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June 2019, Week 3


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Wed, 19 Jun 2019 10:01:02 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Edited by Chris Dumas and Jonathan Everett Haynes

With the calamitous box-office failure of *The Bonfire of the Vanities* in
1990, the career of Brian De Palma arguably entered a new stage.  During
the 1980s, De Palma had been at the peak of his public notoriety, which
coincided with his ability to command a standard Hollywood budget; with
*Bonfire*, he left behind his stature as Hollywood’s “bad boy” and began an
era of uncertainty and experimentation.  This period, which includes such
disparate milestones as De Palma’s biggest box-office success (
*Mission:Impossible* in 1995) and his final rejection of Hollywood
(beginning with 2002’s *Femme Fatale*, financed and shot in France), has
not yet been theorized in the way that the late careers of (for example)
Orson Welles and Fritz Lang have been theorized.

This volume will address De Palma’s late work, starting with *Raising
Cain* (1992)
and including *Domino* (2019), and can include topics such as 21st-century
auteurism, the American wars in Iraq and on terrorism, cinephilia in
relation to new technologies, voyeurism and social media, misogyny and
narrative, race and “the gaze,” film studies and its objects (good and
bad), Hitchcockso-Godardianism, the afterlives of *Scarface*, and the
meaning of political commitment in the era of iPhones and YouTube.  We also
invite essays on the Baumbach-Paltrow documentary (*De Palma*, 2015) and De
Palma’s recent novel, *Are Snakes Necessary?*, co-written with Susan Lehman
(and not yet published in English); other topics might include De Palma as
an influence (Tarantino, for example), actors and styles of performance
(Pacino, Cruise, Cage, the entire ensemble in *Redacted*), and/or specific
techniques in De Palma’s work (split screens/diopters, traveling master
shots, sound design, music, etc.).

We particularly invite submissions from scholars who can demonstrate more
than a passing familiarity with De Palma’s career *in toto* and with the
extant scholarship that concerns it; we hope that all submissions, no
matter their specific topic, will address De Palma’s trajectory and his
relation to American filmmaking practice.  For reference, the ten De Palma
films of this period are *Raising Cain, Carlito’s Way, Mission:Impossible,
Snake Eyes, Mission to Mars, Femme Fatale, The Black Dahlia, Redacted,
Passion, *and* Domino*.

In the study of “late De Palma,” we hope not only to elucidate this
particular director’s professional trajectory, but also to use these films
and their curious cultural lives (and deaths) as a productive site for the
examination of contemporary anxieties about political protest, gender,
race, surveillance, authorship, and—most crucially—the status of the

Please send CV and brief (two- or three-sentence) proposal—*not* a formal
abstract—to *both* editors (*[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>*
 and j*[log in to unmask]* <[log in to unmask]>)
by July 15, 2019.  Note that, if we secure publication, we will begin to
collect first drafts in early 2020.

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