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Todd Haynes

Todd Haynes

Rob White
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Todd Haynes
    Book Description:

    Todd Haynes's films are intricate and purposeful, combining the intellectual impact of art cinema with the emotional accessibility of popular genres. They are also underpinned by a serious commitment to feminism and queer theory. From his 1985 student film about Arthur Rimbaud to his shapeshifting portrait of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There (2007) and the riveting HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (2011), Haynes has made films whose complex weave of stories and characters reveals dark, painful intensities. His taste for narrative experimentation and pastiche is haunted by anguish. Rob White's highly readable book, which includes a major new interview with Haynes, is the first comprehensive study of the director's work. Special attention is paid to the fascination with music culture (from the Carpenters to glam rock) and to the rich pattern of allusions to, or affinity with, predecessor filmmakers (Fassbinder, Ophuls, Sirk, and many more). But White's chief concern is the persistence of a queer impulse to explore social coercion and the possibility that there may be some way of escaping its cruelty.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09481-1
    Subjects: Film Studies, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. The Misery the World Is Made Of: The Cinema of Todd Haynes
    (pp. 1-130)

    There are moments in Todd Haynes’s films when someone is so unnerved that it is difficult to imagine that any good can come from the experience. InSafe(1995), Carol White (Julianne Moore) is suddenly distressed while she is talking to her husband: “Oh God, what is this? Where am I? Right now?” It is as if she feels that there is almost nothing left of her as a result of psychic erosion she never knew was occurring. Then, in the five-part miniseriesMildred Pierce(2011), the title character played by Kate Winslet is overcome while she listens to her...

  5. Interview with Todd Haynes
    (pp. 131-164)
    Todd Haynes

    Distillation of three phone interviews conducted by the author on November 3 and 22, 2011, and April 17, 2012.

    ROB WHITE: What is your family background?

    TODD HAYNES: My mom, Sherry Lynne Haynes, came from a middle-class Jewish family in Los Angeles. Her father, Arnold Semler, whom I called Bompi, and mother, Blessing, whom I called Monna, were a very supportive aspect of my upbringing. Bompi had worked in Warner Bros., starting as a messenger boy, becoming head of set construction. He was a union organizer and was close to many of the blacklisted figures in midcentury Hollywood. He left...

  6. Filmography
    (pp. 165-168)
  7. References
    (pp. 169-172)
  8. Index
    (pp. 173-176)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 177-181)