Spectacle of the Real

From Hollywood to ‘Reality’ TV and Beyond

Edited by Geoff King

Spectacle of the Real
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Edited by Geoff King

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

234 pages | 6-3/4 x 9
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841501208 Published March 2005
Hollywood special effects offer spectacular creations or re-creations that make claims to our attention on the grounds of their ‘incredible-seeming reality’. They can appear both ‘incredible’ and ‘real’, their appeal based on their ability to ‘convince’—to appear real in terms such as detail and texture—and on their status as fabricated spectacle, to be admired as such. At a seemingly very different end of the audio-visual media spectrum, ‘reality’ television offers the spectacle of, supposedly, the ‘real’ itself, a ‘reality’ that ranges from the banality of the quotidian to intense interpersonal engagements (two extremes experienced in Big Brother, for example). The two also overlap, however, nowhere more clearly and jarringly than in the ultimate ‘spectacle of the real’, the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, live television coverage of which evoked constant comparison with big-screen fictional images.
Notes on Contributors
Jay David Bolter
Introduction: The Spectacle of the Real
Geoff King
Part I: Spectacle, Ideology, Catastrophe

1. Media Culture and the Triumph of the Spectacle
Douglas Kellner
2. Real Time, Catastrophe, Spectacle: Reality as Fantasy in Live Media
Lee Rodney
3. ‘Just Like a Movie’?: 9/11 and Hollywood Spectacle
Geoff King
4. Reframing Fantasy: September 11 and the Global Audience
Kathy Smith
5. Teratology of the Spectacle
Dean Lockwood
Part II: Reality/TV
6. Caught on Tape: A Legacy of Low-tech Reality
Amy West
7. Love ‘n the Real; or, How I Learned to Love Reality TV
Misha Kavka
8. Looking Inside: Showing Medical Operations on Ordinary Television
Frances Bonner
9. Hell in a Cell and Other Stories: Violence, Endangerment and Authenticity in Professional Wrestling
Leon Hunt
10. Docobricolage in the Age of Simulation
Bernadette Flynn
Part III: Film

11. A Production Designer’s Cinema: Historical Authenticity in Popular Films Set in the Past
Michele Pierson
12. The New Spatial Dynamics of the Bullet-Time Effect
Lisa Purse
13. ‘I was dreaming I was awake and then I woke up and found myself asleep’: Dreaming, Spectacle and Reality in Waking Life
Paul Ward
14. Cannibal Holocaust and the Pornography of Death
Julian Petley
15. Beyond the Blair Witch: A New Horror Aesthetic?
Peg Aloi
16. Spectres and Capitalism / Spectacle and the Horror Film
Mike Wayne
17. Looking On: Troubling Spectacles and the Complicitous Spectator
Michele Aaron
18. The Enigma of the Real: The Qualifications for Real Sex in Contemporary Art Cinema
Tanya Krzywinska
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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