Cinema and Counter-History

Cinema and Counter-History

Marcia Landy
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/15/2015
Format: Hardback 37 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01612-6
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Despite claims about the end of history and the death of cinema, visual media continue to contribute to our understanding of history and history-making. In this book, Marcia Landy argues that rethinking history and memory must take into account shifting conceptions of visual and aural technologies. With the assistance of thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Cinema and Counter-History examines writings and films that challenge prevailing notions of history in order to explore the philosophic, aesthetic, and political stakes of activating the past. Marshaling evidence across European, African, and Asian cinema, Landy engages in a counter-historical project that calls into question the certainty of visual representations and unmoors notions of a history firmly anchored in truth.

Author Bio

Marcia Landy is Distinguished Professor of English/Film Studies, with a Secondary Appointment in French and Italian, at University of Pittsburgh. She is author of Stardom, Italian Style: Screen Performance and Personality in Italian Cinema (IUP, 2008).


“Once again, Marcia Landy impressively, masterfully, combines her well-known talents for broad critical reflection for trenchant close reading’ of individual films to produce ground-breaking theorization of cinema’s powers to both make and remake historical meaning and to counter dominant cultural representations.  A far-reaching study with major insights at every turn.”
 — Dana Polan, New York University

“A very ambitious book! The range of Marcia Landy’s scholarship and knowledge of film is impressive.”
 — Robert Burgoyne, author of Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at U.S. History

“Time, memory, and representation are the key themes of Landy’s volume, which is at once accessible, theoretical, and playful, dealing with cinema in all its forms. This dazzling display of virtuosity is a major work in Landy’s long career. . . . Essential.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

1. A Crisis of the Movement-Image and Counter-history
2. History Growling at the Door: Horror and Naturalism
3. Comedy, Theatricality, and Counter-history
4. Minoritarian Cinematic Forms as Counter-history
5. Memory, the Powers of the False, and Becoming