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Red Alert

Marxist Approaches to Science Fiction Cinema

Edited by Ewa Mazierska and Alfredo Suppia

Film Theory and Criticism, World Cinema

Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series

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Paperback
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 9780814340110
Pages: 272 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 27 black and white photographs
eBOOK
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 9780814340127

In Red Alert: Marxist Approaches to Science Fiction Cinema, editors Ewa Mazierska and Alfredo Suppia argue that Marxist philosophy, science fiction, and film share important connections concerning imaginings of the future. Contributors look at themes across a wide variety of films, including many international co-productions to explore individualism versus collectivism, technological obstacles to travel through time and space, the accumulation of capital and colonization, struggles of oppressed groups, the dangers of false ideologies, and the extension of the concept of labor due to technological advances.

Red Alert considers a wide swath of contemporary international films, from the rarely studied to mainstream science fiction blockbusters like The Matrix. Contributors explore early Czechoslovak science fiction, the Polish-Estonian co-productions of director Marek Piestrak, and science fiction elements in 1970s American blaxploitation films. The collection includes analyses of recent films like Transfer (Damir Lukacevic), Avalon (Mamoru Oshii), Gamer (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor), and District 9 and Elysium (Neill Blomkamp), along with more obscure films like Alex Rivera’s materialist science fiction works and the Latin American zombie films of Pablo Parés, Hernán Sáez, and Alejandro Brugués. Contributors show that the ambivalence and inner contradictions highlighted by the films illustrate both the richness of Marx’s legacy and the heterogeneity and complexity of the science fiction genre.

This collection challenges the perception that science fiction cinema is a Western or specifically American genre, showing that a broader, transnational approach is necessary to fully understand its scope. Scholars and students of film, science fiction, and Marxist culture will enjoy Red Alert.

Ewa Mazierska is professor in film studies at the University of Central Lancashire and principal editor of a journal Studies in Eastern European Cinema. She has published over twenty monographs and edited collections, including From Self-Fulfillment to Survival of the Fittest: Work in European Cinema from the 1960s to the Present, Postcolonial Approaches to Eastern European Cinema: Representing Neighbours on Screen (with Eva Näripea and Lars Kristensen), and Work in Cinema: Labor and Human Condition. Mazierska’s work has been translated into almost twenty languages, including French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Portugese, Estonian, and Serbian.

Alfredo Suppia is professor of film studies at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. He is also the author of Rarefied Atmosphere: Science Fiction in Brazilian Cinema and The Replicant Metropolis: Constructing a Dialogue Between Metropolis and Blade Runner.

Contributors Include:
Petra Hanáková, Eva Näripea, Mark Bould, Sherryl Vint, Tony Burns, Ewa Mazierska, Alfredo Suppia, Mariano Paz

Representing diversities of both geography and politics, Red Alert covers a broad array of film traditions from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Africa, the US, and Asia, as well as international coproductions. With essays by established and emerging authorities in the field, this collection continues the tradition of studies such as Red Stars and Red Planets, and it breaks important new ground with its focus on science fiction cinema.

– Rachel Haywood Ferreira, author of The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction

This is the first volume of criticism devoted specifically to the multiple intersections of Marxist philosophies and science fiction cinema, but — far more importantly — it establishes its primacy through rigorous scholarly quality. From pre-1989 Eastern European productions to Blaxploitation science fiction to global films from Mexico, South America, and Japan, Red Alert comprehensively maps the convergences and contradictions embodied in the cultural form of science fiction cinema. At once a media form of the genre known for its progressive critiques of global status quo and a product of the industries it often discursively engages, science fiction cinema is a mirror of the world in which complexities reign supreme and Marxist approaches are the only ones fully capable of illuminating the dialectics of late capitalism.

– Pawel Frelik, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland

This is the first volume of criticism devoted specifically to the multiple intersections of Marxist philosophies and science fiction cinema, but — far more importantly — it establishes its primacy through rigorous scholarly quality. From pre-1989 Eastern European productions to Blaxploitation science fiction to global films from Mexico, South America, and Japan, Red Alert comprehensively maps the convergences and contradictions embodied in the cultural form of science fiction cinema. At once a media form of the genre known for its progressive critiques of global status quo and a product of the industries it often discursively engages, science fiction cinema is a mirror of the world in which complexities reign supreme and Marxist approaches are the only ones fully capable of illuminating the dialectics of late capitalism.

– Pawel Frelik

Representing diversities of both geography and politics, Red Alert covers a broad array of film traditions from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Africa, the US, and Asia, as well as international coproductions. With essays by established and emerging authorities in the field, this collection continues the tradition of studies such as Red Stars and Red Planets, and it breaks important new ground with its focus on science fiction cinema.

– Rachel Haywood Ferreira