. If you like classic musicals, you’ll like this book. One can only imagine how interesting her third edition would have been, had she discussed the resurgence of movie musicals in the Chicago era!
Jane Feuer's book "The Hollywood Musical" is a rare treat for those who want to get their hands on some actual criticism of this forgotten genre in movie history. She takes an analytical, thematic approach and the book is very much an academic work, not altogether readable for those searching for a friendly and informal introduction. However, if you really care about learning how this genre works and operates this is the most frequently quoted and leading book out there on the subject.

I have some criticisms, just because Feuer seems to assume too much about what constitutes a "musical", naming "Dirty Dancing" and the like, whereas I would prefer an author who gives more critical thought to this complex question. She is very good, however, on the intricacies of the theme of self-reflexivity in the musical and its relationship to its ancestral roots of the live theater.

Definitely buy this if you want to be introduced to a more complex analysis of this fascinating genre.
...but alack, I can't say much for her knowledge of the trends that she claims shape the form of the Hollywood Musical. For example, her explaination of Brecht's verfremdungs-effekt (which she never labels as such, using instead the much maligned 'alienation' translation) completely omits the most important aspect of Brecht's aesthetic: the political one. While it may be valid to maintain that Hollywood Musicals are apolitical, it is a travesty to invoke a political concept without addressing at least the omission of the political aspect. Likewise, her comparisons to Goddard are fallacious, as I would hardly call a musical about what goes on backstage ('Gold Diggers of 1933', for example) any sort of demystification, especially when film is the medium!
On the other hand, she invokes other things like Dwight MacDonald's 'Theory of Mass Culture' quite elegantly. Aesthetic and theory aside, the book is an excellent examination of the trends of a Hollywood musical and the archetypes represented therein. I was also delighted to see that she included a section in the second edition printing on how camp has affected musicals in the past 25 years or so.
As mentioned, the author truly does know her subject - she is a veritable mental compendium of information regarding her subject matter. But I give the book two stars as I think anyone who tires easily of discussions surrounding theory and aesthetic will find the book a bit long in parts, and because anyone looking for incisive views on musicals as they realate to theory will be sorely disappointed.
The Hollywood Musical is ground breaking book in the area of film studies. Feuer exemplifies a total package, by not only tracing the orgins of the musical, but the affects of the musical to society. Feuer also shows a masterful understanding popular culture in defining the newly found teen musical. Feuer's most genius work can be found in Chapter 4. It is here, where Feuer defines the drean worlds and dream ballets. This chapter not only defines dream sequences for musicals, but the complex dream theory can also be applied to other genres. Feuer's work in the musical should be honored as a true gem for the field. You can almost hear Judy Garland sing as you turn the page. I would also like to personally thank Jane Feuer for teaching me and others the byways of this most complex genre...for that I am forever indebted to her.
The other reviewer doth protest way too much... especially against such a terrifically presented analytical survey of this cinematic genre.