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The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema interrogates notions of the child as a symbol of futurity and also loss. By exploring the ways children function discursively within a dystopian framework we may better understand how and why traditional notions of childhood are repeatedly tethered to sites of adult conflict and disaster, a connection that often functions to reaffirm the “rightness” of past systems of social order. This collection features critical articles that explore the role of the child character in post-apocalyptic cinema, including classic, recent, and international films, approached from a variety of theoretical, methodological, and cultural perspectives.
Studies fifty films that illustrate the variety, range, and different categories of the genre.
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.
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 book offers analyses of the roles of race, gender, and sexuality in the post-apocalyptic visions of early twenty-first century film and television shows. Contributors examine the production, reproduction, and re-imagination of some of our most deeply held human ideals through sociological, anthropological, historical, and feminist approaches.
Depictions of sex, violence, and crime abound in many of today's movies, sometimes making it seem that the idyllic life has vanished-even from our imaginations. But as shown in this unique book, paradise has not always been lost. For many years, depictions of heaven, earthly paradises, and utopias were common in popular films. Illustrated throughout with intriguing, rare stills and organized to provide historical context, Visions of Paradise surveys a huge array of films that have offered us glimpses of life free from strife, devoid of pain and privation, and full of harmony. In films such as Moana, White Shadows in the South Seas, The Green Pastures, Heaven Can Wait, The Enchanted Forest, The Bishop's Wife, Carousel, Bikini Beach, and Elvira Madigan, characters and the audience partake in a vision of personal freedom and safety-a zone of privilege and protection that transcends the demands of daily existence. Many of the films discussed are from the 1960s-perhaps the most edenic decade in contemporary cinema, when everything seemed possible and radical change was taken for granted. As Dixon makes clear, however, these films have not disappeared with the dreams of a generation; they continue to resonate today, offering a tonic to the darker visions that have replaced them.
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