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Melodrama and Modernity Early Sensational Cinema and Its Contexts

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ISBN-10: 0231113293

ISBN-13: 9780231113298

Edition: 2001

Authors: Ben Singer

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In this groundbreaking investigation into the nature and meanings of melodrama in American culture between 1880 and 1920, Ben Singer offers a challenging new reevaluation of early American cinema and the era that spawned it. Singer looks back to the sensational or "blood and thunder" melodramas (e.g., The Perils of Pauline, The Hazards of Helen, etc.) and uncovers a fundamentally modern cultural expression, one reflecting spectacular transformations in the sensory environment of the metropolis, in the experience of capitalism, in the popular imagination of gender, and in the exploitation of the thrill in popular amusement. Written with verve and panache, and illustrated with 100 striking…    
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Book details

Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 4/5/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Ben Singer is assistant professor of film studies at University of Wisconsin - Madison.

List of Illustrations
Meanings of Modernity
Meanings of Melodrama
Sensationalism and the World of Urban Modernity
Making Sense of the Modernity Thesis
Melodrama and the Consequences of Capitalism
Ten-Twenty-Thirty Melodrama: Boom and Bust
"Child of Commerce! Bastard of Art!": Early Film Melodrama
Power and Peril in the Serial-Queen Melodrama
Marketing Melodrama: Serials and Intertextuality
Index of Names and Subjects
Index of Titles