Stephen Lee NaishSep 29, 2021
Film in the Age of Emergency
New Star Book 2021
Movies open a window into our collective soul. In Screen Captures: Film in the Age of Emergency (New Star Books, 2021), Stephen Lee Naish guides us through recent cinematic phenomena that reflect/refract our contemporary political existence. Stephen Lee Naish is a writer, independent researcher, and cultural critic. He is the author of several books on film, politics, music, and pop culture. He lives in Kingston, Ontario. He has appeared on the New Books Network three times for previous books: Create of Die: Essays on the Artistry of Dennis Hopper (2016), Deconstructing Dirty Dancing (2017), Riffs and Meaning (2018)
From Star Wars-scope blockbusters and Hollywood coming-of-age comedies to independent horror productions, Naish draws out the ways these movies shape, and are shaped by, their audience's own dissatisfactions. In his discussion of the Star Wars franchise, Naish highlights a conflict between internet discussion-fueled fandom vs the Disney Empire that shares features with the ongoing rebellions depicted in the films themselves. A passionate fan base who can now voice their discontent via the internet is feeding back into the studio's agenda and criticizing the actions of characters within the film and the actors alike. Chapters on the super-heroes genre and disaster movies draw out the climate-based social tensions these reflect. Depictions of masculinity ("Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown") on screens large and small bleed into discussions of the work and presence of Nicholas Cage, David Lynch, and Dennis Hopper -- with a side-excursion into Valerie Solanas's strikingly prescient SCUM Manifesto. Stephen Lee Naish's Screen Captures adds a sharpening filter to the film-goer's experience on the big and little screen.
Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne.