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Monumental Cleopatra: Hollywood’s epic film as historical re-imagination


Bronfen, Elisabeth (2013). Monumental Cleopatra: Hollywood’s epic film as historical re-imagination. Anglia, 131:218-235.

Abstract

Taking Nietzsche’s discussion of monumental and critical history writing as its theoretical point of departure, this article discusses the double voicing and self-reflexivity of the Hollywood epic film. Even as Scott’s Gladiator (2005), DeMille’s Cleopatra (1934) and Mankiewicz’ Cleopatra (1963) bring grand events of the ancient world to the screen, they appropriate the past for the present. The excessive visual style typical for Hollywood’s monumentalism, furthermore, explicitly foregrounds the cinematic medium, exceeding and transcending any verifiable past so as to produce an affective, visceral historical re-imagination. At issue is a re-appraisal of the past through its subsequent cinematic recyclings.

Abstract

Taking Nietzsche’s discussion of monumental and critical history writing as its theoretical point of departure, this article discusses the double voicing and self-reflexivity of the Hollywood epic film. Even as Scott’s Gladiator (2005), DeMille’s Cleopatra (1934) and Mankiewicz’ Cleopatra (1963) bring grand events of the ancient world to the screen, they appropriate the past for the present. The excessive visual style typical for Hollywood’s monumentalism, furthermore, explicitly foregrounds the cinematic medium, exceeding and transcending any verifiable past so as to produce an affective, visceral historical re-imagination. At issue is a re-appraisal of the past through its subsequent cinematic recyclings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:22 Jan 2014 12:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:23
Publisher:Niemeyer
ISSN:0340-5222
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/anglia-2013-0033

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