University of Illinois Press

Contemporary Film Directors

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Go

Browse Books in Series:

Contemporary Film Directors

previous PREV 1 2 3 4

Results 31-36 of 36

:
:
restricted access This search result is for a Book

Steven Soderbergh

Aaron Baker

Steven Soderbergh's feature films present a diverse range of subject matter and formal styles: from the self-absorption of his breakthrough hit Sex, Lies, and Videotape to populist social problem films such as Erin Brockovich, and from the modernist discontinuity of Full Frontal and filmed performance art of Gray's Anatomy to a glossy, star-studded action blockbuster such as Ocean's Eleven. Arguing that Soderbergh practices an eclectic type of moviemaking indebted both to the European art cinema and the Hollywood genre film, Aaron Baker charts the common thematic and formal patterns present across Soderbergh's oeuvre. Almost every movie centers on an alienated main character, and he represents the unconventional thinking of his outsider protagonists through a discontinuous editing style. Including detailed analyses of major films as well as two interviews with the director, this volume illustrates Soderbergh's hybrid flexibility in bringing an independent aesthetic to wide audiences.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Terence Davies

Michael Koresky

Called the most important British filmmaker of his generation, Terence Davies made his reputation with modern classics like Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes , personal works exploring his fractured childhood in Liverpool. His idiosyncratic and unorthodox narrative films defy easy categorization; though they would seem to exist within the realms of realism and personal memory cinema, the films lay bare the director's personal pain in a daringly abstract way. Film critic Michael Koresky explores the unique emotional tenor of Davies' work by focusing on four paradoxes within the director's oeuvre: films that are autobiographical yet fictional; melancholy yet elating; conservative in tone and theme yet radically constructed; and obsessed with the passing of time yet frozen in time and space. Through these contradictions, the films' intricate designs reveal a cumulative, deeply personal meditation on the self. Koresky also analyzes how Davies' ongoing negotiation of--and struggle with--questions of identity related to his past and his homosexuality imbue the details and jarring juxtapositions in his films with a queer sensibility, which is too often overlooked due to the complexity of Davies' work and his unfashionable ambivalence toward his own sexual orientation.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Terrence Malick

Lloyd Michaels

For a director who has made only four feature films over three decades, Terrence Malick has sustained an extraordinary critical reputation as one of America's most original and independent filmmakers. In this book, Lloyd Michaels analyzes each of Malick's four features in depth, emphasizing both repetitive formal techniques such as voiceover and long lens cinematography as well as recurrent themes drawn from the director's academic training in modern philosophy and American literature. Michaels explores Malick's synthesis of the romance of mythic American experience and the aesthetics of European art film. He performs close cinematic analysis of paradigmatic moments in Malick's films: the billboard sequence in Badlands, the opening credits in Days of Heaven, the philosophical colloquies between Witt and Welsh in The Thin Red Line, and the epilogue in The New World. This richly detailed study also includes the only two published interviews with Malick, both in 1975 following the release of his first feature film.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Todd Haynes

Rob White

Todd Haynes's films are intricate and purposeful, combining the intellectual impact of art cinema with the emotional accessibility of popular genres. They are also underpinned by a serious commitment to feminism and queer theory. From his 1985 student film about Arthur Rimbaud to his shapeshifting portrait of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There (2007) and the riveting HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (2011), Haynes has made films whose complex weave of stories and characters reveals dark, painful intensities. His taste for narrative experimentation and pastiche is haunted by anguish.

Rob White's highly readable book, which includes a major new interview with Haynes, is the first comprehensive study of the director's work. Special attention is paid to the fascination with music culture (from the Carpenters to glam rock) and to the rich pattern of allusions to, or affinity with, predecessor filmmakers (Fassbinder, Ophuls, Sirk, and many more). But White's chief concern is the persistence of a queer impulse to explore social coercion and the possibility that there may be some way of escaping its cruelty.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Wes Anderson

Donna Kornhaber

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom have made Wes Anderson a filmmaking force. Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums have become quotable cult classics. Yet every new Anderson release brings out droves of critics eager to charge him with stylistic excess and self-indulgent eclecticism. Donna Kornhaber approaches Anderson's style as the necessary product of the narrative and thematic concerns that define his body of work. Using Anderson's focus on collecting, Kornhaber situates the director as the curator of his filmic worlds, a prime mover who artfully and conscientiously arranges diverse components into cohesive collections and taxonomies. Anderson peoples each mise-en-scéne in his ongoing "Wesworld" with characters orphaned, lost, and out of place amidst a riot of handmade clutter and relics. Within, they seek a wholeness and collective identity they manifestly lack, with their pain expressed via an ordered emotional palette that, despite being muted, cries out for attention. As Kornhaber shows, Anderson's films offer nothing less than a fascinating study in the sensation of belonging--told by characters who possess it the least. Covering Anderson's entire oeuvre and including an interview with the director, Wes Anderson is an entertaining look at one of our most beloved and polarizing filmmakers.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Wong Kar-wai

Peter Brunette

Wong Kar-Wai traces this immensely exciting director's perennial themes of time, love, and loss, and examines the political implications of his films, especially concerning the handover of former British colony Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. This book is the first in any language to cover all of Wong's work, from his first film, As Tears Go By, to his most recent, the still unreleased 2046. It also includes his best-known, highly honored films, Chungking Express, Happy Together, and above all, In the Mood for Love. Most importantly, Peter Brunette describes the ways in which Wong's supremely visual films attempt to create a new form of cinema by relying on stunning, suggestive visual images and audio tracks to tell their story, rather than on traditional notions of character, dialogue, and plot. The question of Wong Kar-wai's use of genre film techniques in art films is also explored in depth.

previous PREV 1 2 3 4

Results 31-36 of 36

:
:

Return to Browse All Series on Project MUSE

Series

Contemporary Film Directors

Content Type

  • (36)

Access

  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access