There are certain films and shows that resonate with audiences everywhere they generate discussion and debate about everything from gender, class, citizenship and race, to consumerism and social identity. This new 'teachable canon' of film and television introduces students to alternative classics that range from silent film to CSI. * Magnolia is one of those films students know and love.
From the over-the-top performances by male and female leads to the "ripped from the pages of the Old Testament" conclusion, it is a cult favorite in American cinema * This is the first book to examine the diverse themes, performances, and influences on this polarizing film, encouraging students to look beyond the film's style in order to fully engage with questions about its substance * Lane develops a careful analysis of the film, its director, as well as the contemporary context in which it was produced - exploring topics including the role of the auteur, what constitutes cinema / media literacy in the digital age, the politics of postmodernism, and the film's critique of the mass media - in order to challenge students to ask themselves why they are so riveted by this controversial and unusual film
Christina Lane is Assistant Professor in the Motion Picture Program at the University of Miami. She is the author of Feminist Hollywood: From Born in Flames to Point Break (Wayne State UP, 2000). She has published essays in Culture, Trauma, and Conflict: Cultural Studies Perspectives on the War (Cambridge Scholars, 2007), Contemporary American Independent Film (Routledge, 2004), and Authorship and Film (Routledge, 2003).
List of Figures. Acknowledgments. Introduction. 1 Magnolia at the Millennium: Historical and Social Contexts. 2 Through the Viewfi nder of a Cinematic "Son": Reflexivity, Intertextuality, and "Smart Cinema". 3 An Aesthetics of Contradiction: Cinematic Style and Televisuality. 4 Sound and Voice: De-Centering Meaning. 5 Redemption and Re-Mediation: Framing the Deathbed. Notes. Bibliography. Index.