Rock Gods of the Anthropocene: The Biographical Films of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison


  • Bridget Alexandra Sutherland Eastern Institute of Technology
  • Paul Judge Independent, Hamilton, New Zealand/Aotearoa


Eco-Criticism, Eco-Musicology, Eco-Cinema, Elvis, The Doors, Eco-Semiotics, Deep Ecology, Psychoanalysis


Reflecting on the biographical films of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison in relation to recent eco-critical theory and notions of the Anthropocene, we consider the representation of the rock star in the biopic genre and the ways in which music and other filmic elements may communicate ecological material. We consider the links between ecology and rock music, focusing on both the representation of nature in the films and the symbolism of the body as primal, as animal, and as “creaturely poetic” (Pick, 2011: 5). In a comparison between the biopics Elvis (1979, 2010) by John Carpenter and The Doors (1991, 2009) by Oliver Stone, we examine common motifs and the ways in which these differing cultural texts foreground or repress ecological readings of the music and of the cinematic narrative. 10.5429/2079-3871(2017)v7i1.6en

Author Biography

Bridget Alexandra Sutherland, Eastern Institute of Technology

Lecturer Visual Arts and Design



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