Steven Spielberg's America (America Through the Lens) (Paperback)

Steven Spielberg's America (America Through the Lens) By Frederick Wasser Cover Image
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Steven Spielberg is known as the most powerful man in New Hollywood and a pioneer of the contemporary blockbuster, America's most successful export. His career began a new chapter in mass culture. At the same time, American post-war liberalism was breaking down. This fascinating new book explains the complex relationship between film and politics through the prism of an iconic filmmaker.

Spielberg's early films were a triumphant emergence of the Sunbelt aesthetic that valued visceral kicks and basic emotions over the ambiguities of history. Such blockbusters have inspired much debate about their negative effect on politics and have been charged with being complicit in the corporatization of life. Here Frederick Wasser argues that as Spielberg grew older he shook off his complicity by recycling the populist vision of older Hollywood. He did this because he sincerely believes in both big-time moviemaking and liberal democracy. Nonetheless, his stories continue to be burdened by his generation's hostility to public life, and the book shows how he uses filmmaking tricks to smooth over the ideological contradictions, and to keep his audiences with him. His audiences have become more global as his films engage history.

This fresh and provocative take on Spielberg in the context of globalization, rampant market capitalism, and the hardening socio-political landscape of the United States will be fascinating reading for students of film and for anyone interested in contemporary America and its culture.

About the Author

Frederick Wasser is an Associate Professor at the Department of Television and Radio, Brooklyn College-CUNY.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780745640839
ISBN-10: 0745640834
Publisher: Polity Press
Publication Date: February 8th, 2010
Pages: 200
Language: English
Series: America Through the Lens