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This collection explores and interrogates the complex role of the child character in the dystopian landscape of post-apocalyptic cinema, including classic, recent, and international films, approached from a variety of theoretical, methodological, and cultural perspectives.
This book explores cultural conceptions of the child and the cinematic absence of black children from contemporary Hollywood film. Debbie Olson argues that within the discourse of children’s studies and film scholarship in relation to the conception of “the child,” there is often little to no distinction among children by race—the “child” is most often discussed as a universal entity, as the embodiment of all things not adult, not (sexually) corrupt. Discussions about children of color among scholars often take place within contexts such as crime, drugs, urbanization, poverty, or lack of education that tend to reinforce historically stereotypical beliefs about African Americans. Olson looks at historical conceptions of childhood within scholarly discourse, the child character in popular film and what space the black child (both African and African American) occupies within that ideal.
Apocalypse-cinema is not only the end of time that has so often been staged as spectacle in films like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Terminator. By looking at blockbusters that play with general annihilation while also paying close attention to films like Melancholia, Cloverfield, Blade Runner, and Twelve Monkeys, this book suggests that in the apocalyptic genre, film gnaws at its own limit. Apocalypse-cinema is, at the same time and with the same double blow, the end of the world and the end of the film. It is the consummation and the (self-)consumption of cinema, in the form of an acinema that Lyotard evoked as the nihilistic horizon of filmic economy. The innumerable countdowns, dazzling radiations, freeze-overs, and seismic cracks and crevices are but other names and pretexts for staging film itself, with its economy of time and its rewinds, its overexposed images and fades to white, its freeze-frames and digital touch-ups. The apocalyptic genre is not just one genre among others: It plays with the very conditions of possibility of cinema. And it bears witness to the fact that, every time, in each and every film, what Jean-Luc Nancy called the cine-world is exposed on the verge of disappearing. In a Postface specially written for the English edition, Szendy extends his argument into a debate with speculative materialism. Apocalypse-cinema, he argues, announces itself as cinders that question the "ultratestimonial" structure of the filmic gaze. The cine-eye, he argues, eludes the correlationism and anthropomorphic structure that speculative materialists have placed under critique, allowing only the ashes it bears to be heard.
This collection seeks to broaden the discussion of the child image by close analysis of the child and childhood as depicted in non-Western cinemas. Each essay offers a counter-narrative to Western notions of childhood by looking critically at alternative visions of childhood that does not privilege a Western ideal. Rather, this collection seeks to broaden our ideas about children, childhood, and the child’s place in the global community. This collection features a wide variety of contributors from around the world who offer compelling analyses of non-Western, non-Hollywood films starring children.
This book analyzes post-9/11 literature, film, and television through an interdisciplinary lens, taking into account contemporary debates about spatial practices, gentrification, cosmopolitanism, memory and history, nostalgia, the uncanny and the abject, postmodern virtuality, the politics of realism, and the economic and social life of cities. Featuring an international group of scholars, the volume theorizes how literary and visual representations expose the persistent conflicts that arise as cities rebuild in the shadow of past ruins.
An entire subculture of end-of-the-world themes has been producing radically unique films with startling perspectives of humanity facing the end of all things. Moore provides a frame of reference on how the characters in these films behaved when their worlds were on the brink of desolation. From I am Legend to Hunger Games, as well as smaller, more obscure films, you'll find an alphabetical chronicle of humanity's struggles through nuclear war, global natural disasters, and the zombie apocalypse.
To say that children matter in Steven Spielberg's films is an understatement. Think of the possessed Stevie in Something Evil (TV), Baby Langston in The Sugarland Express, the alien-abducted Barry in Close Encounters, Elliott and his unearthly alter-ego in E.T, the war-damaged Jim in Empire of the Sun, the little girl in the red coat in Schindler’s List, the mecha child in A.I., the kidnapped boy in Minority Report, and the eponymous boy hero of The Adventures of Tintin. (There are many other instances across his oeuvre). Contradicting his reputation as a purveyor of ‘popcorn’ entertainment, Spielberg’s vision of children/childhood is complex. Discerning critics have begun to note its darker underpinnings, increasingly fraught with tensions, conflicts and anxieties. But, while childhood is Spielberg’s principal source of inspiration, the topic has never been the focus of a dedicated collection of essays. The essays in Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg therefore seek to address childhood in the full spectrum of Spielberg’s cinema. Fittingly, the scholars represented here draw on a range of theoretical frameworks and disciplines—cinema studies, literary studies, audience reception, critical race theory, psychoanalysis, sociology, and more. This is an important book for not only scholars but teachers and students of Spielberg's work, and for any serious fan of the director and his career.

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