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Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema

The use of alternate realities in cinema has been brought to new heights by such recent films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Donnie Darko. Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema is the first book to analyze these imaginary realms, tracing their construction and development across periods, genres, and history.
Through an analysis of such landmark films as The Wizard of Oz, Vanilla Sky, and Back to the Future, James Walters reveals how unconventional worlds are crucial to each film’s dramatic agenda and narrative structure. This groundbreaking volume unifies decades of divergent work by film scholars and points the way towards a new theoretical framework for understanding fantasy in the context of popular film. Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema will be an essential resource for film studies scholars and movie buffs alike.
 
“The book is very readable . . . an important area of film study. The most original aspects of the book are the close readings of the films discussed and how these readings cohere across a single thesis.”—Pat Brereton, Dublin City University, author of Hollywood Utopia
 

224 pages | 62 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2008

Film Studies


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Reviews

“The book is very readable . . . an important area of film study. The most original aspects of the book are the close readings of the films discussed and how these readings cohere across a single thesis.”

Pat Brereton, Dublin City University, author of Hollywood Utopia

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
 
Chapter One: Establishing Contexts
 
Part One: Imagined Worlds
 
Chapter Two: Imagined Worlds
 
Chapter Three: Making it Home: The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) & The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang, 1944)
 
Chapter Four: Return to Innocence: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michael Gondry, 2004)
 
Part Two: Potential Worlds
 
Chapter Five: Potential Worlds
 
Chapter Six: Reclaiming the Real: It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
 
Chapter Seven: The Search for Tomorrow: Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
 
Part Three: Other Worlds
 
Chapter Eight: Other Worlds
 
Chapter Nine: Life Beyond Reason: Brigadoon (Vincente Minnelli, 1954)
 
Chapter Ten: Rehearsal Space: Pleasantville (Gary Ross, 1998)
 
Conclusion
Filmography
Bibliography
Index

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