Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers

Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers

Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers

Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers

Synopsis

Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers examines the work of some of today's most popular, original and influential cinematic voices. Each entry offers both an overview and critique of its subject's career and works, looking at the genres in which they work and their relationship to other film and filmmakers. It covers figures drawn from diverse cinematic traditions from around the world and includes:*Luc Besson*James Cameron*David Lynch*John Woo*Julie Dash*Spike Lee*Joel and Ethan Coen*Martin Scorsese*Mira Nair*Wim WendersWith each entry supplemented by a filmography, references and suggestions for further reading, this is an indispensable guide for anyone interested in contemporary film.

Excerpt

Yvonne Tasker

Film criticism today is caught in a peculiar dilemma whereby thinking and writing about filmmakers-what we can loosely term ideas of cinematic authorship-is both immensely resonant and yet critically somewhat bereft. Authorship is viewed with scepticism in film studies, despite the continued currency of filmmakers hailed as auteurs in the 1950s and 1960s (for example, Ford, Hitchcock, Hawks, Sirk). Filmmakers (usually, though not always, the director) remain a point of reference for cinemagoers, the film-related popular press and the industry's own marketing. This collection of fifty essays on contemporary filmmakers underlines not only the diversity of contemporary filmmaking but also the continuing significance of the filmmaker as a figure within film culture. Moreover, the essays indicate the quite distinct ideas of authorship that have developed in relation to, say, the international art cinema on the one hand, and us commercial (which is also, in effect, international) cinema on the other.

The filmmakers whose work is explored in this book are drawn from Europe, North America and Asia. They work in very different contexts-national and international: from the European art cinema to commercial filmmaking in the United States or Hong Kong, to television and the festival circuit. Some command vast budgets whilst others pursue state- or television-derived funding for their feature projects. Similarly, their work is seen in very different contexts, whether widely available through major cinema chains and video rental and retail outlets, or accessible only within specialist cinemas or through film festivals. It is clear that no one model of authorship is adequate to these different contexts. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the writers in this collection approach their subjects from different perspectives. Some discuss particular films in detail, whilst

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