In my teaching and my writing, I work to identify the quiet politics of the dominant form of cultural expression of our time: the movies. Because of this goal, I focus on popular U.S. films, like Erin Brockovich (2000), that reach large audiences, but I’m also interested in experimental films, like the films of Matthew Barney, that affect mainstream cinema from the sidelines. As a result, I’ve studied directors who make both popular and experimental films, such as U.S. director Steven Soderbergh and German director Tom Tykwer (who directed Run, Lola, Run ).
I believe that a careful examination of any text -- literary or cinematic -- can lead to a heightened understanding of the culture and moment that produced it. Describing – simply describing! – a sequence in a film allows us to see that material differently, to understand the film more fully, and hopefully to see the world through a slightly enhanced lens. At least that’s always one of my goals in a film studies class and in my scholarship.