By J. Nilsson
This examine examines how a specific collection of motion pictures grew to become American cultural fabric of the Nineties into satirical studies for audience and unearths that there are components of resistance to norms and conventions in politics, to mainstream information channels and Hollywood, and to reliable American background already embedded within the tradition.
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Extra info for American Film Satire in the 1990s: Hollywood Subversion
The themes are derived from the films, although they have been generalized as a way of covering the material as a whole. This also means that the devices this study takes an interest in are connected to the themes, and that is where the satire takes effect. It is within the themes that we find the satirical targets. For example, The Player is placed within the general theme of media satire because it deals with a media institution. More specifically, it satirizes Hollywood film practice, and it does this through varied use of cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing, and sound.
And, as already argued, satire is always closely linked to the contemporary society in which it is produced and experienced. This brings us to a methodological problem concerning satire. How do we make the connections between the production and reception contexts and social history without them being too speculative? I have hopefully solved this problem by putting emphasis on what one can actually infer from the empirical material (the films, reviews, production notes, filmmakers’ comments). Simplistically, each film can be thought of as lying “at the core of a set of concentric circles,” where the outermost circle is made up of the most general features of American society and the ones in between contain more concrete contextual aspects (such as the film industry, film practice, formal norms, and critical discussion).
15 This is an example of how access to a major studio’s distribution channels became recognized as a beneficial practice for independent companies during the 1990s. 17 Like many independent productions, Bob Roberts had a platform release of extended duration, which meant that it was released gradually in an effort to increase awareness. 18 After the initial screening in Los Angeles, the film was screened as part of the Directors’ Fortnight competition held alongside the Cannes Film Festival (May 7–18) and at the AFI/Los Angeles International Film Festival (June 18–July 2).
American Film Satire in the 1990s: Hollywood Subversion by J. Nilsson