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Landscape Allegory in Cinema : From Wilderness to Wasteland - David Melbye

Landscape Allegory in Cinema

From Wilderness to Wasteland

Hardcover Published: 18th August 2010
ISBN: 9780230104075
Number Of Pages: 207

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This interdisciplinary study offers an introduction to the relatively unexplored area of the form of cinematic space referred to as "the landscape of the mind." Exploring the psychological use of natural setting in both avant-garde and mainstream cinema, this study seeks to understand how these settings serve as outward manifestations of characters' inner subjective states. David Melbye traces cultural trajectories of landscape depiction as far back as the Middle Ages in painting and literature to nurture a greater awareness of visual allegory in the films of the silent era up through the present, focusing specifically on the prolific appearance of landscape allegory in films of the 1960s and '70s. 

"Melbye's Landscape Allegory in Cinema addresses a significant gap in film studies by focusing on the role that landscape plays in film from silents through the '70's. By examining the role of landscape in painting, photography and literature, as well as film, Melbye has made the case for the symbolic role of landscape in twentieth-century cinema." - Robert Folkenflik, Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professor of English, University of California, Irvine

"In his autobiography, Kurosawa Akira, claimed that in his classic Rashomon he had used the forest wilderness around Nara to figure 'people going astray in the thickets of their hearts.' Such an allegorical use of landscape has regularly fascinated film semioticians, but David Melbye is the first to provide a systematic overview of the topic. His succinct but penetrating survey of the use of landscape in classical literature and in European and US painting demonstrates how representations of the natural world could be simultaneously realistic and idealized. In this, they provide the basis for cinema's use of landscape as itself a protagonist in narrative, rather than merely its context. Melbye's analysis continues though early forms of cinema, but arrives at its main concerns in films of social critique, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, both avant-garde and industrial. Ranging from Bosch to Brakhage, from Ovid's Metamorphoses to Lawrence of Arabia and Vanishing Point, his ambitious and persuasive study is sure to be attractive to film scholars and popular audiences alike." - David E. James, Professor of Critical Studies, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Defining Landscape Allegoryp. 1
Pre-Cinematic Appearance of Landscape Allegoryp. 8
Landscape Allegory as an Avant-Garde Gesturep. 11
Narrative Cinema's Assimilation of Landscape Allegoryp. 14
Mainstream Allegories of Imperialist Politicsp. 16
Continuation of Landscape Allegoryp. 18
Landscape Depiction before Cinemap. 21
Anthropocentric Landscape in the Middle Agesp. 22
Classical Landscape in the Renaissancep. 25
Landscape as Subject in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Paintingp. 27
The Influential Sunscapes of Claude Lorrainp. 30
Neoclassical Landscape as Subject in the Eighteenth Centuryp. 32
Spiritualized Landscapes of the Nineteenth Centuryp. 35
European Sublime Landscapep. 37
American Sublime Landscapep. 39
Landscape Sketches of Edgar Allan Poep. 42
Advent of Filming Landscape Allegoryp. 47
Early Wilderness Photographyp. 48
Early Abstract Landscape Photographyp. 51
Early Cinematic Depiction of Landscapep. 52
Depiction of Landscape in Avant-Garde Filmsp. 59
Brakhage's Dog Star Manp. 59
Confluence of Avant-Garde and Mainstream Cinemap. 62
Enrico's La rivière du hiboup. 63
La rivière du hibou's River Progressionp. 66
La rivière du hibou's Overland Segmentp. 68
La rivière du hibou's "Home" of the Avant-Gardep. 69
Spiritual Wasteland Filmsp. 73
The Western's "Duel in the Sun" Allegoryp. 73
The Wasteland Informed by Space/Place Theoryp. 78
Jodorowsky's El Topop. 81
Italian Wasteland Allegoryp. 85
Antonioni's Island Allegoriesp. 87
Pasolini's Mountain Allegoriesp. 91
Desert Allegories: From Spaghetti Westerns to Zabriskie Pointp. 93
Australian Outback Allegoryp. 99
Roeg's Walkaboutp. 100
Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rockp. 103
Landscape Allegory in Hollywoodp. 111
The Western Megalomaniac versus the Third World Landscapep. 112
Lean's Lawrence of Arabiap. 113
Huston's The Man Who Would Be Kingp. 116
Coppola's Apocalypse Nowp. 118
River/Jungle and Other Imperialist Allegoriesp. 123
Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of Godp. 123
Herzog's Fitzcarraldop. 126
Boorman's Deliverancep. 128
Friedkin's Sorcererp. 130
Futureworld Landscapes: Planet of the Apes, Zardoz, and 2001: A Space Odysseyp. 132
Reversal of Landscape Allegoryp. 135
Landscape Allegory in Other Narrative Contextsp. 139
Landscape in Noir Filmsp. 140
High Sierrap. 141
Treasure of the Sierra Madrep. 142
Landscape in Hitchcock Filmsp. 144
Spellboundp. 145
Vertigop. 146
Landscape in Road Filmsp. 148
Easy Riderp. 149
Vanishing Pointp. 150
Landscape Allegory as a Critical Discoursep. 151
Conclusion: Landscape Allegory into the Futurep. 153
Landscape Allegory Returns to Avant-Garde Originsp. 154
Landscape Allegory in Recent Hollywood Filmsp. 156
Landscape Allegory in Asian Cinemap. 159
The Human Mind as Macroscopic Spacep. 161
Appendix: Chronology of Landscape Allegoryp. 163
Notesp. 183
Bibliographyp. 189
Indexp. 197
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780230104075
ISBN-10: 023010407X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 207
Published: 18th August 2010
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.96 x 13.97  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 1