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To this must be added the isms: nationalism, socialism, neoliberal capitalism, orientalism, Islamism, and Zionism, as well as the more general bane of censorship. This is certainly not a conducive atmosphere for cinema to flourish. These challenges have compelled its directors, producers, actors, and others to try harder. In many cases, they have succeeded in overcoming all adversity and producing excellent films, and when that was not possible, impressive documentaries in their re-spective countries, and abroad.

Knowing their own people better, they have even produced works that overcome the encroachment of Holly-wood and Bollywood and encourage nationals to think more seriously about their own societies. This could be the main strength of Middle Eastern cinema; it deals seriously with serious issues, although as else-whereand given the need for escapismit also produces comedies, farces, adventure films, and even some relatively naughty films.

Book reviews

The authors of Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema have certainly done an exceptional job of exploring and explaining one of the least-known areas of cinema, but one that certainly deserves to be known better. As in other books in this series, this book sets the scene with a chronology, one longer and more extensive than one might ex-pect, and then an introduction, which is certainly more complex than most.

But the bulk of the material is contained in a dictionary section full of informative entries on the various countries concerned and the composite regions; their directors, producers, and actors; dozens of the better films; most of the genres; and many of the themes, from exile to.

Other entries deal with significant political lead-ers and events, including the ArabIsraeli conflict, the Defeat, and the Iraq War, which have generated films. And mention is also made of film schools, festivals, and currents, such as New Realism and Third Cinema. In short, the field of cinema is studied from many different angles, and it would not be easy to find more in a smaller space.

Finally, for those who want to learn more, there is a bibliography with further reading on cinema in the region and in each part as well. Nor should one forget the amazingly long filmography. Considering that this volume covers 18 different national cinemas, it could not have been written as competently as has been done without the participation of a team of contributors, each specialized in certain aspects and countries, and two editors who coordinated the work and produced parts of the manuscript themselves.

The two editors, who both selected the various contributors and made contributions of their own, are Terri Ginsberg and Chris Lippard. This able and diligent team certainly deserves a vote of thanks for having created an essential reference tool for anyone interested in Middle East-ern cinema or the Middle East in general. This volume covers the production and exhibition of cinema in the Middle East and in exilic and diasporic communities whose heritage is from the region and whose films commonly reflect this background.

In addition, it includes the non-Arab states of Turkey and Iran, as well as the Jewish state of Israel.

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Although we include an entry on Afghanistan, this is largely in view of its interrelationship with Iran; likewise, an entry on Western Sahara has been included for that regions interrelationship with Morocco; and an entry is provided on Kurdistan in light of that regions interrelationships with Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. The history and current position of cinema in each of these countries is different, and the cinema of the Middle East covers a remarkably diverse range of topics and aesthetic approaches.

With minor exceptions, however, Middle Eastern films are some of the least-known to audiences and scholars outside the region, their global distribution and exhibition being limited largely to international film festivals in major urban centers. In some instances, for example, Syria, where rarely more than three films per year are produced, they have hardly been seen. This is a pity, because the quality and breadth of much Middle Eastern cinema is undeniable.

We cannot expect a volume such as this to address fully all the impli-cations raised by the geographical and political constraints of the above, but we do firmly believe that the Historical Dictionary of Middle East-ern Cinema will provide a useful resource to support inquiry and analy-sis of the ways in which Middle Easterners have depicted themselves, their societies, and histories on film. Although the volume does lend. In fact, the Middle East is a part of the world that remains poorly understood, and we believe that examining the aesthetic quality and intellectual breadth of its cinema can supply a powerful means toward helping change that.

We have tried to emphasize, in the difficult process of deciding what to include, material that may be available to our readers; nevertheless, much Middle Eastern cinema is regrettably inaccessible, and we can only hope that publicizing such films will contribute to improving the likelihood of their future dissemination.

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Comprehensiveness is an impossible and, perhaps, undesirable goal, so we have endeavored to choose significant films, directors, performers, production agencies, exhibition venues, cinematic organizations, and pertinent historical and political figures, events, and sociocultural practices that, together, pro-vide a representative image of Middle Eastern cinema. Very broadly, two distinct, but frequently overlapping, categories of filmmaking are traceable throughout the entries: industrial and au-teurist.

In most Middle Eastern countries, both categories of film-making have, at least periodically, existed simultaneously. Perhaps paradoxically, the films most widely available and seen in some of these countriesTurkey, Iran, Egypt, and Israel, for instanceare those least likely to be distributed to foreign audiencesand probably the least geared to their tastes. For Middle East cultural critic Walter Armbrust, for example, art-cinema funding and the pull of Western ized film festival exhibition venues serve to disguise the cultural richness of the popular Egyptian cinema.

Roy Armes, on the other hand, argues that the rejection or transforma-tive revision of genre cinema provides the best evidence of national-cultural authenticity. This debate reflects the important work of Cuban theorist and filmmaker Julio Garcia Espinosa, whose writings address the nature and character of the films that might be made in Cuba following the revolution. Garcia Espinosa establishes a distinction be-tween a popular cinema that emanates from and articulates the peoples concerns, and a mass cinema that is a commodified product drawing on stereotypes and aiming at a presumed lowest common denominator ultimately remote from those concerns.

Armbrust is inclined to see the potential for studio-based genre cinema to push away from the latter toward the former; Armes less so. With these debates in mind, we have developed a historical diction-ary that includes a larger proportion of entries regarding the popular industry cinemas of Egypt and Turkey Yeilam than regarding those countries independent cinemas; such commercial, if occasionally quality or auteur, products constitute these countries more signifi-cant cinematic contributions nationally and regionally, and while there-fore canonically central, have received limited exposure beyond the Middle East.

However, the volume also includes a larger proportion of entries regarding the independent cinemas of Iran, Lebanon, and Israel than regarding the industry cinemas in those countries; these auteur and independent works also constitute, we postulate, their countries more significant cinematic contributions, but they have frequently received more attention internationally than at homedue both to exilic and diasporic filmmaking conditions and to political restrictions involving censorship.

Italian Cinema, by Gino Moliterno, Architecture, by Allison Lee Palmer, Russian and Soviet Cinema, by Peter Rollberg, African American Theater, by Anthony D. Hill, Postwar German Literature, by William Grange, Modern Japanese Literature and Theater, by J.

Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema

Scott Miller, Copyright by J. Scott Miller All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,without the prior permission of the publisher. Scott Miller. Historical dictionaries of literature and the arts ; no. ISBN cloth : alk. Japanese literatureHistory and criticismDictionaries. PLM47 Manufactured in the United States of America.

For the modern literature of most countries in this series, the term modern is often a necessary, if flimsy, construct used to artificially dis-tinguish the literature of the past century or so from what went before. Many times, especially in the West, the modern has proceeded largely from its immediate past.

The situation of Japanese literature, however, is quite different, with a rather sharpif not always cleanbreak from the past. Modern is often a euphemism for Western, or what in Ja-pan passes for that, and modern Japanese writers, poets, and playwrights often negotiated a clean break from most of what went before in order to create something new. There were, of course, continuities, traces of earlier literary themes, styles, and predilections including violence and the supernatural , and obviously they were still writing in Japanese, but even the language, along with the economy, political system, social mo-res, and much else underwent radical changes as Japan opened its doors to the world after centuries of isolation.

Ironically, while to the Japanese this was very much a new literature, enough remained of the old to fascinate outsiders mesmerized by japonisme in the 19th century.


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This innovative propensity continues to the present day when the Japanese, still revolutionary in certain respects, have turned manga into a popular art form and gone high tech with cell phone novels leading some to wonder just how to define literature. Such an unusual situation explains why, in some ways, this His-torical Dictionary of Modern Japanese Literature and Theater has a broader scope than others in the series: It is necessary to weave the nations political history into that of its literature and vice versa.

Thus, the chronology is not just a progression of authors, titles, and styles, but it also mentions the historical events that influenced some of them so strongly. The dictionary section obviously includes entries, quite nu-merous indeed, on notable writers, memorable works, recurrent themes,. But it also says something about the succession of eras and emperors, warfare and mili-tarism, Buddhism and Christianity, nationalism and militarism, the war and the atomic bomb, democracy and pacifism. Literature is defined very broadly, including novels and short stories, poetry and theater, but also adaptation and translation.

Literatures in English: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Handbooks, Etc.

The introduction traces Japans literary history, charting the sweeping changes but also revealing some of what has remained, showing why the final result is a literature that can move its readers very deeply in the original while still, in many cases, impress those who read only in translation.

The bibliography is quite extensive and designed to point readers in the right direction if they want to un-derstand Japanese literature and, especially, read more of it. This volume was written by J. Scott Miller, who has spent almost a quarter of a century studying and teaching Japanese literature, includ-ing over seven years accumulated time living in Japan. Over this period, in addition to teaching, he has written books and articles on Japanese literature, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Miller has contributed to various encyclopedias and reference works prior to writing this one of his own.

Japanese literature, like many things Japanese, is particu-larly difficult to grasp, let alone explain, but this volume will help read-ers both understand and enjoy it. I am indebted to many people for assistance with this project. I learned fundamental editing and historiographical skills from my graduate school mentors Professors Marius B. The Historical Dictionary of French Literature covers the history of the principal authors and movements in the history of imaginative French literature since the 9th century.


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  5. It also contains analyses of a selection of key texts and lists works inspired by major historical or political events such as the two World Wars with an emphasis on the The Historical Dictionary of French Literature covers the history of the principal authors and The term Old Time Radio refers to the relatively brief period from , when the National Broadcasting Company first began network broadcasting, until approximately , when television became the dominant communication medium in the United States.

    During this time, radio was as popular and ubiquitous as television is today. It was amazingly The term Old Time Radio refers to the relatively brief period from , when the National This book has over 1, entries in the dictionary section, these being mainly on playwrights and plays, but others as well including managers and critics, and also on specific theatres, legislative acts and some technical jargon.

    Then there are entries on the different genres, from comedy to tragedy and everything in between. Inevitably, the This book has over 1, entries in the dictionary section, these being mainly on playwrights and The Historical Dictionary of Romantic Music covers the history of this period through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over cross-referenced entries on the most important traditions, famous pieces, persons, places, technical terms, and institutions of Romantic music.

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