Buy New
$21.80
Qty:1
  • List Price: $22.95
  • Save: $1.15 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Celluloid Heroes & Me... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons: Film as the Mythology of Electronic Society Paperback – June 2, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1877275746 ISBN-10: 1877275743

Buy New
Price: $21.80
20 New from $18.29 8 Used from $5.00
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$21.80
$18.29 $5.00
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Frequently Bought Together

Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons: Film as the Mythology of Electronic Society + Post-Classic Cinema: Collected Film Reviews 2005 - 2013 + The New Media Invasion: Digital Technologies and the World They Unmake
Price for all three: $80.46

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cybereditions Corporation (June 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1877275743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877275746
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"…a profoundly erudite look at the deeper meanings of cinema…Ebert weaves a tale as engrossing as the films he analyzes." -- Leonard Shlain, author of The Alphabet vs. The Goddess

From the Publisher

From the Foreword by William Irwin Thompson

John Ebert has found a very interesting way to track the transformation of Western Civilization that sneaked up on us while we were looking at television.


More About the Author

I am a writer and a cultural critic. I have thus far published five books and a handful of articles. My books are: "The Age of Catastrophe: Disaster and Humanity in Modern Times" (McFarland, 2012); "The New Media Invasion: Digital Technologies and the World They Unmake" (McFarland, 2011); "Dead Celebrities, Living Icons: Tragedy and Fame in the Age of the Multimedia Superstar" (Praeger, 2010); "Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons: Film as the Mythology of Electronic Society" (Cybereditions, 2005); and "Twilight of the Clockwork God: Conversations on Science & Spirituality at the End of an Age" (Council Oak Books, 1999). I have a series of videos on various philosophers posted on YouTube and a website at cinemdiscourse.com

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 7 customer reviews
It was not only interesting but so well written that it was enjoyable as a read.
Norman W. Kirk II
To understand Ebert's book we have to address change, as in technology (biotech, computing, nanotech, quantum theory, etc.) is about to change us as a species.
John Lobell
He offers his keen scholarly insight into the mythic and sociological undercurrents of this still-evolving trend, which I found to be fresh and original.
Ray Grasse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Lobell on August 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the introduction to his "Understanding Media," McLuhan wrote that his editor "noted in dismay that `seventy-five percent of your material is new. A successful book cannot venture to be more than ten percent new.'" Ebert's "Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons" presents a lot of new material, but when the world has changed and few have noticed, there's a lot to cover.

To understand Ebert's book we have to address change, as in technology (biotech, computing, nanotech, quantum theory, etc.) is about to change us as a species. And a lot of the traditions that used to help us with change, like European intellectuals, the literary novel, and academia, are nowhere to be found.

Europe has left the scene. Today, looking at European/American culture wars, one is tempted to think of a quiet retirement community disturbed by rowdy teenagers with noisy motorcycles. The bikers can be dangerous, but we are not going to hear anything new from the retirees.

Academia has collapsed. We might have hoped that in a period of profound change academia would be on the case. Not. The contemporary PhD thesis, article, and book in cultural studies is typically written by putting poststructuralist jargon in a word randomizer and printing out the results to signal that one is a member of the tribe. (One such randomizer, Pixmaven's Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator, is available online) Which leaves it to the nonacademic "independent public intellectual" to analyze our culture. John Ebert is a leading member of this vital group.

And the literary novel has ended.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stu Grimson on September 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Joseph Campbell died in the mid-80's, his greatest formative influences came when he was a young man, in the forms of luminaries such as Joyce and Mann in literature, Spengler in history and culture, Picasso and Klee in art. His greatest work, the four-part Masks of God series, was written in the 1960s. Although in his later years, perhaps with onset of his own late age and approaching death, Campbell became more interested in the evolution and structure of consciousness through time, and entertained more speculative and mystical answers to many of the questions he had wrestled with in the past, he was nevertheless an instinctual conservative and product of his time, his time being the positivistic years of the early 20th century. His Spenglerian view of Western high culture being in decline combined with his inherent conservatism to keep him from exploring many of the important forces at work in the second half of the 20th century. For although he himself thought Spengler rang the death knell of Western culture a few years too early, and failed to recognize the important contribution of modern art, he himself only ever saw two films, both by invitation. In a late 70s lecture I once heard, he still referred to them as "talkies".

And so as a great fan of Campbell, I often find myself wondering what Campbell would have said if he had been able to read Jean Gebser's magnum opus, The Ever Present Origin. Or if he had seen the evolution of his mythological theories not only in Star Wars (one of the two films he ever saw, along with Kubrick's 2001), but through the works of Kubrick, Spielberg, Aronofsky. Or if he could have read the works of the post-modern critical theorists Baudrillard, Virilio, Badiou. Or what he would have to say about zombie films and the fear of death.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Prokopton on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ebert sees the movies as a modern Delphi, enunciating the gods'-eye-view of the story we've been living without consciously grasping it. He's wonderful on the move from the highbrow to the populous ("Here Comes Everybody"). Media, whether string quartets, oil on canvas or print novels, have Spenglerian lifespans, and most for Ebert are passed now into self-conscious abstruseness, their energy played out. But film has remained vital, and thanks to a visionary infusion from Joseph Campbell and James Frazer, is playing a prophetic/initiatic cultural role using spectacle to reach the spiritual subconscious. ("2001" is a millennial annunciation, "Close Encounters" its sequel.)

As he says:

'This is why the public responds with such avidity to films like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Star Wars" and more recently, "The Lord of the Rings": because these films are fulfilling an unconscious yearning of the public for connection with a vanished mythological condition that is no longer taught in schools, which have shifted over to a largely vocational and technological, rather than humanistic curriculum. The psyche, meanwhile, is starved for myth, but the conscious mind doesn't realize it until it sits down in the theatre with a mythologically inspired film.'

The story we have been telling ourselves, from "Star Wars" to "Bladerunner" to "Videodrome", is of how we will save ourselves from our own machine nightmare. Film itself seems ambivalent about whether civilization and the human soul can survive.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?