This major new study offers a broad historical and theoretical reassessment of the science fiction film genre. The book explores the development of science fiction in cinema from its beginnings in early film through to recent examples of the genre. Each chapter sets analyses of chosen films within a wider historical/cultural context, while concentrating on a specific thematic issue. The book therefore presents vital and unique perspectives in its approach to the genre, which include discussion of the relevance of psychedelic imagery, the 'new woman of science', generic performance and the prevalence of 'techno-orientalism' in recent films. While American films will be one of the principle areas covered, the author also engages with a range of pertinent examples from other nations, as well as discussing the centrality of science fiction as a transnational film genre. Films discussed include The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Body Snatchers, Forbidden Planet, The Quatermass Experiment, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Demon Seed, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Wars, Altered States, Alien, Blade Runner, The Brother from Another Planet, Back to the Future, The Terminator, Predator, The One, Dark City, The Matrix, Fifth Elementand eXistenZ. Key Features*Thematically organised for use as a course text.*Introduces current and past theories and practices, and provides an overview of the main themes, approaches and areas of study.*Covers new and burgeoning approaches such as generic performance and aspects of postmodern identity.*Includes new interviews with some of the main practitioners in the field: Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Ken Russell, Stan Winston, William Gibson, Brian Aldiss, Joe Morton, Dean Norris and Billy Gray.
This major new study offers a broad historical and theoretical reassessment of the science fiction film genre. The book explores the development of science fiction in cinema from its beginnings in early film through to recent examples of the genre. Each chapter sets analyses of chosen films within a wider historical/cultural context, while concentrating on a specific thematic issue. The book therefore presents vital and unique perspectives in its approach to the genre, which include discussion of the relevance of psychedelic imagery, the 'new woman of science', generic performance and the prevalence of 'techno-orientalism' in recent films. While American films will be one of the principle areas covered, the author also engages with a range of pertinent examples from other nations, as well as discussing the centrality of science fiction as a transnational film genre. Films discussed include The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Body Snatchers, Forbidden Planet, The Quatermass Experiment, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Demon Seed, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Wars, Altered States, Alien, Blade Runner, The Brother from Another Planet, Back to the Future, The Terminator, Predator, The One, Dark City, The Matrix, Fifth Element and eXistenZ. Key Features*Thematically organised for use as a course text.*Introduces current and past theories and practices, and provides an overview of the main themes, approaches and areas of study.*Covers new and burgeoning approaches such as generic performance and aspects of postmodern identity.*Includes new interviews with some of the main practitioners in the field: Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Ken Russell, Stan Winston, William Gibson, Brian Aldiss, Joe Morton, Dean Norris and Billy Gray.
This major new study offers a broad historical and theoretical reassessment of the science fiction film genre. The book explores the development of science fiction in cinema from its beginnings in early film through to recent examples of the genre. Each chapter sets analyses of chosen films within a wider historical/cultural context, while concentrating on a specific thematic issue. The book therefore presents vital and unique perspectives in its approach to the genre, which include discussion of the relevance of psychedelic imagery, the 'new woman of science', generic performance and the prevalence of 'techno-orientalism' in recent films. While American films will be one of the principle areas covered, the author also engages with a range of pertinent examples from other nations, as well as discussing the centrality of science fiction as a transnational film genre. Films discussed include The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Body Snatchers, Forbidden Planet, The Quatermass Experiment, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Demon Seed, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Wars, Altered States, Alien, Blade Runner, The Brother from Another Planet, Back to the Future, The Terminator, Predator, The One, Dark City, The Matrix, Fifth Elementand eXistenZ. Key Features*Thematically organised for use as a course text.*Introduces current and past theories and practices, and provides an overview of the main themes, approaches and areas of study.*Covers new and burgeoning approaches such as generic performance and aspects of postmodern identity.*Includes new interviews with some of the main practitioners in the field: Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Ken Russell, Stan Winston, William Gibson, Brian Aldiss, Joe Morton, Dean Norris and Billy Gray.
If science fiction stages the battle between humans and non-humans, whether alien or machine, who is elected to fight for us? In the classics of science fiction cinema, humanity is nearly always represented by a male, and until recently, a white male. Spanning landmark American films from Blade Runner to Avatar, this major new study offers the first ever analysis of masculinity in science fiction cinema. It uncovers the evolution of masculine heroes from the 1980s until the present day, and the roles played by their feminine counterparts. Considering gender alongside racial and class politics, Masculinity in Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema also brilliantly situates filmic examples within the broader culture. In view of its largely young male audience, what masculine norms and models of behaviour are promoted by science fiction films? During the 1980s, the genre helped to redefine white masculinity in America as both powerful and victimised. Heroes embodied Reagan-era hypermasculinity, but owed their resolve to earlier traumas inflicted by greedy and technology-obsessed elites, a critique of the decade’s materialism. By the 1990s, the emotional terrain available to male characters was expanded, even witnessing the humanisation of the Terminator, and black characters entered the stage. At the same time, the world of science fiction became increasingly sanitised, moving away from the dystopias of the 1980s. Can science fiction call into question the privileged position of whiteness as the invisible and universal norm for the whole of humanity? In many ways, science fiction challenges the status quo, offering an imaginary space where identities are renegotiated. Working-class heroes fight corrupt corporations (Escape from New York or RoboCop), powerful heroines battle for survival (Alien), and cyborgs morph from one sex to another (Terminator 2). Considering these alternative visions, the book highlights the tensions inherent to science fiction as a genre. It is indispensable for understanding science fiction and its role in contemporary cultural politics.
Science Fiction Film develops a historical and cultural approach to the genre that moves beyond close readings of iconography and formal conventions. It explores how this increasingly influential genre has been constructed from disparate elements into a hybrid genre. Science Fiction Film goes beyond a textual exploration of these films to place them within a larger network of influences that includes studio politics and promotional discourses. The book also challenges the perceived limits of the genre - it includes a wide range of films, from canonical SF, such as Le voyage dans la lune, Star Wars and Blade Runner, to films that stretch and reshape the definition of the genre. This expansion of generic focus offers an innovative approach for students and fans of science fiction alike.
For critics, fans, and scholars of drama and film, the laugh has traditionally been tied to comedy, indicating and expressing mirth, witty relief, joyous celebration, or arch and sarcastic parody. But strange, dark laughter that illuminates non-comedic, unfunny situations gets much less attention. In The Last Laugh: Strange Humors of Cinema, editor Murray Pomerance has assembled contributions from thirteen estimable scholars that address the strange laughter of cinema from varying intellectual perspectives and a wide range of sources. Contributors consider unusual humors in a variety of filmic settings, from the chilling unheard laughter of silent cinema to the ribald and mortal laughter in the work of Orson Welles; the vagaries and nuances of laughter in film noir to the eccentric laughter of science fiction. Essays also look at laughter in many different applications, from the subtle, underlying wit of the thriller Don't Look Now to the deeply provocative humor of experimental film and the unpredictable, shadowy, insightful, and stunning laughter in such films as Black Swan, Henry Fool, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Kiss of Death, The Dark Knight, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The accessibly written, unique essays in The Last Laugh bring a new understanding to the delicate balance, unsettled tensions, and fragility of human affairs depicted by strange humor in film. For scholars of film and readers who love cinema, these essays will be rich and playful inspiration.
This timely volume explores the massively popular cinema of writer-director James Cameron. It couches Cameron's films within the evolving generic traditions of science fiction, melodrama, and the cinema of spectacle. The book also considers Cameron's engagement with the aesthetic of visual effects and the 'now' technology of performance-capture which is arguably moving a certain kind of event-movie cinema from photography to something more akin to painting. This book is explicit in presenting Cameron as an authentic auteur, and each chapter is dedicated to a single film in his body of work, from The Terminator to Avatar. Space is also given to discussion of Strange Days as well as his short films and documentary works.
"Behind-the-scenes" stories of ranting directors, stingy producers, temperamental actors, and the like have fascinated us since the beginnings of film and television. Today, magazines, websites, television programs, and DVDs are devoted to telling tales of trade lore—from on-set antics to labor disputes. The production of media has become as storied and mythologized as the content of the films and TV shows themselves. Production Studies is the first volume to bring together a star-studded cast of interdisciplinary media scholars to examine the unique cultural practices of media production. The all-new essays collected here combine ethnographic, sociological, critical, material, and political-economic methods to explore a wide range of topics, from contemporary industrial trends such as new media and niche markets to gender and workplace hierarchies. Together, the contributors seek to understand how the entire span of "media producers"—ranging from high-profile producers and directors to anonymous stagehands and costume designers—work through professional organizations and informal networks to form communities of shared practices, languages, and cultural understandings of the world. This landmark collection connects the cultural activities of media producers to our broader understanding of media practices and texts, establishing an innovative and agenda-setting approach to media industry scholarship for the twenty-first century. Contributors: Miranda J. Banks, John T. Caldwell, Christine Cornea, Laura Grindstaff, Felicia D. Henderson, Erin Hill, Jane Landman, Elana Levine, Amanda D. Lotz, Paul Malcolm, Denise Mann, Vicki Mayer, Candace Moore, Oli Mould, Sherry B. Ortner, Matt Stahl, John L. Sullivan, Serra Tinic, Stephen Zafirau
American Smart Cinema examines a contemporary type of US filmmaking that exists at the intersection of mainstream, art and independent cinema and often gives rise to absurd, darkly comic and nihilistic effects.
This book explores what science fiction can tell us about the human condition in a technological world, with the ethical dilemmas and consequences that this entails. This book is the result of the joint efforts of scholars and scientists from various disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach sets an example for those who, like us, have been busy assessing the ways in which fictional attempts to fathom the possibilities of science and technology speak to central concerns about what it means to be human in a contemporary world of technology and which ethical dilemmas it brings along. One of the aims of this book is to demonstrate what can be achieved in approaching science fiction as a kind of imaginary laboratory for experimentation, where visions of human (or even post-human) life under various scientific, technological or natural conditions that differ from our own situation can be thought through and commented upon. Although a scholarly work, this book is also designed to be accessible to a general audience that has an interest in science fiction, as well as to a broader academic audience interested in ethical questions.
MÖGE DER VERS MIT EUCH SEIN! Der Barde aus Stratford begibt sich in eine weit, weit entfernte Galaxis. In Shakespeares Star Wars treffen zwei Welten aufeinander, die sonst nicht in einem Atemzug genannt werden. Aber warum eigentlich nicht? Immerhin haben die Figuren aus Star Wars viel mit den Dramatis Personae eines elisabethanischen Dramas gemein: Es gibt einen weisen (Jedi-)Ritter und einen bösen (Sith-) Lord, der eine schöne Prinzessin gefangen hält. Auch der jugendliche Held, der zur Rettung eilt, fehlt nicht. Hinzu kommen noch ein kampferprobter Draufgänger und dessen treuer Begleiter. Ian Doescher hat mit diesem Drama in Stile des großen Meisters Episode IV umgedichtet und dabei alle Vorteile genutzt, die das neue Medium zu bieten hat. Das Resultat ist ein einzigartiges Lesevergnügen.
Science Fiction Film examines one of the most enduring and popular genres of Hollywood cinema, suggesting how the science fiction film reflects attitudes toward science, technology, and reason as they have evolved in American culture over the course of the twentieth century. J. P. Telotte provides a survey of science fiction film criticism, emphasizing humanist, psychological, ideological, feminist, and postmodern critiques. He also sketches a history of the genre, from its earliest literary manifestations to the present, while touching on and comparing it to pulp fiction, early television science fiction, and Japanese anim. Telotte offers in-depth readings of three key films: Robocop, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and THX 1138, each of which typifies a particular form of science fiction fantasy. Challenging the boundaries usually seen between high and low culture, literature and film, Science Fiction Film reasserts the central role of fantasy in popular films, even those concerned with reason, science, and technology.
This book charts the dimensions of one of the most popular genres in the cinema. From lurid comic-book blockbusters to dark dystopian visions, science fiction is seen as both a powerful cultural barometer of our times and the product of particular industrial and commercial frameworks. The authors outline the major themes of the genre, from representations of the mad scientist and computer hacker to the relationship between science fiction and postmodernism, exploring issues such as the meaning of special effects and the influence of science fiction cinema on the entertainment media of the digital age. Over one hundred films are discussed and the book concludes with an extensive case study of Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace.
The enduring paradoxes of the home are often brought to light in science-fiction (SF) writing and film. However, while crossovers between architecture and SF have proliferated, the home is often overshadowed by the spectacle of 'otherness'. By examining the home from the estranging perspective of SF, and in particular, the films based on Phillip K. Dick's books, this work offers a unique critical analysis with particular relevance for contemporary architecture.
With the technology of the new millennium continuing to advance, there has been an increased interest in participatory forms of science fiction, fantasy, and horror entertainment such as role-playing and computer games, websites, and virtual reality settings. People seem to have a desire to go beyond the ordinary and well into the fantastic. This work is a compilation of new essays (all but one never before published) written by experts in both electronic and non-electronic game genres, covering computer games, web pages, Internet role-playing, interactive movies, table-top games, live-action role-playing, ghost hunts, action figures and amusement park rides. They cover a variety of viewpoints as to how and why people become so engrossed with virtual reality–type activities.
Liquid Metal brings together 'seminal' essays that have opened up the study of science fiction to serious critical interrogation. Eight distinct sections cover such topics as the cyborg in science fiction; the science fiction city; time travel and the primal scene; science fiction fandom; and the 1950s invasion narratives. Important writings by Susan Sontag, Vivian Sobchack, Steve Neale, J.P. Telotte, Peter Biskind and Constance Penley are included.
A Companion to Science Fiction assembles essays by aninternational range of scholars which discuss the contexts, themesand methods used by science fiction writers. This Companion conveys the scale and variety of sciencefiction. Shows how science fiction has been used as a means of debatingcultural issues. Essays by an international range of scholars discuss thecontexts, themes and methods used by science fiction writers. Addresses general topics, such as the history and origins ofthe genre, its engagement with science and gender, and nationalvariations of science fiction around the English-speakingworld. Maps out connections between science fiction, television, thecinema, virtual reality technology, and other aspects of theculture. Includes a section focusing on major figures, such as H.G.Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ursula Le Guin. Offers close readings of particular novels, from MaryShelley’s Frankenstein to Margaret Atwood’sThe Handmaid’s Tale.
Designed to trick the eye and stimulate the imagination, special effects have changed the way we look at films and the worlds created in them. Computer-generated imagery (CGI), as seen in Hollywood blockbusters like Star Wars, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Men in Black, and The Matrix, is just the latest advance in the evolution of special effects. Even as special effects have been marveled at by millions, this is the first investigation of their broader cultural reception. Moving from an exploration of nineteenth-century popular science and magic to the Hollywood science fiction cinema of our time, Special Effects examines the history, advancements, and connoisseurship of special effects, asking what makes certain types of cinematic effects special, why this matters, and for whom. Michele Pierson shows how popular science magazines, genre filmzines, and computer lifestyle magazines have articulated an aesthetic criticism of this emerging art form and have helped shape how these hugely popular on-screen technological wonders have been viewed by moviegoers.
As the gap between science fiction and science fact has narrowed, films that were intended as pure fantasy at the time of their premier have taken on deeper meaning. This volume explores neuroscience in science fiction films, focusing on neuroscience and psychiatry as running themes in SF and finding correlations between turning points in "neuroscience fiction" and advances in the scientific field. The films covered include The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Robocop, The Stepford Wives, The Mind Snatchers and iconic franchises like Terminator, Ironman and Planet of the Apes. Examining the parallel histories of psychiatry, neuroscience and cinema, this book shows how science fiction films offer insightful commentary on the scientific and philosophical developments of their times.

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