With iconic movies like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, and Carnal Knowledge, Mike Nichols was the most prominent American director during the cultural upheavals of the 1960s. Mike Nichols: Sex, Language, and the Reinvention of Psychological Realism argues that he overhauled the style of psychological realism, and, in doing so, continues to shape the legacies of Hollywood cinema. It also reveals that misreadings of his films
were central to foundational debates at the emergence of Cinema Studies as a discipline, inviting new reflections on critical dogma.
Focusing on Nichols' classic movies, as well as later films such as Silkwood, The Birdcage, and Angels in America, Kyle Stevens demonstrates that Nichols' realism lies not in the plausibility of his characters but in their inherent mystery. By attending to the puzzling words and silences, breaths and laughter, that comprise these characters, Stevens uncovers new insights into the subversive potential of a range of cinematic elements, and reveals how Nichols' satirical oeuvre,
and Hollywood itself, participated in several of the nation's most urgent social, political, and philosophical advances.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 392 g
Dimensions: 234 x 165 x 13 mm
This special book tells the fascinating tale of Mike Nichols, an extraordinary man who made many major contributions to the American stage and cinema as an actor and producer as well as a theater and film director ... [a] mature and thoughtful rendering of the long and complicated life of Mike Nichols. No doubt others will have a go at it as well in the years ahead, but surely this book will provide much that is useful for such future efforts. * Monroe Friedman, Journal of American Culture *
this clear, elegant analysis does justice to the great director ... For all of Stevens's command of theory, his great gift is his close analyses of individual shots, phrases, and moments from Nichols's work. * M. Yacowar, CHOICE *