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Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Essays on Participatory Cultureby Henry Jenkins
Synopses & Reviews
The most important development in American culture of the last two decades is the emergence of independent cinema as a viable alternative to Hollywood. Indeed, while Hollywood's studios devote much of their time and energy to churning out big-budget, star-studded event movies, a renegade independent cinema that challenges mainstream fare continues to flourish with strong critical support and loyal audiences.
Cinema of Outsiders is the first and only comprehensive chronicle of contemporary independent movies from the late 1970s up to the present. From the hip, audacious early works of maverick David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, and Spike Lee, to the contemporary Oscar-winning success of indie dynamos, such as the Coen brothers (Fargo), Quentin Tarentino (Pulp Fiction), and Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade), Levy describes in a lucid and accessible manner the innovation and diversity of American indies in theme, sensibility, and style.
Documenting the socio-economic, political and artistic forces that led to the rise of American independent film, Cinema of Outsiders depicts the pivotal role of indie guru Robert Redford and his Sundance Film Festival in creating a showcase for indies, the function of film schools in supplying talent, and the continuous tension between indies and Hollywood as two distinct industries with their own structure, finance, talent and audience.
Levy describes the major cycles in the indie film movement: regional cinema, the New York school of film, African-American, Asian American, gay and lesbian, and movies made by women. Based on exhaustive research of over 1,000 movies made between 1977 and 1999, Levy evaluates some 200 quintessential indies, including Choose Me, Stranger Than Paradise, Blood Simple, Blue Velvet, Desperately Seeking Susan, Slacker, Poison, Reservoir Dogs, Gas Food Lodging, Menace II Society, Clerks, In the Company of Men, Chasing Amy, The Apostle, The Opposite of Sex, and Happiness.
Cinema of Outsiders reveals the artistic and political impact of bold and provocative independent movies in displaying the cinema of "outsiders"-the cinema of the "other America."
Henry Jenkins at Authors@Google (video)
Henry Jenkins“s pioneering work in the early 1990s promoted the idea that fans are among the most active, creative, critically engaged, and socially connected consumers of popular culture and that they represent the vanguard of a new relationship with mass media. Though marginal and largely invisible to the general public at the time, today, media producers and advertisers, not to mention researchers and fans, take for granted the idea that the success of a media franchise depends on fan investments and participation.
Bringing together the highlights of a decade and a half of groundbreaking research into the cultural life of media consumers, Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers takes readers from Jenkins's progressive early work defending fan culture against those who would marginalize or stigmatize it, through to his more recent work, combating moral panic and defending Goths and gamers in the wake of the Columbine shootings. Starting with an interview on the current state of fan studies, this volume maps the core theoretical and methodological issues in Fan Studies. It goes on to chart the growth of participatory culture on the web, take up blogging as perhaps the most powerful illustration of how consumer participation impacts mainstream media, and debate the public policy implications surrounding participation and intellectual property.
About the Author
Henry Jenkins is Provost's Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He was previously the DeFlorz Professor of Humanities and the Founder/Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT. The author or editor of eleven books including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture and From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games, Jenkins also writes a regular column for Technology Review.
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