This convenient, insightful resource on the depiction of historical events in film and on television combines the latest scholarship with reviews of specific works.
The movie JFK was widely praised for its riveting storytelling—and widely dismissed as feverish speculation. Gettysburg won acclaim for authentic battlefield reenactments—and little else. Filmmakers have always sought to mold historic events into compelling viewing, and many balance history and drama admirably. The best of their films offer a compelling visual presentation of history that no book can match. But sloppiness, indifference, or personal agendas can easily lead to bad films or, more important, bad history.
Can films tweak the facts and still be faithful to history? How much of what they present as true is inaccurate or distorted? History in the Media: Film and Television looks at the growing research exploring these questions. It is the only reference guide that discuss the latest scholarship on history in film and on television and evaluates specific films and programs for quality, accuracy, and ideological biases. Coverage ranges from biopics (Gandhi), meticulous restagings (Apollo 13), and true crime (Bonnie and Clyde) to documentaries such as the World War II newsreels Why We Fight and Ken Burns's The Civil War.
Historic dramas come up big at the Oscars. Cable television offers a History and a Biography channel. Hollywood blockbusters depicting historical events are huge moneymakers. It is the ideal time to look at what happens when events and people become stories and characters, and History in the Media is the ideal introduction to that study.
• Capsule reviews of more than 350 films and television programs that claim to present historical events and persons, each examined for inaccuracies or bias
• An extensive filmography of all movies featured in the book, plus many more historical films and TV shows, providing basic production and cast information
• An extensive bibliography of print, video, and online sources on the overall study of history in the media and scholarship on specific films and programs
• A complete index of historical and cinematic terms and concepts, as well as important scholars and filmmaking personnel
• Explores how various media—including television, feature films, and documentary films—have presented history to the public
• Offers scholarly reviews of history in the media and critiques of specific works
• Gathers and analyzes all the pertinent scholarship in English as depicted on media representations of history over the last 30 years
• Geared toward a student audience highly influenced by film and television