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Visions of the Past


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Personal, Professional, and (a Little) Theoretical PART 1: HISTORY IN IMAGES 1. History in Images / History in Words: Reflections on the Possibility of Really Putting History onto Film 2. The Historical Film: Looking at the Past in a Postliterate Age PART 2: THE HISTORICAL FILM 3. Reds as History 4.The Good Fight: History, Memory, Documentary 5. JFK: Historical Fact / Historical Film 6.Walker: The Dramatic Film as (Postmodern) History 7.Sans Soleil: The Documentary as (Visionary) Truth PART 3: THE FUTURE OF THE PAST 8. Re-visioning History: Contemporary Filmmakers and the Construction of the Past 9.Film and the Beginnings of Postmodern History 10. What You Think about When You Think about Writing a Book on History and Film Notes Sources Acknowledgments Index

About the Author

Robert A. Rosenstone is Professor of History, California Institute of Technology.


If you're in search of a thoughtful overview of film and history as rival routes to the past, check out the essays collected in Visions of the Past...Rosenstone nicely reverses the assumption that history exists only on paper, approved and stamped by historians. -- Carlin Romano Chicago Tribune [A] fascinating analysis of the traditional and nontraditional historical film...This is solid scholarship written in a manner that makes it accessible for a wide range of readers. Choice The pieces represent work over a wide time span and demonstrate Rosenstone's evolving attitude toward the historical movie...The author knows of his subject from various perspectives...[and] presents his arguments simply and clearly, without drowning the reader in jargon or obtuse references. Well recommended. Library Journal In these essays, Rosenstone writes with the fervor of the convert...urging historians to admit that film can often do what books can't...Rosenstone is really rooting for modernist or post-modern cinema--the likes of Alex Cox, Chris Marker and Trinh T. Minh-ha--as the only adequate chroniclers of our fractured sense of the past. Sight and Sound

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