Cinematic Illuminations: The Middle Ages on Film

Cinematic Illuminations: The Middle Ages on Film

by Laurie A. Finke, Martin B. Shichtman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0801893453

ISBN-13: 9780801893452

Pub. Date: 11/04/2009

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

This engaging new study analyzes cinematic treatments of the Middle Ages within a diverse range of popular and artistic films.

At a time when students have more experience with watching movies than with reading and evaluating literature and history, Cinematic Illuminations harnesses the power of popular culture to make accessible a period that often seems

Overview

This engaging new study analyzes cinematic treatments of the Middle Ages within a diverse range of popular and artistic films.

At a time when students have more experience with watching movies than with reading and evaluating literature and history, Cinematic Illuminations harnesses the power of popular culture to make accessible a period that often seems forbidding and remote. From The Seventh Seal and The Lion in Winter to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the authors examine the ways in which the twentieth century has reimagined medieval times. Such analysis brings to life for students the literature, poetry, history, and art of the Middle Ages.

Drawing from current critical approaches to both medieval and film studies, Laurie A. Finke and Martin B. Shichtman focus on two main issues of historical film. First is the inherent tension between the artifice required by film to create historical reality and the accuracy central to claims of history. Second are the ways iconography and filming conventions rewrite our understanding of the historical period portrayed in the film. In this case, the authors ask, how do contemporary representations of the Middle Ages influence cultural fantasies about our own time? Their detailed and accessible readings reveal just how strongly medieval history continues to resonate with modern audiences.

Cinematic Illuminations offers medievalists, literary and cultural theorists, and film theorists and buffs a fresh approach to understanding how popular culture interprets and makes use of the past through the medium of film.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801893452
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
11/04/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
997,212
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

Acknowledgments xi

Part 1 Theory and Methods of Cinematic Medievalism

1 Traversing the Fantasy: Screening the Middle Ages 3

2 Signs of the Medieval: A Sociological Stylistics of Film 23

3 Celluloid History: Cinematic Fidelity and Infidelity 53

Part 2 The Politics of Cinematic Medievalism

4 Mirror of Princes: Representations of Political Authority in Medieval Films 71

5 The Politics of Hagiography: Joan of Arc on the Screen 109

6 The Hagiography of Politics: Mourning in America 156

7 The Crusades: War of the Cross or God's Own Bloodbath? 195

Part 3 Cinematic Medievalism and the Anxieties of Modernity

8 Looking Awry at the Grail: Mourning Becomes Modernity 245

9 Apocalyptic Medievalism: Rape and Disease as Figures of Social Anomie 288

10 Forever Young: The Teen Middle Ages 335

Notes 369

Bibliography 409

Index 433

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