A House Made of Light: Essays on the Art of Film (Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series)
By: George Toles (author)Paperback
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When the lights go down and the film starts to roll, we give ourselves over to the magic of movies. But as George Toles observes, what we experience in this house of light may strike closer to home than we imagine. In eleven essays, Toles combines aesthetic inquiry with a psychology of spectatorship to illuminate the dialogue between sentiment and irony that unfolds in every good movie. Reflecting a literary critic's and professional screenwriter's ongoing love affair with cinema, each essay plunges the reader into the experience of one or more films, inviting us to ponder the nature and implications of that experience. Toles considers a wide variety of film experience, from Frank Capra to the Coen brothers to Alfred Hitchcock. However escapist a trip to the movies might be, says Toles, there is no escaping some version of "home" in every film experience. Toles examines important homes - from the cottage in "Random Harvest" to the foreboding Bates house in "Psycho" - to suggest that the house of film is a frame we long to enter in the spirit of homecoming but one that we cannot possess any more securely than the lost home of our beginnings.
George Toles is a screenwriter and the chair of film studies and professor of English at the University of Manitoba. He has written screenplays for a number of Guy Maddin films, including Careful and Twilight of the Ice Nymphs.
Introduction - a House Made of Light. Part 1 Sentiments of War and Peace: Being Well-Lost in Film; No Bigger Than Zuzu's Petals -Dreaming the Real in "It's a Wonderful Life"; Thinking About Movie Sentiment - Toward a Reading of "Random Harvest"; On a Train to the Kingdom of Earth - Watching De Sica's Children. Part 2 Three Faces of Hitchcock: "If Thine Eyes Offend Thee" - "Psycho" and the Art of Infection; "Rear Window" as Critical Allegory; Mother Calls the Shots - Hitchcock's Female Gaze. Part 3 Cruel Pleasures and the Limits of Irony: This May Hurt a Little - the Art of Humiliation in Film; Obvious Mysteries in "Fargo"; Drowning for Love - Jean-Claude Lauzon's "Leolo"; From Archangel to Mandragora in Your Own Backyard - Colaborating with Guy Maddin.
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- ID: 9780814329467
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