Kagan, Norman

   Norman Kagan was completing his work toward a Ph. D. in cinema studies at New York University and had taught film criticism at the New School when he wrote The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1972. The approach was based on the auteur theory, “which assumes a film director has the same freedom and control to shape his creations as writers, painters, and other artists,” Kagan noted, claiming that STANLEY KUBRICK “is clearly an auteur critic’s dream,” since Kubrick “writes, shoots, directs, edits, and often handles his own publicity. ” This early auteurist survey concludes with A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and includes a filmography. Kagan’s book, using an obvious but trendy auteurist framework, was rather eclipsed by ALEXANDER WALKER’s Stanley Kubrick Directs (1971), mainly because Walker had Kubrick’s cooperation and was able therefore to draw upon his personal knowledge of the director, whom he had interviewed extensively. Kagan went on to teach cinema at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the College of New Rochelle and to write other cinema-related books, such as The War Film, American Skeptic: The Genre Commentary Films of Robert Altman, and Greenhorns: Foreign Filmmakers Interpret America. A revised and updated edition of The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick was published in 1989 by Continuum, which also published Kagan’s The Cinema of Oliver Stone in 1995.
   J. M. W.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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