chapter  7
15 Pages

Conclusion: 9/11 and the contemporary mainstream sports film

Sports films have grown over the twentieth century and into the twenty-first to occupy an important and influential place in popular culture. They have exploited a fundamental quality of both cultural forms: the utopian sensibilities they can evoke. Sport provided a popular and concordant cultural form that complemented the aesthetics of mainstream cinema and featured from the earliest days of film playing a notable role in the popularisation of the new art form. Indeed, the requirements of filming and projecting prize fights in particular in the United States expedited the development of technologies and aesthetics crucial to the advancement of cinema as a popular form, including the ability to film longer scenes, editing and projection. However, the very ubiquity of sport across various cinema genres has made the task of identifying a distinctive sports film genre challenging, while film has also found it difficult to recreate the immediacy and unpredictability of sport resulting in many poorly received sports films. Nonetheless, a sports film genre is increasingly recognised in popular and critical discourse and is characterised by a number of salient features, including the foregrounding of athletes, sporting events or followers of sport in narratives that depend significantly on sport for plot motivation or resolution.