Steven Spielberg has fashioned an enviable career as a writer, producer, and director of American motion pictures, winning Academy Awards for Best Direction (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List), and for Best Film (Schindler's List). With David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg he founded Dreamworks SKG, already one of the most productive and respected studios in Hollywood. Despite Spielberg's notable successes, however, his films have not avoided controversy. The Films of Steven Spielberg provides for the first time a collection of critical writings by professional film critics about the director and his films, bringing together many articles and reviews scattered in often inaccessible specialist publications and professional journals. The opinions vary from complimentary to critical, but they definitely provide a well-rounded view of the films and the director. Twelve of Spielberg's major box office hits, including Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, are discussed in essays that vary in complexity ranging from the heavily theoretical to the more general. This collection of essays, compiled for both film students and professionals in the film industry, attests to the influence of Spielberg and the films that have earned him a significant place in the history of cinema as one of America's most innovative and culturally important filmmakers.
From What's Up, Tiger Lily? to Match Point, Woody Allen's work has generated substantial interest among scholars and professionals who have written extensively about the director. In The Films of Woody Allen: Critical Essays, Charles L.P. Silet brings together two-dozen scholarly articles that address the core of Allen's work from a variety of cultural and theoretical perspectives. With a special emphasis on his films of the 1980s, this collection includes both general essays that examine various themes and issues encompassed in Allen's repertoire, as well as discussions that focus on one or two specific films. General essays explore Allen's Jewish background as a religious and cultural facet, his apparent love affair with New York City, and his relation to various strains of humor_particularly American film humor, but also Allen's broad use of such traditional comic tropes as irony and parody. The essays on individual films include examinations of some of Allen's most significant work including Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan, and Shadows and Fog. A number of the articles collected here were originally published in now hard to locate places, while others were selected from journals not usually associated with film studies. The result is an anthology of essays that presents an overview of the central issues raised by Allen's body of work as well as a close examination of fourteen individual films that convey these larger themes. A wide-ranging exploration of one of America's most innovative and productive modern directors, this book should appeal to both professionals and students of contemporary film comedy.