Spectacular Narratives: Hollywood in the Age of the Blockbuster (Paperback)
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Short Description for Spectacular Narratives This text focuses on the dynamic relationship between narrative and spectacle in Hollywood cinema. It shows how narrative - far from being eclipsed by special effects - remains integral to the cinematic "blockbuster", citing the continuing relevance of the mythic American frontier.
- Published: 03 February 2001
- Format: Paperback 223 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781860645730 ISBN 10: 1860645739
- Sales rank: 898,616
Full description for Spectacular Narratives
What is the appeal of the contemporary Hollywood blockbuster? The sheer scale and impact of big special effects sequences is part of the attraction of films such as Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Titanic or Mission Impossible. But they also offer other appeals, including the dynamics of narrative. Spectacular Narratives is the first serious book-length treatment of the contemporary blockbuster, including the digital-effects-based spectacle, space fictions, the action film, war spectaculars, the recent wave of disaster movies and films evoking new technologies such as virtual reality. Consideration is also given to the impact of profitable spin-offs such as film-related theme park rides and computer games. Geoff King argues against the view that an emphasis on the spectacular has led to an erosion of the importance of narrative in Hollywood. Instead, he suggests, even the most spectacular and effects-led contemporary blockbuster offers a blend of appeals, mixing elements of spectacle and narrative. Narrative is explored at the levels of both linear story-telling and underlying thematic patterns, a particular emphasis being placed on the persistence of elements of the myth/ideology of the American frontier. Close textual analysis is combined with consideration of the industrial and social contexts of contemporary Hollywood in a readable, original and rewarding book on the cinema that dominates markets across the globe.