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ReFocus: The Films of Preston Sturges

Edited by Jeff Jaeckle, Sarah Kozloff

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The first collection of critical essays on Hollywood director and screenwriter Preston Sturges

Read and download the introduction for free here (pdf)

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Introduction: An Agile Mind: The Many Stands of Preston Sturges, Jeff Jaeckle

Contexts: Genre, Studio, Authorship
Preston Sturges and Screwball Comedy, Leger Grindon
Preston Sturges, Sullivan’s Travels, and Film Authorship in Hollywood, 1941, Virginia Wright Wexman
To Write and Not Direct, Sarah Kozloff
“The Edge of Unacceptability”: Preston Sturges and the PCA, Matthew Bernstein

Cultural Commentary: History and Identity
Sturges’s Many Mothers, Kristine Karnick
“These Are Troublous Times”: Social Class in the Comedies of Preston Sturges, Christopher Beach
“They Always Get the Best of You Somehow”: Preston Sturges in Black and White, Krin Gabbard
Falling Hard: The Sin of Harold Diddlebock, Joe McElhaney

Technique: Scripting, Performance, Music
The Unheard Song of Joy, Jeff Jaeckle
The Eye of the Storm: Preston Sturges and Performance, Diane Carson
Presto(n) con Spirito: Comedies with Music, Sturges-Style, Martin Marks

Impact: Reception/Reputation
Thrust with a Rapier and Run: The Critics and Preston Sturges, G. Tom Poe
Hail the Conquering Auteur: Preston Sturges in La Revue du cinéma (1946-1949), Christian Viviani
O Preston, Where Art Thou?, Sarah Kozloff

About the Author

Jeff Jaeckle is the editor of Film Dialogue (Wallflower Press, 2013) and co-editor (with Sarah Kozloff) of ReFocus: The Films of Preston Sturges (EUP, 2015). His scholarship on language in cinema, aesthetics and Hollywood film has also appeared in Film Quarterly, New Review of Film and Television Studies and Quarterly Review of Film and Video. He holds a doctorate from the University of Texas-Austin and teaches at Portland Community College.

Sarah Kozloff is Professor of Film on the William R. Kenan Jr. Chair, Vassar College


'This book brings American cinema’s most idiosyncratic, prodigious comic genius into deep focus for 21st century readers. Hail the conquering editors Kozloff and Jaeckle, who have coaxed newly researched essays to converse with one another, writing in effervescent language worthy of the Master himself.'

- Claudia Gorbman, University of Washington Tacoma

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