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Alternate Americas: Science Fiction Film and American Culture Hardcover – 1 Feb 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger Publishers (1 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275983951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275983956
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,891,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

?College-level collections strong in science fiction holdings will welcome the scholarly survey ALTERNATE AMERICAS: SCIENCE FICTION FILM AND AMERICAN CULTURE. Its professor author M. Keith Booker has selected some fifteen of the most successful, innovative sci fi films of all time and here considers their cultural, technical and cinematic effects. Any genre fan will immediately recognize and acknowledge these selections as true 'greats', from Forbidden Planet and 2001 to Alien, E.T., Blade Runner and Matrix. That they not only reflected future fantasy but the concerns and culture of their times makes for a penetrating analysis which surveys plots and underlying meanings.?-California Bookwatch

?Booker studies 15 science fiction films made in the US in the second half of the 20th century, including The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Blade Runner (1982), and The Matrix (1999). The 25-page introduction reveals the author's extensive knowledge of his subject; here Booker looks at historical events that affected the production of certain types of films, e.g., the Cold War and the alien-invasion films. He then devotes a chapter to each film, providing for each a one-paragraph introduction; sections on the plot and the sources of the film; a longer discussion of how events in society contributed to certain concerns of the film and elements of the production; and a concluding section on how that film influenced other films.... Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers.?-Choice

"Booker studies 15 science fiction films made in the US in the second half of the 20th century, including "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968), "Blade Runner" (1982), and "The Matrix" (1999). The 25-page introduction reveals the author's extensive knowledge of his subject; here Booker looks at historical events that affected the production of certain types of films, e.g., the Cold War and the alien-invasion films. He then devotes a chapter to each film, providing for each a one-paragraph introduction; sections on the plot and the sources of the film; a longer discussion of how events in society contributed to certain concerns of the film and elements of the production; and a concluding section on how that film influenced other films.... Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers." -

Choice

."..ideally suited for general readers looking for a new perspective on familiar texts and for instructors looking for accessible analyses of how films reflect their historical and cultural contexts." -

Film Criticism

"M. Keith Booker, the author of several studies of film and television, offers a guide to the leading science fiction movies since the 1950s. Each of his chapters is devoted to a film -- fifteen in total -- and follows the pattern of plot summary, note on sources, interpretation, and indication of the work's legacy. The summaries are helpful and clear but the interpretive commentary will probably be of more interested to the reader because in every case Booker relateds the films to their cultural context." -

Journal of American Studies

"College-level collections strong in science fiction holdings will welcome the scholarly survey "Alternate Americas: Science Fiction Film and American Culture." Its professor author M. Keith Booker has selected some fifteen of the most successful, innovative sci fi films of all time and here considers their cultural, technical and cinematic effects. Any genre fan will immediately recognize and acknowledge these selections as true 'greats', from Forbidden Planet and 2001 to Alien, E.T., Blade Runner and Matrix. That they not only reflected future fantasy but the concerns and culture of their times makes for a penetrating analysis which surveys plots and underlying meanings." -

California Bookwatch

..".ideally suited for general readers looking for a new perspective on familiar texts and for instructors looking for accessible analyses of how films reflect their historical and cultural contexts." -

Film Criticism

..".ideally suited for general readers looking for a new perspective on familiar texts and for instructors looking for accessible analyses of how films reflect their historical and cultural contexts." - Film Criticism

"Booker studies 15 science fiction films made in the US in the second half of the 20th century, including The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Blade Runner (1982), and The Matrix (1999). The 25-page introduction reveals the author's extensive knowledge of his subject; here Booker looks at historical events that affected the production of certain types of films, e.g., the Cold War and the alien-invasion films. He then devotes a chapter to each film, providing for each a one-paragraph introduction; sections on the plot and the sources of the film; a longer discussion of how events in society contributed to certain concerns of the film and elements of the production; and a concluding section on how that film influenced other films.... Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers." - Choice

"M. Keith Booker, the author of several studies of film and television, offers a guide to the leading science fiction movies since the 1950s. Each of his chapters is devoted to a film -- fifteen in total -- and follows the pattern of plot summary, note on sources, interpretation, and indication of the work's legacy. The summaries are helpful and clear but the interpretive commentary will probably be of more interested to the reader because in every case Booker relateds the films to their cultural context." - Journal of American Studies

Synopsis

Science fiction films have been among the most important and successful products of American cinema over the past fifty years. Developments in this genre also reflect important developments in American society as a whole, so that a history of science fiction film also serves as a cultural history of America over the past half century. M. Keith Booker has selected fifteen successful and innovative science fiction films, and examined each of them at length to see where they came from, and what they meant for the future of cinema and America at large. From "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" to "Star Wars", from "Blade Runner" to "The Matrix", these landmark films have expressed society's fears and dreams, abilities and deficiencies. The focus on a fairly small number of landmark films allows detailed attention to be paid to a few genuinely original movies, including: "Forbidden Planet", "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Planet of the Apes", "Star Wars", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Alien", "E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial", "Blade Runner", "The Terminator", "Robocop", "The Abyss", "Independence Day", and "The Matrix".

This book is ideal for general readers interested in science fiction and film.

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