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Todd Haynes

by Rob White

Part of the Contemporary Film Directors Series

Todd Haynes Synopsis

Todd Haynes's films are intricate and purposeful, combining the intellectual impact of art cinema with the emotional accessibility of popular genres. They are also underpinned by a serious commitment to feminism and queer theory. From his 1985 student film about Arthur Rimbaud to his shapeshifting portrait of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There (2007) and the riveting HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (2011), Haynes has made films whose complex weave of stories and characters reveals dark, painful intensities. His taste for narrative experimentation and pastiche is haunted by anguish. Rob White's highly readable book, which includes a major new interview with Haynes, is the first comprehensive study of the director's work. Special attention is paid to the fascination with music culture (from the Carpenters to glam rock) and to the rich pattern of allusions to, or affinity with, predecessor filmmakers (Fassbinder, Ophuls, Sirk, and many more). But White's chief concern is the persistence of a queer impulse to explore social coercion and the possibility that there may be some way of escaping its cruelty.

Todd Haynes Press Reviews

An impressive mix of high and low criticism. . . . White manages his various lines of inquiry with precision and a streamlined sense of significance and packing, making this book an excellent addition to the Contemporary Film Directors series. --Slant Magazine The first comprehensive study of Haynes's achievements--is a most welcome addition to film studies. Highly recommended. --Choice Driven by an equally passionate love and questioning of Haynes's films, Rob White's energetic book surpasses mere survey to originate an important understanding of this important cinema. --D. A. Miller, author of 8 1/2 The book offers a sound account of a director who remains committed to addressing the shortcomings of contemporary America. --Journal of American Culture

Book Information

ISBN: 9780252037566
Publication date: 6th February 2013
Author: Rob White
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 192 pages
Categories: Individual film directors, film-makers, Gay & Lesbian studies, Feminism & feminist theory,

About Rob White

Rob White, the editor of Film Quarterly, is the author of Freud's Memory: Psychoanalysis, Mourning and the Foreign Body and the BFI Film Classics study on The Third Man.

More About Rob White

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