Responses To Oliver Stone?s Alexander: Film, History, and Cultural Studies

Paperback | January 20, 2010

EditorPaul Cartledge, Fiona Rose GreenlandAfterword byOliver Stone

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The charismatic Alexander the Great of Macedon (356–323 B.C.E.) was one of the most successful military commanders in history, conquering Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia, central Asia, and the lands beyond as far as Pakistan and India. Alexander has been, over the course of two millennia since his death at the age of thirty-two, the central figure in histories, legends, songs, novels, biographies, and, most recently, films. In 2004 director Oliver Stone’s epic film Alexander generated a renewed interest in Alexander the Great and his companions, surroundings, and accomplishments, but the critical response to the film offers a fascinating lesson in the contentious dialogue between historiography and modern entertainment.
    This volume brings together an intriguing mix of leading scholars in Macedonian and Greek history, Persian culture, film studies, classical literature, and archaeology—including some who were advisors for the film—and includes an afterword by Oliver Stone discussing the challenges he faced in putting Alexander’s life on the big screen. The contributors scrutinize Stone’s project from its inception and design to its production and reception, considering such questions as: Can a film about Alexander (and similar figures from history) be both entertaining and historically sound? How do the goals of screenwriters and directors differ from those of historians? How do Alexander’s personal relationships—with his mother Olympias, his wife Roxane, his lover Hephaistion, and others—affect modern perceptions of Alexander? Several of the contributors also explore reasons behind the film’s tepid response at the box office and subsequent controversies. 

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The charismatic Alexander the Great of Macedon (356–323 B.C.E.) was one of the most successful military commanders in history, conquering Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia, central Asia, and the lands beyond as far as Pakistan and India. Alexander has been, over the course of two millennia since his death at the age of thirty-two, the central ...

Paul Cartledge is the A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek culture in the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge University, and the Hellenic Parliament Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. He is author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of more than twenty books, including Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past. Fiona Rose Gre...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:January 20, 2010Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299232840

ISBN - 13:9780299232849

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments   

Introduction       
    Paul Cartledge and Fiona Rose Greenland

Part 1. Stone's Alexander
Oliver Stone's Alexander and the Cinematic Epic Tradition       
    Joanna Paul
The Popular Reception of Alexander       
    Jon Solomon

Part 2. Precursors of Alexander
Alexander on Stage: A Critical Appraisal of Rattigan's Adventure Story       
    Robin Lane Fox
The Appearance of History: Robert Rossen's Alexander the Great       
    Kim Shahabudin

Part 3. Alexander's Intimates: Sexuality and Gender
Alexander and Ancient Greek Sexuality: Some Theoretical Considerations       
    Marilyn B. Skinner
Olympias and Oliver: Sex, Sexual Stereotyping, and Women in Oliver Stone's Alexander       
    Elizabeth D. Carney
Fortune Favors the Blond: Colin Farrell in Alexander       
    Monica S. Cyrino
The Cult of Hephaestion       
    Jeanne Reames

Part 4. Alexander's Dream: Macedonians and Foreigners
Oliver Stone, Alexander, and the Unity of Mankind       
    Thomas Harrison
"Help me, Aphrodite!" Depicting the Royal Women of Persia in Alexander       
    Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

Part 5. Ways of Viewing Alexander
Viewing the Past: Cinematic Exegesis in the Caverns of Macedonia    
    Verity Platt
Blockbuster! Museum Responses to Alexander       
    John F. Cherry

Afterword       
    Oliver Stone

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Rigorously researched, often brilliantly argued essays by scholars of the ancient world”—Tony Pipolo, Cineaste