Film Follies: The Cinema Out of Order

Overview

Film Follies is about the greatest films that never should have been made. Stuart Klawans proposes that, as well as the auteurist film: where a director, operating within the studio system manages to an individual stamp on an assembly-line product. And, as well as the independent film, where the director, operating with a minimal budget and crew, can defy the conventions of generic filmmaking, there is a third, generally overlooked type of production, large, unwieldy, almost always a disaster at the box office, ...
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Overview

Film Follies is about the greatest films that never should have been made. Stuart Klawans proposes that, as well as the auteurist film: where a director, operating within the studio system manages to an individual stamp on an assembly-line product. And, as well as the independent film, where the director, operating with a minimal budget and crew, can defy the conventions of generic filmmaking, there is a third, generally overlooked type of production, large, unwieldy, almost always a disaster at the box office, but fascinating to watch and consider. These are the follies, productions by filmmakers who, in the ambitious pursuit of a thoroughly idiosyncratic vision, somehow get their hands on the full resources of a studio.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Klawans, film critic for the Nation, looks at those over-the-top, beyond-extravagant films that are the consummate creation of one person. A "film folly" is not only overly ambitious but ruinously expensive to make, destroying careers and studios. It is an act of hubris or megalomania on the part of its creator, and the logical development of story line or characters isn't this type of film's strong point. Klawans examines some examples of this genre, among them Intolerance, Greed, Metropolis, Duel in the Sun, Fitzcarraldo, Cleopatra, I Am Cuba, and Apocalypse Now. Proceeding chronologically, he considers not only the film itself but the circumstances in the film industry at the time that made its creation possible. Aside from an overemphasis on the influence of Richard Wagner in the first third of the book, what Klawans has to say is interesting and far from dry. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.--Marianne Cawley, Charleston Cty. Lib., SC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780304700530
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/1998
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Klawans was born on October 17, 1950 in Chicago, IL.

Education: Yale, B.A. in English Literature, 1971. Expelled for helping to hold hostage the university business administrator, 1970.

Besides writing a regular column for The Nation and the New York Daily News ("Museums"), Klawans has contributed to the Times Literary Supplement ("American Notes" column), NPR (commentaries on Fresh Air), The Village Voice, Grand Street, Threepenny Review, Entertainment Weekly, WBAI (film reviews on "Soundtrack"), the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times (once).

He is represented in several anthologies, including The Best American Essays 1990 (Ticknor & Fields), edited by Justin Kaplan and Robert Atwan; Seeing Through Movies (Pantheon, 1990), edited by Mark Crispin Miller; and Foreign Affairs (Mercury House, 1991), edited by Kathy Schulz Huffins for the National Society of Film Critics.

Klawans is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics, and was a member of the selection committee for the New York Film Festival from 1992-95.

Awards and honors: Arrested for trespass, Shoreham Nuclear Installation, 1979.

Klawans's book Film Follies was nominated for a 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Work of Art of the Future 5
The Politics of Authorship 41
The Mechanical Bride 69
An Interlude 99
Follies Girls 107
In the Jungle of Cinema 137
Finales 169
Acknowledgments 179
Bibliography 181
Index 184
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