Plays, Movies, and Critics

Plays, Movies, and Critics

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: Published: January 1994

American Studies, Media Studies > Film, Theater and Performance > Theater

This exceptional collection explores the mutual concerns of dramatic theater, film, and those who comment on them. Plays, Movies, and Critics opens with an original play by Don DeLillo. In the form of an interview, DeLillo's short play works as a kind of paradigm of the theatrical or cinematic event and serves as a keynote for the volume.
DeLillo's interview play is accompanied in this collection by interviews with theater director Roberta Levitow, Martin Scorsese, and film/theater critic Stanley Kauffmann. Other contributions include a critical look at the current American theater scene, analyses of the place of politics in the careers of G. B. Shaw and Luigi Pirandello, a compelling reading of Chekhov's "The Seagull", a detailed inquiry into the obsessions that energize the works of Sam Shepard, provocative reinterpretations of the films Mean Streets and The Sheltering Sky, and a translation of André Bazin's important piece on theology and film.

Contributors. André Bazin, Robert Brustein, Bert Cardullo, Anthony DeCurtis, Don DeLillo, Jesse Ward Engdhal, Richard Gilman, Jim Hosney, Mame Hunt, Jonathan Kalb, Stanley Kauffmann, Jody McAuliffe, Mary Ann Frese Witt, Jacquelyn Wollman, David Wyatt


"Amidst the quite distinguished company of this generously eclectic book, there are some unexpected dividends—a posthumous essay by André Bazin and a playlet by Don DiLillo—and some lively new voices, whether focused on films or dramatic texts, or worrying about the state of the theater. This book shows a proper respect, meanwhile, in a period dominated by antihumanist theory, for several of our most durable humanist critics—Robert Brustein, Richard Gilman, and Stanley Kauffmann—who may not like some of what's happening in theater or film (not to mention performance art), but still know where the action is, though some of it may be in the past." — Herbert Blau, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

"An engrossing mix of interviews and essays which explore from multiple perspectives dilemmas of spectacle and politics in our time." — Ariel Dorfman, Duke University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Jody McAuliffe

The Rapture of the Athlete Assumed into Heaven / Don DeLillo

Reinventing American Theater / Robert Brustein

The Seagull: Art and Love, Love and Art / Richard Gilman

The Late Beginner: Bernard Shaw Becoming a Dramatist / Stanley Kauffmann

Fascist Discourse and Pirandellian Theater / Mary Ann Frese Witt

Shepard's Split / David Wyatt

Between L.A. and New York: An Interview with Roberta Levitow / Mame Hunt

Cinema and Theology / Andre Bazin

The Passion of St. Charles: Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets / Jim Hosney, Jacquelyn Wollman, and Jesse Ward Engdahl

The Church of the Desert: Reflections on The Sheltering Sky / Jody McAuliffe

What the Streets Mean: An Interview with Martin Scorsese / Anthony DeCurtis

An Interview with Stanley Kauffmann / Bert Cardullo

Afterword: The Critic as Humanist / Jonathan Kalb

Notes on Contributors

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1418-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1404-2
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