The battles and sieges of the Classical world have been a rich source of inspiration to film makers since the beginning of cinema and the 60s and 70s saw the golden age of the 'swords and sandals' epic, with films such as Spartacus. Ridley Scott's Gladiator led a modern revival that has continued with the release of films like 300, The Eagle and Centurion and HBO's mini-series Rome. While Hollywood interpetations of Classical battle continue to spark interest in ancient warfare, to casual viewers and serious enthusiasts alike they also spark a host of questions about authenticity. What does Hollywood get right and wrong about weapons, organization, tactics and the experience of combat? Did the Spartans really fight clad only in their underpants and did the Persians have mysterious, silver-masked assassins in their armies? This original book discusses the merits of battle scenes in selected movies and along the way gives the reader an interesting overview of ancient battle. It should appeal to the serious student of ancient warfare, movie buffs and everyone in between.
This is the first comprehensive, fully-researched account of the historical and contemporary development of the traditional martial arts genre in the Chinese cinema known as wuxia (literal translation: martial chivalry) - a genre which audiences around the world became familiar with through the phenomenal 'crossover' hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). The book unveils rich layers of the wuxia tradition as it developed in the early Shanghai cinema in the late 1920s, and from the 1950s onwards, in the Hong Kong and Taiwan film industries. Key attractions of the book are analyses of:*The history of the tradition as it began in the Shanghai cinema, its rise and popularity as a serialized form in the silent cinema of the late 1920s, and its eventual prohibition by the government in 1931.*The fantastic characteristics of the genre, their relationship with folklore, myth and religion, and their similarities and differences with the kung fu sub-genre of martial arts cinema.*The protagonists and heroes of the genre, in particular the figure of the female knight-errant.*The chief personalities and masterpieces of the genre - directors such as King Hu, Chu Yuan, Zhang Che, Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, and films such as Come Drink With Me (1966), The One-Armed Swordsman (1967), A Touch of Zen (1970-71), Hero (2002), House of Flying Daggers (2004), and Curse of the Golden Flower (2006).
This is the first full-length English-language study of one of the world's most exciting and innovative cinemas. Covering a period from 1909 to 'the end of Hong Kong cinema' in the present day, this book features information about the films, the studios, the personalities and the contexts that have shaped a cinema famous for its energy and style. It includes studies of the films of King Hu, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, as well as those of John Woo and the directors of the various 'New Waves'. Stephen Teo explores this cinema from both Western and Chinese perspectives and encompasses genres ranging from melodrama to martial arts, 'kung fu', fantasy and horror movies, as well as the international art-house successes.
This is a comprehensive introduction to the ways in which the Bible has been used and represented in mainstream cinema. Adele Reinhartz considers the pervasive use of the Bible in feature films, and the medium of film as part of the Bible’s reception history. The book examines how films draw on the Old and New Testament and the figure of Jesus Christ in various direct and indirect ways to develop their plots, characters, and themes. As well as movies that set out explicitly to retell biblical stories in their ancient context, it explores the ways in which contemporary, fictional feature films make use of biblical narrative. Topics covered include: how filmmakers make use of scripture to address and reflect their own time and place. the Bible as a vehicle through which films can address social and political issues, reflect human experiences and emotions, explore existential issues such as evil and death, and express themes such as destruction and redemption. the role of the Bible as a source of ethics and morality, and how this connection is both perpetuated and undermined in a range of contemporary Hollywood films. films that create an experience of transcendence, and the ways in which the Bible figures in that experience. Reinhartz offers insightful analysis of numerous films including The Ten Commandments and The Shawshank Redemption, paying attention to visual and aural elements as well as plot, character, and dialogue. Students will find this an invaluable guide to a growing field.
World Cinema through Global Genres introduces the complex forces of global filmmaking using the popular concept of film genre. The cluster-based organization allows students to acquire a clear understanding of core issues that apply to all films around the world. Innovative pedagogical approach that uses genres to teach the more unfamiliar subject of world cinema A cluster-based organization provides a solid framework for students to acquire a sharper understanding of core issues that apply to all films around the world A “deep focus” section in each chapter gives students information and insights about important regions of filmmaking (India, China, Japan, and Latin America) that tend to be underrepresented in world cinema classes Case studies allow students to focus on important and accessible individual films that exemplify significant traditions and trends A strong foundation chapter reviews key concepts and vocabulary for understanding film as an art form, a technology, a business, an index of culture, a social barometer, and a political force. The engaging style and organization of the book make it a compelling text for both world cinema and film genre courses
Rising Sun and Divided Land provides a comprehensive, scholarly examination of the historical background, films, and careers of selected Korean and Japanese film directors. It examines eight directors: Fukasaku Kinji, Im Kwon-teak, Kawase Naomi, Miike Takashi, Lee Chang-dong, Kitano Takeshi, Park Chan-wook, and Kim Ki-duk and considers their work as reflections of personal visions and as films that engage with globalization, colonialism, nationalism, race, gender, history, and the contemporary state of Japan and South Korea. Each chapter is followed by a short analysis of a selected film, and the volume as a whole includes a cinematic overview of Japan and South Korea and a list of suggestions for further reading and viewing.
The legends of King Arthur have not only endured for centuries, but also flourished in constant retellings and new stories built around the central themes. With the coming of motion pictures, Arthur was destined to hit the screen. This edition of Cinema Arthuriana, revised in 2002, presents 20 essays on the topic of the recurring presence of the legend in film and television from 1904 to 2001. They cover such films as Excalibur (1981) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), television productions such as The Mists of Avalon (2001), and French and German films about the quest for the Holy Grail and the other adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
(Book). The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women on Screen documents the public's seemingly insatiable fascination with the warrior woman archetype in film and on television. The book examines the cautious beginnings of new roles for women in the late fifties, the rapid development of female action leads during the burgeoning second-wave feminist movement in the late sixties and seventies, and the present-day onslaught of female action characters now leaping from page to screen. The book itself is organized into chapters that group women warriors into sub-genres, e.g., classic Amazons like Xena Warrior Princess and the women of the Conan films; superheroes and their archenemies such as Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Catwoman; revenge films such as the Kill Bill movies; Sexploitation and Blaxploitation films such as Coffy and the Ilsa trilogy; Hong Kong cinema and warriors like Angela Mao, Cynthia Rothrock, and Zhang Ziyi; sci-fi warriors from Star Trek , Blade Runner , and Star Wars ; supersleuths and spies like the Avengers and Charlie's Angels; and gothic warriors such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Kate Beckinsale in Underworld and Van Helsing . In addition, the book is lavishly illustrated with over 400 photos of these popular-culture icons in action, interesting articles and sidebars about themes, trends, weapons, style, and trivia, as well as a complete filmography of more than 150 titles.
"Often dismissed as simple tales of sword and sorcery, fantasy is one of the fundamental impulses in filmmaking, a source of some of the most vivid and memorable films ever made that reaches far beyond the confines of a single genre. As well as some of the major genres, stylistic approaches and exponents of cinematic fantasy, from Georges Melies, Walt Disney, and Andrei Tarkovsky to contemporary fantasists such as Terry Gilliam and Peter Jackson. This volume focuses on fantasy's social function with case studies including The Thief of Baghdad (1924), Excalibur (1981), the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03), and Bruce Almighty (2003). and interpretations. Taking in the popular and the experimental, subversive desires and reactionary dreams, this book is an engaging introduction to one of the vital energies in cinema." -- Book cover.
The Producer thinks he's God's gift to women - whether they're human or alien. The Director is delighted to work on a wild and woolly planet, where he can really behave like Attila the Hun. Some of the local natives are trying to steal the film crew blind - while others plan all-out war. And if that weren't enough, every time Tour Guide Fergus Reith turns around, he stumbles over another of his ex wives or girlfriends! The Swords of Zinjaban is the fourth of L. Sprague de Camp's Krishna book - interplanetary romance in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Martian Tales.
Catherine Russell's highly accessible book approaches Japanese cinema as an industry closely modeled on Hollywood, focusing on the classical period - those years in which the studio system dominated all film production in Japan, from roughly 1930 to 1960. Respectful and thoroughly informed about the aesthetics and critical values of the Japanese canon, Russell is also critical of some of its ideological tendencies, and her analyses provide new insights on class and gender dynamics. Russell locates Japanese cinema within a global system of reception, and she highlights the importance of the industrial production context of these films. Including studies of landmark films by Ozu, Kurosawa and other directors, this book provides a perfect introduction to a crucial and often misunderstood area of Japanese cultural output. With a critical approach that highlights the "everydayness" of Japanese studio-era cinema, Catherine Russell demystifies the canon of great Japanese cinema, treating it with fewer auteurist and Orientalist assumptions than many other scholars and critics.
Born in Taiwan, Ang Lee is one of cinema's most versatile and daring directors. His ability to cut across cultural, national, and sexual boundaries has given him recognition in all corners of the world, the ability to work with complete artistic freedom whether inside or outside of Hollywood, and two Academy Awards for Best Director. He has won astounding critical acclaim for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which transformed the status of martial arts films across the globe, Brokeback Mountain (2005), which challenged the reception and presentation of homosexuality in mainstream cinema, and Life of Pi (2012), Lee's first use of groundbreaking 3D technology and his first foray into complex spiritual themes. In this volume, the only full-length study of Lee's work, Whitney Crothers Dilley analyzes all of his career to date: Lee's early Chinese trilogy films (including The Wedding Banquet, 1993, and Eat Drink Man Woman, 1994), period drama (Sense and Sensibility, 1995), martial arts (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000), blockbusters (Hulk, 2003), and intimate portraits of wartime psychology, from the Confederate side of the Civil War (Ride with the Devil, 1999) to Japanese-occupied Shanghai (Lust/Caution, 2007). Dilley examines Lee's favored themes such as father/son relationships and intergenerational conflict in The Ice Storm (1997) and Taking Woodstock (2009). By looking at the beginnings of Lee's career, Dilley positions the filmmaker's work within the roots of the Taiwan New Cinema movement, as well as the larger context of world cinema. Using suggestive readings of both gender and identity, this new study not only provides a valuable academic resource but also an enjoyable read that uncovers the enormous appeal of this acclaimed director.
Celebrate the centurys' finest movies in The Rough Guide to 21st Century Cinema, a lavishly illustrated homage to the world's best movies of this new era of cinema. The best 101 films: a run down of the finest films of the millenium from Hollywood blockbusters to indie gems. The hottest stars: features on the up and coming actors and actresses who have made a mark. The winning genres: best-in-class features on drama, comedy, horror, sci-fi, animation, documentary, superhero movies and all the genre-mash ups in between. The unsung heroes: the finest talent behind the camera, including directors, cinematographers, set designers and special effects specialists. The Rough Guide to 21st Century Cinema is the essential companion to movies of the moment. Now available in ePub format.
Few movie genres have highlighted the male body more effectively than the “sword-and-sandal” film, where the rippling torso and the bulging muscle are displayed for all to appreciate. Carrying his phallic sword and dressed in traditional garb calculated to bring attention to his magnificent physique, the sword-and-sandal hero is capable of toppling great nations, rescuing heroines, defeating monsters, and generally saving the day. Each of these essays examines the issues of masculinity and utility addressed in the sword-and-sandal genre. The contributors offer insights on a film form which showcases its male protagonists as heroic, violent, fleshy, and, in the end, extremely useful.
For the past decade, the Korean film industry has enjoyed a renaissance. With innovative storytelling and visceral effects, Korean films not only have been commercially viable in the domestic and regional markets but also have appealed to cinephiles everywhere on the international festival circuit. This book provides both an industrial and an aesthetic account of how the Korean film industry managed to turn an economic crisis—triggered in part by globalizing processes in the world film industry—into a fiscal and cultural boom. Jinhee Choi examines the ways in which Korean film production companies, backed by affluent corporations and venture capitalists, concocted a variety of winning production trends. Through close analyses of key films, Choi demonstrates how contemporary Korean cinema portrays issues immediate to its own Korean audiences while incorporating the transnational aesthetics of Hollywood and other national cinemas such as Hong Kong and Japan. Appendices include data on box office rankings, numbers of films produced and released, market shares, and film festival showings.