Postmodernism, High Concept and Eighties Excess

Paul Grainge, Mark Jancovich and Sharon Monteith

in Film Histories

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619061
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670888 | DOI:
Postmodernism, High Concept and Eighties Excess

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This chapter discusses films in the 1980s — a period defined by excesses of style and consumption, a ‘postmodern’ moment where the aesthetics of consumer culture — typified by the promotional flow of music video on television channels such as MTV — came to the fore. It is in this period that Hollywood film assumed a particular style that movie executives would label ‘high concept’. High concept movies were often based on pre-sold elements such as a best-selling book or a comic strip, and emphasised a distinctive style, conveyed in sleek images and music, which were integrated with their marketing. The chapter also includes the study, ‘The Formation of the Major Independent’: Miramax, New Line and the New Hollywood by Justin Wyatt, which examines two key film companies that came to prominence in the late 1980s, shaping marketing and investment strategies in ways that would influence the major studios and the commercial environment for independent film.

Keywords: consumer culture; postmodernism; high concept films; film history; film companies; Justin Wyatt; New Line Cinema; Miramax

Chapter.  10237 words. 

Subjects: Film

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