Classic American Films: Conversations with the Screenwriters

Greenwood Publishing Group
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Classic American Films explores the origin and development of many of the most influential and revered films in cinema history, and does so with the aid and insight of the people who actually wrote the screenplays. These lively, candid, in-depth interviews are filled with fascinating new material (details, anecdotes, judgments, and opinions) about the creative and collaborative processes that went into the making of these extraordinary films. In the past, Hollywood screenwriters--the original artists--have often been overlooked. This book is a special tribute to the invaluable contributions of these cinematic visionaries, many of whom are considered among the greatest screenwriters in American film history. As Orson Welles once said, In my opinion, the writer should have the first and last word in filmmaking. This book allows them to have that exciting opportunity.

Some of the highlights from these interviews include: Betty Comden and Adolph Green's explaining how a nightclub skit became the premise for Singin' in the Rain; Ernest Lehman's description of how, while in conversation with Hitchcock, his unconscious suddenly solved the plot problems in North by Northwest; Carl Gottlieb's remembrance of the terrible pressure involved with writing the script for Jaws while shooting was already underway; and Sylvester Stallone's account of how he received final approval to star in Rocky from studio executives who thought he was just another actor.

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About the author

WILLIAM BAER has taught film and screenwriting at the University of Evansville for the past fifteen years. He is currently the film critic at Crisis, and for years his work has appeared regularly in Creative Screenwriting. A recent Guggenheim recipient (2007), he has also received a Fulbright (Portugal) and an N.E.A. Creative Writing Grant in fiction. His twelve books include Elia Kazan: Interviews.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Pages
265
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ISBN
9780313348983
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Poets include:
Willis Barnstone
Robert Conquest
Wendy Cope
Douglas Dunn
Anthony Hecht
John Hollander
Donald Justice
X. J. Kennedy
Maxine Kumin
Frederick Morgan
John Frederick Nims
W. D. Snodgrass
Derek Walcott
Richard Wilbur

When free verse and its many movements seemed to dominate poetry, other writers worked steadfastly, insistently, and majestically in traditional forms of rhyme and meter.

Such poets as Anthony Hecht, Donald Justice, Derek Walcott, and Richard Wilbur used sonnets, villanelles, blank verse, and many other forms to create dazzling, lasting work. Their writing posed a counterpoint to free verse, sustained a tradition in English language verse, and eventually inspired the movement called New Formalism.

"Fourteen on Form: Conversations with Poets" collects interviews with some of the most influential poets of the last fifty years. William Baer, editor of "The Formalist" asks incisive questions that allow writers to discuss in detail a wide range of topics related to their work, methods of composition, and the contemporary poetry scene.

Maxine Kumin reflects on being a woman poet during a period in which women were not encouraged to submit to journals. With clarity and passion, Walcott remembers the impetus of his famous "Eulogy to W. H. Auden." British poet Wendy Cope talks about the differences between how her barbed poems are received in England and abroad. The conversations return continually to the serious matter of poetic craft, especially the potential power of form in poetry.

These well-paced conversations showcase poets discussing their creative lives with insight and candor. The sum total of their forthright opinions in "Fourteen on Form" not only elucidates the current situation of the art form but also serves as a primer for understanding the fundamental craft of poetics.

William Baer is a professor of English at the University of Evansville and the editor of "The Formalist." He edited "Elia Kazan: Interviews and Conversations" with Derek Walcott (both published by University Press of Mississippi).

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