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Icons of Grief: Val Lewton's Home Front Pictures First Printiing Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520241008
ISBN-10: 0520241002
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Icons of Grief is a brilliantly conceived and successfully executed filmmaker study. Nemerov's research is dazzling, as are his highly sophisticated analyses. At every turn, he reveals his deep understanding of cinema. This is an exquisitely crafted book."

From the Inside Flap

"This is cultural history at its best. The author's vivid engagement with his material reveals Val Lewton in a bracing new light. Nemerov teases out relationships between film and society with supple writing, imagination, and skill. A critical tour de force."—David M. Lubin, author of Shooting Kennedy

"Icons of Grief is a brilliantly conceived and successfully executed filmmaker study. Nemerov's research is dazzling, as are his highly sophisticated analyses. At every turn, he reveals his deep understanding of cinema. This is an exquisitely crafted book."—Scott Bukatman, author of Terminal Identity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Printiing edition (July 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520241002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520241008
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Michael Samerdyke on March 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is perhaps the most original book written about Val Lewton's famous horror movies in decades. Nemerov looks at four images from Lewton's movies, images that center on little-known character actors Nemerov then shows how these tie into Lewton's Russian background, Lewton's career as a novelist, and American pop culture during World War II.

Rarely have I seen Lewton's films subjected to this kind of close analysis. While I might have wished that Nemerov focused on something from "The Seventh Victim" or "The Body Snatcher," I have to say that what he said made very good sense and placed Lewton in a broader context. (As opposed to the common idea that Lewton was such a genius that his films stand apart from everything else in the horror genre.) This is the rare book of which it can be said that I wish it were longer. Nemerov's enthusiasm for Lewton shines through, but he also has balanced judgment on Lewton's limitations as well. Strongly recommended for anyone interested in horror films or films of the Forties.
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Format: Paperback
"Icons of Grief" is a fascinating critical study of producer Val Lewton's RKO horror films within a World War II context. Historian Alexander Nemerov examines the subtle power of Lewton's low-budget chillers (notably "Cat People," "I Walked With a Zombie" and "The Ghost Ship") and the cultural reflection upon wartime America. By providing new insights on Lewton and his work, Nemerov encourages the reader to seek out these remarkable films.
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