Hollywood Blockbusters: The Anthropology of Popular Movies


Why do Jaws, Field of Dreams, The Big Lebowski, and The Godfather remain strikingly popular in this age of fragmented audiences and ever-faster spin cycles? Hollywood Blockbusters argues that these films continue to captivate audiences because they play upon underlying tensions and problems in American culture, much like the myths that anthropologists study in non-Western contexts. In making this argument, the authors employ and extend anthropological theories about ritual, kinship, gift giving, power, egalitarianism, literacy, metalinguistics, stereotypes, and the mysteries of the Other. The results- original insights into modern film classics, American culture, and anthropological theory- will appeal to students of Film, Media, Anthropology, Sociology, and Cultural Studies.

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