Nothing That Is: The Blair Witch Controversiesby Sarah Lynn Higley
"Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s The Blair Witch Project seemingly appeared from nowhere to become one of 1999’s highest grossing films. While generating revenue as a low budget movie backed by a media blitz, The Blair Witch Project also generated controversy and made a mockery of the Hollywood industry, billing itself as ""real"" footage of a supernatural event. Critics were divided over some of the most basic of questions: whether the film was an artistic success or the product of its hype and whether it challenged Hollywood conventions or succumbed to them in the end.
Nothing That Is: The Blair Witch Controversies examines these and other debates, and raises some of its own about American taste for horror, hoax, independent films, and the direction of cinema in the twenty-first century. The book explores the modest origins and rapid demise of this independent film- while also analyzing the sensational results of its broad media discourses—a Web site developing the back story of The Blair Witch Project was one of the most-accessed sites on the entire Internet at the time of the movie's release.
These essays, from many diverse perspectives, also look at The Blair Witch Project’s manipulation of cinematic codes, its view on technology and the occult, its film progenitors, and even its effects on the film’s setting of Burkittsville, Maryland. Nothing That Is will interest both film scholars and fans of this unexpected blockbuster that emerged from, if not ""nothing,"" a complex brew of culture, technology, and ingenuity.
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