Directorial Self-Fashioning in American Horror Cinema. Geroge A. Romero, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Eli Roth and the masters of Horror

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Looks at the filmmaking environment and logically lays out his conclusions on how some of the most popular and culturally significant directors negotiate authorial identities within the global environment.


“After decades of subsistence in the margins of academic scholarship,. Horror film criticism has made its way into the mainstream…As the field gets more crowded, original critical approaches to horror cinema are becoming harder to find…Ben Kooyman has found such an original angle – an angle that should satisfy the larger community of horror film fans as much as an academic audience…”
-Associate Professor Steffen Hantke,
Sogang University

“…an admirable work of scholarly criticism…The book is refreshingly free of jargon and should appeal to scholars and knowledgeable amateurs alike.”
-Dr. Eugene McNamara
Professor Emeritus English
University of Windsor, Canada

“This book investigates contemporary horror film directors as artisans whose “self-fashioning” practices at once continue a tradition of the artist/author as “product/producer,” and engage complex philosophical inquiries constellating about issues of identity formation and performance. In so doing, it draws upon scholarship informed by Stephen Greenblatt’s examination of artists as creative agents who likewise fashion their own public personae. This approach is particularly striking, as it will undoubtedly resonate in valuable ways with a readership necessarily immersed within our image-centered postmodern culture of reflexive self-promotion.”
-Professor Jay McRoy,
Department of English and Cinema Studies,
University of Wisconsin- Parkside

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Horror Film Director as Artist, Huckster, Star by Steffen Hantke
Introduction: Self-Fashioning in American Horror Cinema

Introduction to self-fashioning
Pros and cons of working in the “black sheep” of genres
Auteurs, impresarios, and auteur-impresarios
Scope and parameters of this study
Chapter 1: When Worlds Collide: Rob Zombie Meets Corporate Horror
Remake culture and the Splat Pack
Halloween (2007)
Halloween II (2009)
Chapter 2: How to Make Friends and Influence People: Eli Roth’s Self-Fashioning
Omnipresent Wunderkind
Self-fashioning trough association
Making Friends: Roth as Director
Influencing People: Roth as Producer
Chapter 3: Survival of the Diarist of the Dead: George A Romero Inside and Outside Hollywood
Romero’s influence and professional constraints
Hollywood Insider: Land of the Dead (2005)
Hollywood Outside: Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009)
Chapter 4: Their Wildest Dreams, Your Worst Nightmares: Carpenter, Dante, Landis, Hooper and Masters of Horror
Event Filmmaking in the horror genre
John Carpenter
Joe Dante
John Landis
Tobe Hooper
Twilight of the Masters
Chapter 5: Wes Craven: A Career of Contradictions
Savior of Horror?
Early Craven (1971-1994)
Comeback Craven (1995-2000)
Craven in the noughties (2001-2011)
Conclusion: Closing Thoughts and Future Directions
High adventure and safe passage in a genre of contradictions Outlets of self-fashioning for contemporary horror filmmakers Self-fashioning from the fringe, and future research directions
Selected filmography

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