Screen Hustles, Grifts and Stings identifies recurrent themes and techniques of the con film, suggests precedents in literature and discusses the perennial appeal of the con man for readers and viewers alike. Core studies span from film (Catch Me If You Can, Paper Moon, House of Games) to television (Hustle), from Noir (The Grifters) to Romantic Comedy (Gambit). Frequently, the execution of the con is only finely distinguishable from the conduct of a legitimate profession and, challengingly, a mark is often shown to be culpable in his or her undoing. The best con films, it is suggested, invite re-watching and reward the viewer accordingly: who is complicit and when? How and where is the con achieved? When is the viewer party to the con? And what, if any, moral is to be drawn?
|Publisher:||Palgrave Macmillan UK|
|Edition description:||1st ed. 2015|
|Product dimensions:||5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Amy Sargeant teaches in the London Program for Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She was formerly Reader in Film at the University of Warwick and Lecturer in the History of Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her major publications include The Servant (BFI/Palgrave, 2011 - nominated for a BAFTSS prize); British Cinema: A Critical History (BFI, 2005) and (co-edited with Claire Monk) British Historical Cinema: History, Heritage and the Costume Film (Routledge, 2001).
Table of ContentsIntroduction
1. Lone Operators
2. Two-Handers: Buddy-Buddies; Young Upstarts and Double-Dealers
3. Aesop and Brer Rabbit
4. The Big Store
5. The Long Con
What People are Saying About This
"This book about the con shows an old pro at the top of her game. Amy Sargeant has assembled a rogues' gallery of amoral, (borderline) psychopathic salesmen, Nietzschean self-inventors all, whose strategems evoke both the workings of the dream factory itself and the depthless façade of our collective 'Big Store'. There's a wealth of reference and analysis here: from astute commentary on classics both cinematic and literary (Br'er Rabbit!) to close readings of recent examples of the genre. Presiding 'Master of the Con' is David Mamet, with whom Sargeant shares the rare talent not to waste a word." (Tom Paulus, Professor of Film and Theatre Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium, editor (with Rob King) of AFI Film Reader Slapstick Comedy)
“Sargeant offers a brisk, perceptive overview of crime film subgenres finally getting their due. Overshadowed by gangster and heist films, the sting and the con depict mysterious versions of the criminal, victim and avenger, which Sargeant unlocks with insightful commentary. Comprehensive in its own right, this text will inspire further discussion greatly needed in the field.” (Matthew Sorrento, Lecturer on Film and Media Studies, Rutgers University-Camden, author of The New American Crime Film, Co-Editor, Film International)