Guiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film Reader

Overview

David Sterritt, film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and professor of film at Long Island University, is one of the most astute, acclaimed, and thought-provoking critics in America. Sterritt's sharp eye for telling detail and deep understanding of cinema and its history make his work appealing to scholars and lay audiences.

Guiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film Reader collects his most incisive essays from 1970 to the present. The collection emphasizes films and ...

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Overview

David Sterritt, film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and professor of film at Long Island University, is one of the most astute, acclaimed, and thought-provoking critics in America. Sterritt's sharp eye for telling detail and deep understanding of cinema and its history make his work appealing to scholars and lay audiences.

Guiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film Reader collects his most incisive essays from 1970 to the present. The collection emphasizes films and filmmakers that are often overlooked or undervalued because they stray from ordinary norms of commercial cinema. While focusing on such rewarding challenges as the avant-garde masterpieces of Stan Brakhage, the unsettling videos of Robert Wilson, and the violent, disturbing films of Gaspar NoƩ, Sterritt writes equally well and insightfully on mainstream Hollywood films.

At a time when admitting to "guilty pleasures" has become a common pastime among serious moviegoers, Sterritt argues that there's no reason to feel guilty about the alchemy of cinema. After all, he maintains, the inner journeys we take by means of movies and other cultural works are a large part of what makes life worth living.

David Sterritt is chairman of the National Society of Film Critics. He is the author of Screening the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility, The Films of Jean-Luc Godard, and Mad to Be Saved: The Beats, the '50s, and Film, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Film Comment, and Cineaste. He lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578068180
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 8/9/2005
  • Pages: 281
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Fumbling in the dark, or, sorrows of a film critic 3
Films, fatigue, and why a critic's opinions are just as iffy as yours 12
Cinephilia, cinemania, cinema 19
Hollywood players who've made a difference : Cassavetes, Eastwood, Martin, Nicholson 31
Defining the situation : Brando, role-playing, and the western as performance art 50
Novelists and their movies : Mailer, Doctorow, Irving 66
Allegory and enigma : the enduring fascination of fantasy 75
Life isn't sweet : the movies of Mike Leigh 82
Monty Python : lust for glory 109
Creepies, crawlies, conundrums : David Cronenberg comes of age 124
Fargo : the middle of nowhere? 132
Coppola, Vietnam, and the ambivalent 1970s 153
Representing atrocity : from the Holocaust to September 11 161
Thanatos ex machina : Godard caresses the dead 175
Noe stands alone : an experiment with time 183
Time code : narrative film and the avant-garde 195
Renaldo & Clara meet John Cage : aleatory cinema and the aesthetics of incompetence 218
Challenging the eye : three avant-garde imagemakers 226
Many selves : paradox and poetry in the cinema of Willie Varela 239
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