Dr. Michael Sevastakis is Professor in the Communication Department at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York. He earned his Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University. Dr. Sevastakis has written extensively in film journals and authored the book Songs of Love and Death: The Classical American Horror Film of the 1930s.2006 0-7734-5857-3
This study deals with an analysis of 13 of Russ Meyer’s major films produced between 1959 (The Immoral Mr. Teas
) and 1979 (Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens
), exploring the narrative voices present with and exterior to the texts. Beginning with a study of the decade in which Meyer first produced his films, the work proceeds to a discussion on film as a form of narration and then to describing the three basic voices controlling the stories: the “extradiegetic” narrator who assumes the role in movie-making of the voice beyond the fictive voices of all the characters in the films; the character or “homodiegetic” narrator functioning in his own story as an actor within the film; and the “intradiegetic” narrator or voice-over narrator who is not a character in the story but whose role is that of commentator. The reading of these three basic narrators within the films will illustrate how they contribute to the calculated humor and/or moral ambiguity in exploiting fundamental dichotomies of carnality and Puritanism that constitute the director’s distinctive style. The book’s appeal is primarily to scholars of film criticism, semiotics, and social history as well as censorship and first amendment rights.