Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment

Paperback | September 23, 2005

byAngela Ndalianis

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The artists of the seventeenth-century baroque period used spectacle to delight and astonish; contemporary entertainment media, according to Angela Ndalianis, are imbued with a neo-baroque aesthetic that is similarly spectacular. In Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment, she situates today's film, computer games, comic books, and theme-park attractions within an aesthetic-historical context and uses the baroque as a framework to enrich our understanding of contemporary entertainment media.

The neo-baroque aesthetics that Ndalianis analyzes are not, she argues, a case of art history repeating or imitating itself; these forms have emerged as a result of recent technological and economic transformations. The neo-baroque forms combine sight and sound and text in ways that parallel such seventeenth-century baroque forms as magic lanterns, automata, painting, sculpture, and theater but use new technology to express the concerns of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Moving smoothly from century to century, comparing ceiling paintings to the computer game Doom, a Spiderman theme park adventure to the baroque version of multimedia known as the Bel Composto, and a Medici wedding to T erminator 2:3D, the book demonstrates the logic of media histories. Ndalianis focuses on the complex interrelationships among entertainment media and presents a rigorous cross-genre, cross-historical analysis of media aesthetics.

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From the Publisher

The artists of the seventeenth-century baroque period used spectacle to delight and astonish; contemporary entertainment media, according to Angela Ndalianis, are imbued with a neo-baroque aesthetic that is similarly spectacular. In Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment, she situates today's film, computer games, comic...

Angela Ndalianis is Associate Professor and Head of the Cinema Studies Program at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.6 inPublished:September 23, 2005Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262640619

ISBN - 13:9780262640619

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Ndalianis' book achieves that rare thing: a scholarly argument based on carefully articulated historical evidence that is accessible to the non-specialist and a joy to read. It is an erudite call to rethink the contribution that the Baroque has made to western thought and art practice -- in particular to reflect on the way that contemporary technologies of entertainment seem to be drawn to an aesthetic that lies outside the academic obsession with representation.