Upcoming Talk: "Nothing Succeeds like Excess"
When: Thursday, February 11th 2021 @ 6:00pm - 7:15pm EST
"Nothing Succeeds like Excess": Blockbusters and the Pandemic Politics of Entertainment
by: Charles Acland
Distinguished University Research Professor of Communication Studies, Concordia University
Followed by a discussion with J.D. Connor, Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California
Register in advance for this meeting:
This talk is partly based on Charles Acland's latest book, American Blockbuster: Movies, Technology and Wonder (Duke University Press, 2020) (https://www.dukeupress.edu/american-blockbuster
Ben-Hur (1959), Jaws (1975), Avatar (2009), Wonder Woman (2017): the blockbuster movie has held a dominant position in American popular culture for decades. In American Blockbuster Charles R. Acland charts the origins, impact, and dynamics of this most visible, entertaining, and disparaged cultural form. Acland narrates how blockbusters emerged from Hollywood's turn to a hit-driven focus during the industry's business crisis in the 1950s. Movies became bigger, louder, and more spectacular. They also became prototypes for ideas and commodities associated with the future of technology and culture, accelerating the prominence of technological innovation in modern American life. Acland shows that blockbusters continue to be more than just movies; they are industrial strategies and complex cultural machines designed to normalize the ideologies of our technological age.