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Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality Paperback – 1 Jun 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press (1 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074861642X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0748616428
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 365,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'This is an important new survey of a body of film. It offers plenty of new insights in a refreshingly jargon-free language. It will become a necessary companion for any serious viewer of SF film.' --Professor David Seed, School of English, University of Liverpool

About the Author

Christine Cornea is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, School of Film and Television Studies, University of East Anglia.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Phillip Cockrell on 5 July 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written book in a captivating style. Introducing fresh insight with vicious intelligence into the established origins of sci-fi whilst highlighting in both anecdotal and evidential ways how the genre has developed by subconscious through social pressures whilst visiting the spectrum between.

Whilst acknowledging and explaining the derivation of cliché surrounding previous dry and tired explorations of this field, this text seamlessly introduced ideas that challenged my own conceptual understanding and re-inspired me to analyse conventional beliefs I had accepted almost without question.

I would consider that this an essential read for all film students especially those focusing on this genre. If this is the first or the last of many books you have read about Sci-Fi it still remains strangely appropriate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jediphobe on 28 Jun 2007
Format: Paperback
i am a film studies student in london and this book was recommended by one of my tutors for the science fiction module. i can definetly say this is essential reading for the course but get the feeling that the interested layman would also find it enjoyable. it is written well and avoids technical jargon to put its concise points across. well worth it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob on 28 Jun 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, very east to read with lots of good ideas which would appeal both to the academic as well as the film fan. The interviews make particularly interesting reading. I would highly recommend this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Is science fiction merely "popcorn" entertainment? Not really, and this book helps explain why. 8 Jun 2010
By Roger D. Launius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Science fiction films have been popular since the beginning of cinema. The themes contained in them are timeless, and the inventiveness with which they have been approached is impressive. This interesting analysis connects this form of popular culture to larger themes at play in American society. The themes discussed in this one are appropriate, but perhaps not particularly the most significant, dwelling as they do almost exclusively with the tensions present in the new social history's emphasis on race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Individual chapters single out race and gender for analysis, even as these themes are also brought to bear in all of the other chapters as well. Nothing is real wrong with this approach, but I would have been more enthralled with a broader introduction to a significant genre of film. This is especially the case when it seeks to offer a more general overview.

Were I to write such a book the themes of the new social history would be present no doubt, but I think the larger allegorical aspects of science fiction, the political commentary of governance and polity, the social criticism, the campaigns for reform, and the like quite critical to the story. While I don't want to press this too far, recognizing that Christine Cornea has offered a useful book overall, much more could have been done. I'm hesitant to downgrade the book too much because of what it did not deliver that I had expected, for "Science Fiction Cinema" is still a very fine work; I am seeking that broadly analytical, short, succinct, and engaging overview.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Useful background info but overly theoretical 23 Oct 2008
By James Fairchild - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While preparing to teach a class on The Science Fiction Film, I looked at a number of texts on the subject and chose Cornea's book. That said, I felt it was the best of a bad lot. Science Fiction isn't always easy to categorize, but Cornea lingered over some questionable titles, such as The Demon Seed, and allowed other, more classic or recognizable titles much less space. Also, Cornea, an obvious feminist, wasted a lot of print in my opinion on gender issues. How helpful are chapters entitled "The Masculine Subject of Science Fiction in the 1980s" and "Gender Blending and the Science Fiction Subject in Science Fiction Film" when you're simply trying to introduce the students to the fundamentals of science fiction? Another chapter is on race relations in the science fiction film. Because she's interested in gender issues and race, she favors films that fit these categories and tends to ignore those that don't, skipping some important films. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I want my students to get a solid grounding in the major themes and films of the genre and not be overly concerned with image and theory. Nevertheless, in spite of these drawbacks, Cornea does tackle the major sci-fi eras, such as the 1950s, with enthusiasm and provides the reader with a sense (though limited) of the history and background to the genre.
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