Representations of Antiquity in Film: From Griffith to Grindhouse

Representations of Antiquity in Film offers an introduction to how the ancient world is represented in film and especially Hollywood cinema. McGeough considers the potential that movies have for helping us think about antiquity and their relationship to more traditional academic historical work. The book shows how contemporary issues are drawn out through the cinematic presentations of the past and how modern values are naturalized through their presentation in ancient settings. Through discussion of films from the silent film era to the present, McGeough traces the formative role that films of various genres have had in shaping our perceptions of Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Holy Land, Greece, Rome, barbarian Europe, and the Maya. Not ignoring the traditional historical epic film, the book also presents detailed analyses of comedies, action films, art house fare, exploitation flicks and any type of movie in which audiences experience depictions of the past. By considering cinematic narrative as well as various elements of film design, McGeough presents a comprehensive overview of the topic designed for students and scholars with varying backgrounds in media studies, archaeology, religious studies, and ancient history.

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