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Songs of Innocence and Experience

Romance in the Cinema of Frank Capra

Author(s): Magdalena Grabias-Zurek

Book Description

Songs of Innocence and Experience: Romance in the Cinema of Frank Capra is a study of the director’s chosen movies from the perspective of three types of comedies: paradisal, purgatorial and infernal, as assigned by Dante in his Divine Comedy. Magdalena Grabias views Capra’s films in two broader categories of “innocence” and “experience,” where “innocence” represents Dantean paradisal level, and “experience” combines the levels of purgatory and inferno. Such a division constitutes the means to interpret Capra’s filmic universe and to describe the ever-evolving directorial vision of Frank Capra.

The main purpose of the book is to demonstrate how, in the light of the theory of literary romance as presented by Northrop Frye in his seminal works concerning the subject, the films of Frank Capra fit into the genre of romance. Romantic elements in Frank Capra’s movies can be found in both “innocence” and “experience” categories and, hence, consequently in his paradisal, purgatorial and infernal comedies. However, in both categories, and all three comedy types, the romantic reality of each examined film is structured and developed in a different manner.

The book offers an insight into Frank Capra’s films and the complex process of creating his multidimensional romantic universe within them.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4781-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4781-X
Date of Publication: 01/07/2013
Pages / Size: 230 / A5
Price: £44.99


Magdalena Grabias-Żurek is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. She specialises in film studies, American studies, literary translation and music journalism. Her publications include a review of Janina Falkowska’s book on Andrzej Wajda, “Wajda widziany przez ocean” (2009), a post-conference article, “Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls as Axis Mundi” (2010), as well as numerous reviews of music releases, concerts and theatre shows.