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Author: Sam Rohdie

This book consists of 50 categories arranged in alphabetical order centred on film modernism. Each category, though autonomous, interacts, intersects, juxtaposes with the others, entering into a dialogue with them and in so doing creates connections, illuminations, associations and rhymes which may not have arisen in a more conventional framework. The categories refer to particular films and directors that raise questions related to modernism, and, inevitably thereby to classicism. The book is more in the way of questions and speculations than answers and conclusions. Its intention is to stimulate not simply by the substance of what is said, but by the way it is said and structured. Most attention is given to the works of Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, John Ford, Jean-Luc Godard, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, João César Monteiro, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Nicholas Ray, Alain Resnais, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti and Orson Welles. The apparent arbitrary order and openness of the book, based as it is on the alphabet is indebted to Jean-Luc Godard’s interrogation of History and of film history especially true in his stunning Histoire(s) du cinema.

Open Access (free)
Ford Madox Ford, the novel and the Great War
Author: Sara Haslam

This book is about Ford Madox Ford, a hero of the modernist literary revolution. Ford is a fascinating and fundamental figure of the time; not only because, as a friend and critic of Ezra Pound and Joseph Conrad, editor of the English Review and author of The Good Soldier, he shaped the development of literary modernism. But, as the grandson of Ford Madox Brown and son of a German music critic, he also manifested formative links with mainland European culture and the visual arts. In Ford there is the chance to explore continuity in artistic life at the turn of the last century, as well as the more commonly identified pattern of crisis in the time. The argument throughout the book is that modernism possesses more than one face. Setting Ford in his cultural and historical context, the opening chapter debates the concept of fragmentation in modernism; later chapters discuss the notion of the personal narrative, and war writing. Ford's literary technique is studied comparatively and plot summaries of his major books (The Good Soldier and Parade's End) are provided, as is a brief biography.

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Steven Earnshaw

Is it artistically strong? Is it good as a picture? There was a time when I might have written in this way with a declared social object. That is all gone by. I have no longer a spark of social enthusiasm. Art is all I now care for, and as art I wish my work to be judged. (Gissing, 1930 , The Unclassed ) As a method, realism is a complete failure. (Oscar Wilde, 1891, ‘The Decay of Lying’) From Realism to modernism The group of writers that we have focused on in previous chapters regarded themselves as living in a new age which needed a new kind of

in Beginning realism
Author: Bernard Vere

This book highlights sport as a key inspiration for an international range of modernist artists. With sport attracting large crowds, being written about in the press, filmed and broadcast, and with its top stars enjoying celebrity status, sport has claims to be the most pervasive cultural form of the early twentieth century.

Modernist artists recognised sport’s importance in their writings and production. This book examines a diverse set of paintings, photographic works, films, buildings, and writings from artists in France, Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union to establish the international appeal of the theme while acknowledging local and stylistic differences in its interpretation. From the fascination with the racing cyclist in paintings by Umberto Boccioni, Lyonel Feininger and Jean Metzinger, to the designs for stadiums in fascist Italy and the Soviet Union, the works examined are compelling both in visual and ideological terms.

Encompassing studies of many avant-garde movements, including Italian futurism, cubism, German expressionism, Le Corbusier’s architecture, Soviet constructivism, Italian rationalism and the Bauhaus, this book interrogates the ways in which sport and modernism interconnect.

The spectacle of boxing and the geometry of tennis
Bernard Vere

2 Adversarial modernisms: the spectacle of boxing and the geometry of tennis At first glance the worlds of tennis and boxing are about as far removed as one could possibly imagine. Although there is some truth to this initial impression, there are also some surprising similarities. Most obviously they are normally sports where the competition is between individuals rather than teams. But beyond this, in the early twentieth century, they were among the most internationalised of modern sports, with boxers and tennis players routinely crossing oceans to compete. In

in Sport and modernism in the visual arts in Europe, c. 1909–39
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‘Good design’ and ‘bad design’
Deborah Sugg Ryan

3 Modernisms: ‘good design’ and ‘bad design’ Osbert Lancaster, cartoonist and satirist of the suburbs, provided rich examples of two very different ‘modern’ tendencies in the design of the interwar home: the ‘Functional’ and the ‘Modernistic’. These images appeared in his Homes Sweet Homes (1939), a satirical look into the history of the interior of the British house.1 In ‘Functional’ (Figure 3.1) a weedy, pipe-smoking, intellectual man in a scratchy tweed jacket, book in hand, is depicted all alone, perched uncomfortably on a stool by Finnish Modernist designer

in Ideal homes, 1918–39
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Ralph Hotere and ‘New Commonwealth Internationalism’
Damian Skinner

Māori artists is productive. Through a focus on the work and travel of artist Ralph Hotere, the chapter illustrates the possibilities of indigenous modernism – and of creativity more broadly – as a decolonising process within settler societies. It also highlights the need to understand decolonisation through a transnational lens. First, an approach that moves beyond the

in Cultures of decolonisation

The creation of Soviet culture in the 1920s and the 1930s was the most radical of modernist projects, both in aesthetic and in political terms. This book explores the architecture of this period as the nexus between aesthetics and politics. The invention of communist culture in the aftermath of the October Revolution was perhaps the most radical of modernist projects. The book demonstrates that the relationships between utopia and reality, idealism and pragmatism, between the will for progress and the will for tyranny, are complex and that they do not always play out in the same way. Case studies presented demonstrate the notion that Soviet architecture of the 1920s defined the New Man as primarily a worker. In contrast, during the 1930s the New Man was supposed to be an admirer of socialism in aesthetic terms, the total work of art created by the Communist Party. After an overview of the evolution of Soviet subjectivity, the book discusses transition from the productivist ethos to the representational ethos, which is epitomized in the public baths constructed around 1930 in Leningrad and Moscow. These structures were envisioned as both efficient machines for the production of cleanliness and microcosmic representations of the Soviet society. The book also presents a particular genre of socialist realism, the environmental expertise of obshchestvennitsy, or socially minded women. Finally, it explores the history of this immense structure, clad in expensive marble and illuminated by electrical lighting, altogether the embodiment of socialist modernity.

Richard Rushton

1  Beyond political modernism 2  The key political modernist auteur: Jean-Luc Godard with Eddie Constantine and Anna Karina on the set of Alphaville (1965) I n an important article written in 1972, Peter Wollen set forth the stakes of a counter-cinema that could be opposed to what he referred to as orthodox cinema (Wollen 1985). He proceeded to map the ‘seven deadly sins’ of orthodox cinema in order to oppose them directly to the ‘seven cardinal virtues’ of counter-cinema. The opposition declared here was one that, in time, became known as the discourse of

in The reality of film
Sara Haslam

7 ‘These fragments I have shored against my ruins’ 1 ‘Eliot was different from either Pound or Yeats in being a poet who brought into consciousness, and into confrontation with one another, two opposite things: the spiritually negative character of the contemporary world, and the spiritually positive character of the past tradition.’2 Other analysts of modernism would qualify Stephen Spender’s comparison here, but the oppositions he identifies are, of course, fundamental to an atavistic modernism (as is Eliot’s language of fragments to modernism generally3). In

in Fragmenting modernism