Why do 'Jaws', 'Field of Dreams', 'The Big Lebowski', and 'The Godfather' remain strikingly popular in this age of fragmented audiences and ever-faster spin cycles? "Hollywood Blockbusters: The Anthropology of Popular Movies" argues that these films continue to captivate audiences because they play upon underlying tensions and problems in American culture, much like the myths that anthropologists study in non-Western contexts. In making this argument, the authors employ and extend anthropological theories about ritual, kinship, gift giving, power, egalitarianism, literacy, metalinguistics, stereotypes, and the mysteries of the Other. The results - original insights into modern film classics, American culture, and anthropological theory - will appeal to students of Film, Media, Anthropology, Sociology, and Cultural Studies.
David Sutton is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University. Peter Wogan is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Willamette University.
1. Introduction 2. The Godfather: The Gun, the Pen, and the Cannoli 3. Field Of Dreams: Blurring the Lines 4. The Big Lebowski: Timely Masculinities 5. The Village: The Political Anthropology of the Possible 6. Jaws: The Eyes of the Other 7. Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index