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Solar FlaresScience Fiction in the 1970s$
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Andrew M. Butler

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318344

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317798

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date: 24 November 2017

Eating the Audience: Blockbusters

Eating the Audience: Blockbusters

Chapter:
(p.181) 13 Eating the Audience: Blockbusters
Source:
Solar Flares
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317798.014

Blockbuster cinema offers the audience an opportunity to experience awe and the sublime by taking them on a rollercoaster ride of action-adventure highlighted by stunts and special effects. Such films appeal to a wide range of audiences while also upholding the dominant ideology's status quo. In addition to their political nature, blockbusters typically tackle broken or dispersed families, punctuated by the creation or recreation of a social unit as well as father–son relations. George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola were largely associated with the blockbuster movies of the 1970s. Irvin Kershner's Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980) ends with a cliffhanger, but all other blockbusters had upbeat and reassuring, rather than amphicatastrophic, conclusions. This chapter examines the blockbuster films THX 1138 (1971) and the Star Wars trilogy, along with the first two Superman films and Mike Hodges's Flash Gordon (1980).

Keywords:   Star Wars trilogy, blockbuster films, Superman, Mike Hodges, Flash Gordon, audience, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Irvin Kershner

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