BIO
CINDY SHERMAN'S OFFICE KILLER
GOING VIRAL
REVIEWS
BLOG
FACEBOOK
CONTACT



 

 

 

REVIEWS FOR GOING VIRAL: ZOMBIES, VIRUSES, AND THE END OF THE WORLD


Schweitzer sets up shop at the intersection of culture, science and politics and demonstrates—with deep research and penetrating insight—that there are things far more menacing than viral threats.
— JONATHAN ALLEN, COAUTHOR OF SHATTERED: INSIDE HILLARY CLINTON’S DOOMED CAMPAIGN

Going Viral is an incisive and expertly-informed exploration of the anxieties that drive contemporary America; the fears of contagion that shape our public discourse, movie narratives and government policy. Drawing with authority on both medical data and media theory, Schweitzer impressively tracks these concerns across recent history, tracing the dynamic between the diseased human body and the body politic, and examining key varieties of viral threat – from zombie plagues to terrorist cells – across fact, fiction, and the porous borders between them. At a time when fears of cultural infection are used to justify the tightening of borders, the infringement of civil liberties and the building of walls, Going Viral is a vital guide to the politics of contamination and protection.
— WILL BROOKER, AUTHOR OF HUNTING THE DARK KNIGHT

A highly infectious read. Schweitzer’s thought-provoking and meticulously researched account clearly outlines the relationship between the reality of viral threats and the Hollywood dramatization of the "outbreak narrative."
— TERRY MATALAS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, 12 MONKEYS

Dahlia Schweitzer is one of the world’s leading analysts of popular culture, in every conceivable manifestation. She is also one of our best writers: engaging, concise, yet alluring in the best sense. Going Viral takes on one of the questions of our time: the American obsession with sickness as a way of dealing with difference. Bravo!
— TOBY MILLER, AUTHOR OF BLOW UP THE HUMANITIES

Going Viral contextualizes contemporary outbreak narratives in rich detail. Schweitzer’s attention to context sets this work apart from others on the subject and does so in an utterly approachable way.
— STACY TAKACS, AUTHOR OF TERRORISM TV: POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT IN POST-9/11 AMERICA

 

 

REVIEWS FOR CINDY SHERMAN'S OFFICE KILLER: ANOTHER KIND OF MONSTER


Smart, sassy, and scholarly all at once, this is a wonderful book.
— TOBY MILLER, AUTHOR OF BLOW UP THE HUMANITIES AND GREENING THE MEDIA

Schweitzer succeeds in doing what she set out to do—valorizing Office Killer—by dissecting it in such a vivid and compelling way that it can be seen in a new light. Even though I appeared in the film, I dismissed it, along with everyone else. But I now see its importance—and its connections to films like Mildred Pierce, which I just so happen to love. Reading the book, I felt like I was in my very own seminar with Professor Schweitzer, emerging from the experience with knowledge of Cindy Sherman, mass media, gender identity, and more.
— FLORINA RODOV, ACTRESS, OFFICE KILLER

Dahlia Schweitzer’s Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer: Another Kind of Monster is not just a study of this critically-, commercially-, and perhaps even criminally-overlooked film: it is an immersion in the world of Office Killer. Schweitzer’s deft, witty and empathetic prose takes the reader from the corporate space of Constant Consumer magazine, through the confining domestic structures of the film’s protagonist, Dorine, and down to the basement where her victims find a new home. As our tour guide through this female-centred environment, Schweitzer encourages our sympathy in strange, surprising places, pointing out telling details, cluing us into the cultural context, and analysing the uneasy atmosphere.

If Office Killer is the movie of Sherman’s famous photographs, this is another kind of text that deserves to be considered alongside them: an authentic and compelling love letter from Schweitzer to Sherman.
— WILL BROOKER, AUTHOR OF HUNTING THE DARK KNIGHT

Dahlia Schweitzer’s book takes Office Killer’s strangeness and relative obscurity and painstakingly unpacks them, in the process escorting her readers on a tour that takes in Sherman’s oeuvre as one of the most celebrated photographers of our times, the matrix of cinema/Hollywood/genre, and the industrial, social and political landscape of late 1990s America. What comes through is Schweitzer’s desire both to make sense herself of her own responses to the film as someone clearly invested in Sherman’s work (she opens with a wonderfully disarming story of writing to Sherman to ask for advice on ‘what to do with my life’) and to elucidate the larger ‘puzzle’ that it represents: what is at stake in the disquieting experience Office Killer provokes and the fact of its critical and commercial failure?

In this sense, then, and to take the tour analogy a little further, Schweitzer constitutes an astute but always accessible guide through the film itself and the multiple relevant critical contexts she points to incisively as informing it. At a micro-level the close reading provided by her textual analysis meticulously works through key images and sequences, reflecting on how the film’s often flat sense of palette and cinematography unnerve. But at the same time she is able to weave in and explore the film’s connection with such diverse references and events as Tess McGill in Mike Nichols’ Working Girl (1988), the AIDS ‘crisis’, and the corporate economy of 1990s America.

Whether one is an older, intrigued reader who lived through all of this, or a curious young undergraduate to whom these are distant cultural moments, Schweitzer joins the dots between them in unfailingly persuasive and lucid fashion to underline Office Killer’s heretofore undocumented status: as an ‘important film’ which serves both as a ‘cultural archive’ and a central locus point in our understanding of Sherman’s work.
— DEBORAH JERMYN, AUTHOR FEMALE CELEBRITY AND AGEING: BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT