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Aliens R Us: The Other in Science Fiction Cinema (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Februar 2002


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Synopsis

"Aliens R Us" explores the global culture of science fiction cinema, and in particular its presentation of contemporary images of the Other. Taking as a starting point the popularity of international forms such as Japanese Manga and Hong Kong sci-fi, in addition to the success of films such as "The Matrix" and television series such as "Deep Space Nine", the contributors examine the science fiction genre as an international, populist form of social analysis. In doing so, they discuss issues such as Orientalism, technology, apocalyptic futures, xenophobia, militarism and the role of women. Most contemporary studies look at the generic characteristics of science fiction, with its allegorical rendering of contemporary life, usually in relation to America. This book moves beyond a purely generic study, assessing European and Asian film work, discussing their varying representations of the Other, and what this reveals about popular perceptions of global culture and society. Case studies include "Independence Day", "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Until the End of the World", in addition to chapters on eco-Apocalypse and new French sci-fi and New Manchester Ecstasy sci-fi.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Ziauddin Sardar is Visiting Professor of Science Policy at Middlesex University and consulting editor of the prestigious journal Futures. He is a prolific writer and is the author of Cultural Studies for Beginners, Barbaric Others: A Manifesto on Western Racism and editor, with Jerome Ravetz, of Cyberfutures: Culture and Politics on the Information Superhighway.

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6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Questioning underlying values in SF 13. November 2002
Von Mr. Patrick A. Harrington - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book stars from the position that Science Fiction is a reflection and reinforcement of cultural and political assumptions:
"Cultural production is not a neutral sphere, just innocent entertainment. Moreover, the artefacts of cultural production are thoroughly ideological, bound up with political discourse, struggles, agendas and policies." (p.46)
I'm sure that many SF fans would be initially bewildered at the analysis of Deep Space Nine, Space: Above and Beyond and Independence Day amongst others contained in this work. Yet each is closely argued.
The examination of the Borg as an enemy is eye-opening:
"the Borg represent the opposite of the Thatcher principle. Where the prime minister thought there was no society, only individuals, to our eyes the Borg appear to have only society and no individuals. They/it are the embodiment of the Western fantasy of communism/socialism, as well as virtually all Asian cultures, especially Muslims in their current incarnation."
(p.77)
The writers are not afraid to draw attention to the similarities of the bad guys as aliens and the designated bad guys here on Planet Earth. Independence Day in particular is taken apart for the blatant propaganda it was. The purpose behind it is made clear:
"America is a consciously created artefact, as is its self-image. The manufacture of this self-image must be sustained through its cultural products to imprint itself on a heterogeneous population, to forge them into a choherent body by passing them through not just a social melting-pot but an ideological forge."
(p.36, quoting Ziauddin Sardar).
By looking at how the US dominated popular culture presents "aliens", "others" and "enemies" we can learn a lot about unspoken, assumed and underlying values. What this book shows is that "Western" society is neither as tolerant or sophisticated as some would like to imagine.
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