Selected publications

Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles

(Reaktion Books, London, distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Winner of the 2014 Urban Communication Foundation Jane Jacobs Award

'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

Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City

(Wallflower Press, London/Columbia University Press, New York, 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&rsquos 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 &ndash 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
Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context

(Blackwell Publishing, Oxford and New Malden, MA, 2001)

Edited by Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice

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

"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

"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.

Screening the City

(Verso, London and New York, 2003)

Edited by Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice

'...the 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

Edited books with chapters by Mark Shiel
Cinematic Urban Geographies

(Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017)

Edited by Francois Penz and Richard Koeck

Art Direction and Production Design

(Rutgers University Press, 2015)

Edited by Lucy Fischer

The Italian Cinema Book

(Palgrave Macmillan - British Film Institute Publishing, 2014)

Edited by Peter Bondanella

Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City

(Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2010)

Edited by Gyan Prakash

The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Los Angeles

(Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 2010)

Edited by Kevin McNamara


Branding Cities: Cosmopolitanism, Parochialism, and Social Change

(Routledge, New York and London, 2009)

Edited by Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Eleonore Kofman, Catherine Kevin

Cinematic Rome

(Troubador Italian Studies, Leicester, 2008)

Edited by Richard Wrigley

"Un-American" Hollywood: Politics and Film in the Blacklist Era

(Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ and London, 2007)

Edited by Frank Krutnik, Steve Neale, Brian Neve, and Peter Stanfield

Contemporary American Cinema

McGraw-Hill, New York and London, 2006)

Edited by Mike Hammond and Linda Ruth Williams


DVDs with commentary by
Mark Shiel
Bicycle Thieves

(The Criterion Collection, 2007)

"Life As It Is", a documentary and interview with Mark Shiel, Disc 2 DVD extra, running time 40 mins

"...a 40-minute documentary, with film clips illustrating a long, lucid and articulate discourse on neorealism by film scholar Mark Shiel." Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

"Life As It Is: The Neorealist Movement in Italy is a clear-eyed, comprehensive survey of this influential period of filmmaking presented by film scholar Mark Shiel." Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy

"Mark Shiel makes this a very accessible and informative feature, looking in-depth at how the movement came about, its characteristics, directors and writers, its growth and its influence, comparing it to the Hollywood style of the period. Comprehensive, informed, interesting and unpretentiously delivered, this is excellent." Noel Megahey, DVD Times

Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy

(The Criterion Collection, 2009)

"Rossellini and the City", a documentary and interview with Mark Shiel, Disc 2 DVD extra, running time 25 minutes

"Another highlight is author Mark Shiel's video essay "Rossellini and the City," for its insight into the war cycle's "de-monumentalizing" of its historic Italian cities in favor of a vision of populist decency enduring against a backdrop of official breakdown, while the desolate Berlin of the finale evokes an abstracted 'endlessness.'" Bill Weber, Slant Magazine