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Melodrama and meaning: history, culture, and the films of Douglas Sirk

Melodrama and meaning: history, culture, and the films of Douglas Sirk

Klinger, Barbara

Melodrama and Meaning is a major addition to the new historical approach to film studies. Barbara Klinger shows how institutions most associated with Hollywood cinema-academia, the film industry, review journalism, star publicity, and the mass media-create meaning and ideological identity for films. Chapters focus on Sirk's place in the development of film studies from the 1950s through the 1980s, as well as the history of the critical reception (both academic and popular) of Sirk's films, a history that outlines journalism's role in public tastemaking. Other chapters are devoted to Universal's selling of Written on the Wind, the machinery of star publicity and the changing image of Rock Hudson, and the contemporary "institutionalized" camp response to Sirk that has resulted from developments in mass culture

Published Indiana UP, 1994
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 791.430233 SIR/K

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00225560 Main Collection 791.430233 SIR/K Standard Available


ISBN: 0253208750, 9780253208750
Subject: American Film; Melodrama; Sirk, Douglas


  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Introduction: The Many Faces of Melodrama
  3. 1. The "Progressive" Auteur, Melodrama, and Canonicity
  4. 2. Selling Melodrama: Sex, Affluence, and Written on the Wind
  5. 3. Tastemaking: Reviews, Popular Canons, and Soap Operas
  6. 4. Star Gossip: Rock Hudson and the Burdens of Masculinity
  7. 5. Mass Camp and the Old Hollywood Melodrama Today
  8. Conclusion: Cinema, Ideology, History
  9. Notes
  10. Filmography
  11. Bibliography
  12. Index

Author note

BARBARA KLINGER, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies and director of the Cultural Studies program at Indiana University, has published essays on film theory, criticism, and history in Screen, Wide Angle, Cinema Journal, and the Yale Journal of Criticism.