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Cinema of Steven Spielberg Cinema of Steven Spielberg

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Cinema's most successful director is a commercial and cultural force demanding serious consideration. Not just triumphant marketing, this international popularity is a function of the movies themselves. Polarised critical attitudes largely overlook this, and evidence either unquestioning adulation or vilification for epitomising contemporary Hollywood. Cinema's most successful director is a commercial and cultural force demanding serious consideration. Not just triumphant marketing, this international popularity is a function of the movies themselves. Polarised critical attitudes largely overlook this, and evidence either unquestioning adulation or vilification for epitomising contemporary Hollywood.
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Cinema's most successful director is a commercial and cultural force demanding serious consideration. Not just triumphant marketing, this international popularity is a function of the movies themselves. Polarised critical attitudes largely overlook this, and evidence either unquestioning adulation or vilification for epitomising contemporary Hollywood. Detailed textual analyses reveal that alongside conventional commercial appeal, Spielberg's movies function consistently as self-reflexive commentary on cinema. Rather than straightforwardly consumed realism or fantasy, they invite divergent readings and self-conscious spectatorship which contradict assumptions about their ideological tendencies. Exercising powerful emotional appeal, their ambiguities are profitably advantageous in maximising audiences and generating media attention. 

Nigel Morris opens with the bold assertion that it's high time we in media studies took Steven Spielberg seriously - as an auteur, an institution, and a veritable aesthetic unto himself. He then builds a compelling case to support that assertion, analysing Spielberg's entire oeuvre via an "auteur-structuralist approach" that deftly incorporates text and context, narrator and spectator, industry and ideology, critical discourse and critical theory. The result is an impressive, important book: the definitive study of the defining filmmaker of our time. Thomas Schatz, The University of Texas.

Cinema's most successful director is a commercial and cultural force demanding serious consideration. Not just triumphant marketing, this international popularity is a function of the movies themselves. Polarised critical attitudes largely overlook this, and evidence either unquestioning adulation or vilification for epitomising contemporary Hollywood. Detailed textual analyses reveal that alongside conventional commercial appeal, Spielberg's movies function consistently as self-reflexive commentary on cinema. Rather than straightforwardly consumed realism or fantasy, they invite divergent readings and self-conscious spectatorship which contradict assumptions about their ideological tendencies. Exercising powerful emotional appeal, their ambiguities are profitably advantageous in maximising audiences and generating media attention. 

Nigel Morris opens with the bold assertion that it's high time we in media studies took Steven Spielberg seriously - as an auteur, an institution, and a veritable aesthetic unto himself. He then builds a compelling case to support that assertion, analysing Spielberg's entire oeuvre via an "auteur-structuralist approach" that deftly incorporates text and context, narrator and spectator, industry and ideology, critical discourse and critical theory. The result is an impressive, important book: the definitive study of the defining filmmaker of our time. Thomas Schatz, The University of Texas.

Additional Info

Additional Info

SKU 9781904764885
Author(s) Nigel Morris
Subtitle Empire of Light
Publisher(s) Wallflower Press
Format Paperback
Original publication date 2007
Number of pages 434

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