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Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie / Edition 1

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Overview

For more than 30 years, the action movie has been the film genre that most represents Hollywood to the world, as action films find blockbuster success at box offices internationally. Still, the genre seldom receives the critical attention it deserves. Studying its trends, key components, and visual excesses, this new and expanded edition of Action Speaks Louder traces the genre's evolution to reveal how it has come to assume its place of prominence in American culture. With scores of in-depth case studies—including films such as Dirty Harry, RoboCop, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Armageddon, Spider-Man, War of the Worlds, and The Incredibles—author Eric Lichtenfeld draws on film analysis, production histories, critical responses, studio marketing materials, and original filmmaker interviews. Up-to-date and comprehensive, Action Speaks Louder is the definitive study of the movies’ most kinetic form of fun.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A]n intelligent, coherent and frequently illuminating study of a genre that has become firmly entrenched in pop culture.”—Geoffrey Berkshire, Variety

“[A]n intelligent, coherent and frequently illuminating study of a genre that has become firmly entrenched in pop culture…The book encourages the idea that, although some action films may be ‘mindless,’ our reaction to them doesn't have to be.”—Geoffrey Berkshire, Variety

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819568014
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2007
  • Series: Wesleyan Film
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

ERIC LICHTENFELD has worked in many areas of the film industry, and his articles have appeared in film publications including The Scenographer, Film Score Monthly, and Trace, the journal of the Art Directors Guild. He has contributed features and commentaries to special edition DVD releases of such films as Predator, Die Hard, and Speed, and has taught film studies at Loyola Marymount University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Slotkin
Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Little Violence Never Hurt Anyone
Prelude: 1971
“The Law’s Crazy”: The Vigilante and Other Myths
Automatons: Rise of the Killing Machines
Enter the Fists: The Body as the Weapon
Into the Jungle, Out of the Wasteland: Action in the Wild
Blowing Up All Those Familiar Places: Terror and the Confined Arena
Unmitigated Disasters: Old Formulas and the New Spectacle
Tomorrow’s Heroes Today: Action Meets the Fantastic
Excelsior!: March of the Superheroes
Conclusion: Sifting Through the Rubble
Notes
Index

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