The Big Top on the Big Screen

Explorations of the Circus in Film

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About the Book

Circuses and film are a natural pairing, and the new essays making up this volume begin the exploration of how these two forms of entertainment have sometimes worked together to create a spectacle of onscreen alchemy. The films discussed herein are an eclectic group, ranging from early silent comedies to animated, 21st century examples, in which circuses serve as liminal or carnivalesque spaces wherein characters—and by extension audience members—can confront issues as far-reaching as labor relations, sensuality, identity, ethics, and more.
The circus as discussed in these essays encompasses the big top, the midway, the sideshow and the freak show; it becomes backdrop, character, catalyst and setting, and is welcoming, malicious or terrifying. Circus performers are family, friends, foe or all of the above. And film is the medium that brings it all together. This volume starts the conversation about how circuses and film can combine to form productive, exciting spaces where almost anything can happen.

About the Author(s)

Teresa Cutler-Broyles teaches film and cultural studies in the cinematic arts, architecture, and freshman learning communities departments at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and creative nonfiction at the Umbra Institute in Italy. She writes fiction, travel, popular culture and nonfiction, and has been published in numerous academic volumes on subjects ranging from Star Trek to belly dance.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Teresa Cutler-Broyles
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7118-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3775-4
Imprint: McFarland