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The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture



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This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 12/7/2013.

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The biographical film or '¨‹biopic'¨" is a popular genre and a staple of film production in all major film industries around the world. However, its aesthetic and cultural significance has remained underexplored. The Biopic in Contemporary Film Cultureaddresses this gap in film scholarship by looking at the '¨‹life'¨" of the biopic internationally. New methodologies combine in specially commissioned chapters on biographical film production around the world '¨ ; cycles in India, South Korea, France, Britain and the US are examined, as well as case-studies including Marie Antoinette(2006), The Queen(2006), I'¨"m not There(2007), Il Divo(2008), The Social Network(2010) and Gainsbourg(2010). Engaging with the momentum gathered by the biopic as a global genre, this collection presents a selective but rounded picture of ongoing debates about how cinema can and should represent history and "real lives." The biopic'¨"s foundational conventions '¨ ; such as the relation between history and individual agency (the "great man" vision of history), the tension between public discourse and private imagination, or the impact of gender on representation '¨ ; are examined in the light of key industrial and institutional developments. Further, chapters foreground issues of style, temporality and performance that characterise the modern biopic. Through its focus on the biopic'¨"s place within mainstream filmmaking traditions as well as the development of innovative and '¨‹alternative'¨" approaches to screen biography since the 1990s, this collection proposes a fresh new look at an enduring genre and argues for its importance in the context of film studies and intersecting frameworks of history and biography.

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