|Series:||Contemporary Film Directors|
American director Philip Kaufman is hard to pin down: a visual stylist who is truly literate, a San Franciscan who often makes European films, he is an accessible storyteller with a sophisticated touch. Celebrated for his vigorous, sexy, and reflective cinema, Kaufman is best known for his masterpiece The Unbearable Lightness of Being and the astronaut saga The Right Stuff. In this study, Annette Insdorf argues that Kaufman's cinema is both stylistically and philosophically rich and that his versatility is what distinguishes him as an auteur. She demonstrates Kaufman's skill at adaptation and how he finds the precise cinematic device for a story drawn from seemingly un-adaptable sources by using his cinematic eye to translate the authorial voice in many of the books that serve as inspiration for his films. Closely analyzing his films to date, Insdorf links Kaufman's versatile cinema by exploring the recurring and resonant themes of sensuality, artistic creation, and manipulation by authorities. She illustrates while there is no overarching label or bold signature that can be applied to his oeuvre, there is a consistency of themes, techniques, images, and preoccupations that permeates all of Kaufman's works.
"With commitment and enthusiasm, Annette Insdorf excels at thematic and formal discussions in this enlightening introduction to the films of Philip Kaufman. The book will become the authoritative word on Kaufman's films, a must for all scholars and fans of his work." Edward Baron Turk, author of Hollywood Diva: A Biography of Jeanette MacDonald