Beat Blog: The Appeal of the Epic

This is the second entry for the Beat Blog assignment for my Reporting class. Enjoy!

I distinctly remember the first time I watched “Titanic”. As I wiped the tears off my nine-year-old face after what I would deem the 3 ½ “greatest hours of my life”, I decided Titanic was my favorite movie of all time. This is a title it still holds 12 years later.

I will concede that, as far as plot is concerned, “Titanic” may not be the greatest film ever made. However, the visuals were completely cutting-edge for their time, making it one of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen. Titanic, however, is only one small corner of a massive genre. Within the epic film genre, there are subdivisions, each with their own assets and appeals.

  • The Disaster Epic
    • The epic disaster film is the one with the most potential to go oh-so wrong. However, a good disaster film can change film history. One of the earliest, and most prominent disaster epics is “The Birds”. When we watch the Hitchcock classic today, we can’t help but laugh at the effects, but the overlay of bird footage on actor footage was completely brilliant for its time.
  • The Biographical Epic
    • Let’s be honest, unless the “biopic” has the good sense to depict an interesting person, the biographical epic can not only go wrong, it can go completely boring.  One instance of getting it right can be credited to Martin Scorsese for “The Aviator”. The Aviator depicts the truly epic and ostentatious life of Howard Hughes. The film is beautiful, long, sweeping, and most importantly, true.

  • The Fantasy Epic
    • It is impossible to discuss epics without throwing “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” in to the mix. The two series will always be defining moments in the history of cinema and technology, having gone where no film before them dared to venture. The fantasy epic allows the viewer to escape to a world that is so incredible that only a budget of millions will do it justice. Fantasy epics also tend to develop the most loyal fan following. Have you ever seen a “Gone with the Wind” convention? What about a “Star Wars” convention? I rest my case.

These three genres are only a glimpse in to a thriving aspect of the film industry.  Epics are the films that win awards, break barriers, and create loyal fans. As long as there is money to be put in to film, there will be the epic. It is a genre like no other that allows for the use of multiple other genres within one film. The epic will always be a fan favorite and a worthy industry investment.


5 thoughts on “Beat Blog: The Appeal of the Epic

  1. I love reading your summary of those movie genres. LOTR is one of the greatest series, ever. I’m not particularly a fantasy fan, but I’ve watched those movies again and again. And Hitchcock really was a marvel, wasn’t he?

  2. Basically I’m all about epics. Love love love ’em. I would add another branch to your categories, the Historical Epic/Period Piece. Like Last of the Mohicans, Gone with the Wind, Rob Roy, Gangs of New York, etc. See what I did there, I mentioned two Daniel Day Lewis movies. He’s basically my favorite actor of all time, and tends to star in Epic films. Good times! 🙂

  3. Interesting post, Camille. It’s always fun to see what films people like, and why. This is organized well. I always encourage the use of bullet points in blogs. A couple quibbles: Your graphics are too big. In fact, you could dispense with the movie poster art completely–it’s just something to scroll past. Also, be sure to put punctuation inside your quotes; i.e “Titanic.” and “great hours of my life,” I like the way you personalize your blog. Keep it up. Score = 10

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