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Matinee Melodrama : Playing With Formula in the Sound Serial (Hardcover) (Scott Higgins)

Matinee Melodrama : Playing With Formula in the Sound Serial (Hardcover) (Scott Higgins) - image 1 of 1

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Long before Batman, Flash Gordon, or the Lone Ranger were the stars of their own TV shows, they had dedicated audiences watching their adventures each week. The difference was that this action took place on the big screen, in short adventure serials whose exciting cliffhangers compelled the young audience to return to the theater every seven days.Matinee Melodrama is the first book about the adventure serial as a distinct artform, one that uniquely encouraged audience participation and imaginative play. Media scholar Scott Higgins proposes that the serial’s incoherent plotting and reliance on formula, far from being faults, should be understood as some of its most appealing attributes, helping to spawn an active fan culture. Further, he suggests these serials laid the groundwork not only for modern-day cinematic blockbusters likeStar Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but also for all kinds of interactive media that combine spectacle, storytelling, and play.As it identifies key elements of the serial form—from stock characters to cliffhangers—Matinee Melodramadelves deeply into questions about the nature of suspense, the aesthetics of action, and the potentials of formulaic narrative. Yet it also provides readers with a loving look at everything fromZorro’s Fighting Legion to Daredevils of the Red Circle, conveying exactly why these films continue to thrill and enthrall their fans.
Long before Batman, Flash Gordon, or the Lone Ranger were the stars of their own TV shows, they had dedicated audiences watching their adventures each week. The difference was that this action took place on the big screen, in short adventure serials whose exciting cliffhangers compelled the young audience to return to the theater every seven days.

Matinee Melodrama is the first book about the adventure serial as a distinct artform, one that uniquely encouraged audience participation and imaginative play. Media scholar Scott Higgins proposes that the serial?s incoherent plotting and reliance on formula, far from being faults, should be understood as some of its most appealing attributes, helping to spawn an active fan culture. Further, he suggests these serials laid the groundwork not only for modern-day cinematic blockbusters likeStar Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but also for all kinds of interactive media that combine spectacle, storytelling, and play.

As it identifies key elements of the serial form?from stock characters to cliffhangers?Matinee Melodramadelves deeply into questions about the nature of suspense, the aesthetics of action, and the potentials of formulaic narrative. Yet it also provides readers with a loving look at everything fromZorro?s Fighting Legion to Daredevils of the Red Circle, conveying exactly why these films continue to thrill and enthrall their fans.
Number of Pages: 217
Genre: Performing Arts, Social Science
Sub-Genre: Media Studies, Film + Video / History + Criticism
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Rutgers Univ Pr
Author: Scott Higgins
Language: English
Street Date: February 26, 2016
TCIN: 31170734
UPC: 9780813563299
Item Number (DPCI): 247-51-2590
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