Philosophy, Myth and Epic Cinema: Beyond Mere Illusions (Paperback)
  • Philosophy, Myth and Epic Cinema: Beyond Mere Illusions (Paperback)
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Philosophy, Myth and Epic Cinema: Beyond Mere Illusions (Paperback)

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£29.95
Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 15/12/2014
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Philosophy, Myth and Epic Cinema looks at the power of cinema in creating ideas that inspire our culture. Sylvie Magerstadt discusses the relationship between art, illusion and reality, a theme that has been part of philosophical debate for centuries. She argues that with the increase in use of digital technologies in modern cinema, this debate has entered a new phase. She discusses the notion of illusions as a system of stories and values that inspire a culture similar to other grand narratives, such as mythology or religion. Cinema thus becomes the postmodern "mythmaking machine" par excellence in a world that finds it increasingly difficult to create unifying concepts and positive illusions that can inspire and give hope. The author draws on the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Siegfried Kracauer, and Gilles Deleuze to demonstrate the relevance of continental philosophy to a reading of mainstream Hollywood cinema. The book argues that our longing for illusion is particularly strong in times of crisis, illustrated through an exploration of the recent revival of historic and epic myths in Hollywood cinema, including films such as Troy, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and Clash of the Titans.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield International
ISBN: 9781783482511
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 313 g
Dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
An important contribution to the study of contemporary Hollywood cinema and an original gift for lovers of cinema and philosophy. -- Joram ten Brink, Professor at the University of Westminster
This work breaks new ground in its analysis of mythological epic as a (re)emergent film genre that addresses perennial human problems, often with the aid of fantasy-worlds that can be depicted more convincingly with new visual technology. Magerstadt reconsiders aesthetic theorists such as Kracauer, Deleuze, Nietzsche in light of these developments in epic film and Tolkien's arguments about the functions of fantasy -- with results that will be rewarding for students of philosophy as much as film theorists. Her innovative argument ultimately links the creative use of illusion to the redemptive power of mythic narratives. The resulting analysis of recent films in the broad mythic genre helps show, pace the dominant elitist view in film aesthetics, that popular blockbuster films can sometimes be serious art. -- John Davenport, Professor of Philosophy, Fordham Univeristy

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