"Hollywood Blockbusters": Summaries and Links

Hollywood Blockbusters: The Anthropology of Popular Movies, David Sutton and Peter Wogan (London: Berg Press, 2009). 
                       HB REVIEWER COMMENTS: 
"It certainly added enormously to my understanding of this film [Field of Dreams], which I thought I had understood well. This is indeed the great strength of Hollywood Blockbusters:  the perspectives here are unique and most film scholars will find their approach stimulating, useful and valuable." --Don Perlgut, Media International Australia, 2011.

"[T]hey manage to provide in-depth and interesting analyses of hugely popular films which have already been covered from many different aspects and yet come up with something new and fresh." --Steen Christiansen, Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies, 2011.

"Hollywood Blockbusters is anthropological theorizing at its filmic best. Sutton and Wogan have translated complex anthropological concepts and debates into a rich analysis of popular motion pictures, giving us both a window into the value of anthropological sensibilities and a new interpretation of well-known Hollywood offerings." --John Jackson, Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania (Book jacket).

                    TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The Godfather (Analysis of writing and food symbolism in the movie, such as the bandleader's written contract with Johnny Fontane, Clemenza's cannoli and the gun)

Chapter 3: Field of Dreams (How baseball foul lines reveal American views of social authority)

Chapter 4: The Big Lebowski (Bowling, Gender, Temporality, and Other “What Have You’s”)

Chapter 5: The Village (This was not a blockbuster, due to its non-conformity with stereotypes of small, egalitarian communities)

Chapter 6: Jaws (Analysis of the shark as a foreign culture, Hooper as an anthropologist)

Chapter 7: Conclusion (Suggestions on how to investigate film theories with specific audiences)

(At Amazon.com, you can search the full book and read sample pages.)

In this 18-minute audio interview, I ask Sutton the following questions:

In The Big Lebowski, which character do you think you're most like?
Would you eat shark?
What's a shark-like mystery for anthropologists today?
Why did you dress like Don Corleone for Halloween last year?


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