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Charles Burnett

A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge

James Naremore


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/17/2017)


In the first book devoted to Charles Burnett, a crucial figure in the history of American cinema often regarded as the most influential member of the L.A. Rebellion group of African American filmmakers, James Naremore provides a close critical study of all Burnett’s major pictures for movies and television, including Killer of Sheep, To Sleep with Anger, The Glass Shield, Nightjohn, The Wedding, Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, and Warming by the Devil’s Fire. Having accessed new information and rarely seen material, Naremore shows that Burnett’s career has developed against the odds and that his artistry, social criticism, humor, and commitment to what he calls “symbolic knowledge” have given his work enduring value for American culture.

Praise For Charles Burnett: A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge

"Written in an accessible style, Charles Burnett: A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge promises to make Burnett a more well-known filmmaker to the general public and perhaps, in its own minor way, might assist Burnett in financing future endeavors by providing him with wider recognition than he has received so far."
— PopMatters

University of California Press, 9780520285521, 250pp.

Publication Date: October 17, 2017

About the Author

James Naremore is Chancellor's Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and author of The Magic World of Orson Welles, Acting in the Cinema, More than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts, On Kubrick, and An Invention without a Future: Essays on Cinema.