Chapter

Before and After the Blockbuster: A Brief History of the Film Sequel

Carolyn Jess-Cooke

in Film Sequels

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780748626038
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670895 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626038.003.0002
Before and After the Blockbuster: A Brief History of the Film Sequel

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This chapter discusses the film sequel from its origins in cinema's early years throughout the developments of the twentieth century. It concentrates on cultural forces at two historical junctures: namely modernity and postmodernity. Georges Méliès' contribution to cinema is still marked today in terms of his development of a rather sophisticated form of narrative spectacle. His ‘sequel’ arguably departs from a very successful earlier work to showcase his improvements both technologically and artistically within an increasingly progressive and competitive market. Ishirô Honda's Gojira (Godzilla) and its sequels play an important role in charting cross-cultural relations between the USA and Japan after the US attack on Hiroshima. Roland Emmerich's film represents a model of filmmaking unique to a specific era of Hollywood history. The sequel's long catalogue of historical interactions with the serial continues to grow in the twenty-first century, but arguably in ways that have not previously been realised.

Keywords: film sequel; Georges Méliès; Godzilla; Ishirô Honda; Roland Emmerich; Hollywood; cinema; modernity; postmodernity

Chapter.  17391 words. 

Subjects: Film

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