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Title: The cinema of David Mamet : independent filmmaking in Hollywood
Author: Tzioumakis, Yannis
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis examines the cinema of David Mamet with particular reference to the five films he made between 1987 and 1997. Its objectives are: to explore Mamet's distinct approach to filmmaking; to analyse the ways in which this approach shaped the formal organisation of his films; and to account for the specific aesthetic effects produced. The central argument advanced is that Mamet's filmmaking practice, which has, to a large extent, been influenced by practices he adopted during his long standing service to American theatre, is markedly different from dominant models of filmmaking in contemporary US cinema. As a result, his films have consistently demonstrated evidence of an idiosyncratic visual style, which has attracted considerable - mostly negative - criticism. This thesis also considers a number of institutional parameters that have impacted on Mamet's cinema. Particular emphasis has been placed on the role of independent distributors such as Orion Pictures and The Samuel Goldwyn Company who allowed the filmmaker to maintain his distinct aesthetic vision, despite his lack of success at the US box-office. Mamet's close association with the institutional apparatus of American Independent Cinema is examined throughout the thesis. My approach to Mamet's cinema takes place within a number of critical contexts that Film Studies uses to discuss both individual films and the work of a filmmaker as a whole. These contexts include: the classical/post-classical Hollywood cinema debate; auteur criticism; performance studies; film adaptation studies; and genre criticism. I use these frameworks to examine particular aspects of Mamet's cinema and also to establish fresh critical perspectives which will enhance our understanding of some of his films. One such perspective involves the proposal that Mamet utilises the generic form of the 'con-artist film,' a film genre previously unexplored within genre studies. This thesis challenges some of the established critical assumptions about David Mamet's cinema and bestows upon it the attention it deserves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available