Film Mavericks in Action

Writer, Educationalist, and Lecturer in

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"I didn't write about the movies I didn't like; I wrote about the ones I liked - so, if anything, I was trying to create a climate, an atmosphere, in which people would like my movies. which of course I hadn't made yet." (Peter Bogdanovich, in Harris, 1990, p. 3)

Film Mavericks in Action critically considers the work of four pivotal film director rhetors – Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Michael Cimino and Francis Ford Coppola - and how they first courted then scaled the 1960s/1970s Hollywood system as "symbol-using animals." (Burke, 1966).

It then takes critical account of the production histories and critical receptions of their major box-office disasters - At Long Last Love (1974), New York, New York (1977), Heaven's Gate (1980), and One from the Heart (1982).

The analysis draws uniquely upon the extensive work of philosopher and literary theorist Kenneth Burke (1897 - 1992) - "any performance is discussable either from the standpoint of what it attains or what it misses." (Burke, Permanence and Change, 1984, p. 49).

In this respect the study considers Hollywood from the 1920s to the present as a a symbolic Order, grounded in principles of identification, hierarchy and courtships.

The book's main aim is to suppport the work of colleagues and their students in the areas of Film Studies, American Studies and Rhetoric

Alan Taylor,

BA; MA; Diploma; PGCE; Dr. phil.


  • Work
    • Film and Media
  • Education
    • University of Oxford
    • London Film School
    • Johanes Gutenberg University of Mainz
    • University of London
    • University of Keele