Paul Bartel

The Life and Films

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About the Book

Director Paul Bartel enjoyed poking holes in the expectations of audiences and critics with amusing films about murder, greed and transgressive sex—among them Death Race 2000 (1975), Eating Raoul (1982) and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989). He believed that strange stories that aroused laughter had the potential to disorient viewers and challenge their beliefs about American culture and values.
This first book-length study of Bartel’s life and work traces his emergence as an independent auteur whose work was praised by Hollywood luminaries like Steven Spielberg, Jim Jarmusch and Brian De Palma. Bartel’s experiences as a gay man are explored. Interviews with people who knew him—including Roger Corman, Joe Dante and John Waters—are provided, along with critical analysis of each film.

About the Author(s)

Stephen B. Armstrong is a professor of English at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including Film Quarterly, Film Score Monthly, Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen B. Armstrong
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9915-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2767-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction: The Discreet Charm of Paul Bartel 4

Part One: The Life of Paul Bartel

1. Growing Up 9

2. Early Experience 14

3. The Cormans 23

4. More Fun at New World 37

5. Independent 50

6. In Demand 66

7. About Men and Women 99

Part Two: Interviews

Joe Dante 125

Allan Arkush 136

Roger Corman 148

Richard Blackburn 152

John Waters 164

Part Three: Film and Television Work

An Excrescence of Style: Paul Bartel and the Grotesque 169

Directing Credits 178

Chapter Notes 183

Bibliography 192

Index 195