Alternate Americas: Science Fiction Film and American by M. Keith Booker

By M. Keith Booker

For greater than 50 years, technology fiction movies were one of the most vital and profitable items of yankee cinema, and are necessary of research as a result by myself. On a deeper point, the style has mirrored vital topics, issues and advancements in American society, in order that a background of technology fiction movie additionally serves as a cultural historical past of the USA over the last part century.

M. Keith Booker has chosen fifteen of the main winning and leading edge technology fiction motion pictures of all time, and tested each one of them at length--from cultural, technical and cinematic perspectives--to see the place they got here from and what they intended for the way forward for cinema and for the United States at huge. From "Invasion of the physique Snatchers" to "Star Wars," from "Blade Runner" to "The Matrix," those landmark movies have expressed our fears and desires, our skills and our deficiencies. during this deep-seeking research, we will all locate whatever of ourselves that we realize, in addition to whatever that we've by no means famous before.

The concentrate on a reasonably small variety of landmark movies permits exact cognizance to really unique videos, together with: "Forbidden Planet, Invasion of the physique Snatchers, 2001: an area Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, celebrity Wars, shut Encounters of the 3rd sort, Alien, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Robocop, The Abyss, Independence Day," and "The Matrix." This ebook is perfect for basic readers attracted to technology fiction and picture.

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Additional resources for Alternate Americas: Science Fiction Film and American Culture

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O n the other hand, science had also led to the developm e n t of atomic weapons that threatened to destroy h u m a n civilization. Further, science (especially atomic physics) had b e c o m e so complex that ordinary people increasingly saw it as b e y o n d their understanding. Scientists seemed engaged in u n k n o w n and mysterious activities, a fact that immediately made t h e m objects of suspicion in the paranoid 1950s. T o make matters worse, many of the leading scientists w h o had been involved in the Manhattan Project and w h o remained crucially involved in key American research projects were foreigners, w h i c h again made t h e m o b jects of xenophobic scrutiny.

Perhaps building on the antiauthoritarian 1960s, this film views planetary rule by an advanced computer as a horrifying tyranny, d e spite the fact that the computer seems devoted to the overall good of h u manity and to solving various problems (such as wars, famines, and plagues) that humans have proved unable to solve for themselves. Paul Verhoeven's later Robocop (1987) splits the difference. Automated law enforcement is depicted in the film as an unscrupulous ploy on the part of a giant corporation, w h i c h cares very m u c h about profit and not at all about people.

A central display was the Monsanto House of the Future, t h o u g h this display did not open until 1957. * T h e house and its furnishings were made largely of plastic (a crucial product of its sponsor, the Monsanto corporation), and in this the house was typical of the 1950s celebration of plastic as the material of the future.

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