Any intellect which confines itself to mere structuralism is bound to rest trapped in its own webs. (Salman Rushdie, Grimus , 1975, G, 91)
Back then I was partial to sciencefiction novels. (Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet , 1999, GBF, 205)
Scenarios borrowed from sciencefiction fantasy appear in several of Rushdie’s novels. Haroun and the Sea of Stories features a journey to a magical moon on an automaton bird, The Satanic Verses alludes to the genre self
the ‘film’s ability to provide an apparently credible account of the operation and personnel of law’. 2
Sciencefiction cinema is quite different in this respect. Sciencefiction is based on worlds, though still following (most of) the natural rules of our universe, which are dramatically altered compared to what we know. As Marco Benatar describes, ‘sciencefiction is replete with scenarios set in the future extrapolating from contemporary knowledge and experience’. 3 He usefully adds ‘not only in the realms of science and technology but also in respect of
, ultimately, the victory of the last two visions. To that extent, it is fairly in line with the majority of contemporary sciencefiction movies in which characters preaching for the right of the strongest species to subdue the less powerful are usually presented in a negative fashion.
This trait of sciencefiction movies might seem surprising for anyone familiar with the (international) legal organization of modern societies, which is mainly speciesist and anthropocentric. 2 It is speciesist in that the right to have rights is usually granted to the individual, first and
About 25 minutes into the sciencefiction film, Hollow Man (Paul Verhoeven, 2000), there is a striking
scene that marks the literal disappearance of the central character, Dr.
Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon), an ambitious young scientist working on an
invisibility serum. Keen to try out his chemical creation, Sebastian
persuades his team of fellow scientists to ignore normal protocols so that
Women of more ordinary physique were to occupy a new space, first of all on the stage, and sometimes on the big screen, since many plays mounted by the Splendid Company were to become films. Female humour and laughter cannot be considered without another powerful element: the motivation of often transgressive laughter. This chapter examines a few examples of Coline Serreau's humour in her comedies in order to assess whether or not she offers an alternative to the traditional male comedy, before considering in more detail and from a more general perspective the devices she uses to create humour. The golden age of French comedy was cut short by the First World War. Although the comedy was by and large a minor genre in the cinema of the Occupation, other forms of light film entertainment either remained (the farce) or emerged (the film zazou).
This book is a shadow cultural history of transplantation as mediated through medical writing, science fiction, life writing and visual arts in a Gothic mode, from the nineteenth century to the present. Works in these genres explore the experience of donors or suppliers, recipients and practitioners, and simultaneously express transfer-related suffering and are complicit in its erasure. Examining texts from Europe, North America and India, the book resists exoticising predatorial tissue economies and considers fantasies of harvest as both product and symbol of ‘slow violence’ (Rob Nixon), precarity and structural ruination under neoliberal capitalism. Gothic tropes, intertextualities and narrative conventions are used in life writing to express the affective and conceptual challenges of post-transplant being, and used in medical writing to manage the ambiguities of hybrid bodies, as a ‘clinical necropoetics’. In their efforts to articulate bioengineered hybridity, these works are not only anxious but speculative. Works discussed include nineteenth-century Gothic, early twentieth-century fiction and film, 1970s American hospital organ theft horror in literature and film, turn-of-the-millennium fiction and film of organ sale, postmillennial science fiction dystopias, life writing and scientific writing from the nineteenth century to the present. Throughout, Gothic representations engage contemporary debates around the management of chronic illness, the changing economics of healthcare and the biopolitics of organ procurement and transplantation – in sum, the strange times and weird spaces of tissue mobilities. The book will be of interest to academics and students researching Gothic studies, science fiction, critical medical humanities and cultural studies of transplantation.
Previous studies of screen performance have tended to fix upon star actors, directors, or programme makers, or they have concentrated upon particular training and acting styles. Moving outside of these confines, this book provides an interdisciplinary account of performance in film and television and examines a much neglected area in people's understanding of how popular genres and performance intersect on screen. The advent of star studies certainly challenged the traditional notion of the director as the single or most important creative force in a film. Genre theory emerged as an academic area in the 1960s and 1970s, partly as a reaction to the auteurism of the period and partly as a way of addressing popular cinematic forms. Television studies have also developed catalogues of genres, some specific to the medium and some that refer to familiar cinematic genres. The book describes certain acting patterns in the classic noirs Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past and the neo-noirs Chinatown. British television drama in the 1970s had a special interest in the genre of horror. There is no film genre to which performance is as crucial as it is to the biopic. To explore comedy performance is to acknowledge that there is something that defines a performance as 'comic'. The book also examines drama-documentary, the western, science fiction, comedy performance in 'spoof news' programmes and the television 'sit com' and popular Bollywood films.
Since its inception by the Council of Europe in 1989, Eurimages has been to the fore
in financing European co-productions with the aim of fostering integration and
cooperation in artistic and industry circles and has helped finance over 1,600
feature films, animations and documentaries. Taking as its thesis the idea that the
CoE seeks to perpetuate Europes utopian ideals, despite the dystopian realities that
frequently undermine both the EU and the continent at large, this article analyses
select Eurimages-funded dystopian films from industrial, aesthetic and socio-cultural
standpoints with a view toward decoding institutionally embedded critiques of the
This book takes four stories by the Russian Romantic author Vladimir Odoevsky to illustrate ‘pathways’, developed further by subsequent writers, into modern fiction. Featured here are: the artistic (musical story), the rise of science fiction, psychic aspects of the detective story and of confession in the novel. The four chapters also examine the development of the featured categories by a wide range of subsequent writers in fiction ranging from the Romantic period up to the present century. The study works backwards from Odoevsky's stories, noting respective previous examples or traditions, before proceeding to follow the ‘pathways’ observed into later Russian, English and comparative fiction.
This book argues the centrality of hybridity to Terry Gilliam's films. Gilliam had a collaborative approach to filmmaking and a desire to provoke audiences to their own interpretations as other forms of intertextual practice. Placing Gilliam in the category of cinematic fantasist does some preliminary critical work, but crudely homogenises the diversity of his output. One way of marking this range comes from understanding that Gilliam employs an extraordinary variety of genres. These include medieval comedy; children's historical adventure; dystopian satire; the fantastic voyage; science fiction; Gonzo Journalism; fairy tale; and gothic horror. Gilliam's work with Monty Python assured him a revered place in the history of that medium in Britain. As a result, the Python films, And Now for Something Completely Different, The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, along with his own, Jabberwocky, Time Bandits, and Brazil, show him moving successfully into the British film industry. Most of his films have been adaptations of literary texts, and Jabberwocky forges an extended tale of monsters and market forces. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen builds on some tales from the original texts, constructing a complex examination of fantasy, representation and mortality. Taking crucial ingredients from medieval and older mythologies, the screenplay of The Fisher King resituates them and reworks them for modern America. Gilliam's complex interaction with Britain and America explains his ambiguous place in accounts of American and British films.