A Cinema of Loneliness: Penn, Stone, Kubrick, Scorsese, by Robert Kolker

By Robert Kolker

During this twentieth-anniversary millennial version, Kolker keeps and expands his inquiry into the cinematic illustration of tradition via updating and revising the chapters at the administrators mentioned within the first edition-- Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, and Steven Spielberg-- to incorporate their most vital works considering the fact that 1988, examining these motion pictures that have made vital advances within the directors' careers and that have given reason for rethinking the flicks that preceded them. integrated is a profile of Arthur Penn's profession by way of a brand new comparative examine of Oliver Stone, who mirrors Penn's perform of drawing his movies out of historic and ideological currents. putting the flicks of Penn, Stone, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg, and Altman in an ideological standpoint, Kolker either illuminates their dating to each other and to bigger currents in our tradition, and emphasizes the statements their motion pictures make approximately American society and tradition. This version contains a new preface, a requiem for Stanley Kubrick, up to date filmography, and forty eight pictures from a number of motion pictures mentioned during the textual content.

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source Extra info for A Cinema of Loneliness: Penn, Stone, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg, Altman (4th Edition)

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If my initial premise is valid— that French criticism and filmmaking of the late fifties and early sixties produced a visible influence on some American film—then Mickey One stands out, perhaps more than Shadows, as being the film most influenced by the work of the New Wave. Penn himself dismissed the film as a work made in anger and in a spirit of obscurity. ) Fortunately, the film cannot be so dismissed, even though it is largely unseen. In the mid-nineties, the UCLA Film and Television Archive helped make available a fine laserdisc copy, which saved it from total obscurity.

The manipulation is too easily managed, viewer response too easily gotten. The reflexive qualities, Penn’s ability to make the viewer consider his or her response, is insufficiently worked out. The mythmaking process, apparent as it is, is directionless; the voice that speaks the discourse of the film is unclear. Too many questions are raised. Why should the viewer invest emotions in these two fictional characters and make them surrogates for his or her own fears and desires? Why is the viewer given pleasure in their exploits, in their vitality, only to have that pleasure brutally attacked?

After that Penn moved in and out of various genres and various means of production, filming The Miracle Worker (1962), which he had originally directed on the stage; producing and directing Mickey One (1965); working for Sam Spiegel in an old-style studio production, The Chase (1966); and finally achieving a major formal and financial success with Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which, indicative of the changing patterns of Hollywood production at the time, was produced by its star, Warren Beatty. These and the films that followed—Alice’s Restaurant (1969), Little Big Man (1970), Night Moves (1975), The Missouri Breaks (1976), Four Friends (1981), Target (1985), Dead of Winter (1987), and Penn and Teller Get Killed (1989)—make up a patchwork of generic experiments, ideological reflections, and guides to the culture’s malaise, its best and worst fantasies, ending with a veer toward a conservatism in both style and content.

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