Book: Representations of Antiquity in Film
Chapter: Epic Film as History and History as Hyperreality
The first chapter offers a brief survey of thinking on how movies can work as attempts at telling history, focussing on the major debates that have emerged since the 1990s. It introduces debates surrounding the archaeological authenticity of these films (and the rhetorical strategy surrounding “realism”). Another major theme brought up here is how the ancient world is used as a film setting for making arguments about the present. The last two sections address the topics of material culture in film (of particular interest to archaeologists and anthropologists) and the appeal of hyperreal representations to popular audiences.