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The Studios after the StudiosNeoclassical Hollywood (1970-2010)$
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J. D. Connor

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804790772

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804790772.001.0001

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The Anxious Epic and the Qualms of Empire

The Anxious Epic and the Qualms of Empire

Conglomerate Overstretch

(p.283) 8 The Anxious Epic and the Qualms of Empire
The Studios after the Studios

J. D. Connor

Stanford University Press

The wave of epics that followed Gladiator—King Arthur, Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven, 300—became think pieces for conglomerate overstretch. The epics of the new millennium weren’t like the roadshows of the fifties. These were not tales of empires on the march but of empires in retreat. Directors who wanted to tell stories about the perils of empire during the Iraq War found themselves dependent upon far-flung international megacorporations that looked an awful lot like the imperialists they were opposing. Criticism of the war started to look like criticism of the company, and the studios began to lose their hold on the corporate imagination.

Keywords:   epic, Gladiator (film), 300 (film), Iraq War on film

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