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The Rhapsodes – How 1940s Critics Changed American Film Culture - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Rhapsodes: How 1940s Critics Changed American Film Culture

David Bordwell


Four American film critics of the 1940s—Otis Ferguson, James Agee, Manny Farber, and Parker Tyler—changed the way Hollywood cinema was understood. They also wrote idiosyncratic, multi-flavored prose that constituted a new kind of arts journalism. This book considers their writing styles, their conceptions of film, their intellectual sources, their quarrels, and their impact on later generations of film writers. Ferguson believed that Hollywood cinema had created a new medium of dynamic, engaging storytelling—one that had a power of arousal found in jazz and swing music. Agee saw Hollywood as a ... More

Keywords: film, Hollywood, film criticism, Otis Ferguson, James Agee, Manny Farber, Parker Tyler

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226352176
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226352343.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Bordwell, author
Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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