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Contemporary Action Cinema$
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Lisa Purse

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638178

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638178.001.0001

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The action sequence

The action sequence

(p.56) Chapter 3 The action sequence
Contemporary Action Cinema

Lisa Purse

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the aesthetic tendencies evident in the construction of the contemporary action sequence, exploring what might be at stake in their inclusion and popularity, and the ways in which they are narratively expressive as well as spectacular. The stylistic and representational aspects of the staging of speed, risk and mastery are investigated using Fast and Furious and Live Free or Die Hard as case studies, and the discussion of action cinema as sensory experience is developed in relation to these dimensions. The chapter ends with an explicit emphasis on sound design, considering the sound strategies used in the contemporary action sequence to stage the body, and their consequences for a film's representational hierarchy.

Keywords:   Action sequence, Spectacle, Speed, Risk, Mastery, Sound design, Representation

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