JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

Lincoln: shared myths in a revisionist age

 

Frederick Wasser

Frederick Wasser is a professor at Brooklyn College – CUNY.  His intellectual interests come in part from his experiences as a working professional in the film and television industries in Los Angeles during the 1980s (where he and Steven Spielberg studiously avoided each other). His first research publication was on effects of home video on film and television.  He continues to be interested in the relationship between the industrial formations of Hollywood and the actual stories that are filmed.  Therefore he has turned towards the career of Steven Spielberg - the story-teller - who has dominated the last forty years of Hollywood. 

His book Steven Spielberg’s America (2010, Polity Press) responds to the political and historical ambitions that Spielberg increasingly displayed during the last half of the Clinton administration and throughout the Bush years.  Wasser is interested in the limits that the blockbuster aesthetic imposes on a filmmaker trying to do history.   He is working on the challenges to photo realism that the new digital aesthetic imposes.  He is currently a Fulbright Bicentennial Professor at the University of Helsinki.  His great grandfather did fight at the battle of Shiloh and Wasser often wonders in these days if the South really did win the war. See the movie at this link.