Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism is initiating a series of open access ebooks by republishing monographs which originally appeared in the series Close-Up (Wallflower Press, 2006-09). These are free to download, and are available in epub, mobi and now PDF formats.
Ian Garwood - The Pop Song in Film
The Pop Song in Film offers a series of detailed interpretations of moments in films where the pop song adopts a decisive storytelling role. The study focuses on both on-screen musical performances and the use of the song as a kind of musical voiceover. It features close commentary on examples ranging from the Frank Sinatra star vehicle musical Young at Heart (1954) to the opening of Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown (1997).
A series of audiovisual essays to accompany The Pop Song in Film can be found hereLink opens in a new window.
Filmmakers' Choices - John Gibbs
Filmmakers’ Choices explores different areas of decision-making within filmmaking, focusing on each in the analysis of a film. The discussion of Talk to Her (2002) examines the detailed construction of point of view; the account of Lured (1947) reflects on narrative structure and the creative possibilities of coincidence. Other films under investigation include Candyman (1992), The Reckless Moment (1949) and Unforgiven (1992).
Movies and Tone - Douglas Pye
The concept of tone gestures towards some of the most crucial issues for film analysis – the relationships of a movie to its material, its traditions and its spectator – and yet tone has had a very limited place in film theory and criticism. This study asks how tonal qualities within a film can be identified, exploring the decisions which lead to our grasp of tone as a dimension of meaning that is both informing and subject to moment-by-moment modulation. Discussion centres on The Deer Hunter (1978), Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Strangers on a Train (1951), Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and Some Came Running (1958).
The Police Series - Jonathan Bignell
This study focuses on television style in the US police series. Chapters closely analyse the mise-en-scène of programmes in the 1980-2003 period including Hill Street Blues (1981-1987), Miami Vice (1984-1990), NYPD Blue (1993-2005), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-1999) and CSI (2000-2015). Through the detailed investigation of changing aesthetics in the police series, the study addresses critical issues around style and ideology, ‘quality’, genre, programme brands and authorship in US television.
Reading Buffy - Deborah Thomas
In this book Joss Whedon’s acclaimed television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), is seen not just to create a richly detailed and satisfying fictional world, but to be an abundant source of complex meanings. Several aspects of Buffy are examined: its visual intelligence, the playful sophistication of its narrative strategies, and the interest the series takes in its relationship with its many fans.