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

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Princeton University Press, Aug 26, 2001 - Performing Arts - 198 pages

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.

 

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Artists in the audience: cults, camp, and American film criticism

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Taylor (Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film, SUNY at Purchase) uses the careers of pioneering cult critic Manny Farber and camp critic Parker Tyler as the basis for an examination and brief history ... Read full review

Contents

The Spectator as Critic as Artist
3
Movies to the Rescue American Modernism and the Middlebrow Challenge
19
Life on the Edge Manny Farber and Cult Criticism
30
Hallucinating Hollywood Parker Tyler and Camp Spectatorship
49
From Termites to Auteurs Cultism Goes Mainstream
73
Heavy Culture and Underground Camp
98
Retreat into Theory
122
Love Death and the Limits of Artistic Criticism
150
Notes
159
References
179
Index
193
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About the author (2001)

Greg Taylor is Assistant Professor in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at Purchase College, State University of New York.

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