Contemporary American Science Fiction Film  book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary American Science Fiction Film

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ISBN 9781032039640
February 17, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
304 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Contemporary American Science Fiction Film explores and interrogates a diverse variety of popular and culturally relevant American science fiction films made in the first two decades of the new millennium, offering a ground-breaking investigation of the impactful role of genre cinema in the modern era.

Placing one of the most popular and culturally resonant American film genres broadly within its rich social, historical, industrial, and political context, the book interrogates some of the defining critical debates of the era via an in-depth analysis of a range of important films. An international team of authors draw on case studies from across the science fiction genre to examine what these films can tell us about the time period, how the films themselves connect to the social and political context, how the fears and anxieties they portray resonate beyond the screen, and how the genre responds to the shifting coordinates of the Hollywood film industry. 

Offering new insights and perspectives on the cinematic science fiction genre, this volume will appeal primarily to scholars and students of film, television, culture and media studies, as well as anyone interested in science fiction and speculative film. 

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Fears and Fantasies of Science Fiction Film: Genre as Cultural Artefact

Terence McSweeney and Stuart Joy  

1. A Tale as Old as Time: Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) 

Christine Muller 

2. Through the Lens of 9/11: Reflections of Bush Era Politics and the Post-9/11 Milieu in Minority Report (2002) and V for Vendetta (2006)   

Fran Pheasant Kelly 

3. Precarious Lives, Human Rights and "the sense of today": The Continuing Resonance and Relevance of Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006) 

Terence McSweeney 

4. Seeing and Touching the Bodies of Others: Evolving the Male Animal toward Secular Moral Enlightenment in the Planet of the Apes Reboot Franchise 

Carol Donelan 

5. Time Travel, Trauma and The Futility of Revenge in Looper (2012) 

Stuart Joy 

6. Science Fiction Cinema between Arthouse and Blockbuster: From Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (2014) 

Steffen Hantke 

7. 21st-Century Star Wars: Profiles in (Female) Courage 

Stacey Peebles 

8. Rationality, emotionality and geopolitics in Arrival (2016): from structural oppositions and reconciliations to mixed modalities and claims to ‘quality’ status 

Geoff King 

9. "The World Is Built on A Wall": Deconstructing Blade Runner 2049 (2017) 

Will Brooker 

10. Speculative Anger and Collective Economic Strength in Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You (2018)  

Paul Petrovic  

11. Coping with the Deconstruction of American Identity: Hybridization and Self-destruction in Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018) 

Andrew Schopp 

12. Wakanda Forever? On Rya nCoogler’s Black Panther( 2018) 

Gerry Canavan 

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Terence McSweeney is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at Southampton Solent University and the author of The 'War on Terror' and American Film: 9/11 Frames Per Second (EUP, 2014), Avengers Assemble! Critical Perspectives on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Wallflower, 2018) and Black Panther: Interrogating a Cultural Phenomenon (University of Mississippi Press, 2021).  

Stuart Joy is Senior Lecturer in Film and television at Southampton Solent University and the author of The Traumatic Screen: The Films of Christopher Nolan (2020), co-editor of, and contributor to The Cinema of Christopher Nolan: Imagining the Impossible (Wallflower, 2015) and Through the Black Mirror: Deconstructing the Side Effects of the Digital Age (Palgrave, 2019)