By Gary Westfahl
This booklet gathers jointly some of the illuminating essays on technology fiction and fable movie penned through an immense critic within the SF box. The items are approximately equipped within the chronological order of whilst the flicks and tv courses being mentioned first seemed, with essays supplying extra basic overviews clustered close to the start and finish of the amount, to supply the general charisma of a historic survey. even though this booklet doesn't faux to supply a accomplished historical past of technological know-how fiction and myth movies, it does intermingle analyses of movies and television courses with a few discussions of similar performs, novels, tales, and comedian books, rather within the essays in this Island Earth and 2001: an area Odyssey and its sequels. Inciteful, unique, and whole of clever and witty observations approximately technology fiction and its occasionally curious courting with the visible media, those essays will either pride and entertain critics, fanatics, and audience alike.
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T-Men, for example, depicts the US Treasury Department’s pursuit of a murderous national gang of counterfeiters. The movie’s frame story resembles a utopian documentary. In its prologue, a “Voice of God” narrator describes the duties and advanced technology of Treasury agents and we see well-lit, documentary footage of the monumental US Treasury Building in Washington, DC and work being done in its sophisticated, state-of-the-art crime laboratories. An actual Treasury Department ofﬁcial, Elmer Lincoln Irey (who was also known at the time as the director of the Internal Revenue Service’s lead investigation unit during the successful federal tax evasion prosecution of the notorious gangster Al Capone), directly addresses the viewer to provide the historical context for the ﬁlm’s events (Plates 12 and 13).
We just don’t know what to ﬁght. You can feel the tension in the air, a whole lot of ﬁght and hate that doesn’t know where to go. A guy like you maybe starts hating himself. Well, one of these days, maybe we’ll all learn to shift gears. Maybe we’ll stop hating and start liking things again, huh? Ironically, later that evening, Samuels is murdered and Mitchell, although innocent, is even more confused. The pervasive destabilization in ﬁlm noir extends far beyond reassimilation problems of returning veterans.
He is “one of us,” someone indistinguishable from “normal” humankind. In its contrasting of modern with medieval perceptions of evil, Seven presents evil as pervasive and eternal. No matter how it is deﬁned and coped with, it always was and always will exist. Apocalyptic themes existed in canonical ﬁlm noir, but often implicitly in the doomed trajectory of individual lives, or in an atmospheric sense of a failed society. Some ﬁlms, however, like White Heat (1949) and Kiss Me Deadly, climax with images of apocalyptic explosions, giving them broader social implications.
A Sense-of-Wonderful Century: Explorations of Science Fiction and Fantasy Films by Gary Westfahl