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Classical Projections

The Practice and Politics of Film Quotation

Eleni Palis

Publication Date - 25 February 2022

ISBN: 9780197558188

184 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock


Quotations are a standard way that the humanities make meaning; the pull-quote, epigraph, and quotation are standard for citing evidence and invoking and interrogating authority in both literary and scholarly writing. However, film studies has yet to seriously examine how moving images can quote one another, convening interaction and creating new knowledge across time.

Classical Projections offers "film quotation" as a new concept for understanding how preexisting moving image fragments are reframed and re-viewed within subsequent films. As a visual corollary to literary quotation, film quotations embed film fragments in on-screen movie screens. Though film quotations have appeared since silent cinema, Classical Projections focuses on quotations of classical Hollywood film--mainstream American studio production, 1915-1950--as quoted in post-classical Hollywood, roughly 1960 to present. This strategic historical frame asks: how does post-classical cinema visualize its awareness of coming after a classical or golden age? How do post-classical filmmakers claim or disavow classical history? How do historically disenfranchised post-classical filmmakers, whether by gender, sexuality, or race, grapple with exclusionary and stereotype-ridden canons?

As a constitutive element of post-classical authorship, film quotations amass and manufacture classical Hollywood in retrospective, highly strategic ways. By revealing how quotational tellings of film history build and embolden exclusionary, myopic canons, Classical Projections uncovers opportunities to construct more capacious cultural memory.


  • The first book on quotation and quotational aesthetics on film
  • Illuminates intersection around quotational aesthetics between film studies and literary studies
  • Interrogates how film archives and film making have interacted
  • Unpacks how movies create meaning, history, archive, and memory
  • Offers a new angle on ever-more prominent debates about canons, archives, and inclusion in mainstream American cinema

About the Author(s)

Eleni Palis is an assistant professor of English and Cinema Studies at the University of Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Screen, The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (Cinema Journal), [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, and Oxford Bibliographies Online.


"This book's solidly interdisciplinary framing sustains richly detailed research and analysis. It will speak to broad audiences across film, media, and cultural studies, as well as gender and women's studies and critical race theory. Palis's analysis takes the most subtle and incisive type of approach to questions of both the canon and authorship. Her argument bypasses more traditional, additive or inclusive canon 'revision' in favor of a radical reshaping, reframing, and re-contextualizing of the canonical history of U.S. cinema since the 'New Hollywood." -- Sharon Willis, Professor of Art History and Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: "Quoting Genre and Creating Canon"
    Chapter 2: "Film Quotation and the Oppositional Gaze"
    Chapter 3: "'D-I-Y' Quotation and Created Appropriation"
    Chapter 4: "Film Quotation and Visual Sovereignty"
    Chapter 5: "Film Quotation, Foreign and Domestic"
    Chapter 6: "Cinephilic Pilgrimage and Authorial Scandal"
    Annotated Appendix

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