The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture
Edited by Tom Brown, Belen Vidal
To Be Published December 1st 2013 by Routledge – 244 pages
Series: AFI Film Readers
The biographical film or "biopic" is a staple of film production in all major international film industries and yet, within film studies, its generic, aesthetic, and cultural significance has remained underexplored. The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture fills this gap, reconceptualizing the biopic with a particular eye toward the "life" of the genre internationally. New methodologies and new theoretical approaches combine with specially commissioned chapters on biographical film production in, amongst other countries, India, Italy, Korea, France, Great Britain, and the US, in order to present a selective, but well-rounded portrait of the biopic's place in transnational popular culture. From Marie-Antoinette to The Social Network, the pieces in this volume critically examine the place of the biopic within ongoing debates about how cinema can and should represent history and "real lives." Pushing the stereotypical boundaries of the genre, contributors reveal that while the biopic remains firmly grounded in the conventional spatio-temporal markers of the historical film, it also easily accommodates experimental variation and self-reflexive narrative strategies.
Introduction: Rethinking the Biopic Tom Brown and Belen Vidal I. Contexts 1. The Contemporary French Biopic in National and International Contexts Raphaelle Moine 2. Biographical History: The South Korean Historical Biopic and the Culture Content Industry Yun Mi Hwang 3. The Hindi Film Biopic and the New Indian Cinema RachelDwyer 4. Performing Lives: Performance, Embodiment and Intertextuality in the Contemporary Biopic Lucy Fife Donaldson 5. Conduit for Sale: The Actor in Contemporary Hollywood's Historical Fictions Michael Meneghetti II. Cycles 6. Vision, Agency, and Emancipation: Oration in Post-Classical Slavery Biopics Tom Brown 7. Facebooking the Present: The Biopic and Cultural Instantaneity Rebecca A. Sheehan 8. Sheen/Morgan: The Compressed Frame of Impersonation Belen Vidal 9. Gender, Genius, and Abjection in Artists' Biopics Julie F. Codell 10. The Musical Biopic as Thanatography: The Death Drive in Sid and Nancy and I'm Not There Jesse Schlotterbeck III. Icons 11. Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel: Sex, Couture, and Politics Ginette Vincendeau 12. Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette: The Auteur Makes History Pam Cook 13. Cinematic Boundaries: Alexander Sokurov's The Sun as Liminal Biopic Alastair Phillips 14. Theatricality, the Biopic, and Spectatorship in the Age of Celebrity Marcia Landy 15. Gainsbourg: Pantomime, Puppetry, and Masquerade in the Musical Biopic Robert Burgoyne
Tom Brown is Lecturer in the Department of Film Studies at King's College London. He is author of Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema and the editor (with James Walters) of Film Moments: Criticism, History, Theory and (with James Bennett) of Film and Television after DVD.
Belén Vidal is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film Studies at King's College London. She is the author of Figuring the Past: Period Film and the Mannerist Aesthetic and The Heritage Film: Nation, Genre, and Representation. She has also co-edited Cinema at the Periphery.