Epic Film as History and History as Hyperreality

From Griffith to Grindhouse - Representations of Antiquity in Film - Kevin M. McGeough

Kevin M. McGeough [+-]
University of Lethbridge
Kevin M. McGeough is professor of archaeology in the Department of Geography at the University of Lethbridge. Having excavated in Israel, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt, he is the editor of The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research. He is currently researching the reception of Near Eastern Archaeology in a variety of media and has recently published a three-volume book on archaeological reception in the Victorian era, The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century (2015).


The first chapter of the book discusses the formal features of the “epic” genre, the main genre through which the ancient world is explored in film. It provides historical background on how the ancient world was first a subject of silent films. Then it discusses the various technical aspects of filmmaking that emerged as means of making historical arguments: widescreen framing, the presentation of spectacle, archaeological authenticity in design, and the kinds of historical arguments that are embedded in such techniques.

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McGeough, Kevin. Epic Film as History and History as Hyperreality. From Griffith to Grindhouse - Representations of Antiquity in Film. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2022. ISBN 9781781799819. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=39761. Date accessed: 18 Apr 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39761. Oct 2022

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