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Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Technology, and the Emergence of 1970s Blockbuster Aesthetics: Book by Julie A. Turnock

Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Technology, and the Emergence of 1970s Blockbuster Aesthetics

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ISBN: 9780231163538    Publisher: Columbia University Press Year of publishing: 2014     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 384        Language: English
Julie A. Turnock tracks the use and evolution of special effects in 1970s filmmaking, a development as revolutionary to film as the form's transition to sound in the 1920s. Beginning with the classical...Read more
Julie A. Turnock tracks the use and evolution of special effects in 1970s filmmaking, a development as revolutionary to film as the form's transition to sound in the 1920s. Beginning with the classical studio era's early approaches to special effects, she follows the industry's slow build toward the significant advances of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which set the stage for the groundbreaking achievements of 1977. Turnock analyzes the far-reaching impact of the convincing, absorbing, and seemingly unlimited fantasy environments of that year's iconic films, dedicating a major section of her book to the unparalleled innovations of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. She then traces these films' technological, cultural, and aesthetic influence into the 1980s in the deployment of optical special effects as well as the "not-too-realistic" and hyper-realistic techniques of traditional stop motion and Showscan. She concludes with a critique of special effects practices in the 2000s and their implications for the future of filmmaking and the production and experience of other visual media.
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About the author: Julie A. Turnock
Julie A. Turnock is assistant professor of media and cinema studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana--Champaign.

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Review:
With consummate research and clear explanations, Turnock shows how the special effects revolution actually took place before CGI and how the way the blockbusters of the late sixties and seventies,...Read more
With consummate research and clear explanations, Turnock shows how the special effects revolution actually took place before CGI and how the way the blockbusters of the late sixties and seventies, Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, introduced new conceptions of cinema's relation to reality and fantasy--and how it relates to the cinema of today. -- Tom Gunning, author of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity Turnock's contribution is rich at multiple levels... Plastic Reality well merits pride of place within the burgeoning area of special effects study. Film Quarterly
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