Postmodern Auteurs

Coppola, Lucas, De Palma, Spielberg and Scorsese

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About the Book

The five directors studied here embody postmodernism—the erosion of the earlier 20th century distinction between “high culture” and so-called mass or popular culture that began in the 1950s and 1960s. Comprised of repetition, pastiche, parody and homage, their postmodern films borrowed from high and low, from directors like Lean, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Ford and Godard.
The personal history and childhood interests of each director are studied, along with their apprenticeship in film school and early directorial efforts. This shared film school background and their familiarity with the films of Hollywood’s classic period, of the entire oeuvres of certain directors, have allowed them mastery of a wide range of film styles, genres and techniques.

About the Author(s)

A retired Penn State University professor, Kenneth Von Gunden is the author of multiple books, including film scholarship and science fiction novels. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Kenneth Von Gunden
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 49 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1991]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7392-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

1. Introduction      1
2. Francis Ford Coppola      22
3. George Lucas      56
4. Brian DePalma      79
5. Steven Spielberg      104
6. Martin Scorsese      136
7. The Not-So-Young Lions      163

Notes      171
Bibliography      187

Book Reviews & Awards

“readings of individual films move beyond superficial categories to examine thematic and stylistic concerns in a quasi-journalistic, quasi-academic way, drawing, in true postmodern fashion, upon both ‘high’ and ‘low’ sources”—Choice; “fascinating insights”—Burlington County Times; “brief…illuminating essays”—Film Review; “razor-sharp…stimulating…interesting. …a pleasant read…recommend[ed]”—Midnight Marquee.