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Film SequelsTheory and Practice from Hollywood to Bollywood$
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Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748626038

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626038.001.0001

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

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

(p.15) Chapter I Before and After the Blockbuster: A Brief History of the Film Sequel
Film Sequels

Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Edinburgh University Press

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

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