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Wilson, Santas publish ‘Epic’ encyclopedia

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The Encyclopedia of Epic Films

“The Encyclopedia of Epic Films,” co-authored by Flagler College Associate Professor of English James Wilson and Flagler Professor Emeritus Constantine Santas.

 

April 16, 2014

Soon after film came into existence, the term epic was used to describe productions that were lengthy, spectacular, filled with action and often filmed in exotic locales with large casts and staggering budgets.

Many of those films are now catalogued in “The Encyclopedia of Epic Films,” co-authored by Flagler College Associate Professor of English James Wilson and Flagler Professor Emeritus Constantine Santas.

The book, which also features Florida State College and former Flagler Professor Maria Colavito and University of Melbourne Professor Djoymi Baker as authors, lists 250 films such as “Gone With the Wind,” “The Ten Commandments,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Avatar.”

“The aim of the book is to highlight the epic as a significant film genre, rather than as an empty spectacle, often derided by its critics,” said Santas.

Santas and Wilson agreed that one of the most daunting tasks in writing the book was narrowing down the list of films, a process they completed by applying their own working definition of what it means to be an epic film.

“Our definition was that epics are heroic tales of grandeur and spectacle played out upon expansive settings with a strong sense of time and place, frequently of longer than average duration,” said Wilson. “Most epics are stories involving action, such as war, racial conflicts, massive migrations, or struggles to survive.”

Each entry contains cast and crew lists, awards and nominations, DVD and Blu-ray editions as well as notes and a bibliography.

“The Encyclopedia of Epic Films,” is available through the publisher, Rowman & Littlefield, as well as Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.


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