Download Darkness in the Bliss-Out: A Reconsideration of the Films of by James Kendrick PDF

By James Kendrick

While there was an important outpouring of scholarship on Steven Spielberg over the last decade, his motion pictures are nonetheless usually mentioned as being paternalistic, escapist, and reliant on easy feelings and intricate lighting tricks. Even those that view his paintings favorably frequently see it as basically positive, reassuring, and conservative. James Kendrick takes another view of Spielberg's cinema and proposes that his films--even the preferred ones that appear to alternate in effortless solutions and comforting, reassuring notions of unity and narrative resolution--are considerably darker and extra emotionally and ideologically complicated than they're typically given credits for.

Darkness within the Bliss-Out demonstrates, via shut research of a variety of Spielberg's movies, that they're merely reassuring at the floor, and that their depths include a fancy and occasionally contradictory view of the human condition.

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Additional info for Darkness in the Bliss-Out: A Reconsideration of the Films of Steven Spielberg

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T. T. T. ”5 Canby recognized, however, that despite their similarities, the two films were paradoxically opposites, to the point that “anyone who is charmed by one will probably be disappointed by the other,”6 a point that perfectly presages Kael’s criticism, which was published the following day. ’ is Mr. Spielberg’s sweet, graceful, wishfulfilling dream in which small children lead us toward the light of universal understanding as they munch Reese’s Pieces. ”7 On both counts, Canby is only partially right.

This passage from Pirie’s interview, which the author describes as displaying “unexpected penetration about the film’s implications,”29 has been reprinted in several essays and books about Spielberg. In his book Spielberg’s America, Frederick Wasser uses it as evidence of Spielberg’s increased political sensibility in the late 1970s. ” as evidence of his argument that “the theme of his work is not primarily the story of Everyman’s escape into the never-never. ”33 For Andrew Britton, on the other hand, Spielberg’s remarks about David Mann, regardless of their apparent critical intention, are indicative of his collusion with the suburban ideal and subsequent inability to escape its hegemonic allure.

Part of the broad cultural upheaval of an era that has recognized the changed condition of man in contemporary society, these men are exploring arresting new areas of subject matter. The celebration of man as the idealized hero-figure of an earlier, more stable society has been swept away and replaced by an image of man as the anxietyridden victim, confronting a life that seems to have lost its coherence in a world both confusing and uncertain. The assumptions and conventions Lewis Jacobs, The Emergence of Film Art (New York: Hopkinson and Blake, 1969), 286.

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