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The Art and Politics of Film

John Orr

Paperback (Print on demand)
£32.00

The Art and Politics of Film is the final part of a critical trilogy that explores cinema in the latter half of the twentieth century. It fuses analysis of objective form in Cinema and Modernity with a subsequent critique of subjective form in Contemporary Cinema, and reassesses the close ties of the aesthetic and the political right up to the present time.

Film not only engages the question of power. Its narratives also dissect the conflicts between public and personal identity in a changing world. Different filmmakers take on different dimensions of this universal theme. The book examines the cinematic city in Kieslowski and Cronenberg; the cinema of wonder in Tarkovsky and Angelopoulos; the hyper-modern world of science fiction and horror; the time-image in Resnais, Rivette, Lynch and Stone; and the art of identity in Jarman and Jordan. At the turn of the century, film is seen as a component of a hyper-modern culture, which has displaced the modernist aesthetic of the 1960s, and now plays a key role in our mapping of the information age.

Key Features

  • Offers a theory of film as an art form framed by social and political change
  • Provides a critical assessment of the crisis of modernism, and the role of the information age in the rise of hyper-modern film
  • Offers new insights into the rise and fall of the Cold War upon Hollywood genres and upon Eastern European cinema
  • Illuminates transformations of time, identity and sexuality in film narrative
  • Examines the interlocking roles of speed, space and paranoia in the renewal of the cinematic city

About the Author

The late John Orr was Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh and published widely in the areas of modern culture, cinema, theatre and literature. He was also a reviewer for a wide number of periodicals and online journals including Screen, Studies in French Cinema, Film International and Senses of Cinema.

Reviews

Orr gives us an entirely original and invaluable new 'cut' or montage of the last 50 years of auteur filmmaking, the divergent aesthetics within the Hyper-Modern in (largely) Western cinema and its disjunction from the anomalous road taken by the Meta-Modern artists in the East...Orr is as much at home wth Terminator 2 and Copycat as he is with Egoyan, Wong or Wenders. … Throughout the book Orr's apercus are incisive. When it comes to the Meta-Modern Cinema of Wonder, Orr's hymn to the film-worlds of Angelopolous, Paradjanov and Tarkovsky, most notably his insights regarding the combination of lives viewed at their maximum level of intensity yet within a culture of extreme detachment from the ambient Modern world, is note-perfect.
- Film West: Ireland's Film Quarterly

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