Wheeler Winston Dixon - Film Criticism

Film Criticism

He is, with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Quarterly Review of Film and Video. He is also a prolific author of books of film criticism. His newest books as author or editor include:

  • Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access (University Press of Kentucky, 2013)
  • Death of the Moguls: The End of Classical Hollywood (Rutgers University Press, 2012)
  • 21st Century Hollywood: Movies in the Era of Transformation, with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (Rutgers University Press, 2011)
  • A History of Horror (Rutgers University Press, 2010)
  • Film Noir and The Cinema of Paranoia (Edinburgh University Press and Rutgers University Press, 2009)
  • A Short History of Film, with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (Rutgers University Press, and I.B. Tauris, 2008; Second Edition 2013)
  • Film Talk: Directors at Work (Rutgers University Press, 2007)
  • Visions of Paradise: Images of Eden in the Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2006)
  • American Cinema of the 1940s: Themes and Variations (Rutgers University Press, 2006)
  • Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood (Southern Illinois UP, 2005)
  • Film and Television After 9/11 (editor; Southern Illinois UP, 2004)
  • Visions of the Apocalypse: Spectacles of Destruction in American Cinema (Wallflower, 2003)
  • Straight: Constructions of Heterosexuality in the Cinema (State University of New York Press, 2003)
  • Experimental Cinema: The Film Reader, co-edited with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (Routledge, 2002).

The first edition of A Short History of Film went through six printings after its initial 2008 publication through 2011, and a second, revised and updated edition of A Short History of Film was published in January, 2013. An audio book of A Short History of Film was published in 2011 by University Press Audiobooks, and a Spanish language translation, Breve historia del cine, was published in November, 2009 by Ediciones Robinbook, Barcelona, Spain.

Dixon's book A History of Horror has gone through two printings since its initial publication, and was chosen by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries as one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the Year for 2011. A History of Horror was released as an audiobook in November, 2012.

Dixon’s other books include Disaster and Memory: Celebrity Culture and the Crisis of Hollywood Cinema (Columbia University Press, 1999); The Exploding Eye: A Re-Visionary History of the American Experimental Cinema (State University of New York Press, 1997), on 1960s American experimental filmmakers; The Films of Jean-Luc Godard (State University of New York Press, 1997), on the life and works of the noted French filmmaker; and The Transparency of Spectacle: Meditations on the Moving Image (State University of New York Press Series in Postmodern Culture, 1998), on the impact of changing technologies (especially computer generated imagery and digital technology) in cinema and television.

Dixon has also written the books Re-Viewing British Cinema: 1900-1992 (1994) from State University of New York Press, a critical anthology on the history of the British film; It Looks at You: Notes on the Returned Gaze of Cinema, also from SUNY UP, on recent developments in interactive cinema; and The Early Film Criticism of François Truffaut (Indiana University Press, 1993).

As editor of the State University of New York Press Cultural Studies in Cinema / Video Series, Dixon created a new group of books on cinema/video theory and practice. The more than twenty-five volumes in the series include PostNegritude Visual and Literary Culture by Mark A. Reid (1997); The Folklore of Consensus: Theatricality in the Italian Commercial Cinema, 1930-1943 by Marcia Landy (1998); Celluloid Nationalism and Other Melodramas: From Post-Revolutionary Mexico to fin de siglo Mexamérica by Susan Dever (2003); Bad: Infamy, Darkness, Evil, and Slime on Screen, Murray Pomerance, ed. (2004), and Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace by Anna Everett (2009).

Dixon is the author of more than seventy articles on film theory, history and criticism, along with numerous book and video reviews, which have appeared in Cinéaste, Interview, Film Quarterly, Literature/Film Quarterly, Films in Review, Post Script, Journal of Film and Video, Film Criticism, New Orleans Review, Film International, Film and Philosophy and numerous other journals. He contributed to the 2012 Greatest Films of All Time Poll in Sight and Sound.

Dixon is on the editorial board of the journal Film Criticism, and was a member of the editorial board of Cinema Journal until 2003. He has appeared on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, discussing film production in the aftermath of 9/11, and his lecture, “The End of Cinema,” was presented at the Columbia University Seminar on Cinema and Interdisciplinary Interpretation on February 12, 2004. He also delivered the keynote speech, "The Limits of Time," at the 2009 Film and History national convention in Chicago. In 2008, Dixon appeared in the documentary "Jean-Luc Godard: A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma," as part of a three-disc, four-film box set of Godard's films Passion, Prénom Carmen, Détective and Hélas pour moi, released by Lionsgate Films, offering commentary on Godard's later works.

In December 2010, he was appointed Series Editor with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster of the new book series New Perspectives on World Cinema, for the Anthem Press, London. Also in 2010, Dixon began appearing in an ongoing series of short videos entitled Frame by Frame, and in 2011 created a print blog, also entitled Frame by Frame, both discussing the history, theory, and criticism of film, digital culture, and related issues. On February 9th, 2012, as part of “Arts after 9/11: A Tocqueville Symposium," Dixon delivered the lecture "Not a Pretty Picture: Film and Television After 9/11," at the University of Richmond in Virginia. A complete list of Dixon’s publications can be found in the MLA International Bibliography. He is also the co-founder, with Michael Downey, of the proto-punk band Figures of Light, formed in 1970; the recordings of this band are available on Norton Records.

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