Many congrats to Dr. Andrew Elliott, Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln School of Media, on his latest book ‘The Return Of The Epic Film: Genre, Aesthetics and History in the 21st Century’ (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). Andrew’s edited a collection of essays by those in the film and history fields.
He’s done an interview with The Economist and said “it’s great having to explain research this way. It was fun!” He talked about the epic film from its heyday to the part CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) has played in the genre’s comeback. Here is an extract:
“What would you say are the key elements that make a film an “epic”, rather than, say, an adventure movie? There are as many definitions of epic as there are film critics to come up with them, so I hesitate to try to offer a complete definition of my own. However, I think what most people understand by the term today is not only a historical setting (though for me that is important), but something to do with size and expense, as well as the scope of the narrative settings and the size of the cast. Usually, because of the great crowds involved, this means that there is some sense of being caught up in the great moments of history: when a character’s actions affect an entire nation or civilisation, then it’s an epic. For example, Ben-Hur looking for his family is not epic, but taking on the might of Rome on behalf of Judah is. I think that’s why Darren Aronofsky misses the mark with his “Noah”: Noah-as-nation-founder feels epic; Noah-as-brooding-father chasing his family around a boat just doesn’t feel as momentous.” Continue reading here. See other projects on Andrew’s site and you can follow him on Twitter.
Read about Andrew on a previous blog post here.