The Epic Film in World Culture / Edition 1

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With the recent release of spectacular blockbuster films from Gladiator to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the epic has once again become a major form in contemporary cinema. This new volume in the AFI Film Readers series explores the rebirth of the epic film genre in the contemporary period, a period marked by heightened and conflicting appeals to national, ethnic, and religious belonging.The orginal essays in this volume explore the tension between the evolving global context of film production and reception and the particular provenance of the epic as an expression of national mythology and aspirations, challenging our understanding of epics produced in the present as well as our perception of epic films from the past. The contributors will explore new critical approaches to contemporary as well as older epic films, drawing on ideas from cultural studies, historiography, classics, and film studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415990172
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/27/2010
  • Series: AFI Film Readers Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Burgoyne is Professor and Chair of Film Studies at the University of St Andrews. His recent publications include Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at U.S. History, revised and expanded edition (2010), and The Hollywood Historical Film (2008).

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Table of Contents

illustrations ix

acknowledgments xi

introduction robert burgoyne 1

part 1 spectacle 17

1 "this is sparta!": the reinvention of the epic in zack snyder's 300 monica silveira cyrino 19

2 "philip never saw babylon": 360-degree vision and the historical epic in the digital era kirsten moana thompson 39

3 heroic chivalry, heroic sacrifice: "martial arthouse" as epic cinema lean hunt 63

4 bare life and sovereignty in gladiator robert burgoyne 82

part 2 center and periphery 99

5 "rise of the rest": globalizing epic cinema dina iordanova 101

6 sign of the times: the semiotics of time and event in sirk's sign of the pagan bettina bildhauer 124

7 the fall of the roman empire: on space and allegory tom conley 144

8 "an italianmade spectacle film dubbed in english": cultural distinctions, national cinema, and the critical reception of the postwar historical epic mark jancovich 161

9 red cliff: the chinese-language epic and diasporic chinese spectators ruby cheung 176

part 3 remembering the nation 205

10 passing through nightmares: cecil b. demille's the plainsman and epic discourse in new deal america phil wagner 207

11 epos indigenized: the new zealand wars films from rudall hayward to vincent ward bruce babington 235

part 4 the family epic 261

12 epic melodrama, or cine-maps of the global south bhaskar sarkar 263

13 "black blood": there will be blood anne gjelsvik 296

part 5 the body in the epic 313

14 the monstrous epic: deciphering mel gibson's the passion of the christ alison griffiths 315

15 diegetic masculinities: reading the black body in epic cinema saër maty bâ 346

contributors 375

filmography 379

index 386

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