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October 9, 2017   Weekly Reader | Books | Book highlights sensationalism in media

Book highlights sensationalism in media

October 9, 2017
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Public Spectacles of Violence: Sensational Cinema and Journalism in Early Twentieth-Century Mexico and Brazil

By Rielle Navitski
Duke University Presss
Cloth: $99.95, Paperback: $27.95

In Public Spectacles of Violence, UGA faculty member Rielle Navitski examines the proliferation of cinematic and photographic images of criminality, bodily injury and technological catastrophe in early 20th-century Mexico and Brazil, which were among Latin America's most industrialized nations and later developed two of the region's largest film industries.

Navitski is an assistant professor of theatre and film studies in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. In the book, she analyzes a range of sensational cultural forms, from nonfiction films and serial cinema to illustrated police reportage, serial literature and fan magazines. She demonstrates how media spectacles of violence helped audiences make sense of the political instability, high crime rates and social inequality that came with modernization.

In both nations, sensational cinema and journalism—influenced by imported films—forged a common public sphere that reached across the racial, class and geographic divides accentuated by economic growth and urbanization.

 

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