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American Smart Cinema

Claire Perkins

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American Smart Cinema examines a contemporary type of US filmmaking that exists at the intersection of mainstream, art and independent cinema and often gives rise to absurd, darkly comic and nihilistic effects.

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1. Authorship: Whit Stillman's 'Yuppie' Trilogy, Flirt, Adaptation
2. Narrative: The Squid and the Whale, The Safety of Objects, Palindromes
3. Melodrama: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Royal Tenenbaums
4. Music: Simple Men, Magnolia, Ghost World
5. Suburbia and Utopia: Happiness, Your Friends and Neighbors, The Chumscrubber, Donnie Darko

About the Author

Claire Perkins is Senior Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. She is the author of American Smart Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) and co-editor of U.S Independent Film After 1989: Possible Films (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), B Is for Bad Cinema: Aesthetics, Politics and Cultural Value (2014) and Film Trilogies: New Critical Approaches (2012).

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