1st Edition

British Science Fiction Cinema

Edited By I.Q. Hunter Copyright 1999
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    British Science Fiction Cinema is the first substantial study of a genre which, despite a sometimes troubled history, has produced some of the best British films, from the prewar classic Things to Come to Alien made in Britain by a British director. The contributors to this rich and provocative collection explore the diverse strangeness of British science fiction, from literary adaptions like Nineteen Eighty-Four and A Clockwork Orange to pulp fantasies and 'creature features' far removed from the acceptable face of British cinema.
    Through case studies of key films like The Day the Earth Caught Fire, contributors explore the unique themes and concerns of British science fiction, from the postwar boom years to more recent productions like Hardware, and examine how science fiction cinema drew on a variety of sources, from TV adaptions like Doctor Who and the Daleks, to the horror/sf crossovers produced from John Wyndham's cult novels The Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned). How did budget restrictions encourage the use of the 'invasion narrative' in the 1950s films? And how did films such as Unearthly Stranger and Invasion reflect fears about the decline of Britain's economic and colonial power and the 'threat' of female sexuality?
    British Science Fiction Cinema celebrates the breadth and continuing vitality of British sf film-making, in both big-budget productions such as Brazil and Event Horizon and cult exploitation movies like Inseminoid and Lifeforce.

    Introduction: the strange world of the British science fiction film 1 Things to Come and science fiction in the 1930s 2 ‘We’re the Martians now’: British sf invasion fantasies of the 1950s and 1960s 3 Apocalypse then!: the ultimate monstrosity and strange things on the coast...an interview with Nigel Kneale 4 Alien women: the politics of sexual difference in British sf pulp cinema 5 ‘A stiff upper lip and a trembling lower one’: John Wyndham on screen 6 Trashing London: the British colossal creature film and fantasies of mass destruction 7 The Day the Earth Caught Fire 8 Adapting telefantasy: the Doctor Who and the Daleks films 9 ‘A bit of the old ultra-violence’: A Clockwork Orange 10 The British post-Alien intrusion film 11 Dream girls and mechanic panic: dystopia and its others in Brazil and Nineteen Eighty-Four 12 ‘No flesh shall be spared’: Richard Stanley’s Hardware


    I.Q. Hunter is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at De Montfort University, Leicester.

    'While the general approach is academic, the sheer nature of the films under scrutiny means that things don't get too serious, so non-students can also appreciate what the book has to offer too.' - Film Review

    'British Science Fiction Cinema British Crime Cinema The two books may be aimed more at students than buffs, but anyone who picks them up will find plenty of food for thought.' - Independent

    'The twelve essays in this book, all written with an obvious affection for their subject, show why this mode of popular culture is worthy of sustained scholarly consideration - not least because of its potential for radical social comment.' - The Time Literary Supplement