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Hardcover Screen Deco Book

ISBN: 0312705905

ISBN13: 9780312705909

Screen Deco

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good


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Book Overview

Long sought-after in the out-of-print market, SCREEN DECO is a witty and detailed look at the fabulous Art Deco designs in the films of the Twenties and Thirties. Lavishly illustrated with stills from... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Great Photos-Weak Text

During the Great Depression, American movie studios embraced the new Art Deco Movement. In a country suffering great economic hardship, Art Deco became symbolic of a modern and more sophisticated way of living. Glamorous Art Deco movie sets gave viewers an inside look into an elegant world they would never experience. "Screen Deco" is primarily a photobook. It is a collection of beautifully shot photos taken by the movie studios. Most of the images are of movie sets and scenes from films shot during the Great Depression. The authors are essentially photo compilers. There is some analysis but none of it is especially deep. If someone wants to learn something more substantial about the era, I would recommend Donald Albrecht's "Designing Dreams." Albrecht's book does a great job in explaining Hollywood's role in spreading Modernism around the World. In the final analysis, "Screen Deco" is a pleasant book and for those of us who love the Art Deco period. Who can resist yet another photo book?

No better book on Deco Design and development - great pictures too!

Screen Deco is a wonderful reference towards the Hollywood films of the late 1920's and into the late 1930's, that richly employed the art deco styles of decoration and design. The most useful part of this book was its rich collection of pictures, accompanied with bibliographies of corresponding films, that will allow any reader to further study art deco in film by watching the referenced movies. One point that I found to be extremely interesting was the idea that art deco was used to show the ultimate of luxury, within design and decoration. Despite not being rich themselves, audiences devoured films that showed off luxuries that could rarely be afforded, or even imagined, by anyone. In turn, art deco helped to make film an even more visual art, in that, sets could now be designed that exceeded the past expectations or imaginations of the common audiences. Technically, a reckless showing of luxury should alienate audiences, but in this case, it attracted them. I hate to criticize the art deco movement, because I am very impressed by the contributions it gave us within film and design; however, there are some shortcomings. In fairness, I have not seen the entirety of many of the films that are discussed and referenced within this book - so my judgements are being made based upon film clips and pictures. With that in mind, I feel that the art deco movement did little to change cinematography within films. Because of the sweeping opulence that deco gave to an entire set, it has seemed to have caused most cinematographers to capture all of the opulence in one set frame, instead of dividing it into sets of close-up shots, that could better capture the details within the decoration and acting. In that way, art deco lent itself to a `wide-angle' sort of existence. The design favored an awe-inspiring backdrop, that sang of beautiful layouts, interesting patterns, but few touches upon in-depth details. In turn, the costume design also lent itself to a `wide-angle' variety, in that the costumes, while matching and elegant looking, were usually very loud, as men wore perfect suits accompanied by coattails, with the women adorning white furs, suspended fabrics, or dresses that covered over two yards in circumference; the kinds of costumes that could only be appreciated when captured whole, or wide-angle. In turn, much of the acting became `wide-angle' too, with actors and actresses raising their voices, while using a multitude of hand gestures, and putting little effort into expression through their facial looks. Thus, every action, every design, and every detail, was centered towards one wide camera perspective, as if it was being done on a Broadway stage. With that in mind, my only criticism of art deco would be that it did not divorce itself from the idea of itself being a stage performance. In conclusion, I wish that there were more films that had featured art deco, but with more exteriors, more emphasis on detail, and a more realistic

It's about time!

I've been waiting for a book to come out like this for a long time. It's about time that they recognize that the art deco on the screen is worth looking at. Sure it is outlandish and over done. That is deco though. Yes,if you are wondering, they do touch on the Astaire/Rogers movies. This is also a good thing to buy because you will be able to see which movies have the great deco sets. If thats what you buy movies for, like me.
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