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The Return of the Epic Film by What does the new epic film now look like? How is it classified? Why has it returned? The success of Gladiator re-launched a genre which had lain dormant for 35 years. The Return of the Epic Film is one of the first books to examine this return as a coherent body of films. Studying a range of films from Gladiator to Clash of the Titans, the various essays question how we define these new epics, their aesthetics, their relationship to history, and who decides which films should be in the canon. Over the course of 11 essays by key figures in the field, the book examines in what ways, why, and how the epic film has returned to our cinemas. By embracing a range of approaches which take into account the production process, and by questioning the canon of films conventionally accepted as epics, this book will inspire Film Studies students and scholars to rethink the epic film.
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Film Worlds by Film Worlds unpacks the significance of the "worlds" that narrative films create, offering an innovative perspective on cinema as art. Drawing on aesthetics and the philosophy of art in both the continental and analytic traditions, as well as classical and contemporary film theory, it weaves together multiple strands of thought and analysis to provide new understandings of filmic representation, fictionality, expression, self-reflexivity, style, and the full range of cinema's affective and symbolic dimensions. Always more than "fictional worlds" and "storyworlds" on account of cinema's perceptual, cognitive, and affective nature, film worlds are theorized as immersive and transformative artistic realities. As such, they are capable of fostering novel ways of seeing, feeling, and understanding experience. Engaging with the writings of Jean Mitry, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Christian Metz, David Bordwell, Gilles Deleuze, and Hans-Georg Gadamer, among other thinkers, Film Worlds extends Nelson Goodman's analytic account of symbolic and artistic "worldmaking" to cinema, expands on French philosopher Mikel Dufrenne's phenomenology of aesthetic experience in relation to films and their worlds, and addresses the hermeneutic dimensions of cinematic art. It emphasizes what both celluloid and digital filmmaking and viewing share with the creation and experience of all art, while at the same time recognizing what is unique to the moving image in aesthetic terms. The resulting framework reconciles central aspects of realist and formalist/neo-formalist positions in film theory while also moving beyond them and seeks to open new avenues of exploration in film studies and the philosophy of film.
Publication Date: 2014-12-23
Film Studies by Ed Sikov builds a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader and critic. Sikov primes the eye and mind in the special techniques of film analysis. His description of mise-en-scene helps readers grasp the significance of montage, which in turn reveals the importance of a director's use of camera movement. He treats a number of fundamental factors in filmmaking, including editing, composition, lighting, the use of color and sound, and narrative. Film Studies works with any screening list and can be used within courses on film history, film theory, or popular culture. Straightforward explanations of core critical concepts, practical advice, and suggested assignments on particular technical, visual, and aesthetic aspects further anchor the reader's understanding of the formal language and anatomy of film.
Publication Date: 2009-12-01