The New American Cinema

Overview

This collection of essays provides the first comprehensive survey of Hollywood and independent films from the mid-sixties to the present. Deliberately eclectic and panoramic, The New American Cinema brings together thirteen leading film scholars who present a range of theoretical, critical, and historical perspectives on this rich and pivotal era in American cinema.
The essays are divided into three sections: "Movies and Money," "Cinema and Culture," and "Independents and ...

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Overview

This collection of essays provides the first comprehensive survey of Hollywood and independent films from the mid-sixties to the present. Deliberately eclectic and panoramic, The New American Cinema brings together thirteen leading film scholars who present a range of theoretical, critical, and historical perspectives on this rich and pivotal era in American cinema.
The essays are divided into three sections: "Movies and Money," "Cinema and Culture," and "Independents and Independence." The first section focuses on the economics of the industry and analyzes the connection between the film business and the finished product. Topics include a look at the economic conditions that made the seventies’ auteur renaissance possible, the distribution of studio and independent films, and the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions that have come to characterize the new Hollywood. The second part of The New American Cinema deals with the political and cultural significance of war and Vietnam films (Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July); "male rampage" films (Rambo, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard); women’s psychothrillers (The Silence of the Lambs); special effects pictures (2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars); and historical re-presentations (Oliver Stone’s JFK). The final section casts a keen eye on films produced and exhibited outside the commercial mainstream, examining the financial realities of "indie" films; the influence of independent filmmaker John Cassavetes on Coppola, Altman, and Scorsese; the stereotyping of African Americans in mainstream cinema; and the films of independent women filmmakers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection is the first I know of to examine contemporary American cinema from so many viewpoints. . . . The authors provide us with new ways of understanding not just the theory and history of recent American film practices, but also the mix of government action, industrial policy, and audience desire that has played such a central role in producing the movies of the last generation."—Eric Smoodin, author of Disney Discourse: Producing the Magic Kingdom

"This definitive reader-anthology is distinguished by the reputation of its contributors and the intelligence and relevance of their essays."—Dana Polan, author of Power and Paranoia: History, Narrative, and the American Cinema, 1940-1950

"Until now, there has been neither a book nor a collection that addresses recent American film with equal breadth and depth."—D. N. Rodowick, author of Gilles Deleuze’s Time Machine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822320876
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Lewis is Professor of English at Oregon State University. He is the author of The Road to Romance and Ruin: Teen Films and Youth Culture and Whom God Wishes to Destroy: Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood, also published by Duke University Press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Movies and Money
Auteur Cinema and the "Film Generation" in 1970s Hollywood 11
Auteurs and the New Hollywood 38
From Roadshowing to Saturation Release: Majors, Independents, and Marketing/Distribution Innovations 64
Money Matters: Hollywood in the Corporate Era 87
Cinema and Culture
A Rose Is a Rose? Real Women and a Lost War 125
From Pillar to Postmodern: Race, Class, and Gender in the Male Rampage Film 146
Your Self Storage: Female Investigation and Male Performativity in the Woman's Psychothriller 187
Conspiracy Theory and Political Murder in America: Oliver Stone's JFK and the Facts of the Matter 217
Zooming Out: The End of Offscreen Space 248
Independents and Independence
John Cassavetes: Amateur Director 275
Independent Features: Hopes and Dreams 307
A Circus of Dreams and Lies: The Black Film Wave at Middle Age 328
Culture as Fiction: The Ethnographic Impulse in the Films of Peggy Ahwesh, Su Friedrich, and Leslie Thornton 353
Selective Bibliography 379
Contributors 387
Index 389
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