This book charts and analyses the work of Oliver Stone – arguably one of the foremost political filmmakers in Hollywood during the last thirty years. Drawing on previously unseen production files from Oliver Stone’s personal archives and hours of interviews both with Stone and a range of present and former associates within the industry, the book employs a thematic structure to explore Stone’s life and work in terms of war, politics, money, love and corporations. This allows the authors both to provide a synthesis of earlier and later film work as well as locate that work within Stone’s developing critique of government. The book explores the development of aesthetic changes in Stone’s filmmaking and locates those changes within ongoing academic debates about the relationship between film and history as well as wider debates about Hollywood and the film industry. All of this is explored with detailed reference to the films themselves and related to a set of wider concerns that Stone has sought to grapple with -the American Century, exceptionalism and the American Dream, global empire, government surveillance and corporate accountability. The book concludes with a perspective on Stone’s ‘brand’ as not just an auteur and commercially viable independent filmmaker but as an activist arguing for a very distinct kind of American exceptionalism that seeks a positive role for the US globally whilst eschewing military adventurism.
This book offers a startling re-evaluation of what has until now been seen as the most critically lacklustre period of the British film history. It includes fresh assessment of maverick directors; Pat Jackson, Robert Hamer and Joseph Losey, and even of a maverick critic Raymond Durgnat. The book features personal insights from those inidividually implicated in 1950s cinema; Corin Redgrave on Michael Redgrave, Isabel Quigly on film reviewing, and Bryony Dixon of the BFI on archiving and preservation. A classic image from 1950s British cinema would be Jack Hawkins in The Cruel Sea, the epitome of quiet English integrity. Raymond Durgnat's A Mirror for England: British Movies from Austerity to Affluence, which deals extensively with British films of the 1950s, was written in the mid-1960s and was published in 1970. In a 1947 article called 'Angles of Approach' Lindsay Anderson delivered a fierce attack on contemporary British film culture, outlining a model for a devoted politics of creation, well in line with what we would later understand as auteurism and art cinema aesthetics . The war films of the 1950s together constitute the assented-to record of the emotions and moral judgments called upon to set in order those disorderly events. The book also talks about the Festival of Britain, White Corridors, and four Hamer's post-Ealing films: The Spider and the Fly, The Long Memory, Father Brown and The Scapegoat. A number of factors have contributed to the relative neglect of the 1950s as a decade in British cinema history.
get the fire burning in him. Midnight Express started the catharsis, and after this his career garnered praise, admiration and plenty of criticism for the visceral, uncompromising writing in Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983) and Year of the Dragon (Michael Cimino, 1985). With the release of Platoon in 1986, his ambition to show something of the real terror and confusion of combat was finally realised in a film whose popular reception made Stone Hollywood’s hottest property. In important ways, Stone’s auteur brand was constantly evolving during this period. The new
This book on Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman contains eighteen new scholarly chapters on the director’s work, mainly in the cinema. Most of the contributors—some Swedish, others American or British—have written extensively on Bergman before, some for decades. Bergman is one of the most written-about artists in film history and his fame still lingers all over the world, as was seen in the celebrations of his centenary in 2018. The book was specifically conceived at that time with the aim of presenting fresh angles on his work, although several chapters also focus on traditional aspects of Bergman’s art, such as philosophy and psychology. Ingmar Bergman: An Enduring Legacy thus addresses a number of essential topics which have not featured in Bergman studies before, such as the director’s relations with Hollywood and transnational film production. It also deals at length with Bergman’s highly sophisticated use of film music and with his prominence as a writer of autobiographical literature, as well as with the intermedial relations to his films that this perspective inevitably entails. Finally, the book addresses Bergman’s complex relations to Swedish politics. Many different approaches and methods are employed in the book in order to show that Bergman remains a relevant and important artist. The analyses generally focus on some of his most memorable films, like Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, and Fanny and Alexander; but some rarer material, including Hour of the Wolf, The Lie, and Autumn Sonata, is discussed as well.
socio-economic, they were at the time mostly discussed and dealt with in aesthetic terms, and we saw eventually the emergence of the European art cinema, a new kind of film, specifically aimed at the literate and professional middle classes. One of the most important European contributions to the film history of the 1950s was, thus, undoubtedly the sudden rise of the auteur, the film director
auteurists clustered around the journal Movie . In the early 1960s auteurism provided a battering ram to shatter the hallowed portals of the critical establishment and Durgnat was intent on attacking the British Film Institute and its house journal Sight and Sound . In a wide-ranging polemic against prevailing cultural attitudes he complained that: ‘The trouble with the S & S non-theory is that it is an
contain excerpts from Bach, while twenty-four feature other works from the classical canon; twenty-two feature music from non-classical genres, ten feature hymns, chorales, or other church music, twenty-three use an original soundtrack, and three have no music at all. Because Bergman as a source is not particularly reliable or trustworthy, I will give less weight to what he says about music and more to how music sounds in his films. 2 A musical auteur From lush orchestral scores to electronic music
? On me, it has the impact of one of those spiked iron balls chained to a club, so popular in films about goodwill in the Middle Ages. 15 So why was he such a godhead in the eyes of an entire generation of cinéastes and intellectuals? Why was he so successful, when many other auteurs who shared the limelight with him in the 1950s and 1960s have retreated into obscurity? His work tapped into the zeitgeist. The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries emerged at the height of the
Ingmar Bergman has often been described as the quintessential European auteur, implicitly dissociated from the commercial film industry in which he worked for substantial periods during his career. Even in Sweden’s most commonly referenced work on the history of its national cinema, this form of committed historiography is promoted without a hint of critical reflection. Indeed, its author goes so far as to suggest that following the success of Smiles of a Summer Night ( Sommarnattens leende , 1955
. Broman and Alexis Luko—the latter being the scholar who, along with Charlotte Renaud, has written the most extensive and penetrating study on Bergman’s music in films and his relation to music in general—want to sort Bergman into the category of acoustic auteur , a label reserved for a very few notable directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, and Alain Resnais. 2 The term is paraphrased from what film-music scholar Claudia Gorbman, in her article ‘Auteur Music’, calls mélomane —a