Un-American Psycho

Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible

Chris Dumas

Chris Dumas

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

240 pages | 40 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841505541 Published July 2012

Brian De Palma is perhaps best known as the director behind the gangster classic Scarface. Yet as ingrained as Scarface is in American popular culture, it is but one of a sizeable number of controversial films—many of which are consistently misread or ignored—directed by De Palma over his more than four-decade career.
            In Un-American Psycho, Chris Dumas places De Palma’s body of work in dialogue with the works of other provocative filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard, and Francis Ford Coppola with the aim of providing a broader understanding of the narrative, stylistic, and political gestures that characterize De Palma’s filmmaking. De Palma’s films engage with a wide range of issues surrounding American political and social culture, and this volume offers a rethinking of the received wisdom on his work.

John Semley | A.V. Club
Un-American Psycho is organized in large part around salvaging the reputation of Brian De Palma, a filmmaker whose name is commonly—and usually negatively—mentioned in the same breath as Hitchcock’s. . . . Debut author Chris Dumas is giving De Palma his due. And in so doing, he’s arming the next generation of De Palma defenders with some seriously heavy artillery.

List of Illustrations

Introduction: The Case of the Missing Disciplinary Object
Chapter 1: Shower Scene
Hitchcock and the Murder of Marion Crane
    How to Blame De Palma
     How to Operate the Hitchcock Machine
    Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Žižek (But Were Afraid to Ask De Palma)
Chapter 2: Get to Know Your Failure
Death(s) of the Left: An Historical Cartoon
    Godard: The Holy Man
    Made in U.S.A
    Cinema of Failed Revolt
Chapter 3: The Personal and The Political
Bad Objects
    The Liberal Gaze
    The Political Invisible
Conclusion: Norman Bates and His Doubles

Reference List and Bibliography
Index of Film Titles and Selected Proper Names
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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