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Imagination in Transition

Mamet’s Move to Film

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Bruce Barton

The move from playwright to cinema screenwriter and director is a rare accomplishment. No American writer has achieved this transition with the level of success enjoyed over the past two decades by David Mamet. Over this same period Mamet has also authored a body of aggressive critical writing that demonstrates enduring aesthetic and ideological preoccupations, regularly expressed as a set of confident «best practices». However, the relationship between theory and practice becomes particularly (and productively) rowdy at the sites of Mamet’s transitional «media crossing». Imagination in Transition establishes a flexible set of core characteristics of Mamet’s dramatic and theatrical dramaturgy, and then compares these with the textual and cinematographic strategies employed by Mamet in his initial, «transitional» feature films. This study, then, offers both an innovative approach to Mamet’s work and an illuminating framework for cross-media analysis.
Contents: Theatre – Film – Drama – Dramaturgy – American – Cinema – Media – Playwriting – Screenwriting – Reception theory.