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By R. Barton Palmer, William H. Epstein

Biopics—films that chronicle the lives of well-known and infamous figures from our nationwide history—have lengthy been considered one of Hollywood’s most well-liked and demanding genres, providing audience numerous understandings of yankee nationwide id. Invented Lives, Imagined groups offers the 1st full-length exam people biopics, targeting key releases in American cinema whereas treating fresh advancements in 3 fields: cinema stories, relatively the heritage of Hollywood; nationwide identification experiences facing the yank event; and scholarship dedicated to modernity and postmodernity. movies mentioned comprise Houdini, Patton, the nice White wish, certain for Glory, Ed wooden, Basquiat, Pollock, Sylvia, Kinsey, Fur, Milk, J. Edgar, and Lincoln, and the e-book can pay particular awareness to the the most important favourite plot alongside which biopics traverse and exhibit American lives, while they alter many of the notions of the nationwide personality.

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Extra info for Invented Lives, Imagined Communities: The Biopic and American National Identity

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Journal of Popular Film and Television 36, no. 2 (Summer). Sperb, Jason. 2006. ” Biography 29, no. 1 (Winter): 123–39. Stewart, Garrett. 2006. ” Biography 29, no. 1 (Winter): 159–92. Todorov, Tzevtan. 1984. Mikhail Bakhtin: the Dialogical Principle. Translated by Wlad Godzich. Theory and History of Literature 13. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Tunzelmann, Alex von. 2009. com, Thursday 3 September. Accessed online 1/25/14. Vasey, Ruth. 1997. The World According to Hollywood, 1918–1939.

She lays the roses on the table and curiously unwinds the note from the one red rose. The wind whips the lace curtain across her face, shrouding it like a mourning veil. As she brushes the curtain aside from her eyes to read the note: HOUDINI’S VOICE (Coming over her face): Roses are red, Violets are blue, Even after I’m dead I’ll still love you. Even as late as September 30, 1952, the body of Houdini is “lifeless” in the water cell when Otto smashes it. But, as the scene is actually shot, he manages to survive long enough to breathe his final words to his wife onstage.

I lost him” (Curtis and Vieira 2009, 22). Conflated for Curtis by way of memory, then, and throughout his adult life as an actor, were the boundary between life and death, an idiosyncratic intensity of feeling for someone whose life had prematurely come to an end, the sense that death had deprived him. It had been the same for Houdini. Both the actor and the magician, in their respective ways, longed to “strip the mask from things as well as from persons” and both could see the ultimate reward; “when it is off, we shall find beneath only that same death which a valet or a mere chambermaid passed through not long ago without fear” (De Montaigne 2003, 81–82).

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