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Preposterous Revelations: Visions of Apocalypse and Martyrdom in Hollywood Cinema 1980-2000

Published: Jan 2012
£50.00
This is an ambitious attempt to produce an interdisciplinary reading of a set of relatively recent Hollywood films that appear to make references to the biblical genre of apocalyptic and associated ideas of Christian martyrdom and eschatology: End of Days , Armageddon , Alien3 , The Rapture , The Seventh Sign . It is a 'preposterous' reading (Mieke Bal's term), reversing a common-sense impulse to view what comes first chronologically (the biblical text) as an unproblematic template rather than as itself the consequence of subsequent, contextualized readings. The cinematic reworkings Copier describes shift our understanding of both texts (biblical and cinematic) and genre. Within this process, the apocalyptic subject —the martyr —adopts variable poses that reflect the effects of this disorienting reversal: across the five films analysed, the martyr moves from identifiably Christian motivations to the representation of patriotic American masculinity, or even to something that, in a contrary sense, powerfully challenges the conventional masculinity of any martyrdom that counts as significant. To achieve a genuine interdisciplinarity, Copier not only avoids reading each film as if it were simply the visual counterpart to a (biblical) narrative, but also analyses in the case of each film what the 'shot list' of a key sequence reveals about the semiotics at work within its construction. Unlike most encounters between religion and film, her film analysis goes far beyond the identification of themes and motifs. Here the author engages with the larger field of film studies, and especially with film as a visual medium.
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Preposterous Revelations: Visions of Apocalypse and Martyrdom in Hollywood Cinema 1980-2000

£50.00
This is an ambitious attempt to produce an interdisciplinary reading of a set of relatively recent Hollywood films that appear to make references to the biblical genre of apocalyptic and associated ideas of Christian martyrdom and eschatology: End of Days , Armageddon , Alien3 , The Rapture , The Seventh Sign . It is a 'preposterous' reading (Mieke Bal's term), reversing a common-sense impulse to view what comes first chronologically (the biblical text) as an unproblematic template rather than as itself the consequence of subsequent, contextualized readings. The cinematic reworkings Copier describes shift our understanding of both texts (biblical and cinematic) and genre. Within this process, the apocalyptic subject —the martyr —adopts variable poses that reflect the effects of this disorienting reversal: across the five films analysed, the martyr moves from identifiably Christian motivations to the representation of patriotic American masculinity, or even to something that, in a contrary sense, powerfully challenges the conventional masculinity of any martyrdom that counts as significant. To achieve a genuine interdisciplinarity, Copier not only avoids reading each film as if it were simply the visual counterpart to a (biblical) narrative, but also analyses in the case of each film what the 'shot list' of a key sequence reveals about the semiotics at work within its construction. Unlike most encounters between religion and film, her film analysis goes far beyond the identification of themes and motifs. Here the author engages with the larger field of film studies, and especially with film as a visual medium.
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Recent Releases: The Bible in Contemporary Cinema

Published: Aug 2008
£35.00
The relationship between theology and film has always been a complicated one. When film was invented at the end of the nineteenth century, it quickly gained its place in popular culture, far from the orthodoxies of the scholarly world and of the Church. For the better part of the twentieth century popular cinema was considered off limits for serious studies of Bible and culture. Recently, however, there has been a growing understanding of how the Bible is being used in popular culture —not as a historical document or as an authoritative canon, but as part of the cultural intertext. Cinema is a vivid example of the role and impact of the Bible in contemporary society. In this well-theorized collection of essays the issue is treated from several angles. Using the methodology of theology, the question of the alleged escapism of popular cinema is explored. Using the methodology of media studies, the impact of the media on religious communication is analysed. And, using the methodology of religious studies, the influence of the cinema in the creation of new religions, religious behaviour and religious institutions is investigated. In addition, the book offers fruitful analyses of the cinematic use of biblical themes such as Eden, salvation, Mary Magdalene and Jesus —as well as of the cinematic application of ethical themes such as truth-telling, personal growth, suffering, the accomplishment of good and the creating of meaning for human beings.
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Recent Releases: The Bible in Contemporary Cinema

£35.00
The relationship between theology and film has always been a complicated one. When film was invented at the end of the nineteenth century, it quickly gained its place in popular culture, far from the orthodoxies of the scholarly world and of the Church. For the better part of the twentieth century popular cinema was considered off limits for serious studies of Bible and culture. Recently, however, there has been a growing understanding of how the Bible is being used in popular culture —not as a historical document or as an authoritative canon, but as part of the cultural intertext. Cinema is a vivid example of the role and impact of the Bible in contemporary society. In this well-theorized collection of essays the issue is treated from several angles. Using the methodology of theology, the question of the alleged escapism of popular cinema is explored. Using the methodology of media studies, the impact of the media on religious communication is analysed. And, using the methodology of religious studies, the influence of the cinema in the creation of new religions, religious behaviour and religious institutions is investigated. In addition, the book offers fruitful analyses of the cinematic use of biblical themes such as Eden, salvation, Mary Magdalene and Jesus —as well as of the cinematic application of ethical themes such as truth-telling, personal growth, suffering, the accomplishment of good and the creating of meaning for human beings.
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