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Traces the historical development of science fiction cinema and American culture through examinations of 15 groundbreaking films.
For more than 50 years, science fiction films have been among the most important and successful products of American cinema, and are worthy of study for that reason alone. On a deeper level, the genre has reflected important themes, concerns and developments in American society, so that a history of science fiction film also serves as a cultural history of America over the past half century. M. Keith Booker has selected fifteen of the most successful and innovative science fiction films of all time, and examined each of them at length—from cultural, technical and cinematic perspectives—to see where they came from and what they meant for the future of cinema and for America at large. From Invasion of the Body Snatchers to Star Wars, from Blade Runner to The Matrix, these landmark films have expressed our fears and dreams, our abilities and our deficiencies. In this deep-seeking investigation, we can all find something of ourselves that we recognize, as well as something that we've never recognized before. The focus on a fairly small number of landmark films allows detailed attention to genuinely original movies, including: Forbidden Planet, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Robocop, The Abyss, Independence Day, and The Matrix. This book is ideal for general readers interested in science fiction and film.
For the last sixty years discussion of 1950s science fiction cinema has been dominated by claims that the genre reflected US paranoia about Soviet brainwashing and the nuclear bomb. However, classic films, such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and It Came from Outer Space (1953), and less familiar productions, such as It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), were regularly exported to countries across the world. The histories of their encounters with foreign audiences have not yet been told. Science Fiction Cinema and 1950s Britain begins this task by recounting the story of 1950s British cinema-goers and the aliens and monsters they watched on the silver screen. Drawing on extensive archival research, Matthew Jones makes an exciting and important intervention by locating American science fiction films alongside their domestic counterparts in their British contexts of release and reception. He offers a radical reassessment of the genre, demonstrating for the first time that in Britain, which was a significant market for and producer of science fiction, these films gave voice to different fears than they did in America. While Americans experienced an economic boom, low immigration and the conferring of statehood on Alaska and Hawaii, Britons worried about economic uncertainty, mass immigration and the dissolution of the Empire. Science Fiction Cinema and 1950s Britain uses these and other differences between the British and American experiences of the 1950s to tell a new history of the decade's science fiction cinema, exploring for the first time the ways in which the genre came to mean something unique to Britons.
American Science Fiction Film and Television presents a critical history of late 20th Century SF together with an analysis of the cultural and thematic concerns of this popular genre. Science fiction film and television were initially inspired by the classic literature of HG Wells and Jules Verne. The potential and fears born with the Atomic age fuelled the popularity of the genre, upping the stakes for both technology and apocalypse. From the Cold War through to America's current War on Terror, science fiction has proved a subtle vehicle for the hopes, fears and preoccupations of a nation at war. The definitive introduction to American science fiction, this is also the first study to analyse SF across both film and TV. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with critical case studies of key films and television series, including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, and Battlestar Galactica.
This dictionary covers the history of Science Fiction in literature through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries including significant people; themes; critical issues; and the most significant genres that have formed science fiction literature.
In this book, a scientist and dedicated film enthusiast discusses the portrayal of science in more than one hundred films, including science fiction, scientific biographies, and documentaries. Beginning with early films like Voyage to the Moon and Metropolis and concluding with more recent offerings like The Matrix, War of the Worlds, A Beautiful Mind, and An Inconvenient Truth, Sidney Perkowitz questions how much faith we can put into Hollywood's depiction of scientists and their work, how accurately these films capture scientific fact and theory, whether cataclysms like our collision with a comet can actually happen, and to what extent these films influence public opinion about science and the future. Bringing together history, scientific theory, and humorous observation, Hollywood Science features dozens of film stills and a list of the all-time best and worst science-fiction movies.

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