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Books > Arts & Photography > Performing Arts > B01BVABZC4
  1. Spectacular Digital Effects: CGI and Contemporary Cinema
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  2. Spectacular Digital Effects: CGI and Contemporary Cinema

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By developing the concept of the "digital effects emblem," Kristen Whissel contributes a new analytic rubric to cinema studies. An "effects emblem" is a spectacular, computer-generated visual effect that gives stunning expression to a film's key themes. Although they elicit feelings of astonishment and wonder, effects emblems do not interrupt narrative, but are continuous with story and characterization and highlight the narrative stakes of a film. Focusing on spectacular digital visual effects in live-action films made between 1989 and 2011, Whissel identifies and examines four effects emblems: the illusion of gravity-defying vertical movement, massive digital multitudes or "swarms," photorealistic digital creatures, and morphing "plasmatic" figures. Across films such as Avatar, The Matrix, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jurassic Park, Titanic, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, these effects emblems heighten the narrative drama by contrasting power with powerlessness, life with death, freedom with constraint, and the individual with the collective.

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Kristen Whissel
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
Duke University Press Books
Duke University Press Books
Duke University Press Books
Duke University Press Books
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I had to read this book for my Senior Film Theory course; and although it didn't seem so interesting from the title (I was never a big Digital Effects aficionado), this book ended up blowing me away. Dr. Whissel provides a clear explanation of film history and theory within the context of special effects. She will cover past and contemporary theorists in-depth, but in a fluid manner that does not leave the reader confused. She helps condense and explain the ideas of even some of the more dense theorists. I ended up loving this book and changing my opinion on the raison d'être of CGI and effects. I went from believing in escapism to realizing the modernity thesis holds the most weight in this topic.

I bought the Kindle version and never had any trouble with it (I find it easier to have academic writings in electronic version so that I can quickly search for certain terms). If you want to learn more about film history and theory centered on special effects, this is the book... Read more
This purchase arrived in a timely manner.

"The master goes beyond the boundless land, and nothing, neither men nor demons nor gods, nothing in all creation can hold him. Monkey is magic, a god, an immortal, but he is less than the Buddha in you."
Great book came as ordered!
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