Action and Adventure Cinema / Edition 1

Action and Adventure Cinema / Edition 1

by Yvonne Tasker
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis


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Action and Adventure Cinema / Edition 1

Action has established itself as one of the leading genres of contemporary Hollywood cinema, generating extensive critical debate in the process. This exciting collection addresses action and adventure from the silent era to the present day, exploring diverse questions of aesthetics, industry and ideology. Contributors consider how action might best be defined, how it has developed historically, and how it works formally. The critical reception and standing of action and adventure cinema is considered in relation to questions of national culture, violence, and the 'art' of cinema. Themes explored include genre and definitions; early action, sensation and melodrama; authorship; national and transnational action-adventure traditions; action aesthetics; spectacle and narrative; stars and bodies; class; gender, and race and ethnicity. Individual chapters discuss action cinema from early melodrama and serials such as The Hazards of Helen through classic films of the 1960s including Bullitt, The Wild Bunch and The Dirty Dozen up to contemporary blockbusters Die Hard, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The book considers the action genre outside Hollywood, in Greece, Italy and Japan, and also views action and adventure cinema through the work of individual directors including D.W. Griffith, Akira Kurosawa, Sam Peckinpah and Kathryn Bigelow.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900415235074
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/01/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsviii
Notes on contributorsix
Introduction: Action and Adventure Cinema1
Part IHistory, criticism and style15
1'Trauma Thrills': Notes on Early Action Cinema17
2The 'Culture War' of Sensational Melodrama, 1910-1431
3'Child of Commerce! Bastard of Art!': Early Film Melodrama52
4Action-Adventure as Hollywood Genre71
5Dwight Macdonald and the Historical Epic84
Part IITheorising action aesthetics101
6'Get Ready for Rush Hour': The Chronotope in Action103
7The Collapse of Reality and Illusion in The Matrix119
8Guns and Gas: Investigating the 1970s Car Chase Film130
9Saving Private Ryan's 'Special Affect'153
Part IIIGender, stars, bodies167
10Ready for Action: G.I. Jane, Demi Moore's Body and the Female Combat Movie169
11Mas Macha: The New Latina Action Hero186
12Beauty in Motion: Gender, Spectacle and Action Babe Cinema201
13Breakdown: White Masculinity, Class, and Us Action-Adventure Films219
14Maximus Melodramaticus: Masculinity, Masochism and White Male Paranoia in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema235
15The Family in Action252
Part IVNation, ethnicity and stardom267
16The Hong Kong/Hollywood Connection: Stardom and Spectacle in Transnational Action Cinema269
17Europeans in Action!284
18Greek War Film as Melodrama: Women, Female Stars, and the Nation as Victim297
19Spaghetti Western, Genre Criticism and National Cinema: Re-Defining the Frame of Reference309
Part VAction, authorship and industry329
20Genre and Violence in the Work of Kurosawa and Peckinpah331
21The Dirty Dozen: The Contradictory Nature of Screen Violence345
22'It's Aimed at Kids - the Kid in Everybody': George Lucas, Star Wars and Children's Entertainment358
23Man's Favourite Sport?: The Action Films of Kathryn Bigelow371
24'They Call Me "Action Woman"': The Marketing of Mimi Leder as a New Concept in the High Concept 'Action' Film385

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