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Title: Following in the steps: Gus Van Sant’s Gerry and Elephant in the American independent field of cultural production
Authors: King, G
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: New Review of Film and Television Studies. 4(2): 75-92
Abstract: This paper considers Gus Van Sant's Gerry (2002) and Elephant (2003) as manifestations of contemporary American independent cinema that, characteristically, balance departures from mainstream/Hollywood convention with the use of frameworks that locate such films as marketable to particular niche audiences. The initial focus is on the use of formal devices, particularly in the very-long take, that mark these films out as distinct from typical mainstream production. Aspects of international art cinema are drawn upon to situate such films within particular regions of the independent spectrum—the latter being understood here as an example of what Pierre Bourdieu terms a 'field of cultural production', in this case one that stretches from the avant-garde to the margins of Hollywood. Formal analysis is considered in relation to the substantive content of the two films and the specific contexts in which each was produced and distributed, and in relation to the kinds of audiences to which they are likely to be targeted.
Appears in Collections:Media
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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