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Flights of Fancy

In-depth analyses are presented of 15 superior films, each one representing a subgenre of fantasy cinema--Beauty and the Beast, Conan the Barbarian, The Dark Crystal, Dragonslayer, 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, It's a Wonderful Life, Jason and the Argonauts, King Kong, Lost Horizon, Popeye, Superman, The Thief of Baghdad, Time Bandits, Topper, and The Wizard of Oz. A chapter is devoted to each film, providing a plot summary and detailed information about cast and crew, special effects (stop-motion animation, miniatures, hanging miniatures, optical effects, tricks of perspective, blue screens, matte paintings, glass shots, reverse projection, slow motion, rear and front projection, etc.), and strengths and weaknesses, as well as explorations of the film's relationship to written fantasy, other films, and cultural myths.
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About the Author

A retired Penn State University professor, Kenneth Von Gunden is the author of multiple books, including film scholarship and science fiction novels. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.


"enjoyable"--Classic Images; "very thorough"--Rue Morgue; "exhaustive research...commendable"--Variety; "detailed examination...intelligently analyzed...useful"--Film Review Annual; "thorough analyses"--Reference & Research Book News; "detailed"--Science Fiction Chronicle; "in-depth studies of fantasy favorites...plenty of tidbits"--Burlington County Times.

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