Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society

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9780195175059: Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society

Movies play a central role in shaping our understanding of crime and the world generally, helping us define what is good and bad, desirable and unworthy, lawful and illicit, strong and weak. Crime films raise controversial issues about the distribution of social power and the meanings of deviance, and they provide a safe space for fantasies of rebellion, punishment, and the restoration of order.

In the first comprehensive study of its kind, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter examines the relationship between society and crime films from the perspectives of criminal justice, film history and technique, and sociology. Shots in the Mirror begins with an overview of the history of crime films and the emergence of various genres, surveying important films from the silent era, the early gangster films of the '30s, classic film noir, the work of Hitchcock, and recent innovations by Scorsese, Tarrentino, and the Coen brothers.

Keeping pace with the evolution of crime films, Shots in the Mirror has been updated to respond to recent developments, trends, and shifting circumstances in the genre. This new edition expands the scope and increases the depth and variety of the previous edition by including foreign films in addition to American movies. Rafter also integrates an entirely new body of literature into the study, reflecting the rapid expansion of scholarship on law-related films over the past three years. She has added a chapter on psycho movies, a previously unrecognized subcategory of crime films. Another new chapter, "The Alternative Tradition and Films of Moral Ambiguity," focuses on recent sex crime films. This new final chapter grows organically out of the first edition's distinction between traditional crime films, with their easy solutions to social problems, and those more unusual critical films which belong to the bleaker, morally ambiguous, alternative tradition.

Rafter examines more than three hundred films in this study, considering what they have to say, socially and ideologically, about the causes of crime, and adding valuable contributions to the on-going debate on whether media representations of violence cause crime. Shots in the Mirror is both a marvelous history of crime films and a trenchant analysis of their complex relationship to larger society.

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About the Author:


Nicole Rafter, Professor Emeritus, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University

From Library Journal:

In a lucid analysis that begins with "The History of Crime Films" by Drew Dodd, Rafter (law, policy, and society program, Northeastern Univ.) examines how crime films reflect and shape real life. She focuses on criminology in crime films, cop films, courtroom films, prison and execution films, crime film heroes, and the future. Predicting that demographic changes will dramatically modify content and style, she paints a rosy picture of how independent filmmakers and entrenched studio executives alike will create tighter, more meaningful crime films. The most significant crime movies are identified and/or discussed, with the exceptions of Point Blank (1967) and Impulse (1990). Some readers will argue that "cop" movies began not with Dirty Harry (1971) but rather with The Naked City (1948). Designating Crime a category, not a genre, and including such crossover films as The Wild Bunch, The Last Detail, and RoboCop, Rafter could also have investigated why criminality infests so many modern comedies. Useful notes are included. Recommended for film/performing arts collections in public and academic libraries.
-Kim R. Holston, American Inst. for Charity Property Casualty Underwriters, Malvern, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Rafter, Nicole
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2006. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the first comprehensive study of its kind, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter examines the relationship between society and crime films from the perspectives of criminal justice, film history and technique, and sociology. Dealing with over 400 films, ranging from gangster and cop movies through serial-killer and sex-crime films to trial and prison movies, Shots in the Mirror concentrates on works in the Hollywood tradition but also identifies a darker strain of critical films that portray crime and punishment more bleakly. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780195175059

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2006. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the first comprehensive study of its kind, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter examines the relationship between society and crime films from the perspectives of criminal justice, film history and technique, and sociology. Dealing with over 400 films, ranging from gangster and cop movies through serial-killer and sex-crime films to trial and prison movies, Shots in the Mirror concentrates on works in the Hollywood tradition but also identifies a darker strain of critical films that portray crime and punishment more bleakly. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780195175059

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2006. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the first comprehensive study of its kind, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter examines the relationship between society and crime films from the perspectives of criminal justice, film history and technique, and sociology. Dealing with over 400 films, ranging from gangster and cop movies through serial-killer and sex-crime films to trial and prison movies, Shots in the Mirror concentrates on works in the Hollywood tradition but also identifies a darker strain of critical films that portray crime and punishment more bleakly. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780195175059

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