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The Spectacle of the Real
From Hollywood to ‘Reality’ TV and Beyond
Now Available
Price £26.50, $35.50
ISBN 9781841501208
Paperback 256 pages
230 x 174
Published March 2005
Imprint: Intellect
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Books by Geoff King
Books in Film Studies

Edited by Geoff King
Chapter Titles     |      Comments

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. 

Chapter titles
Part One: Spectacle, Ideology, Catastrophe - Chapter 1: 'Media Culture and the Triumph of the Spectacle'
Douglas Kellner, chair of Philosophy of Education at UCLA
Chapter 2: 'Real Time, Catastrophe, Spectacle: Reality as Fantasy in Live Media'
Lee Rodney, assistant professor at the University of Windsor, Canada
Chapter 3: '"Just Like a Movie?": 9/11 and Hollywood Spectacle'
Geoff King, senior lecturer in Film and TV Studies at Brunel University
Chapter 4: 'Reframing Fantasy: September 11 and the Global Audience'
Kathy Smith, senior lecturer in Theatre Studies at London Metropolitan University
Chapter 5: 'Teratology of the Spectacle'
Dean Lockwood, lecturer in Media Theory at the University of Lincoln
Part Two: Reality/TV - Chapter 6: 'Caught on Tape: A Legacy of Low-tech Reality'
Amy West, Ph.D. student at the University of Auckland
Chater 7: 'Love 'n the Real; or, How I Learned to Love Reality TV'
Misha Kavka, lecturer in Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland
Chapter 8: 'Looking Inside: Showing Medical Operations on Ordinary Television'
Frances Bonner, lecturer in film and televison at the University of Queensland
Chapter 9: 'Hell in a Cell and Other Stories: Violence, Endangerment and Authenticity in Professional Wrestling'
Leon Hunt, senior lecturer in Film and TV Studies at Brunel University
Chapter 10: 'Docobricolage in the Age of Simulation'
Bernadette Flynn, lecturer in Screen Production and Digital Media at Griffith University, Australia
Part Three: Film - Chapter 11: 'A Production Designer's Cinema: Historical Authenticity in Popular Films Set in the Past'
Michele Pierson, lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Queensland
Chapter 12: 'The New Spatial Dynamics of the Bullet-Time Effect'
Lisa Purse, Ph.D. student in Film at the University of Reading
Chapter 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, lecturer in Film and Television Studies at Brunel Univeristy
Chapter 14: 'Cannibal Holocaust and the Pornography of Death'
Julian Petley, professor in Film and TV Studies at Brunel University
Chapter 15: 'Beyond the Blair Witch: A New Horror Aesthetic?'
Peg Aloi, teacher of creative writing and film studies at Emerson College in Boston, USA
Chapter 16: 'Spectres and Capitalism/ Spectacle and the Horror Film'
Mike Wayne, senior lecturer in Film and Television at Brunel University
Chapter 17: 'Looking On: Troubling Spectacles and the Complicitous Spectator'
Michele Aaron, lecturer on Film at the Univeristy of Birmingham
Chapter 18: 'The Enigma of the Real: The Qualifications for Real Sex in Contemporary Art Cinema'
Tanya Krzywinska, reader in Film and TV Studies at Brunel University
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