Selected endorsements and reviews

Mark Shiel (ed.), Architectures of Revolt: The Cinematic City circa 1968, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2018

“Mark Shiel has produced the first volume of its kind and, indeed, Architectures of Revolt is a must-read book on film and architecture that maps a fascinating journey into the intertwining paths between political revolution and revolutionary cinematic practices.” — Richard Koeck, University of Liverpool, Director of the Centre for Architecture and Visual Arts

“Exploring a range of global cities through the lens of film theory, urban studies, architecture, and theories of everyday life, this book is a brilliant intervention into cinema’s role in the history of urban rebellions. Organized around the volatile events in and around 1968, the essays offer important new insights into how filmmakers both depicted and organized urban protests. What makes this volume especially unique is its emphasis on the city’s role in shaping the space of cinema itself as a vehicle for imagining social change. Timely in every way, Architectures of Revolt resonates with urgent concerns about social movements, media activism, and the networked landscapes of contemporary cities.” — Lynn Spigel, Frances E. Willard Professor of Screen Cultures at Northwestern University, and author of TV by Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television

“(An) often insightful collection of academic essays look at the cinematic portrayal of nine cities in relation to the political protests of 1968…(T)his collection will yield some enriching gems of scholarship to the serious film scholar.” —Publishers Weekly


Mark Shiel, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles, London and Chicago: Reaktion Books/University of Chicago Press, 2012

“Mark Shiel’s brilliant book provides a sweeping vision of the ways in which the film industry provided viewers a means of conceiving of the urban built environment, and particularly that of Los Angeles. But, what is even more innovative is the ways in which he integrates that discussion with a related consideration of how that industry actually rebuilt the city. This study is a landmark synthesis of film and cultural history.” — Stanley Corkin, University of Cincinnati, author of Starring New York: Filming the Grime and Glamour of the Long 1970s

“The history of film and the history of Los Angeles have been richly explored in all stages and varieties of their development. Yet never before have they been so deftly analyzed as an integrated phenomenon. Mark Shiel’s excellent study is a significant contribution to urban and cinematic cultural history.” — Thomas Hines, University of California Los Angeles, author of Architecture of the Sun: Los Angeles Modernism, 1900-1970

“Los Angeles engages landscapes of a geographic, geologic, cultural, economic, and political kind. It is a place one finds on a map and on the big screen . . . a sprawling American place captured complexly and completely here in Mark Shiel’s suitably sprawling cultural history. Focusing on a century of interactions and disjunctures between the city and the cinema produced there, Shiel introduces something of a new urban ecology of the movies, one in which the landscape and built-environment resonate with enduring American dreams of space and place, of life, leisure and a setting (a location) on which to act it all out.” — Jon Lewis, Oregon State University, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film


Mark Shiel, Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City, London and New York: Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2006

“The brief lifespan and relatively small output of this cinematic movement makes it perfectly suited to Wallflower’s Short Cuts series, and this volume is the best yet among some fine competition. Mark Shiel concisely and unpretentiously provides everything you could need to know about the cornerstones of the genre, from its sudden birth following Mussolini’s time in power, through seven key works, to a brief concluding look at its legacy. An excellent introduction to one of the often mentioned but lesser understood forms of world cinema, this achieves exactly what it sets out to, and delivers cinema-lit and its most comfortably digestible. *****” — Empire, April 2006

“Mark Shiel’s survey of Italian Neorealism is a well-written, well-researched and interesting book. His focus on the role of urban spaces in neorealist classics is particularly illuminating, and the discussions of the films in question are always based upon very intelligent and sensitive analyses of the many dimensions of these works (aesthetic, social, ideological, political) that make them so fascinating. Highly recommended.” — Peter Bondanella, Indiana University

“A highly engaging introduction to Italy’s most celebrated cinematic movement, its crucial relationship to modernist art cinemas, its privileging focus on the city and ontological truths, and its meaning in the films of five major auteurs – Visconti, Rossellini, De Sica, Antonioni, and Fellini. Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City is a solid study of neorealist aesthetics, a book marked by a critical understanding of Italian cinema and culture, a valuable addition to a field crowded with specialized volumes.” — Gaetana Marrone, Princeton University


Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice (eds), Screening the City, London and New York: Verso, 2003

“[This] book features several excellent essays which follow its guiding principle – juxtaposing city and cinema and using each to look at the other. The best essays not only bring the city into the analysis of a film, but also use the film and the conditions of its production to shed new light on social, political, and economic concerns of its historical place and time.” — Mariana Mogilevich, Film Quarterly

‘Collaboratively edited by Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice, Screening The City is an eye-opening collection of essays concerning the motif of urban life and experiences as depicted by and reflected in, twentieth-century filmmaking. Literate and thought-provoking, with an eye for changes in cities as seen film since the dramatic worldwide upheaval of World War II, Screening The City Is An Erudite And Recommended Addition to Cinematic Studies reading lists and reference collections.’ Midwest Book Review


Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice (eds), Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context, Oxford and New Malden, MA: 2001

“Cinema and the City is an exceptional reader that interrogates a range of issues linking cities, film, and globalization. With essays of exceptionally high quality this is an intriguing, engaging and informed work that should be accessible to an array of disciplines and students.” — Leo Zonn, Annals of the Association of American Geographers

“..recommended to those who are exploring the exciting reciprocity between the city and the cinema…” — James A. Clapp, Journal of Urban Technology

“Stitching together the complex and multiple intersections between film, cities, urban cultures and globalisation is no simple task, as any number of very good single-authored works will demonstrate. Despite these difficulties, Shiel and Fitzmaurice’s excellent anthology rises to the occasion and, in the process, pushes film studies beyond its usual terrain of textual, audience and production analyses to relocate the subject matter within urban sociology […] As the relationship between film and the city continue to develop as a focus of critical inquiry, Cinema and the City stands as one of the more accessible and innovative entry-points into the issues […] a welcome addition to the reading-lists of graduate and undergraduate courses in film studies and urban studies/sociology.” — Joe Austin, Urban Studies


Working with Criterion DVD producer, Johanna Schiller, I contributed a 39 minute documentary on Italian cinema of the 1940s and ’50s, “Life as It Is: The Neorealist Movement in Italy”.

“Comprehensive, informed, interesting and unpretentiously delivered, this is excellent.” — The Digital Fix.com