In this expanded second edition, award-winning Iranian filmmaker Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum renew their illuminating cross-cultural dialogue on Kiarostami's work. The pair chart the filmmaker's late-in-life turn toward art galleries, museums, still photography, and installations. They also bring their distinct but complementary perspectives to a new conversation on the experimental film Shirin. Finally, Rosenbaum offers an essay on watching Kiarostami at home while Saeed-Vafa conducts a deeply personal interview with the director on his career and his final feature, Like Someone in Love.
Nicole Brenez argues for Abel Ferrara’s place in a line of grand inventors who have blurred distinctions between industry and avant-garde film, including Orson Welles, Monte Hellman, and Nicholas Ray. Rather than merely reworking genre film, Brenez understands Ferrara’s oeuvre as formulating new archetypes that depict the evil of the modern world. Focusing as much on the human figure as on elements of storytelling, she argues that films such as Bad Lieutenant express this evil through visionary characters struggling against the inadmissible (inadmissible behavior, morality, images, and narratives).
Presenting a historical overview of female stage directors in the United States, this valuable reference tool focuses on fifty women who have made significant contributions to professional directing during the twentieth century. Anne Fliotsos and Wendy Vierow collect biographical details and important directing data on each woman, including information on training and career path, notable productions, critical reception, directing style, major awards, and bibliographic materials. Insightful commentary from the directors themselves also provides rich details on the theatre business and working process. This collection recognizes the much overlooked contributions of women directors and is an essential introductory tool for students and researchers of American theatre.
How do we determine authorship in film, and what happens when we look in-depth at the creative activity of living filmmakers rather than approach their work through the abstract prism of auteur theory? Mark Gallagher uses Steven Soderbergh’s career as a lens through which to re-view screen authorship and offer a new model that acknowledges the fundamentally collaborative nature of authorial work and its circulation. Working in film, television, and digital video, Soderbergh is the most prolific and protean filmmaker in contemporary American cinema. At the same time, his activity typifies contemporary screen industry practice, in which production entities, distribution platforms, and creative labor increasingly cross-pollinate.
Gallagher investigates Soderbergh’s work on such films as The Limey, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels, Solaris, The Good German, Che, and The Informant!, as well as on the K Street television series. Dispensing with classical auteurist models, he positions Soderbergh and authorship in terms of collaborative production, location filming activity, dealmaking and distribution, textual representation, genre and adaptation work, critical reception, and other industrial and cultural phenomena. Gallagher also addresses Soderbergh’s role as standard-bearer for U.S. independent cinema following 1989’s sex, lies and videotape, as well as his cinephilic dialogues with different forms of U.S. and international cinema from the 1920s through the 1970s. Including an extensive new interview with the filmmaker, Another Steven Soderbergh Experience demonstrates how industries and institutions cultivate, recognize, and challenge creative screen artists.
“How almost true they sometimes almost ring!” Samuel Beckett’s character rues his words. “How wanting in inanity!” A person could almost understand them! Why taunt and flout us, as Beckett’s writing does? Why discourage us from seeing, as Mark Rothko’s paintings often can? Why immobilize and daze us, as Alain Resnais’s films sometimes will? Why, Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit ask, would three acknowledged masters of their media make work deliberately opaque and inhospitable to an audience? This book shows us how such crippling moves may signal a profoundly original—and profoundly anti-modernist—renunciation of art’s authority.Our culture, while paying little attention to art, puts great faith in its edifying and enlightening value. Yet Beckett’s threadbare plays Company and Worstward Ho, so insistent on their poverty of meaning; Rothko’s nearly monochromatic paintings in the Houston Chapel; Resnais’s intensely self-contained, self-referential films Night and Fog and Muriel all seem to say, “I have little to show you, little to tell you, nothing to teach you.” Bersani and Dutoit consider these works as acts of resistance; by inhibiting our movement toward them, they purposely frustrate our faith in art as a way of appropriating and ultimately mastering reality.As this book demonstrates, these artists train us in new modes of mobility, which differ from the moves of an appropriating consciousness. As a form of cultural resistance, a rejection of a view of reality—both objects and human subjects—as simply there for the taking, this training may even give birth to a new kind of political power, one paradoxically consistent with the renunciation of authority. In its movement among these three artists, Arts of Impoverishment traces a new form of movement within art.
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