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Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and American Film Criticism

Greg Taylor

16 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0691089558 / ISBN 13: 9780691089553
Published by Princeton University Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Paperback. 208 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 0.5in.Gone with the Wind an inspiration for the American avant-garde Mickey Mouse a crucial source for the development of cutting-edge intellectual and aesthetic ideas As Greg Taylor shows in this witty and provocative book, the idea is not so far-fetched. One of the first-ever studies of American film criticism, Artists in the Audience shows that film critics, beginning in the 1940s, turned to the movies as raw material to be molded into a more radical modernism than that offered by any other contemporary artists or thinkers. In doing so, they offered readers a vanguard alternative that reshaped postwar American culture: nonaesthetic mass culture reconceived and refashioned into rich, personally relevant art by the attuned, creative spectator. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780691089553

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and ...

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

Book Type: Paperback

About this title

Synopsis:


Gone with the Wind an inspiration for the American avant-garde? Mickey Mouse a crucial source for the development of cutting-edge intellectual and aesthetic ideas? As Greg Taylor shows in this witty and provocative book, the idea is not so far-fetched. One of the first-ever studies of American film criticism, Artists in the Audience shows that film critics, beginning in the 1940s, turned to the movies as raw material to be molded into a more radical modernism than that offered by any other contemporary artists or thinkers. In doing so, they offered readers a vanguard alternative that reshaped postwar American culture: nonaesthetic mass culture reconceived and refashioned into rich, personally relevant art by the attuned, creative spectator.

Review:

"Could someone tell me what critics are for?" the director Tom DiCillo once asked, wearing the kind of jovial grimace you might expect from the guy behind Living in Oblivion. A little stuffy and academic, Artists in the Audience nevertheless defends the role of those among us who watch, react, and report. Taking as his heroes two avant-garde critics, Greg Taylor traces our own obsession with camp and cult movies to their beginnings. Parker Tyler, a poet who wrote for View, and Manny Farber, a painter who reviewed films for The Nation, were Greenwich Village bohemians who sought highbrow delight (or "weightier entertainment value," as Tyler put it) along the margins. Starting in the 1940s, Farber and Tyler began to hold movies up to more serious scrutiny, but at the same time they groomed their readers to resist middle-class values by grooving on the Wildean fringes, "the aesthetically incomplete, fractured, uncontrolled"--Plan 9 from Outer Space over, say, Mildred Pierce. As apostles of cinematic energy they anticipate Pauline Kael and Film Comment. But they mainstreamed giddiness too, championing what Dan Aykroyd's twitchy theater maven in Saturday Night Live skits of the 1970s called the "deliciously bad." Finally, their desire to shake up conventional notions of taste à la Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol relates to our present wassailing in cultural debris--in psychotronic Z-budget movies, in bad-for-you TV, and in academic panels devoted to teasing out the deconstruction of gender role-playing in The Valley of the Dolls. --Lyall Bush

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