Though The Spanish Earth (1937) is likely the only film most readers will associate with the novelist Dos Passos, the other three film projects he undertook, both produced and unproduced, provide new insight into the cinematic aesthetics that inform the methods of his ground-breaking modernist novels. Although his later fiction incorporated fewer innovative adaptations of film devices into their styles, in novels such as Most Likely to Succeed (1954) he continued to address what he saw as the failure of the film industry to fulfil its artistic and cultural potential. But innovative filmmakers in the twenty-first century have frequently cited Dos Passos’s narrative devices and preoccupations as central influences, and current films exploring the power of monopolistic corporations and consumerism and blurring distinctions among genres echo the writer’s modernist themes and methods. The diverse range of Dos Passos’s own cinematic viewing throughout his life reflects his lifelong interest in new ways of telling a story.
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