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The Philosophy of Michael Mann

edited by Steven Sanders, Aeon J. Skoble, and R. Barton Palmer

Availablecloth$45.00x 978-0-8131-4471-9
The Philosophy of Popular Culture
284 pages  Pubdate: 04/17/2014  6 x 9  

LISTEN: Murray Pomerance chats with the Be Reel, Guys podcast on Johnny Depp, Michael Mann, and John Dillinger from his essay in The Philosophy of Michael Mann | Listen online here

Known for restoring vitality and superior craftsmanship to the crime thriller, American filmmaker Michael Mann has long been regarded as a talented triple threat capable of moving effortlessly between television and feature films as a writer, director, and executive producer. His unique visual sense and thematic approach are evident in the Emmy Award-winning The Jericho Mile (1979), the cult favorite The Keep (1983), the American epic The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and the Academy Award-nominated The Insider (1999) as well as his most recent works—Ali (2001), Miami Vice (2006), and Public Enemies (2009).

The Philosophy of Michael Mann provides an up-to-date and comprehensive account of the work of this highly accomplished filmmaker, exploring the director’s recognizable visual style and the various on-screen and philosophical elements he has tested in his thirty-five-year career. The essays in this wide-ranging book will appeal to fans of the revolutionary filmmaker and to philosophical scholars interested in the themes and conflicts that drive his movies.

Steven M. Sanders is emeritus erofessor of ehilosophy at Bridgewater State University. He is the editor of The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film and the coeditor of The Philosophy of TV Noir.

Aeon J. Skoble is professor of philosophy at Bridgewater State University and a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Deleting the State: An Argument about Government and Reading Rasmussen and Den Uyl: Critical Essays on Norms of Liberty.

R. Barton Palmer is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University, where he also directs the film studies program. He is the coeditor of The Philosophy of Steven Soderbergh.

Although Mann is recognized, both popularly and critically, as a brilliant visual stylist who revitalized the American crime genre in the postmodern era, The Philosophy of Michael Mann is the first scholarly treatment of his oeuvre from a range of philosophical perspectives. Soundly refuting the notion of Mann as a manipulator of surfaces, this volume reveals the subtextual depths and diversity of his feature film career. -- Linda Badley, Middle Tennessee State University

This is an extremely useful and diverse collection of philosophical musings on one of American cinema’s most important contemporary auteurs. The Philosophy of Michael Mann features an impressive line-up of world-renowned film critics, philosophers, literary experts, and Mann scholars—all illuminating the eclectic range of concepts gestured to throughout his decades of work. A provocative, engaging read for students of cinema and philosophy, as well as fans of the director. If there remains any doubt that Mann is a legitimate auteur of the first order, this collection should put it to rest once and for all. -- Jason Sperb, Northwestern University, author of Blossoms & Blood: Postmodern Media Culture and the Films of Paul Thomas Anderson

[. . . ] [The authors] have woven a complex collection of criticism and analysis into a cohesive and satisfying whole that expresses the multiplicity of Mann’s oeuvre.

[. . .] Achieved here, in this rather concise yet wholly expansive book, is something worthy of the attention of not only readers interested in the cinema of Michael Mann, but also those interested in philosophy, history, anthropology, and aesthetic theory. A great read. -- Film Matters