A range of approaches to the director's life and work.
The director of such classic Hollywood films as In a Lonely Place, Johnny Guitar, and Rebel Without a Cause, Nicholas Ray nevertheless remained on the margins of the American studio system throughout his career, and despite his cult status among auteurist critics and cinephiles, he has also remained at the margins of film scholarship. Lonely Places, Dangerous Ground offers twenty new essays by international film historians and critics that explore the director’s place in the history of the Hollywood industry and in the larger institution of cinema, as well as a 1977 interview with Ray that has never before been published in its entirety in English. In addition to readings of Ray’s most celebrated films, the book provides a range of approaches to his life and work, engaging new questions of his cinematic authorship with areas that include history and culture, politics and society, gender and sexuality, style and genre, performance, technology, and popular music. The collection also looks at Ray’s lesser-known and underappreciated films, and devotes attention to the highly experimental We Can’t Go Home Again, his recently restored final film made in the 1970s with his students at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Rediscovering what Ray means to contemporary film studies, the essays show how his films continue to possess a vital power for film history and criticism, and for film culture.
Steven Rybin is Assistant Professor of Film at Georgia Gwinnett College. He is the author of Michael Mann: Crime Auteur; Terrence Malick and the Thought of Film; and The Cinema of Michael Mann. Will Scheibel is a PhD candidate in film and media studies at Indiana University Bloomington.