Action Movies

The Cinema of Striking Back

Harvey O'Brien

Wallflower Press

Action Movies

Google Preview

Pub Date: November 2012

ISBN: 9780231163316

160 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $20.00£14.99

Pub Date: November 2012

ISBN: 9780231850223

160 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $15.99£12.99

Action Movies

The Cinema of Striking Back

Harvey O'Brien

Wallflower Press

Action Movies: The Cinema of Striking Back is a study of action cinema, exploring the ethics and aesthetics of the genre with reference to its relatively short history. It moves from seminal classics like Bullitt (1968) and Dirty Harry (1971) through epoch-defining films like Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Die Hard (1988) to revisions, reboots, and renewals in films like Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), Taken (2008), and The Expendables (2010). The action genre is a fusion of form and content: a cinema of action about action. It is a cinema of the will, configured as a decisive reaction to untenable circumstances. Action heroes take up arms against the sea of troubles that beset them, safe in the knowledge that if they don't do it, nobody will. Though this makes the action movie profoundly disturbing as an embodiment of moral ideology, its enduring appeal proves the appetite for assurance remains undiminished, even in the wake of 9/11.
This smart, short introduction to the action film tackles the history, aesthetics and politics of an American genre that remains both extraordinarily visible and yet unexplored. It provides readers with a deftly argued account of the genre's distinctive aesthetic and its complex involvement in cultural themes of trauma, violence, and redemption. Yvonne Tasker, University of East Anglia
A good source for better understanding action cinema, its evolution, and connection with the real world. Film Matters
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction
1. The War at Home
2. The Hyperbolic Body
3. The End of Ideology
4. The Return
Filmography
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Dr. Harvey O'Brien is a lecturer in Film Studies at University College Dublin. He has published on topics including Irish Studies, history and the media, horror, science fiction, and documentary film. He is the author of The Real Ireland: The Evolution of Ireland in Documentary Film (2004) and co-editor of Keeping it Real: Irish Film and Television (2004).