The Epic Film in World Culture / Edition 1

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Overview

From Ridley Scott's Gladiator to John Woo's Red Cliff, from Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, the epic has reemerged as a major form in contemporary cinema. The Epic Film in World Culture explores new critical approaches to contemporary as well as older epic films, drawing on ideas from cultural studies, historiography, classics, and film studies. Many of the fifteen original essays in the volume are animated by the central paradox of the epic genre, the contradiction between the traditional messages embedded within epic form-the birth of a nation, the emergence of a people, the fulfillment of a heroic destiny-and the long history of the epic film as an international, global narrative apparatus not bound by nation or ethnicity. Truly international in scope, the contributors focus on issues including spectacle, imagined community, national identity, family melodrama, and masculinity that are central to epics from Hong Kong to Hollywood and beyond.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415990189
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/27/2010
  • Series: AFI Film Readers Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (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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