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books and movies by peter hanson


the cinema of generation x

"Immensely readable and comprehensive." Film & History

When Steven Soderbergh exploded onto movie screens with sex, lies, and videotape in 1989, it represented more than the arrival of an important new director—it heralded the arrival of an entire generation of important new directors. Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Kevin Smith (Dogma), David Fincher (Fight Club), M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense), Ben Stiller (Reality Bites), Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor), and dozens of others are all members of Generation X, the much talked about but much misunderstood successors to baby boomers. This book is a critical study of the films directed by Gen Xers and how those directors have been influenced by their generational identity. While Generation X as a whole sometimes seems to lack direction, its filmmakers have devoted their careers to making powerful statements about contemporary society and their generation's role in it.

227 pages / softcover / 2002


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dalton trumbo, hollywood rebel

Finalist, Theatre Library Association Award

As a screenwriter, novelist, and political activist, Dalton Trumbo stands among the key American literary figures of the 20th century—he wrote the classic antiwar novel Johnny Got His Gun, and his credits for Spartacus and Exodus broke the anticommunist blacklist that infected the movie industry for more than a decade. By defining connections between Trumbo's most highly acclaimed films and his important but lesser-known movies, the author identifies how for nearly four decades Trumbo used the archetype of the rebel hero to inject social consciousness into mainstream films. This critical survey—the first book-length work on Trumbo's screenwriting career—examines the scores of films on which Trumbo worked and explores the techniques that made him, at the time he was blacklisted in 1947, Hollywood's highest-paid writer. An extensive filmography is included.

255 pages / softcover / 2007
(originally published in 2001)

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every pixel tells a story

In this documentary about low-budget filmmaking in upstate New York, you'll learn how affordable digital-video technology has changed the lives of the artists behind action flicks, monster movies, nonfiction stories, and comedies. Every Pixel Tells A Story introduces viewers to a wide range of independent filmmakers, all of whom prove that with a little ingenuity, access to the right technology, and plenty of tenacity, filmmakers can still practice their craft 3,000 miles from Hollywood. In fact, Every Pixel Tells A Story is an example of what can be accomplished on digital video. Producer-director Peter Hanson shot and edited the movie in a matter of weeks using a camcorder, a computer editing system, and a $30 microphone from Radio Shack, all while spending a fraction of what the documentary would have cost had it been shot on film.

Written, produced, and directed by Peter Hanson

81 minutes / color / DV / 2002


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the last round

The perfect game for men with nothing to lose.

A cryptic message stenciled on graffiti-covered walls brings six strangers together at a desolate location to play Russian roulette. The rules are simple... One spin, six pulls. William B. Davis (the "Cigarette-Smoking Man" on The X-Files) portrays the catalyst for this game of desperate souls. Filmmakers Joe and Dan Masucci interweave six distinct stories of men driven to put their lives on the line. Adapted from the popular online short of the same name, The Last Round is the feature-length telling of the story that Film Threat calls "a taut drama."

A Masucci Brothers flick cowritten by Peter Hanson

90 minutes / color / DVCAM / 2005


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the mourning queen (online exclusive)

A story of beauty and brutality.

It's a time of war in a country since lost to history. Roland, a simple man from the farmlands who lets his fearsome axe speak for him, rises to battlefield glory and earns a knight's title. During his knighting ceremony, Roland glimpses the ethereal beauty of his land's beloved queen, Eleanor. The sight of her stirs something in Roland that he's too naïve to understand. But when an assassin's arrow conscribes Eleanor to a ritual of mourning until vengeance is exacted, Roland embarks on a harrowing odyssey to liberate the mourning queen from her veil. As the ferocious knight faces one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after another, Eleanor gleans that her champion is motivated by something more powerful than loyalty to the crown. The Mourning Queen is a story of unexpressed passion, irresistible longing, and brutal violence.


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He swept his way to the top.

The setting is a small community theater, and the scene is an audition for a key role in the earnest drama The Richest Man in Town. Much to his chagrin, Broadway veteran Quincy (John Romeo) has to read his leading role while inexperienced actors audition to play opposite him. Quincy's testy behavior exasperates his director (David Bunce), infuriates his would-be costars (Sandra Bauchiero and April Marie), and fascinates a stagehand (Michael F. Hayes) who watches from the wings. When Quincy abruptly leaves the audition, it creates an unexpected opportunity for a quiet bystander to become part of the show.

Written, produced, and directed by Peter Hanson

14 minutes / color / DVCAM / 2006 / 10-minute alternate cut released 2009

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about the movie


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