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Terministic Screen

Terministic Screen

Rhetorical Perspectives on Film

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Edited by David Blakesley


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
6 x 9, 16 illustrations


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About the Book

The Terministic Screen: Rhetorical Perspectives on Film examines the importance of rhetoric in the study of film and film theory. Rhetorical approaches to film studies have been widely practiced, but rarely discussed until now. Taking on such issues as Hollywood blacklisting, fascistic aesthetics, and postmodern dialogics, editor David Blakesley presents fifteen critical essays that examine rhetoric’s role in such popular films as The Fifth Element, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Usual Suspects, Deliverance, The English Patient, Pulp Fiction, The Music Man, Copycat, Hoop Dreams,and A Time to Kill.

Aided by sixteen illustrations, these insightful essays consider films rhetorically, as ways of seeing and not seeing, as acts that dramatize how people use language and images to tell stories and foster identification.

Contributors include David Blakesley, Alan Nadel, Ann Chisholm, Martin J. Medhurst, Byron Hawk, Ekaterina V. Haskins, James Roberts, Thomas W. Benson, Philip L. Simpson, Davis W. Houck, Caroline J.S. Picart, Friedemann Weidauer, Bruce Krajewski, Harriet Malinowitz, Granetta L. Richardson, and Kelly Ritter.


David Blakesley is a professor of English and director of professional writing at Purdue University. He is the author of The Elements of Dramatism and The Thomson Handbook (with Jeffrey L. Hoogeveen), and the editor (with Julie Whitaker) of Kenneth Burke's Late Poems, 1968-1993. He has also written about film and visual rhetoric for Enculturation, Kairos, and Defining Visual Rhetorics (Hill and Helmers, eds.). For Southern Illinois University Press, he edited the Rhetorical Philosophy and Theory series.


The Terministic Screen: Rhetorical Perspectives on Film offers readers who have interests or specialities in rhetorical analysis a point of entry into contemporary cinema as it frames issues of style, representation, history, and culture. Although the literature on cinema is vast, relatively few books have adopted an explicitly rhetorical emphasis. Thus, this volume fills a long-neglected gap in the scholarly literature on film.”—Stephen Prince, author of Movies and Meaning: An Introduction to Film