By M. Gallagher
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Additional resources for Action Figures: Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Adventure Narratives
Into Thin Air locates readers alongside individual climbers, posing few explicit questions about the utility of climbing itself. The Perfect Storm accepts death in service to commerce, issuing no call for industrial reform. S. military policy, focusing instead on the individual soldier’s courage under fire. Krakauer’s and Bowden’s books in particular, while presenting contexts for social behavior, prefer narrative momentum to careful analyses of behaviors or institutions. From Real to Reel Masculinity Bestselling nonfiction accounts of male activity, such as Krakauer’s and Bowden’s, borrow not only the solitary heroes or tightly knit groups germane to action cinema but also their narrative techniques.
These interruptions grant readers a reprieve from the unrelenting discomfort and malaise of the central events, and successfully delay the narrative’s resolution. Much of the event narrative is authentically and unavoidably distressing to readers, as we learn of the characters’ physical pain and their inabilities to control or make sense of their situations. Amid this central series of events, the book interjects local superstitions and religious lore about the supposed curse of Mount Everest, as well as musings of previous writers about the mountain’s beauty and the dangers it presents to climbers.
In promoting the film, Bruckheimer and director Ridley Scott touted the film’s supposed semidocumentary aesthetic. ”17 Interestingly, Scott offers documentary realism as a standard of artistic achievement, despite the near-total absence of documentary films from commercial theaters, studio distribution rosters, or Scott’s own resumé. Overall, given the evidence of the film’s expressive color, frenetic editing rhythms, and casting of numerous well-known or rising Hollywood actors, “near to the edge” is a highly elastic term.