Murray Pomerance

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The Horse Who Drank the Sky

Film Experience Beyond Narrative and Theory

Rutgers University Press

What is most important about cinema is that we are alive with it. For all its dramatic, literary, political, sociological, and philosophical weight, film is ultimately an art that provokes, touches, and riddles the viewer through an image that transcends narrative and theory. In The Horse Who Drank the Sky, Murray Pomerance brings attention to the visceral dimension of movies and presents a new and unanticipated way of thinking about what happens when we watch them.

By looking at point of view, the gaze, the voice from nowhere, diegesis and its discontents, ideology, the system of the apparatus, invisible editing, and the technique of overlapping sound, he argues that it is often the minuscule or transitional moments in motion pictures that penetrate most deeply into viewers' experiences. In films that include Rebel Without a Cause, Dead Man, Chinatown, The Graduate, North by Northwest, Dinner at Eight, Jaws, M, Stage Fright, Saturday Night Fever, The Band Wagon, The Bourne Identity, and dozens more, Pomerance invokes complexities that many of the best of critics have rarely tackled and opens a revealing view of some of the most astonishing moments in cinema.

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Screen Decades Complete 11 Volume Set

American Cinema from the 1890s to the 2000s

Rutgers University Press

The Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema series is now available as an eleven-volume set: American Cinema from the 1890s to the 2000s. Each volume presents a group of original essays analyzing the impact of cultural issues on the cinema and the impact of the cinema on society. Every chapter explores a spectrum of particularly significant motion pictures and the broad range of historical events to provide a continuing sense of the decade as it came to be depicted on movie screens across the nation.

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Star Decades Complete 10 Volume Set

Rutgers University Press

The Star Decades: American Culture/American Cinema series is now available as a ten-volume set: Movie Stars from the 1910s to the 2000s. Each volume presents original essays that analyze the movie star against the background of American cultural history. As icon, as mediated personality, and as object of audience fascination and desire, the Hollywood star remains the model for celebrity in modern culture, representing a combination of achievement, talent, ability, luck, authenticity, superficiality, and even ordinariness.

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A Little Solitaire

John Frankenheimer and American Film

Edited by Murray Pomerance and R. Barton Palmer; Introduction by R. Barton Palmer
Rutgers University Press

Little Solitaire offers the only multidisciplinary critical account of Frankenheimer's oeuvre. Especially emphasized is his deep and passionate engagement with national politics and the irrepressible need of human beings to assert their rights and individuality in the face of organizations that would reduce them to silence and anonymity.

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Johnny Depp Starts Here

Rutgers University Press
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An Eye for Hitchcock

Rutgers University Press

Film scholar Murray Pomerance presents a series of fascinating meditations on six films directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, a master of the cinema. Two of the films are extraordinarily famous and have been seen––and misunderstood––countless times: North by Northwest and Vertigo. Two others, Marnie and Torn Curtain, have been mostly disregarded by viewers and critics or considered to be colossal mistakes, while two others, Spellbound and I Confess, have received almost no critical attention at all.

In An Eye for Hitchcock, these movies are seen in a striking new way. Pomerance takes us deep into the structure of Hitchcock’s vision and his screen architecture, revealing key elements that have never been written about before. Pomerance also clearly reveals the link between Hitchcock’s work and a wide range of thinkers and artists in other fields, thereby offering viewers of Hitchcock’s films the rare opportunity to see them in an entirely new light.

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American Cinema of the 1950s

Themes and Variations

Edited by Murray Pomerance; Introduction by Murray Pomerance
Rutgers University Press

Bringing together original essays by ten respected scholars in the field, American Cinema of the 1950s explores the impact of the cultural environment of this decade on film, and the impact of film on the American cultural milieu. Contributors examine the signature films of the decade, including From Here to Eternity,Sunset Blvd., Singin' in the Rain, Shane, Rear Window, and Rebel Without a Cause, as well as lesser-known but equally compelling films, such as Dial 1119, Mystery Street, Suddenly, Summer Stock, The Last Hunt, and many others.

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Cinema and Modernity

Edited by Murray Pomerance; Introduction by Murray Pomerance
Rutgers University Press

The modern impulse gave us captivating technology and dark anxiety, rampant mobility and a world filled with strangers, the futuristic city and a fragmentation of experience. Motion pictures––the quintessence of modernism––entered into this cultural, technical, and philosophical richness with a vast public appeal and a jarring new vision of what life could be.

In Cinema and Modernity, Murray Pomerance brings together new essays by seventeen leading scholars to explore the complexity of the essential connection between film and modernity. Among the many films considered are Detour, Shock Corridor, The Last Laugh, Experiment in Terror, The Great Dictator, Leave Her to Heaven, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Eyes Wide Shut, Sunrise, The Crowd, The Shape of Things to Come, The War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Scarlet Street, Shadow of a Doubt, Stella Dallas, The Blue Angel, Sullivan’s Travels, and Catch Me If You Can.


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City That Never Sleeps

New York and the Filmic Imagination

Rutgers University Press

New York, more than any other city, has held a special fascination for filmmakers and viewers. In every decade of Hollywood filmmaking, artists of the screen have fixated upon this fascinating place for its tensions and promises, dazzling illumination and fearsome darkness.The glittering skyscrapers of such films as On the Town have shadowed the characteristic seedy streets in which desperate, passionate stories have played out-as in Scandal Sheet and The Pawnbroker . In other films, the city is a cauldron of bright lights, technology, empire, egotism, fear, hunger, and change-the scenic epitome of America in the modern age.From Street Scene and Breakfast at Tiffany's to Rosemary's Baby, The Warriors, and 25th Hour , the sixteen essays in this book explore the cinematic representation of New York as a city of experience, as a locus of ideographic characters and spaces, as a city of moves and traps, and as a site of allurement and danger. Contributors consider the work of Woody Allen, Blake Edwards, Alfred Hitchcock, Gregory La Cava, Spike Lee, Sidney Lumet, Vincente Minnelli, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Andy Warhol, and numerous others.

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American Cinema of the 1960s

Themes and Variations

Rutgers University Press

In ten original essays, American Cinema of the 1960s examines a range of films that characterized the decade, including Hollywood movies, documentaries, and independent and experimental films. Among the films discussed are Elmer Gantry, The Apartment,West Side Story, The Manchurian Candidate, To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, Bonnie and Clyde, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Midnight Cowboy, and Easy Rider.

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Thinking in the Dark

Cinema, Theory, Practice

Rutgers University Press

Thinking in the Dark introduces readers to twenty-one key theorists whose work has made the greatest impact on film scholarship today, including everyone from Sergei Eisenstein to Michel Foucault, from Judith Butler to André Bazin. Each chapter is written by an expert who explains a different theorist’s key ideas, then gives concrete examples of how they might be applied to both a classic film and a contemporary one. Ideal for teachers and students of film as well as contemporary and modern philosophy, critical theory and semotics, also of interest to the general reader exploring such topics.

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The Eyes Have It

Cinema and the Reality Effect

Rutgers University Press

The Eyes Have It explores those rarified screen moments when viewers are confronted by sights that seem at once impossible and present, artificial and stimulating, illusory and definitive. Murray Pomerance takes readers on an illuminating filmic journey through a vast array of cinematic moments, technical methods, and laborious collaborations from the 1930s to the 2000s to show how the viewer’s experience of “reality” is put in context and willfully engaged.

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