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A Cinema of Loneliness: Penn, Stone, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg, Altman
In this twentieth-anniversary millennial edition, Kolker continues and expands his inquiry into the cinematic representation of culture by updating and revising the chapters on the directors discussed in the first edition-- Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, and Steven Spielberg-- to include their most important works since 1988, analyzing those films which h ...more
Paperback, 504 pages
Published July 27th 2000 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 3rd 1980)
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The title of this book is what grabbed me, but the penetrating essays on film form—and the directors who subverted convention to create an open, inquisitive cinema—are what held me. There were many revelations. For example, I’d always experienced Stanley Kubrick as icy and inaccessible; this book helped me see how he used that cold eye to “document (human) loneliness in the face of progress” through films such as “2001.” For Kubrick, characters are “less the psychologically motivated creations w ...more
Everything about phallic symbols, patriarchy, and film as a tool of social change and collectivization is pretty silly, and Kolker tends to look at film a lot differently than I do, but he's one of the most readable academic film theorists, and his focus on form and content instead of plot mechanics and symbolism (again, except for the phallic symbol stuff) is welcome. He's admittedly weak on analysis of acting and music, but he has some insightful things to say about each filmmaker's specific f ...more
I bought this book for a class I ended up not taking . . . but I've read sections of it over and over. There's a great chapter on the weirdly fascist action movies that came out in the 80s . . . the Scorcese chapter, especially the section on Taxi Driver, is excellent, as is the Kubrick analysis.
I confess - I've only read the Scorsese and Kubrick chapters. But the Kubrick chapter is groundbreaking. To prevent all of our ears bleeding, I wrote my thesis with many of Kolker's principles in mind. If you want to know more, contact me. Really - I could use any extra interpretations.