The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968

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9780374970314: The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968

Profiles of American film directors are given and their influence on the art is discussed

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Since its publication in 1968, The American Cinema has been the manifesto of the auteur theory. Written by Andrew Sarris, the theory's chief advocate, the book traces the history of movies by examining the careers of more than 200 film directors. Covering everyone from D.W. Griffith to Francis Coppola, Orson Welles to Roman Polanski, Sarris argues that directorial greatness is marked by a personal style and consistency of excellence that can be traced throughout a career. Sarris's commentary is sometimes worshipful, sometimes acrid, but almost always quotable. Alfred Hitchcock is "the supreme technician of the American cinema." John Huston coasted "on his reputation as a wronged individualist with an alibi for every bad movie." Stanley Kubrick holds "a naive faith in the power of images to transcend fuzzy feelings and vague ideas." Michelangelo Antonioni makes films so pessimistic and alienating that Sarris dubs him "Antoniennui."

You may not agree with all of Sarris's assessments, but this book provides the best possible opportunity to consider auteurism, an approach to cinema that, in an age that reveres Scorsese, Spielberg, and Tarantino, seems more relevant than ever. The book closes with an essay called "The Auteur Theory Revised," Sarris's attempt at a definitive theoretical statement. --Raphael Shargel

About the Author:

Andrew Sarris is film critic for theNew York Observer and professor of cinema at Columbia University. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle. Mr. Sarris has been the film citic for the Village Voice, editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinema in English, and an associate editor of Film Culture. He is the author of The Films of Josef von Sternberg, Interviews with Film Directors, The Film, Confessions of a Cultist, The Primal Screen, The John Ford Movie Mystery, and Politics and Cinema.

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Book Description Dutton, NY, 1968. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+. First Edition. Red cloth titled in black and yellow. Stated first edition. Mild spine ridge else square and unmarked. The DJ in mylar is price clipped, soiled, and slightly edgeworn. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 21301

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