The Epic Film in World Culture / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $32.12
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $32.12   
  • New (4) from $32.12   
  • Used (3) from $60.71   


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.

Read More Show Less

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).

Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)