Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies
Film theory no longer gets top billing or plays a starring role in film studies today, as critics proclaim that theory is dead and we are living in a post-theory moment. While theory may be out of the limelight, it remains an essential key to understanding the full complexity of cinema, one that should not be so easily discounted or discarded.
In this volume, contributors explore recent popular movies through the lens of film theory, beginning with industrial-economic analysis before moving into a predominately aesthetic and interpretive framework. The Hollywood films discussed cover a wide range from 300 to Fifty First Dates, from Brokeback Mountain to Lord of the Rings, from Spider-Man 3 to Fahrenheit 9/11, from Saw to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and much more. Individual essays consider such topics as the rules that govern new blockbuster franchises, the ‘posthumanist realism’ of digital cinema, video game adaptations, increasingly restricted stylistic norms, the spatial stories of social networks like YouTube, the mainstreaming of queer culture, and the cognitive paradox behind enjoyable viewing of traumatic events onscreen.
With its cast of international film scholars, Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies demonstrates the remarkable contributions theory can offer to film studies and moviegoers alike.
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That volume was well received and helped fuel the growing interest in media
industry studies, which gauges the complex interplay between media production
(and media products) and the myriad forces that both shape and, in rare cases,
digitization—a veritable triumvirate of macro-industrial forces whose effects seem
to intensify with each passing year. It remains to be seen whether the early 2000s
qualify as a distinct historical period—“millennial Hollywood,” if you will —but ...
The transformative effects of these and other industry forces have grown steadily
more acute, reaching an apparent culmination in 2007—or so it seems from the
vantage point of this writing in mid 2008. Here again, only time and a broader ...
The most salient development in contemporary Hollywood has been the
formation of the so-called Big Six media conglomerates and their hegemony over
the American film (and TV) industry (Epstein; Schatz, “Conglomerate Hollywood”)
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