The Erotic Dream Machine: Interviews with Alain Robbe-Grillet on His Films

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Southern Illinois University Press, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 190 pages
In this revealing series of interviews with Alain Robbe-Grillet, Anthony N. Fragola and Roch C. Smith provide an intimate, perceptive profile of the artist. Known primarily as a writer whose experimental novels have had a major influence on the writing of fiction in the twentieth century, Robbe-Grillet is also a highly acclaimed filmmaker whose works include Last Year at Marienbad, L'Immortelle, Trans-Europ-Express, and The Progressive Slidings of Pleasure. Robbe-Grillet is a visionary who seeks to discover unfamiliar ways of seeing and interpreting. His films, like his novels, challenge the limits of expected narrative structures and question the comfortable assumptions of conventional realism. In the interviews, conducted from 1982 until 1991, Fragola and Smith examine all nine of the films that Robbe-Grillet has created, specifically exploring the cultural milieu to which they are so closely and problematically related. This is the first such work in which Robbe-Grillet comprehensively discusses his views on aesthetics, philosophy, sociology, and literature as well as on filmmaking. The reader is encouraged to view him from a variety of perspectives: as the auteur who probes various stylistic techniques and devices, especially the use of eroticism as a structural metaphor; as the international artist who discusses the complex structures, allusions, and thematic intentions that occur in his films; as the detached observer exploring his own use of stereotypes and myths; and as the impassioned creator who defends and explains his position concerning the controversial depiction of sado-eroticism in his films. This book conveys a wide awareness and keen appreciation of Robbe-Grillet'sfilms, especially to American audiences where they are least known. Certain to be a lasting tribute to Robbe-Grillet's cinematic work, it will encourage informed discussion among students and scholars. The book includes a gallery of illustrations from Robbe-Grillet's films as well as a filmography and bibliography of his work and works about him.

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