Directory of World Cinema: American Independent

Edited by John Berra

Directory of World Cinema: American Independent

Edited by John Berra

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

327 pages | 50 halftones | 7 x 10 | © 2010
Paper $57.00 ISBN: 9781841503684 Published August 2010 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe

With high-profile Academy Award nominations and an increasing number of big-name actors eager to sign on to promising projects, independent films have been at the forefront in recent years like never before. But the roots of such critical and commercial successes as The Hurt Locker and Precious can be traced to the first boom of independent cinema in the 1960s, when a raft of talented filmmakers emergedto capture the attention of a rapidly growing audience of young viewers.

A thorough overview of a thriving area of cultural life, Directory of World Cinema: American Independent chronicles the rise of the independent sector as an outlet for directors who challenge the status quo, yet still produce accessible feature films that not only find wide audiences but enjoy considerable box office appeal—without sacrificing critical legitimacy. Key directors are interviewed and profiled, and a sizeable selection of films are referenced and reviewed. More than a dozen sub-genres—including African American cinema, queer cinema, documentary, familial dysfunction, and exploitation—are individually considered, with an emphasis on their ability to engage with tensions inherent in American society. Copious illustrations and a range of research resources round out the volume, making this a truly comprehensive guide.

At a time when independent films are enjoying considerable cultural cachet, this easy-to-use yet authoritative guide will find an eager audience in media historians, film studies scholars, and movie buffs alike.

Introduction by the Editor

Film of the Year: The Hurt Locker
Industry Spotlight: Interviews with Adam Green and Wayne Kramer
Cultural Crossover: John Waters and Baltimore
Scoring Cinema: Mulholland Dr.
    Stuart Gordon
    Charlie Kaufman
    David Lynch
African-American Cinema
The American Nightmare
Chemical World
Exploitation USA
Familial Dysfunction
Narrative Disorder
On the Road
Queer Cinema
Rural Americana
The Suburbs
Underground USA

Recommended Reading
American Cinema Online
Test Your Knowledge
Notes on Contributors
Review Quotes
Scott Wilson | Media International Australia
“Intellect is very quickly establishing itself in the first-book-to-reach-for market with its Directory of World Cinema series. . . . A particular strength of these volumes is the manner with which historical teleology is disrupted in favor of a more cohesive thematic exploration. This volume also includes pieces on John Waters, David Lynch, Charlie Kaufman, and Stuart Gordon, as well as appendixes providing recommended reading, online sources, and a “Test Your Knowledge” quiz. . . . [This is] a very handy volume that is great as a starting point or for those new to particular aspects of a national cinema.”
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