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Description - Studying Contemporary American Film by Thomas Elsaesser

What are the most appropriate theories and methods for analysing contemporary American cinema? In this book Thomas Elsaesser and Warren Buckland answer this question by taking an innovative approach to writing about individual movies: in each of the main chapters they examine the assumptions behind one traditional theory of film, distil a method of analysis from it, and then analyse a contemporary American movie. They then go beyond the traditional theory by analysing the same movie using a more current theory and method. This book has identically structured, coherent chapters, which overcomes the dogmatism of subscribing to one theory and method, and instead encourages students to adopt a comparative, pluralistic approach to film analysis. The traditional theories include: mise en scene criticism, auteurism, structural analysis, narratology, studies of realism, psychoanalysis, and feminism. The more current theories include: new and post-Lacanian approaches to subjectivity, cognitivism, computerised statistical style analysis, the philosophy of modal logic, new media theory, and deconstruction. Films analysed include: "Chinatown", "Die Hard", "The Silence of the Lambs", "Pulp Fiction", "Back to the Future", "Seven", "Lost Highway", plus two European imitations of American filmmaking, "The English Patient" and "The Fifth Element". Finally, the authors address the issue of how to define classical and post-classical Hollywood cinemas, and also present students with a set of general procedures, strategies, and skills to write clear, well structured, and detailed analyses of their favourite American movies.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340762066
ISBN-10: 0340762063
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 21mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Hodder Arnold
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Thomas Elsaesser

Thomas Elsaesser, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Warren Buckland, Oxford Brookes University, UK

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