Shoot It! Hollywood Inc. and the Rising of Independent Film by David Spaner
ISBN: 978-1-55152-408-5Trade Paper, 320 pages
$22.95 CAN & US
Published by Arsenal Pulp Press
Shoot It! is a revealing history of how Hollywood, with its eye on the bottom line, arguably lost its ability to support the work of creative filmmakers; it is also a passionate portrait of the independent filmmakers around the world who have risen up to fill the void.
In accessible and expertly informed prose, film critic David Spaner examines the Hollywood studio system over several decades, from the period when it produced films like Citizen Kane or Casablanca, to today, when studios seem only interested in surefire sequels and comic-book adaptations aimed at a global audience. The rise of studio film in the mid-twentieth century eerily foreshadows the global corporate culture of today; Spaner's account of the 1940s union protests (and resulting riots) outside Warner Bros. Studio could easily be a report of an Occupy Oakland or Wall Street action in 2011. Shoot It! suggests that the globalization of culture has received less attention (and mobilized frustration) than the globalization of economies.
In the second half of the book, Spaner shifts his focus to a celebration of today’s great movies produced outside of the studio system. The book chronicles the international independent film movement in seven countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Britain, France, Romania, and South Korea. Spaner follows international independent filmmaking from its roots (European New Waves, New York independents) to the revolutionary impact of digital technology. It also features commentary from indie film notables such as Mike Leigh, Gus Van Sant, Claire Denis, Miranda July, Woody Allen, Atom Egoyan, Catherine Breillat, Sally Potter, John Sayles, and Ken Loach.
While the studios envisage a generic universe, repressing local film cultures along the way, talented independents continue to tell local stories with universal appeal. This book is a celebration of those determined filmmakers who, despite it all, overcome every obstacle and just shoot it!
To request a review or academic reading copy of this book, please contact Arsenal Pulp Press Marketing Manager Cynara Geissler: cynara [ at ] arsenalpulp.com.