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The battle for the blockbuster: discourses of spectacle and excess
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The battle for the blockbuster: discourses of spectacle and excess

Author: Erlend Lavik
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Edition/Format: Article Article : EN
Publication:New Review of Film and Television Studies, 6, no. 2 (2008): 169-187
Database:ArticleFirst
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Erlend Lavik
ISSN:1740-0309
Language Note: EN
Unique Identifier: 357760548
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schema:description"Spectacle has become something of a buzzword within a number of academic disciplines, including film studies. Denoting a wealth of phenomena whose common features are hard to make out, it is frequently used in confusing and contradictory ways. Excess, meanwhile, is a term that frequently overlaps with spectacle. Indeed, the two terms are frequently used synonymously, but to the extent that there is a difference, spectacle has tended to entail the abandonment of viewers' critical faculties in the face of awe-inspiring visuals, while excess has tended to denote the kind of distanced appreciation more typical of the finer arts. This paper traces the historical development of these terms, and analyses the ways in which they have been put to use in discussions of contemporary blockbuster cinema. I argue that spectacle and excess frequently enter into very different cultural discourses, and demonstrate how academics have employed them in a kind of battle over the cultural standing of the blockbuster."
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