A Cinema Without Walls: Movies and Culture After Vietnam

Timothy Corrigan, Author Rutgers University Press $38 (258p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1667-7
In an intriguing and highly readable book, Corrigan ( Writing About Film ) argues that in the past 25 years the increased conglomerization of film production/distribution companies and the rise of VCR, satellite and cable television technologies have altered the way films are made and how we view them. The result is a ``growing internationalization of national cinema cultures'' and an increasing fragmentation of the audience. Moreover, people no longer experience films with the immediacy that characterized the moviegoing experience previously; video has reduced the movie to private, domestic performance, and a film is no longer the culmination of an evening out. At the same time, Corrigan writes, audiences are bombarded with a surfeit of images that leaves them with a battered sense of their place in history and culture. Combined with what many critics have recognized as a crisis of ``legibility''--a growing incoherence in film texts--Corrigan notes, these facts make it more meaningful to discuss films not as texts but ``as multiple cultural and commercial processes'' constructed by increasingly specialized audiences, a practice he likens to cult practices. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-8135-1668-4
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