For more than 30 years, David Cronenberg has produced films, mostly outside the Studio system, which continue to disturb, surprise and challenge audiences. He has also been repeatedly drawn to literary fiction for inspiration, adapting works by figures like William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard and Patrick McGrath. This book is only the second single-authored study on Cronenberg and as well as containing the first detailed analysis of eXistenZ (1999) Spider (2003) and A History of Violence (2005), it is the first to explore how understanding certain written texts, from both underground and mainstream fiction, can help us understand how Cronenberg's films work.
This is a provocative collection of essays that provide cutting edge, original research in film studies, discussing a number of 'transgressive' films that have never before had such in-depth analysis and treatment. From '70s Italian horror films and extreme European cinema to Nazi propaganda films and fundamentalist Christian 'scare' movies, these essays explore many different genres and themes.
Industrial modernity takes it as self-evident that there is a difference between people and machines, but the corollary of this has been a recurring fantasy about the erasure of that difference. The central scenario in this fantasy is the crash, sometimes literal, sometimes metaphorical. Nicholas Daly considers the way human/machine encounters have been imagined from the 1860s on, arguing that such scenes dramatize the modernization of subjectivity. This book will be of interest to scholars of moderinism, literature and film.
If science fiction stages the battle between humans and non-humans, whether alien or machine, who is elected to fight for us? In the classics of science fiction cinema, humanity is nearly always represented by a male, and until recently, a white male. Spanning landmark American films from Blade Runner to Avatar, this major new study offers the first ever analysis of masculinity in science fiction cinema. It uncovers the evolution of masculine heroes from the 1980s until the present day, and the roles played by their feminine counterparts. Considering gender alongside racial and class politics, Masculinity in Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema also brilliantly situates filmic examples within the broader culture. In view of its largely young male audience, what masculine norms and models of behaviour are promoted by science fiction films? During the 1980s, the genre helped to redefine white masculinity in America as both powerful and victimised. Heroes embodied Reagan-era hypermasculinity, but owed their resolve to earlier traumas inflicted by greedy and technology-obsessed elites, a critique of the decade’s materialism. By the 1990s, the emotional terrain available to male characters was expanded, even witnessing the humanisation of the Terminator, and black characters entered the stage. At the same time, the world of science fiction became increasingly sanitised, moving away from the dystopias of the 1980s. Can science fiction call into question the privileged position of whiteness as the invisible and universal norm for the whole of humanity? In many ways, science fiction challenges the status quo, offering an imaginary space where identities are renegotiated. Working-class heroes fight corrupt corporations (Escape from New York or RoboCop), powerful heroines battle for survival (Alien), and cyborgs morph from one sex to another (Terminator 2). Considering these alternative visions, the book highlights the tensions inherent to science fiction as a genre. It is indispensable for understanding science fiction and its role in contemporary cultural politics.
Ill Effects is a radical re-examination of the whole 'media effects' debate. It questions not only whether the media is capable of directly influencing people's views and actions, but also whether the idea of 'effects' is the most useful way of conceptualising the relationship between the media and audiences. Ill Effects looks at the reasons why the media are routinely blamed for horrific events such as the murders of James Bulger and Suzanne Capper and the Hungerford massacre, as well as for perceived trends such as the alleged 'death of the family' and the rise of 'yob culture'. The authors' concern goes beyond individual cases: they discuss the development and current state of play of research into media effects, the remarkable power of 'common-sense' notions of media effects and the way in which the effects issue has become embroiled in debates about freedom of expression and censorship. They suggest how audiences really respond to media texts, and argue that there is an urgent need for informed and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the media. Martin Barker, University of the West of England, UK Julian Petley, Brunel University,UK Pat Holland, David Buckingham, The Anneberg School for Communication,UK David Mi
Social Science by North East Popular Culture Association