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Unspeakable Images

Ethnicity and the American Cinema

Could Woody Allen have made the same movies if he weren't Jewish? Would John Ford's pictures have been different if he weren't an Irish Catholic? Is Spike Lee's color an important ingredient in his movie-making? Such engaging issues are considered in Unspeakable Images, a volume that encourages fresh thinking and research about ethnic issues and the American cinema.

In fourteen chapters on topics ranging from film comedy to reporter movies to Latins in Manhattan, contributors from diverse disciplines explore ethnicity as a broad, complex, multilayered concept. The book's first section scrutinizes ethnicity within the context of traditional modes of film analysis---historical, auteurist, and generic. Essays in the second section relate ethnicity to broader areas of critical thought such as cultural studies, ethnography, postmodernism, psychoanalysis, feminism, and class studies, analyzing how each intersects and amplifies the other.

"This is the first collection of essays on ethnicity that uses a sophisticated approach to the subject, taking the field beyond the mere study of positive and negative images."--Patricia Erens, author of The Jew in American Cinema

Lester D. Friedman teaches humanities at SUNY Health Science Center and cinema studies at Syracuse University. He is the author of The Jewish Image in American Film.

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