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James Morrison
(Writer)

james.morrison @ claremontmckenna . edu
(Please delete the spaces in this address before you use it. We're trying to reduce spam! )
Website:  ???
Profile created January 25, 2008
Biography/Memoirs
  • Broken Fever: Reflections of Gay Boyhood (2001)
    Morrison's honest and compelling essays explore the experiences and emotional reality of his own childhood, in an attempt to pinpoint the beginnings of his gay self-identity. From the initial questions about his religion to his first boyhood attraction, Morrison's experiences are recounted and distilled into a revealing journey with which anyone gay or straight, young or old can identify.

Children
  •  

Fiction
  • The Lost Girl (2007) -- Nominated 2007 Lambda Literary Gay Men's Debut Fiction Awards
    Cecelia, thirteen, lives with her father in a working-class suburb of Detroit. Her life is a quiet cycle of solitary domestic rituals and lonely social occasions. This routine is enlivened only by her fascination with Lolly, a television talk-show she believes allows her glimpses into the larger world beyond her own. After another girl in her neighborhood mysteriously vanishes, the texture of Cecelia's daily life is altered as she joins tentatively with the community's halting efforts to deal with the loss. When a letter from Cecelia about the lost girl prompts Lolly's show to come to town, Cecelia must confront her own role in the conversion of her schoolmate's disappearance into a media event.

    In The Lost Girl, James Morrison finds a compelling lens through the eyes of a young person trying to understand the world and her place in it. In stylized prose both elegant and spare, saturated with irony but fraught with tenderness, Morrison raises questions about modern life that become more pressing by the day.

Non-fiction
  • Roman Polanski (2007)
    James Morrison's Roman Polanski offers one of the most comprehensive and critically engaged treatments ever written on Polanski's work. Tracing the filmmaker's remarkably diverse career from its beginnings to the present, the book provides commentary on all the major films in their historical, cultural, social, and artistic contexts. By locating Polanski's work within the genres of comedy and melodrama, Morrison argues that the director is not merely obsessed with the theme of repression, but that his true interest is in the concrete--what is out in the open--and in why it is so rarely seen.

  • The Cinema of Todd Haynes: All That Heaven Allows (2006)
    Todd Haynes has emerged from the trenches of independent American film in the 1990s to become one of the twenty-first century's most audacious filmmakers. In a series of smart, informative essays, this book traces his career from its roots in New Queer Cinema to the Oscar-nominated Far from Heaven (2002).

    Along the way, it covers such landmark films as Poison (1991), Safe (1995), and Velvet Goldmine (1998). Contributors look at these films from a variety of angles, including his debts to the avant-garde and such noted precursors as Rainer Werner Fassbinder; his adventurous uses of melodrama; and his incisive portrayals of contemporary life.

  • The Films of Terrence Malick (2003) by James Morrison and Thomas Schur
    Despite overwhelming acclaim for his work, director Terrence Malick remains an under-examined figure of an era of filmmaking that also produced such notables as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Robert Altman, . His films Badlands and Days of Heaven remain benchmarks of American cinema, while his recent The Thin Red Line returned him to the pantheon of American directors.

    In this new study, authors James Morrison and Thomas Schur examine each of his films in detail, drawing on extensive archival research to construct a portrait of his working methods as a director as well as the thematic, aesthetic, and cultural components of his work. Moreover, aside from tracing the development of Malick's filmmaking from its beginnings to the present, the book compares his finished pictures to their original shooting scripts, and so provides a unique means of exploring the nature of his working methods and the ways in which they influence the final products. Revealing the ways in which these films connect to and depart from evolving traditions of the last 30 years, The Films of Terrence Malick provides a comprehensive and penetrating study as well as an informative and adventurous work of film criticism.

  • Passport to Hollywood: Hollywood Flims, European Directors (1998)
    In Passport to Hollywood, James Morrison examines a series of Hollywood films by directors from European art-cinemas. Drawing widely on current research in film theory, film history, and cultural studies, he traces the influence of European filmmakers in Hollywood from the 1920s to the 1980s and illuminates the relation between modernism and mass-culture in American movies. By interpreting important American films, Morrison also shows how these films illustrate key issues of cultural hierarchy and national culture over fifty years of American cinema. In addition, he explores the complex and often contradictory ways that these Hollywood movies conceptualize ideas about "foreignness." Using insightful close viewings, Morrison demonstrates new connections among modernism, postmodernism, and American movies.

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