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Aliens R Us: The Other in Science Fiction Cinema by Sean Cubitt, Ziauddin Sardar

By Sean Cubitt, Ziauddin Sardar

Aliens R Us explores the worldwide tradition of technological know-how fiction cinema, and particularly its presentation of latest photographs of the opposite. Taking as a kick off point the recognition of overseas varieties corresponding to jap Manga and Hong Kong sci-fi, as well as the good fortune of movies comparable to The Matrix and tv sequence comparable to Deep house 9, the individuals learn the technology fiction style as a global, populist type of social research. In doing so, they talk about concerns similar to Orientalism, expertise, apocalyptic futures, xenophobia, militarism and the function of ladies. so much modern reviews examine the typical features of technological know-how fiction,with its allegorical rendering of latest lifestyles, often with regards to the United States. This publication strikes past a simply prevalent research, assessing eu and Asian movie paintings, discussing their various representations of the opposite, and what this unearths approximately well known perceptions of worldwide tradition and society. Case reviews contain Independence Day, famous person Trek: First touch and till the tip of the area, as well as chapters on Eco-Apocalypse and new French sci-fi and New Manchester Ecstasy sci-fi.

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Extra resources for Aliens R Us: The Other in Science Fiction Cinema

Sample text

Here the entire project of Western knowledge, knowing about the Other the better to subsume, subjugate and suppress them, finds its cinematic endorsement and vindication. It is knowledge equals power in comic strip guise. We also have the character of Russell Casse (Randy Quaid), a ‘white trash’, single parent, Vietnam veteran. He is hopelessly alcoholic on account of being abducted by aliens and no one believes his story. Woven together, these two themes connect with a form of mass hysteria that almost become an everyday occurrence in postmodern USA.

In other words, our right-on good guy turns out to be an allegory for the backlash against feminism. Our Renaissance man has abided by the entire feminist parlance and, my God, we know he’s in touch with his feminine side, doesn’t he kiss his father? But, poor love, he still didn’t get his girl! That is not until he has transformed himself into the knight in shining armour who slays the dragon and wins back the love of his woman. In effect he is nothing more than a male heterosexual fantasy disguised as the feminist ideal type.

Difference’ and ‘otherness’ are not confined to the practices of signification and representation. ‘Otherness’ is lived through and by the body and experienced under repressive structures of power that cannot be glossed over by the clever marketing strategies of ‘politically correct’ image-makers. ‘Difference’ has become merely an expression of exotic consumer desirability. It is the selling point of the search for meaning in a postmodern dislocated temporal plane. The surface interplay of plurality on display throughout Independence Day is little more than trickery, a magical illusion designed to foster the belief that we are all ‘Others’ now.

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