The Epic in Film: From Myth to Blockbuster

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 - Performing Arts - 235 pages
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Constantine Santas encourages us to wonder why film critics have so routinely dismissed the epic film. In The Epic in Film, he argues that 'blockbuster' and 'artistic' are not mutually exclusive terms, and, perhaps more importantly, epic film is an inherently profound genre in its ability to tap into a nation's, and sometimes humanity's, dreams and fears. Why do we see dozens and dozens of films based on the King Arthur legend? Why would a presidential-hopeful borrow a phrase, 'Read my lips, ' from Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry? Why do war epics proliferate in times of war or national crisis? Why are epics as a whole the most popular movie genre? Start with an individual quest of some kind undertaken by an attractive hero or heroine, add the weight of a nation, and perhaps humanity, into that character's struggle, sprinkle some awe-inspiring special effects and a general sense of largesse, and don't forget the happy ending; and there you have a recipe for a film that can contain the deepest emotions_fear, hope, insecurity, pride_of a nation, and, sometimes, a world. Whether you love Gone with the Wind and hate Troy; find Akira Kurosawa's films brilliant; or marvel over the depth of the Matrix trilogy, film buffs will want to read this first book-length treatment of the epic, a wildly popular, infinitely fascinating, and critically underappreciated genre
  

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Contents

The Classic Epic Form
19
The Mythological Epic
49
The Religious Epic
69
The Historical Epic
83
The WomenCentered Epic
107
6 The Comic Epic
123
The AntiEpic
153
The Information Age Epic
175
The International and Art House Epics
201
Significant DVD Editions
213
Selected Bibliography
217
Index
221
About the Author
231
Copyright

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Page 9 - One aspect of this movement was a growing dissatisfaction with the empty formalism of much educational content in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century; with stultifying drill and catechism-like methods of teaching; with the curriculum's lack of relatedness to the everyday experience of the child, his physical world, and social environment; and with pupils' rote verbalization and memorization of ideas for which they had no adequate referents in experience.
Page 2 - Collective and communal by nature, myths bind a tribe or a nation together in that people's common psychological and spiritual activities.
Page 3 - Pearl, 2003; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003; Ned Kelly, 2003.

About the author (2008)

Constantine Santas is professor emeritus and former chair in the Department of English at Flagler College, Florida. He is the author of Responding to Film and has translated several works from Greek to English.

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