David Curcio — Smash Hit: A Sociological Study of the Boxing Film

June 13, 2024 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Salem Athenaeum
337 Essex St.
MA 01970
$15 Members | $20 Non-members
Salem Athenaeum

 An introduction to the invention of cinema under Thomas Edison and its deep ties with boxing will be followed by an overview of the ways in which the boxing genre came to serve as a broad template for twentieth century social mores.

From the Great Migration, Victorian ethnic rivalries and immigration, post-war film noir, public fascination with criminals as they muscled into the sport and onto the big screen, the Hollywood blacklist and through the #metoo era, the boxing film serves as perennial bellwether to contemporaneous cultural attitudes even amid the steep decline in the sport’s viewership.

Larger-than-life Hollywood figures and directors share equal space with the advancement of film making, ethic rivalries in and out of the ring, the rise of “true crime,” and fighters who, in their day, enjoyed the same level of fame as the most important figures in politics and entertainment.

David Curcio is an artist and writer living in Salem, MA. His numerous art, film, and book reviews have been featured on websites and magazines including Bookslut, The Boston Art Review, and Turner Movie Classics’ Noir City. His essay, “Women and Children First! Second-Wave Feminism in the Work of John Wyndam” is included in the coffee table book, Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950–1985.

Smash Hit: Race, Crime, and Culture in Boxing Films is his first book.

Upcoming Events

View Entire Calendar