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Star Attractions: Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom by T. J. Mcdonald and L. Lanckman (eds.) (2019)

Star Attractions: Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom by T. J. Mcdonald and L. Lanckman (eds.) (2019)

Ever since motion pictures became a crucial part of popular culture, certain consumers decided that simply watching those products and going to the theaters was not enough. Accordingly, editors of the earliest movie magazines quickly realized that gossip, behind-the-scenes talk and all sorts or rumors surrounding those new media stars obviously were  at least as […]

Winsor McCay. The Complete Little Nemo 1910–1927 by Alexander Braun (ed.) (2019)

Winsor McCay. The Complete Little Nemo 1910–1927 by Alexander Braun (ed.) (2019)

If there ever was something close to psychedelic art, or representations and imaginations of a surreal and subconscious reality before the drug-induced states that became popular in art and fiction of the 1960s, then comic artist, cartoon producer and visual pioneer Winsor McCay (1869–1934) was the one who provided it. Starting in 1905. He was […]

Movies, Songs, and Electric Sound: Transatlantic Trends by Charles O’Brien (2019)

Movies, Songs, and Electric Sound: Transatlantic Trends by Charles O’Brien (2019)

Sound film changed many ideas and experiences of watching motion pictures; certain aspects that concern the use of songs, musical story lines and content of films from 1930 are evaluated here. Author O’Brian selected a corpus of roughly 500 feature films (including musical films) from France, the US, England and Hollywood’s greatest rival at that […]

From Ameche to Zozzled: A Glossary of Hard-Boiled Slang of the 1920s through the 1940s by Joe Tradii (2018)

From Ameche to Zozzled: A Glossary of Hard-Boiled Slang of the 1920s through the 1940s by Joe Tradii (2018)

The hard-boiled fiction from the 1930s and the many films noir later, apart from several other similarities, shared a special gangster jargon and street-wise language that lent an extra air of authenticity to those works. As the many weird expressions, prohibition-time lingo, proverbs and often sexists, racist and plainly offensive words used there quickly went […]

Vaudeville Melodies: Popular Musicians and Mass Entertainment in American Culture… by Nicholas Gebhardt (2017)

Vaudeville Melodies: Popular Musicians and Mass Entertainment in American Culture… by Nicholas Gebhardt (2017)

While in the last part of the 19th century so-called “high art,” opera, theater, classical music and the like were deemed “too good” for the average working audience, these forms of entertainment ended up elite controlled in the US. Controlled namely by those who wanted to solidify their own standing by attending such entertainment and […]

Cowboys and Gangsters: Stories of an Untamed Southwest by Samuel K. Dolan (2016)

Cowboys and Gangsters: Stories of an Untamed Southwest by Samuel K. Dolan (2016)

While most American historical books concentrate on just one period of time, one group of individuals or precisely one cultural event in American history, in Cowboys and Gangsters, we encounter quite a gripping set of bygone and cultural crossroads. Author Samuel K. Dolan, a movie director, documentary writer and producer, tells of both the last […]

Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation by Nicholas Sammond (2015)

Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation by Nicholas Sammond (2015)

The mere mention of the word ”minstrelsy“ brings back numerous unpleasant, racist, stereotypical and humiliating issues of the past. It is interesting to find out then, that many of the most popular cartoon characters were actually modeled on or even continued the line of minstrelsy characters: the most popular would be Walt Disney’s (early) Mickey […]

Saying It With Songs: Popular Music and the Coming of Sound to Hollywood … by Katherine Spring (2013)

Saying It With Songs: Popular Music and the Coming of Sound to Hollywood … by Katherine Spring (2013)

It may be hard for us today to imagine what moviegoers in the 1920s must have felt when they watched their first talkies in the cinemas. By now, there have been a number of movies describing just this peculiar sensation. But what the audience must have experienced when suddenly their movie stars uttered words could […]