Description : In 1980, art house audience word of mouth about an unusual new movie, Return of the Secaucus Seven, launched the career of director John Sayles and with him the era of the independent filmmaker. Sayles has remained a maverick, writing, directing, editing and even acting in his own films. He has directed such diverse films as The Brother from Another Planet, Matewan, Eight Men Out, Passion Fish, and Lone Star, and received two Academy Award nominations. Here is the chronicle of Sayles' career--including the story of his inauspicious beginning as a second-string actor, and his work in fiction, theatre, music videos and television. The author argues that the importance of Sayles' signature plain visual style has been overlooked. A chapter is devoted to each of Sayles' feature films, offering background material on production funding, a plot sketch, an analysis of important characters, and a look at the language, setting, and politics. Each chapter also traces Sayles' technical development--his camera work, editing, musical arrangement and mise-en-scene. The book includes a complete filmography and a bibliography.
Description : Part of the "Conversations with Filmmakers" series, these interviews span Sayles's 20-year career as a writer, director, and sometimes actor. Photos. Filmography.
Description : John Sayles is the very paradigm of the contemporary independent filmmaker. By raising much of the funding for his films himself, Sayles functions more independently than most directors, and he has used his freedom to write and produce films with a distinctive personal style and often clearly expressed political positions. From The Return of the Secaucus Seven to Sunshine State, his films have consistently expressed progressive political positions on issues including race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability. In this study, David R. Shumway examines the defining characteristic of Sayles's cinema: its realism. Positing the filmmaker as a critical realist, Shumway explores Sayles's attention to narrative in critically acclaimed and popular films such as Matewan, Eight Men Out, Passion Fish, and Lone Star. The study also details the conditions under which Sayles's films have been produced, distributed, and exhibited, affecting the way in which these films have been understood and appreciated. In the process, Shumway presents Sayles as a teacher who tells historically accurate stories that invite audiences to consider the human world they all inhabit.
Description : The first collection of original essays on the work of writer-director John Sayles, this book addresses the full range of his films from a variety of critical viewpoints.
Description : From Luc Besson to Quentin Tarantino, Fifty Contemporary Film-makers offers an up-to-date guide to the individuals who are shaping modern cinema.
Description : Jane Campion has gained worldwide admiration and respect for outstanding films that are sharply focused on unusual women.
Description : Hollywood's Indies offers an in depth examination of the phenomenon of the classics divisions by tracing its history since the establishment of the first specialty label in 1980.
Description : Through discussion of films such as 'Return of the Secaucus 7', 'The Brother from Another Planet' 'Matewan' and 'Sunshine State', this study uncovers themes of racial and sexual otherness, capitalist excess and the erosion of community in the work of John Sayles.
Description : Who can forget Dorothy's quest for the great and powerful Oz as she tried to return to her beloved Kansas? She thought she needed a wizard's magic, only to discover that home—and the power to get there—had been with her all along. This engaging and provocative book proposes that Hollywood has created an imaginary cinematic geography filled with people and places we recognize and to which we are irresistibly drawn. Each viewing of a film stirs, in a very real and charismatic way, feelings of home, and the comfort of returning to films like familiar haunts is at the core of our nostalgic desire. Leading us on a journey through American film, Elisabeth Bronfen examines the different ways home is constructed in the development of cinematic narrative. Each chapter includes a close reading of such classic films as Fleming's The Wizard of Oz, Sirk's Imitation of Life, Burton's Batman Returns, Hitchcock's Rebecca, Ford's The Searchers, and Sayles's Lone Star.
Description : American historians such as Frederick Jackson Turner have argued that the West has been the region that most clearly defines American democracy and the national ethos. Throughout the twentieth century, the "frontier thesis" influenced film and television producers who used the West as a backdrop for an array of dramatic explorations of America's history and the evolution of its culture and values. The common themes found in Westerns distinguish the genre as a quintessentially American form of dramatic art. In Hollywood's West, Peter C. Rollins, John E. O'Connor, and the nation's leading film scholars analyze popular conceptions of the frontier as a fundamental element of American history and culture. This volume examines classic Western films and programs that span nearly a century, from Cimarron (1931) to Turner Network Television's recent made-for-TV movies. Many of the films discussed here are considered among the greatest cinematic landmarks of all time. The essays highlight the ways in which Westerns have both shaped and reflected the dominant social and political concerns of their respective eras. While Cimarron challenged audiences with an innovative, complex narrative, other Westerns of the early sound era such as The Great Meadow (1931) frequently presented nostalgic visions of a simpler frontier era as a temporary diversion from the hardships of the Great Depression. Westerns of the 1950s reveal the profound uncertainty cast by the cold war, whereas later Westerns display heightened violence and cynicism, products of a society marred by wars, assassinations, riots, and political scandals. The volume concludes with a comprehensive filmography and an informative bibliography of scholarly writings on the Western genre. This collection will prove useful to film scholars, historians, and both devoted and casual fans of the Western genre. Hollywood's West makes a significant contribution to the understanding of both the historic American frontier and its innumerable popular representations.