The foreignness of Jules Dassin: notes on cosmopolitan authorship

Eleftheriotis, D. (2012) The foreignness of Jules Dassin: notes on cosmopolitan authorship. Screen, 53(4), pp. 339-358. (doi:10.1093/screen/hjs037)

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Abstract

This essay proposes that a position of foreignness clearly emerging from biographical aspects of Jules Dassin's career also surfaces in textual practices of his films and substantially characterizes critical responses and evaluations of his work. Dassin was often marginalized by studios, producers and government agencies, while at other times he positioned himself as an outsider in a selfconscious manner. Critical responses are fragmented, demonstrating an eclectic engagement with Dassin that focuses on individual films or very specific aspects of his work (such as film noir aesthetics, the use of voiceover, representations of the city, adaptation of novels/plays, the politics of national cinemas and his blacklisted status). The essay considers tensions of inclusion/exclusion, proximity/detachment, surfacing in textual practices that include themes of belonging, loyalty and betrayal, the abundance of ‘foreign’ characters, observational/distancing visual structures, voiceover, the use of urban space and theatricality. It proposes cosmopolitan authorship as a concept that usefully describes Dassin's work and speculates on how such category might be further appropriated.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Eleftheriotis, Professor Dimitris
Authors: Eleftheriotis, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Screen
ISSN:0036-9543
ISSN (Online):1460-2474

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