Sport offers everything a good story should have: heroes and villains, triumph and disaster, achievement and despair, tension and drama. Consequently, sport makes for a compelling film narrative and films, in turn, are a vivid medium for sport. Yet despite its regularity as a central theme in motion pictures, constructions and representations of sport and athletes have been marginalised in terms of serious analysis within the longstanding academic study of films and documentaries. In this collection, it is the critical study of film and its connections to sport that are examined. The collection is one of the first of its kind to examine the ways in which sport has been used in films as a metaphor for other areas of social life. Among the themes and issues explored by the contributors are: Morality tales in which good triumphs over evil The representation and ideological framing of social identities, including class, gender, race and nationality The representation of key issues pertinent to sport, including globalization, politics, commodification, consumerism, and violence The meanings ‘spoken’ by films – and the various ‘readings’ which audiences make of them This is a timely collection that draws together a diverse range of accessible, insightful and ground-breaking new essays. This book was published as a special issue of Sport in Society.
This ground-breaking interdisciplinary collection brings together leading international scholars working across the humanities and social sciences to examine ways in which representations of sports coaching in narrative and documentary cinema can shape and inform sporting instruction. The central premise of the volume is that films featuring sports coaches potentially reflect, reinforce or contest how their audiences comprehend the world of coaching. Despite the growing interest in theories of coaching and in the study of the sports film as a genre, specific analyses of filmic depictions of sports coaches are still rare despite coaches often having a central role as figures shaping the values, social situation and cultural expectations of the athletes they train. By way of a series of enlightening and original studies, this volume redresses the relative neglect afforded to sports coaching in film and simultaneously highlights the immense value that research in this emerging field has for sporting performance and social justice. This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Sports Coaching Review.
This trailblazing book provides an overview of films about women in sport and a timely critical analysis of their role in shaping perceptions of female athletic ability. It examines the themes of aggression, beauty, class, ethnicity, physical feminism, sexuality, synaesthesia and technology in relation to mainstream and art house cinematic depictions of sportswomen, from Pumping Iron 2 to Bend It like Beckham. Nicholas Chare investigates films across different forms of athletic activity, including aerobics, bodybuilding, boxing, cheerleading, climbing, football, surfing, swimming, tennis and track and field. He assesses their significance for female athletes' struggles for physical freedom through theoretically innovative close readings, achieving a sustained investigation of the varied ways in which sports films, and the kinaesthetic politics they embody, push directors to challenge the limits of cinema as a medium.
A unique and timely exploration of the cultural impact of sport on American society, including lifestyles, language, and thinking.
The sports film has become one of commercial cinema's most recognizable genres. From classic boxing films such as Raging Bull (1980) to soccer-themed box-office successes like Bend it Like Beckham (2002), the sports film stands at the interface of two of our most important cultural forms. This book examines the social, historical and ideological significance of representations of sport in film internationally, an essential guide for all students and enthusiasts of sport, film, media and culture. Sport and Film traces the history of the sports film, from the beginnings of cinema in the 1890s, its consolidation as a distinct fiction genre in the mid 1920s in Hollywood films such as Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman (1925), to its contemporary manifestation in Oscar-winning films such as Million Dollar Baby (2004) and The Fighter (2010). Drawing on an extensive range of films as source material, the book explores key issues in the study of sport, film and wider society, including race, social class, gender and the legacy of 9/11. It also offers an invaluable guide to 'reading' a film, to help students fully engage with their source material. Comprehensive, authoritative and accessible, this book is an important addition to the literature in both film and media studies, sport studies and cultural studies more generally.
Ice hockey has featured in North American films since the early days. Hockey's sizable cinematic repertoire explores different views of the sport, including the role of aggression, the business of sports, race and gender, and the role of women in the game. This critical study focuses on hockey themes in more than 50 films and television movies from the U.S. and Canada spanning several decades. Depictions of historical games are discussed, including the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" and the 1972 Summit Series. The national myths about hockey players are examined. Production techniques that enhance hockey as on-screen spectacle are covered.
From Salvador Dalí to Walt Disney, animals have been a constant yet little-considered presence in film. Indeed, it may come as a surprise to learn that animals were a central inspiration to the development of moving pictures themselves. In Animals in Film, Jonathan Burt points out that the mobility of animals presented technical and conceptual challenges to early film-makers, the solutions of which were an important factor in advancing photographic technology, accelerating the speed of both film and camera. The early filming of animals also marked one of the most significant and far-reaching changes in the history of animal representation, and has largely determined the way animals have been visualized in the twentieth century. Burt looks at the extraordinary relation-ship between animals, cinema and photography (including the pioneering work of Eadweard Muybridge and Jules-Etienne Marey) and the technological developments and challenges posed by the animal as a specific kind of moving object. Animals in Film is a shrewd account of the politics of animals in cinema, of how movies and video have developed as weapons for animal rights activists, and of the roles that animals have played in film, from the avant-garde to Hollywood.
After covering the genre's early history and theorizing its general characteristics, this volume then focuses on specific instances of sports films, such as the biopic, the sports history film, the documentary, the fan film, the boxing film, and explores issues such as gender, race, spectacle and silent comedy. Four major films are then closely analysed – Chariots of Fire, Field of Dreams, the Indian cricket epic Lagaan, and Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday. While recording American film's importance to the genre, the book resists the conventional over-concentration on American cinema and sports by its attention to other cinemas, for example the British, Indian, Australian, South Korean, Thai, German, New Zealand, Spanish, and so on, with the many different sports they depict.