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31 Mar 2018

Rites, Camera, Action...

Heather Greene. Witches on Screen: A Critical History of American Film and Television Portrayals : McFarland. (30 Mar. 2018)
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The witch, as a cultural archetype, has existed in some form as long as history has been recorded. That narrative reality followed through into American narrative film and eventually television language. In these modern storytelling formats and within that unique culture, the witch took on a new life, changing and growing with both industry development, technological change, and socio-cultural shifts.To understand how the witch changed over 120 years, this book follows the trajectory of the cinematic witch by examining her visual and narrative constructions over time.

It looks at the witch, contextualised historically and religiously, as a symbolic representation of womanhood and radical expression. It is both an historical walk through American cinematic history and an analysis of an industry that had definitive, but shifting, boundaries concerning expressions of femininity.From The Wizard of Oz to The Craft and beyond, this book is a focused look at how a powerful and well-loved and sometimes feared character, the witch, entered, developed, and shifted within narrative productions over time, reflecting the culture's negotiation of gender roles, religion, the burgeoning modern practice of Witchcraft, and the overarching power of female agency.