The Cinema Of Kathryn Bigelow
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Kathryn Bigelow has undoubtedly been one of Hollywood's most significant female players, well known in popular terms for films such as Point Break and Blue Steel, yet relatively unexplored in academia. This collection explores how Bigelow can be seen to provide a point of intersection to a whole range of issues at the forefront of contemporary film studies and of the transformation of Hollywood into a post-classical cinema machine, with a particular emphasis on her most ambitious and controversial picture, Strange Days.
Director of Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker, and other films, Bigelow was the first female to win the Academy Award for Best Director.
With her gripping film The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow (b. 1951) made history in 2010 by becoming the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. Since then she has also filmed history with her latest movie, Zero Dark Thirty, which is about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. She is one of Hollywood's brightest stars, but her roots go back four decades to the very non-Hollywood, avant-garde art world of New York City in the 1970s. Her first feature The Loveless reflected those academic origins, but such subsequent films such as the vampire-Western Near Dark, the female vigilante movie Blue Steel, and the surfer-crime thriller Point Break demonstrated her determination to apply her aesthetic sensibilities to popular, genre filmmaking. The first volume of Bigelow's interviews ever published, Peter Keough's collection covers her early success with Near Dark; the frustrations and disappointments she endured with films such as Strange Days and K-19: The Widowmaker; and her triumph with The Hurt Locker. In conversations ranging from the casual to the analytical, Bigelow explains how her evolving ambitions and aesthetics sprang from her earliest aspirations to be a painter and conceptual artist in New York in the 1970s and then expanded to embrace Hollywood filmmaking when she was exposed to such renowned directors as John Ford, Howard Hawks, Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah, and George Roy Hill.
Sean Redmond's work fills an important gap in the scholarship on the European-inspired auteur working within the Hollywood cinema machine, Kathryn Bigelow. Structured to meet the needs of both the student and scholar, Redmond's volume situates Bigelow within her historical and critical context, exploring key collaborative relationships and new ways of watching her films. Beginning with Bigelow's biography, Redmond surveys the evolution of Kathryn's career as a Hollywood outsider with movies such as The Set-up (1978) and Near Dark (1987) to Hollywood blockbusters like Point Break (1991), The Hurt Locker (2010) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012).One of the key determinants of this volume is to locate Bigelow as a filmmaking artist who is able to transcend the collective, industrial, and commercial constraints of the Hollywood cinema machine to individually author her films in innovative and transgressive ways. Bigelow is contextualised as a contemporary auteur, with a distinct visual style who returns to the same themes and obsessions, and as a filmmaker who pushes cinematic boundaries, both in terms of film form and the representation of gender and sexuality.
This is a comprehensive introduction to post-classical American film. Covering American cinema since 1960, the text looks at both Hollywood and non-mainstream cinema.
Explores the interaction between science, literature and spectacle in Shakespeare's era
An authoritative guide to the action-packed film genre With 24 incisive, cutting-edge contributions from esteemed scholars and critics, A Companion to the Action Filmprovides an authoritative and in-depth guide to this internationally popular and wide-ranging genre. As the first major anthology on the action film in more than a decade, the volume offers insights into the genre’s historical development, explores its production techniques and visual poetics, and provides reflections on the numerous social, cultural, and political issues it has and continues to embody. A Companion to the Action Film offers original research and critical analysis that examines the iconic characteristics of the genre, its visual aesthetics, and its narrative traits; considers the impact of major directors and stars on the genre’s evolution; puts the action film in dialogue with various technologies and other forms of media such as graphic novels and television; and maps out new avenues of critical study for the future. This important resource: Offers a definitive guide to the action film Contains insightful contributions from a wide range of international film experts and scholars Reviews the evolution of the genre from the silent era to today’s age of digital blockbusters Offers nuanced commentary and analysis of socio-cultural issues such as race, nationality, and gender in action films Written for scholars, teachers and students in film studies, film theory, film history, genre studies, and popular culture, A Companion to the Action Film is an essential guide to one of international cinema’s most important, popular, and influential genres.
On the evening of July 25, 1967, on the third night of the 12th Street Riot, Detroit police raided the Algiers Motel. Acting on a report of gunfire, officers rounded up the occupants of the motel's annexâ€”several black men and two white womenâ€”and proceeded to beat them and repeatedly threaten to kill them. By the end of the night, three of the men were dead. Three police officers and a private security guard were tried for their deaths; none were convicted. In The Algiers Motel Incident, first published in 1968, Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Hersey strings together interviews, police reports, court testimony, and news stories to recount the terrible events of that night. The result is chaotic and sometimes confusing; facts remain elusive. But, Hersey concludes, the truth is clear: three young black men were murdered "for being, all in all, black young men and part of the black rage of the time." With a new foreword by award-winning author Danielle L. McGuire, The Algiers Motel Incident is a powerful indictment of racism and the US justice system.
This timely volume explores the massively popular cinema of writer-director James Cameron. It couches Cameron's films within the evolving generic traditions of science fiction, melodrama, and the cinema of spectacle. The book also considers Cameron's engagement with the aesthetic of visual effects and the 'now' technology of performance-capture which is arguably moving a certain kind of event-movie cinema from photography to something more akin to painting. This book is explicit in presenting Cameron as an authentic auteur, and each chapter is dedicated to a single film in his body of work, from The Terminator to Avatar. Space is also given to discussion of Strange Days as well as his short films and documentary works.
One of the last representatives of a brand of serious, high-art cinema, Alexander Sokurov has produced a massive oeuvre exploring issues such as history, power, memory, kinship, death, the human soul, and the responsibility of the artist. Through contextualization and close readings of each of his feature fiction films (broaching many of his documentaries in the process), this volume unearths a vision of Sokurov's films as equally mournful and passionate, intellectual, and sensual, and also identifies in them a powerful, if discursively repressed, queer sensitivity, alongside a pattern of tensions and paradoxes. This book thus offers new keys to understand the lasting and ever-renewed appeal of the Russian director's Janus-like and surprisingly dynamic cinema – a deeply original and complex body of work in dialogue with the past, the present and the future.
This comprehensive study of prolific British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom explores the thematic, stylistic, and intellectual consistencies running through his eclectic and controversial body of work. This volume undertakes a close analysis of a TV series directed by Winterbottom and sixteen of his films ranging from television dramas to transnational co-productions featuring Hollywood stars, and from documentaries to costume films. The critique is centered on Winterbottom's collaborative working practices, political and cultural contexts, and critical reception. Arguing that his work delineates a 'cinema of borders', this study examines Winterbottom's treatment of sexuality, class, ethnicity, and national and international politics, as well as his quest to adequately narrate inequality, injustice, and violence.
Raúl Ruiz, while considered one of the world's most significant filmmakers by several film critics, is yet to be the subject of any thorough engagement with his work in English. This volume sets out on this task by mapping, as fully as possible, Ruiz's cinematic trajectory across more than five decades of prolific work, up to his death in 2011; ranging from his earliest work in Chile to high-budget 'European' costume dramas culminating in Mysteries of Lisbon (2010). It does so by treating Ruiz's work—with its surrealist, magic realist, popular cultural, and neo-Baroque sources—as a type of 'impossible' cinematic cartography, mapping real, imaginary, and virtual spaces, and crossing between different cultural contexts, aesthetic strategies, and technical media. It argues that across the different phases of Ruiz's work identified, there are key continuities such as the invention of singular cinematic images and the interrogation of their possible and impossible combinations.
Michael Mann is one of the most important American filmmakers of the past forty years. His films exhibit the existential concerns of art cinema, articulated through a conspicuous and recognizable visual style and yet integrated within classical Hollywood narrative and genre frameworks. Since his beginnings as a screenwriter in the 1970s, Mann has become a key figure within contemporary American popular culture as writer, director, and producer for film and television. This volume offers a detailed study of Mann's feature films, from The Jericho Mile (1979) to Public Enemies (2009), with consideration also being given to parallels in the production, style, and characterization in his television work. It explores Mann's relationship with classical genres, his thematic concentration on issues of morality and masculinity, his film adaptations from literature, and the development and significance of his trademark visual style within modern American cinema.
Aki Kaurismäki is an enigma, an eminent auteur who claims his films are a joke. Since 1983, Kaurismäki has produced classically-styled films filled with cinephilic references to film history. He has earned an international art-house audience and many prizes, influencing such directors as Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino, and Wes Anderson. Yet Kaurismäki is often depicted as the loneliest, most nostalgic of Finns (except when he promotes his films, makes political statements, and runs his many businesses). He is also depicted as a bohemian known for outlandish actions and statements. The Cinema of Aki Kaurismäki is the first comprehensive English-language study of this eccentric director. Drawing on revisionist approaches to film authorship, the text links the filmmaker and his films to the stories and issues animating film aesthetics and history, nostalgia, late modernity, politics, commerce, film festivals, and national cinema.
The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood is a detailed aesthetic, Deleuzian, and phenomenological exploration of Japan's finest currently-working film director, performer, and celebrity. The volume uniquely explores Kitano's oeuvre through the tropes of stillness and movement, becoming animal, melancholy and loss, intensity, schizophrenia, and radical alterity; and through the aesthetic temperatures of color, light, camera movement, performance and urban and oceanic space. In this highly original monograph, all of Kitano's films are given due consideration, including A Scene at the Sea (1991), Sonatine (1993), Dolls (2002), and Outrage (2010).
The Cinema of Béla Tarr is a critical analysis of the work of Hungary's most prominent and internationally best known film director, written by a scholar who has followed Bela Tarr's career through a close personal and professional relationship for more than twenty-five years. András Bálint Kovács traces the development of Tarr's themes, characters, and style, showing that almost all of his major stylistic and narrative innovations were already present in his early films and that through a conscious and meticulous recombination of and experimentation with these elements, Tarr arrived at his unique style. The significance of these films is that, beyond their aesthetic and historical value, they provide the most powerful vision of an entire region and its historical situation. Tarr's films express, in their universalistic language, the shared feelings of millions of Eastern Europeans.
Terry Gilliam has been making movies for more than forty years, and this volume analyzes a selection of his thrilling directorial work, from his early films with Monty Python to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnussus (2009). The frenetic genius, auteur, and social critic continues to create indelible images on screen--if, that is, he can get funding for his next project. Featuring eleven original essays from an international group of scholars, this collection argues that when Gilliam makes a movie, he goes to war: against Hollywood caution and convention, against American hyper-consumerism and imperial militarism, against narrative vapidity and spoon-fed mediocrity, and against the brutalizing notion and cruel vision of the "American Dream."
Michael Haneke is one of the most important directors working in Europe today, with films such as Funny Games (1997), Code Unknown (2000), and Hidden (2005) interrogating modern ethical dilemmas with forensic clarity and merciless insight. Haneke's films frequently implicate both the protagonists and the audience in the making of their misfortunes, yet even in the barren nihilism of The Seventh Continent (1989) and Time of the Wolf (2003) a dark strain of optimism emerges, releasing each from its terrible and inescapable guilt. It is this contingent and unlikely possibility that we find in Haneke's cinema: a utopian Europe. This collection celebrates, explicates, and sometimes challenges the worldview of Haneke's films. It examines the director's central themes and preoccupations—bourgeois alienation, modes and critiques of spectatorship, the role of the media—and analyzes otherwise marginalized aspects of his work, such as the function of performance and stardom, early Austrian television productions, the romanticism of The Piano Teacher (2001), and the 2007 shot-for-shot remake of Funny Games.
The brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have established an international reputation for their emotionally powerful realist cinema. Inspired by their home turf of Liège-Seraing, a former industrial hub of French-speaking southern Belgium, they have crafted a series of fiction films that blends acute observation of life on the social margins with moral fables for the postmodern age. This volume analyses the brothers' career from their leftist video documentaries of the 1970s and 1980s through their debut as directors of fiction films in the late 1980s and early 1990s to their six major achievements from The Promise (1996) to The Kid with a Bike (2011), an oeuvre that includes two Golden Palms at the Cannes film festival, for Rosetta (1999) and The Child (2005). It argues that the ethical dimension of the Dardennes' work complements rather than precludes their sustained expression of a fundamental political sensibility.
Werner Herzog is renowned for pushing the boundaries of conventional cinema, especially those between the fictional and the factual, the fantastic and the real. The Cinema of Werner Herzog: Aesthetic Ecstasy and Truth is the first study in twenty years devoted entirely to an analysis of Herzog's work. It explores the director's continuing search for what he has described as 'ecstatic truth,' drawing on over thirty-five films, from the epics Aguirre: Wrath of God (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982) to innovative documentaries like Fata Morgana (1971), Lessons of Darkness (1992), and Grizzly Man (2005). Special attention is paid to Herzog's signature style of cinematic composition, his "romantic" influences, and his fascination with madmen, colonialism, and war.