Biographical Motion Pictures and the Resuscitation of “Real Lives”

  • Taïna Tuhkunen


Through an examination of the theoretical debates inspired by the biopic, a genre whose popularity discouraged serious critical endeavors, this article retraces the hagiographic trend of the genre to “Jesus movies” whose symbolical use of Christic light has been appropriated to dignify secular figures. Referring to the adaptation of cinemagician Georges Méliès’s adaptation of Joan of Arc (1900), the essay also posits that key events in the lives of the medieval religious icon resonate with a fairy tale figure like Cinderella. It thereby demonstrates that the hagiographic patterns beneath the coming into being of “extraordinary individuals” date back to the origins of cinema itself.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université d’AngersAngersFrance

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