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The Hudsucker Proxy: Joel Silver and the Coen Brothers – the dynamics of ‘independent’ and ‘mainstream’ film

STUBBS, Andrew (2016) The Hudsucker Proxy: Joel Silver and the Coen Brothers – the dynamics of ‘independent’ and ‘mainstream’ film. In: University of Manchester Screen Industries: State of Play, University of Manchester.

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My paper takes The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), as a case study for investigating changing realities and perceptions of ‘independent’ and ‘mainstream’ film in the early- and mid-1990s. Specifically, my paper foregrounds promotion and reception of the film relating to its two author figures: the Coen Brothers and Joel Silver. Prior to Silver’s involvement the project had remained in development since the release of the Coens’ first film, Blood Simple, yet the popular press described Silver as a ‘commercial’ producer, a potential interference, and a sign that the Coens might be ‘going mainstream’. By analysing trade and popular press journalism, my paper takes the collaboration of two practitioners with reportedly different economic/industrial backgrounds to investigate changing dynamics of, and attitudes towards, independent and mainstream Hollywood film.
My paper conducts critical and promotional discourse analysis. In so doing, my paper investigates the role that film practitioners or authors play in mobilising press judgement about ‘independent’ film production, considering the effects that this has on promotion and critical reception. Simultaneously, my paper investigates the Coens’ and Silver’ positions in cultural, economic and industrial networks, and investigates their shared investment in The Hudsucker Proxy. Finally, my paper explores rhetoric that maintains distinction between ‘independent’ and ‘mainstream’ film, while economic and industrial indicate convergence.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Event Title: University of Manchester Screen Industries: State of Play
Event Location: University of Manchester
Depositing User: Andrew STUBBS
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2019 16:04
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:54

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