Friday, July 8, 2011

New/Recent from Berg

American Science Fiction Film and Television 
Lincoln Geraghty

Oct 2009

American Science Fiction Film and Television presents a critical history of late 20th Century SF together with an analysis of the cultural and thematic concerns of this popular genre.

Science fiction film and television were initially inspired by the classic literature of HG Wells and Jules Verne. The potential and fears born with the Atomic age fuelled the popularity of the genre, upping the stakes for both technology and apocalypse. From the Cold War through to America's current War on Terror, science fiction has proved a subtle vehicle for the hopes, fears and preoccupations of a nation at war.

The definitive introduction to American science fiction, this is also the first study to analyse SF across both film and TV. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with critical case studies of key films and television series, including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, and Battlestar Galactica.


Introduction - American Science Fiction Culture

1. Conflict and Consensus: The Cold War and the Space Race

2. Pushing the Frontiers of Reality: Science Fiction and the Counterculture

3. Unsettling Visions of America's Future Present: Dystopian Science Fiction

4. Hopes and Fears: Aliens, Cyborgs and the Science Fiction Blockbuster

5. Beyond Truth and Reason: Politics and Identity in Science Fiction

6. American Science Fiction Post 9/11




About the author

Lincoln Geraghty is Principal Lecturer in Film Studies and Subject Leader for Media Studies in the School of Creative Arts, Film and Media at the University of Portsmouth. He is author of Living with Star Trek: American Culture and the Star Trek Universe, editor of The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture, and co-editor of The Shifting Definitions of Genre: Essays on Labelling Films, Television Shows and Media.

Fantasy Film: A Critical Introduction
James Walters

Series: Film Genres
Jun 2011

Fantasy Film proposes an innovative approach to the study of this most popular cinematic genre. Engaging with the diversity of tones, forms and styles that fantasy can take in the cinema, the book examines the value and significance of fantasy across a wide range of key films. This volume extends critical understanding beyond the often narrowly defined boundaries of what is seen as "fantasy".

Fantasy Film uses key concepts in film studies - such as authorship, representation, history,genre, coherence and point of view - to interrogate the fantasy genre and establish its parameters. A wide range of films are held up to close scrutiny to illustrate the discussion.

Moving from Alfred Hitchcock's dark thrillers to Vincente Minnelli's vibrant musicals, from George Méliès' 1904 Voyage à travers l'impossible to the X-Men series, the creative dexterity and excitement of film fantasy is evoked and explored. The book will be invaluable to students and fans of the fantasy genre.


1. Approaching Fantasy Film
2. Fantasy, History and Cinema
3. Fantasy, Authorship and Genre
4. Fantasy, Childhood and Entertainment
5. Fantasy, Imagination and Interiority
6. Fantasy, Style and Coherence
Annotated Guide to Further Reading

About the author

James Walters is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Birmingham and author of Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema and co-editor of Film Moments: Criticism, History, Theory.

Science Fiction Film: A Critical Introduction 
Keith M. Johnston

Series: Film Genres
Oct 2011
192pp, 9 bw illus

Science Fiction Film develops a historical and cultural approach to the genre that moves beyond close readings of iconography and formal conventions. It explores how this increasingly influential genre has been constructed from disparate elements into a hybrid genre.Science Fiction Film goes beyond a textual exploration of these films to place them within a larger network of influences that includes studio politics and promotional discourses. The book also challenges the perceived limits of the genre - it includes a wide range of films, from canonical SF, such as Le voyage dans la lune, Star Wars and Blade Runner, to films that stretch and reshape the definition of the genre. This expansion of generic focus offers an innovative approach for students and fans of science fiction alike.


Section 1: What is Science Fiction?
1. Genre Theory and Science Fiction
2. Reading Science Fiction
3. Science Fiction and Technology

Section 2: Genre History
4. Pre-History, 1895-1950
5. Defining the Genre, 1950-70
6. Science Fiction as Blockbuster, 1970-90
7. Science Fiction as Mainstream, 1990-2010

Section 3: Selling Science Fiction
8. 'Adventure Dramas of the Future': Advertising Genre
9. Genre and Spectacle: The Science Fiction Trailer
10. Audience and Genre: Science Fiction and the Internet


Annotated Guide to Further Reading

Selected Filmography



About the author

Keith M. Johnston is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia and author of Coming Soon: Film Trailers and the Selling of Hollywood Technology.

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