Dying for a Laugh Disaster Movies and the Camp Imagination

ISBN-10: 0819567922
ISBN-13: 9780819567925
Edition: 2005
Authors: Ken Feil
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Description: Dying for a Laugh looks at the evolution of the contemporary disaster film from the 1970s to the present. Ken Feil argues that contemporary camp culture has influenced and reformed the conventions of the 1970s disaster film, in both its production  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 1/25/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Dying for a Laugh looks at the evolution of the contemporary disaster film from the 1970s to the present. Ken Feil argues that contemporary camp culture has influenced and reformed the conventions of the 1970s disaster film, in both its production and reception. The book chronicles how the genre rose to prominence, sank into critical and popular disrepute, and became unintentionally campy. Through close readings of films including The Poseidon Adventure, The Swarm, Ghostbusters, Independence Day, and Mars Attacks!, along with film reviews, entertainment reports and publicity materials as evidence, Feil shows that the renewal of the disaster genre in the 1990s hinged on self-parody, ironic self-consciousness, and state-of-the-art effects. Feil also looks at the impact of 9/11 on the genre's campy, sadistic pleasures through movies such as The Sum of All Fears, The Core, and The Day After Tomorrow. This analysis of "high concept camp" draws from diverse methodologies and theories, such as historical reception, textual analysis, neoformalism, political economy, genre analysis, feminism, and queer theory.

List of Tables and Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Recipes for Disaster: The Rise and Fall of the 1970s Disaster Movie
From Disaster Parody to Parodic Disaster: Gremlins, Ghostbusters and the Development of High Concept Camp
Queering the Wreckage and Straightening Up: Camp, Stereotyping and the Late 1990s Disaster Cycle
"The Movie Is Awful": Mars Attacks! and the Limits of High Concept Camp
From Camp to Kitsch: 9/11, Taste, and the Imagination of Disaster
Conclusion: Campy Disaster, Comic Book Movies, and The Day After Tomorrow
Appendix: Camp Theory
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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