Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and American Film Criticism

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$30.40
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.07
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $2.07   
  • New (11) from $18.62   
  • Used (6) from $2.07   

Overview

Gone with the Wind an inspiration for the American avant-garde? Mickey Mouse a crucial source for the development of cutting-edge intellectual and aesthetic ideas? As Greg Taylor shows in this witty and provocative book, the idea is not so far-fetched. One of the first-ever studies of American film criticism, Artists in the Audience shows that film critics, beginning in the 1940s, turned to the movies as raw material to be molded into a more radical modernism than that offered by any other contemporary artists or thinkers. In doing so, they offered readers a vanguard alternative that reshaped postwar American culture: nonaesthetic mass culture reconceived and refashioned into rich, personally relevant art by the attuned, creative spectator.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Boston Book Review - Jacob M. Appel
The educated public has known for years that vanguard film theory is one part self-indulgence, two parts hoodwinking. Taylor's study shows precisely how and why the interpreters lost touch within the medium.
afterimage - Robert L. Cagle
Taylor constructs a detailed history of some of the most salient trends in Post-World War II American cinema and film criticism. . . . [His] points are well-taken and his analyses convincingly argued.
Cineaste - David Sterritt
Lively, provocative reading. . . . This is a gripping saga as Taylor tells it, carefully constructed and lucidly written.
From the Publisher

"The educated public has known for years that vanguard film theory is one part self-indulgence, two parts hoodwinking. Taylor's study shows precisely how and why the interpreters lost touch within the medium."--Jacob M. Appel, Boston Book Review

"Taylor constructs a detailed history of some of the most salient trends in Post-World War II American cinema and film criticism. . . . [His] points are well-taken and his analyses convincingly argued."--Robert L. Cagle, afterimage

"Lively, provocative reading. . . . This is a gripping saga as Taylor tells it, carefully constructed and lucidly written."--David Sterritt, Cineaste

"Greg Taylor's intriguing study of film critics takes both a discriminating and aesthetic approach to the subject. . . . An illuminating book."--Filmbill

Boston Book Review
The educated public has known for years that vanguard film theory is one part self-indulgence, two parts hoodwinking. Taylor's study shows precisely how and why the interpreters lost touch within the medium.
— Jacob M. Appel
afterimage
Taylor constructs a detailed history of some of the most salient trends in Post-World War II American cinema and film criticism. . . . [His] points are well-taken and his analyses convincingly argued.
— Robert L. Cagle
Cineaste
Lively, provocative reading. . . . This is a gripping saga as Taylor tells it, carefully constructed and lucidly written.
— David Sterritt
Filmbill
Greg Taylor's intriguing study of film critics takes both a discriminating and aesthetic approach to the subject. . . . An illuminating book.
Scott Tobias
In a mass market dominated by oversold, largely disposable films tailored to middlebrow tastes, discerning critics and audiences often find themselves pushed to the margins, searching for fresh ways to wrest themselves from the studio machinery. As the title of Greg Taylor's invaluable Artists In The Audience suggests, this is a creative response, led by &#34vanguard" cultists and camp aficionados driven to find the art in junk or turn the junk into art. Taylor traces the vanguard tradition back to Oscar Wilde's assertion that an artist's work is merely &#34a starting-point for a new creation," and leaps forward to discover postwar American tastemakers from Manny Farber to Pauline Kael filtering popular movies through their own distinct, iconoclastic perspectives. A convincing and accessible marriage of film theory and sweeping cultural commentary, Artists In The Audience nails the cineaste's impulse to champion neglected work while reveling in the unabashed crumminess of cynical Hollywood product. For those whose film education is supplemented by forays into Danny Peary's Cult Movies series or episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the book offers a generous dose of creative empowerment. But Taylor warns that &#34artistic criticism" has its limitations--in particular, the question of how to react when a Charlie Chaplin comes along and merges popular entertainment with high art. Is it possible to mine the trash and still remain open to more serious endeavors? While Taylor admires critics who search for gems in a medium seized by consumerism, these troubling questions temper his enthusiasm. Artists In The Audience worries for a future in which aesthetic values are ignored and all the creativity and art comes solely from the viewer.
Onions.com
Library Journal
Taylor (Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film, SUNY at Purchase) uses the careers of pioneering cult critic Manny Farber and camp critic Parker Tyler as the basis for an examination and brief history of vanguard film criticism. This revolutionary criticism made the artistic value of a piece or the intentions of the artist unimportant--what mattered was the critic's uniquely personal impressions of the work and his creation or interpretation of relevant meaning from it. Taken from the art world, the approach was a reaction to consumer-friendly, "middlebrow" postwar modernism, and the vibrant American popular movie was the perfect material. These writers paved the way for the better-known critics who followed them, before vanguard criticism retreated into academia. Recommended for academic collections.--Marianne Cawley, Charleston Cty. Lib., SC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691089553
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/6/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Taylor

GREG TAYLOR is a screenwriter whose credits include Jumanji, Harriet the Spy, and Prancer. This is his first book.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


PREFACE
CHAPTER ONE The Spectator as Critic as Artist 3
CHAPTER TWO Movies to the Rescue: American Modernism and the Middlebrow Challenge 19
CHAPTER THREE Life on the Edge: Manny Farber and Cult Criticism 30
CHAPTER FOUR Hallucinating Hollywood: Parker Tyler and Camp Spectatorship 49
CHAPTER FIVE From Termites to Auteurs: Cultism Goes Mainstream 73
CHAPTER SIX Heavy Culture and Underground Camp 98
CHAPTER SEVEN Retreat into Theory 122
CONCLUSION Love, Death, and the Limits of Artistic Criticism 150
NOTES 159
REFERENCES 179
INDEX 193
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)