The biographical film or biopic is a staple of film production in all major film industries and yet, within film studies, its generic, aesthetic, and cultural significance has remained underexplored. The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture fills this gap, conceptualizing the biopic with a particular eye toward the life of the genre internationally. New theoretical approaches combine with specially commissioned chapters on contemporary biographical film production in India, Italy, South Korea, France, Russia, Great Britain, and the US, in order to present a selective but well-rounded portrait of the biopic's place in film culture. From Marie Antoinette to The Social Network, the pieces in this volume critically examine the place of the biopic within ongoing debates about how cinema can and should represent history and real lives. Contributors discuss the biopic's grounding in the conventions of the historical film, and explore the genre's defining traits as well as its potential for invation. The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture expands the critical boundaries of this evolving, versatile genre.
Tom Brown is Lecturer in the Department of Film Studies at King's College London. He is the editor (with James Walters) of Film Moments: Criticism, History, Theory and (with James Bennett) of Film and Television after DVD, and the author of Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema. Belen Vidal is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film Studies at King's College London. She is the author of Figuring the Past: Period Film and the Mannerist Aesthetic and The Heritage Film: Nation, Genre, and Representation. She is the co-editor of Cinema at the Periphery.