A captivating cast of 1980s power and talent--John Candy, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Jessica Lange, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sissy Spacek, Sylvester Stallone, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Bruce Willis, and the "Brat Pack"—stars in the drama of this decade. Acting for America focuses on the way these film icons have engaged in and defined some major issues of cultural and social concern to America during the 1980s.
Scholars employing a variety of useful approaches explore how these movie stars' films speak to an increased audience awareness of advances in feminism, new ideas about masculinity, and the complex political atmosphere in the Age of Reagan. The essays demonstrate the range of these stars' contributions to such conversations in a variety of films, including blockbusters and major genres.
The profound cultural and political changes of the 1960s brought the United States closer to social revolution than at any other time in the twentieth century. The country fragmented as various challenges to state power were met with increasing and violent resistance. The Cold War heated up and the Vietnam War divided Americans. Civil rights, women's liberation, and gay rights further emerged as significant social issues. Free love was celebrated even as the decade was marked by assassinations, mass murders, and social unrest.
At the same time, American cinema underwent radical change as well. The studio system crumbled, and the Production Code was replaced by a new ratings system. Among the challenges faced by the film industry was the dawning shift in theatrical exhibition from urban centers to surburban multiplexes, an increase in runaway productions, the rise of independent producers, and competition from both television and foreign art films. Hollywood movies became more cynical, violent, and sexually explicit, reflecting the changing values of the time.
In ten original essays, American Cinema of the 1960s examines a range of films that characterized the decade, including Hollywood movies, documentaries, and independent and experimental films. Among the films discussed are Elmer Gantry, The Apartment, West Side Story, The Manchurian Candidate, To Kill aMockingbird, Cape Fear, Bonnie and Clyde, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Midnight Cowboy, and Easy Rider.
Weary from the turbulent sixties, America entered the 1970s hoping for calm. Instead, the war in Vietnam and its troubled aftermath persisted, the Watergate scandal unfolded, and continuing social unrest at home and abroad provided the backdrop for the new decade. The scene was similar in Hollywood, as it experienced greater upheaval than at any point since the coming of sound. As the studio and star systems declined, actors had more power than ever, and because many had become fiercely politicized by the temper of the times, the movies they made were often more challenging than before. Thus, just when it might have faded out, Hollywood was reborn--but what was the nature of this rebirth?
Hollywood Reborn examines this question, with contributors focusing on many of the era's key figures--noteworthy actors such as Jane Fonda, Al Pacino, Faye Dunaway, and Warren Beatty, and unexpected artists, among them Donald Sutherland, Shelley Winters, and Divine. Each essay offers new perspectives through the lens of an important star, illuminating in the process some of the most fascinating and provocative films of the decade.
Think about some commercially successful film masterpieces--The Manchurian Candidate. Seven Days in May. Seconds. Then consider some lesser known, yet equally compelling cinematic achievements--The Fixer. The Gypsy Moths. Path to War. These triumphs are the work of the best known and most highly regarded Hollywood director to emerge from live TV drama in the 1950s--five-time Emmy-award-winner John Frankenheimer.
Although Frankenheimer was a pioneer in the genre of political thrillers who embraced the antimodernist critique of contemporary society, some of his later films did not receive the attention they deserved. Many claimed that at a midpoint in his career he had lost his touch. World-renowned film scholars put this myth to rest in A Little Solitaire, which offers the only multidisciplinary critical account of Frankenheimer's oeuvre. Especially emphasized is his deep and passionate engagement with national politics and the irrepressible need of human beings to assert their rights and individuality in the face of organizations that would reduce them to silence and anonymity.
Where and what is the place of the wild? Is the goal of preserving biodiversity across the landscape of North America compatible with contemporary Western culture?Place of the Wild brings together original essays from an exceptional array of contemporary writers and activists to present in a single volume the most current thinking on the relationship between humans and wilderness. A common thread running through the volume is the conviction that everyone concerned with the natural world -- academics and activists, philosophers and poets -- must join forces to re-establish cultural narratives and shared visions that sustain life on this planet.The contributors apply the insights of conservation biology to the importance of wilderness in the 21st century, raising questions and stimulating thought. The volume begins with a series of personal narratives that present portraits of wildlands and humans. Following those narratives are more-analytical discourses that examine conceptions and perceptions of the wild, and of the place of humanity in it. The concluding section features clear and resonant activist voices that consider the importance of wildlands, and what can be done to reconcile the needs of wilderness with the needs of human culture.
James Morrison University of Illinois Press, 2006 Library of Congress PN1998.3.P65M67 2007 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
A new take on an eclectic and controversial director
James Morrison's Roman Polanski offers one of the most comprehensive and critically engaged treatments ever written on Polanski's work. Tracing the filmmaker's remarkably diverse career from its beginnings to the present, the book provides commentary on all the major films in their historical, cultural, social, and artistic contexts. By locating Polanski's work within the genres of comedy and melodrama, Morrison argues that the director is not merely obsessed with the theme of repression, but that his true interest is in the concrete--what is out in the open--and in why it is so rarely seen.
A volume in the series Contemporary Film Directors, edited by James Naremore