" Originally part of the Rivers of America Series, The Ohio traces the river from its headwaters in Pittsburgh to the point it empties into the Mississippi, nearly a thousand miles and five states later. The Ohio gives us a rare portrait of the frontier era of this region, from backwoods entertainment to learning and the arts. From early exploration to land disputes, clashes with Native American inhabitants to the birth of steamboat travel, the Ohio River comes alive through the retelling of the incidents and anecdotes that shaped its history of what the French called ""the beautiful river.""
Famous for their stunts, gags, and images, Buster Keaton's silent films have enticed everyone from Hollywood movie fans to the surrealists, such as Dalí and Buñuel. Here Robert Knopf offers an unprecedented look at the wide-ranging appeal of Keaton's genius, considering his vaudeville roots and his ability to integrate this aesthetic into the techniques of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1920s. When young Buster was being hurled about the stage by his comically irate father in the family's vaudeville act, The Three Keatons, he was perfecting his acrobatic skills, timing, visual humor, and trademark "stone face." As Knopf demonstrates, such theatrics would serve Keaton well as a film director and star. By isolating elements of vaudeville within works that have previously been considered "classical," Knopf reevaluates Keaton's films and how they function. The book combines vivid visual descriptions and illustrations that enable us to see Keaton at work staging his memorable images and gags, such as a three-story wall collapsing on him (Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and an avalanche of boulders chasing him down a mountainside (Seven Chances, 1925). Knopf explains how Keaton's stunts and gags served as fanciful departures from his films' storylines and how they nonetheless reinforced a strange sense of reality, that of a machine-like world with a mind of its own. In comparison to Chaplin and Lloyd, Keaton made more elaborate use of natural locations. The scene in The Navigator, for example, where Buster brandishes a swordfish to fend off another swordfish derives much of its power from actually being shot under water. Such "hyper-literalism" was but one element of Keaton's films that inspired the surrealists. Exploring Keaton's influence on Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Federico García Lorca, and Robert Desnos, Knopf suggests that Keaton's achievement extends beyond Hollywood into the avant-garde. The book concludes with an examination of Keaton's late-career performances in Gerald Potterton's The Railrodder and Samuel Beckett's Film, and locates his legacy in the work of Jackie Chan, Blue Man Group, and Bill Irwin.
This volume shows how, since 1950, the growth of copyright regulation has followed, and enabled, the extraordinary economic growth of the entertainment, broadcasting, software and communications industries. It reproduces articles written by an extensive list of leading thinkers. US scholars represented in readings include James Boyle, Lawrence Lessig, Pamela Samuelson, Mark Lemley, Alfred Yen, Julie Cohen, Peter Jaszi and Eben Moglen. Leading non-US contributors include Alan Story, Brian Fitzgerald and Peter Drahos. These and other authors explain copyright origins, the development of the law, the theory of enclosure, international trends, recent developments, and current and future directions. Today, the copyright system is often portrayed as an engine of growth, and effective regulation as a predictor of economic development. However, critics see dangers in the expansion of intellectual property rights. The articles in this volume focus principally on the digital age, examining how copyright regulation is likely to affect goals of dissemination and access.
Lawrence Lessig, “the most important thinker on intellectual property in the Internet era”, masterfully argues that never before in human history has the power to control creative progress been so concentrated in the hands of the powerful few, the so-called Big Media. Never before have the cultural powers- that-be been able to exert such control over what we can and can’t do with the culture around us. Our society defends free markets and free speech; why then does it permit such top-down control? To lose our long tradition of free culture, Lawrence Lessig shows us, is to lose our freedom to create, our freedom to build, and, ultimately, our freedom to imagine.
In Music in Disney's Animated Features James Bohn investigates how music functions in Disney animated films and identifies several vanguard techniques used in them. In addition he also presents a history of music in Disney animated films, as well as biographical information on several of the Walt Disney Studios" seminal composers. The popularity and critical acclaim of Disney animated features truly is built as much on music as it is on animation. Beginning with Steamboat Willie and continuing through all of the animated features created under Disney's personal supervision, music was the organizing element of Disney's animation. Songs establish character, aid in narrative, and fashion the backbone of the Studios" movies from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through The Jungle Book and beyond. Bohn underscores these points while presenting a detailed history of music in Disney's animated films. The book includes research done at the Walt Disney Archives as well as materials gathered from numerous other facilities. In his research of the Studios" notable composers, Bohn includes perspectives from family members, thus lending a personal dimension to his presentation of the magical Studios" musical history. The volume's numerous musical examples demonstrate techniques used throughout the Studios" animated classics.
Ranging from the playful, to the fact-filled, and to the thoughtful, this collection tracks the fortunes of Walt Disney’s flagship character. From the first full-fledged review of his screen debut in November 1928 to the present day, Mickey Mouse has won millions of fans and charmed even the harshest of critics. Almost half of the eighty-one texts in A Mickey Mouse Reader document the Mouse’s rise to glory from that first cartoon, Steamboat Willie, through his seventh year when his first color animation, The Band Concert, was released. They include two important early critiques, one by the American culture critic Gilbert Seldes and one by the famed English novelist E. M. Forster. Articles and essays chronicle the continued rise of Mickey Mouse to the rank of true icon. He remains arguably the most vivid graphic expression to date of key traits of the American character—pluck, cheerfulness, innocence, energy, and fidelity to family and friends. Among press reports in the book is one from June 1944 that puts to rest the urban legend that “Mickey Mouse” was a password or code word on D-Day. It was, however, the password for a major pre-invasion briefing. Other items illuminate the origins of “Mickey Mouse” as a term for things deemed petty or unsophisticated. One piece explains how Walt and brother Roy Disney, almost single-handedly, invented the strategy of corporate synergy by tagging sales of Mickey Mouse toys and goods to the release of Mickey’s latest cartoons shorts. In two especially interesting essays, Maurice Sendak and John Updike look back over the years and give their personal reflections on the character they loved as boys growing up in the 1930s.