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A Song in the DarkThe Birth of the Musical Film$
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Richard Barrios

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction
Source:
A Song in the Dark
Author(s):

Richard Barrios

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.003.0001

The book starts by placing the musical film and its audience into an overall historical/social context, setting forth the prime importance of the first musicals. It proposes the ways to reclaim these films from years of cultural/historical neglect through historical data as well as the use of reception theory to view the films within their proper context. The parameters of the book — time lines, genres, premises — are all established, as is the book's distinctive tone and style. The main vantage points are threefold: (1) Background and history; (2) A viewer's changing perceptions; (3) These works' precarious relationship with their audience.

Keywords:   audience, escapism, reception theory, stage musicals, film musicals, perceptions, dawn of sound

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