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Simultaneous Worlds

Global Science Fiction Cinema

2015

Jennifer L. Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells, Editors

Simultaneous Worlds

Reframes science fiction cinema as a global genre

Simultaneous Worlds challenges the notion that science fiction cinema is largely a Western genre by focusing on cinemas and cultures from Cuba to North Korea that are not traditionally associated with science fiction. This is the first volume to bring a transnational, interdisciplinary lens to science fiction cinema.

Jennifer L. Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells have done a marvelous job of bringing together established scholars with emerging voices to create a unique critical collection on global science fiction cinema, which they show is neither an impossible dream nor an artificial unity, but rather a major way to think about science fiction cinema in the new millennium.

N. Katherine Hayles, Duke University

Since the 1927 release of Fritz Lang’s pioneer film Metropolis, science fiction cinema has largely been regarded a Western genre. In Simultaneous Worlds, Jennifer L. Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells showcase authors who challenge this notion by focusing on cinemas and cultures, from Cuba to North Korea, not traditionally associated with science fiction. This collection introduces films about a metal-eating monster who helps peasants overthrow an exploitative court, an inflatable sex doll who comes to life, a desert planet where matchsticks are more valuable than money, and more.

Simultaneous Worlds is the first volume to bring a transnational, interdisciplinary lens to science fiction cinema. Encountering some of the best emerging and established voices in the field, readers will become immersed in discussions of well-known works such as the Ghost in the Shell franchise and Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 alongside lesser-known but equally fascinating works by African, Asian, European, and South American filmmakers. Divided into five parts that cover theoretical concerns such as new media economies, translation, the Global South, cyborgs, and socialist and postsocialist cinema, these essays trace cinema’s role in imagining global communities and power struggles.

Considering both individual films and the broader networks of production, distribution, and exhibition, Simultaneous Worlds illustrates how film industries across the globe take part in visualizing the perils of globalization and technological modernity. Ultimately, this book opens new ways of thinking about world cinema and our understanding of the world at large.

Contributors: Michelle Cho, McGill U; Steve Choe, U of Iowa; Hye Jean Chung, Kyung Hee U; Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr., DePauw U; Paweł Frelik, Marie Curie-Skłodowska U; Everett Hamner, Western Illinois U; Nathaniel Isaacson, North Carolina State U; Jihoon Kim, Chung-ang U; Thomas Lamarre, McGill U; Emily A. Maguire, Northwestern U; Sharalyn Orbaugh, U of British Columbia; Joanna Page, Cambridge U; Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai, Michigan State U; Jillian Porter, U of Oklahoma; J. P. Telotte, Georgia Institute of Technology; Travis Workman, U of Minnesota.

Simultaneous Worlds

Sarah Ann Wells is assistant professor of comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jennifer L. Feeley is an independent scholar and translator.

Simultaneous Worlds

Jennifer L. Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells have done a marvelous job of bringing together established scholars with emerging voices to create a unique critical collection on global science fiction cinema, which they show is neither an impossible dream nor an artificial unity, but rather a major way to think about science fiction cinema in the new millennium.

N. Katherine Hayles, Duke University

A detailed filmography and robust index make the book practical for the classroom

CHOICE

Simultaneous Worlds

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Jennifer Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells
Part I. Intermediality and New Media Economies
1. Scan Lines: How Cyborgs Feel
Thomas Lamarre
2. What Is Estranged in Science Fiction Animation?
Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr.
3. Famous for Fifteen Minutes: Permutations of Science Fiction Short Film
Paweł Frelik
4. Forms of Journey and Archive: Remaking Science Fiction in Contemporary Artist-Filmmakers’ Projects
Jihoon Kim
Part II. Traveling Science Fiction: Translation, Adaptation, and Interpretation
5. Media Heterotopias and Science Fiction: Transnational Workflows and Transgalactic Spaces in Digitally Composited Ecosystems
Hye Jean Chung
6. F. P. 1 and the Language of a Global Science Fiction Cinema
J. P. Telotte
7. Enthiran, the Robot: Sujatha, Science Fiction, and Tamil Cinema
Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai
Part III. Spatial and Temporal Alternative Modernities in the Global South
8. Polytemporality in Argentine Science Fiction Film: A Critique of the Homogenous Time of Historicism and Modernity
Joanna Page
9. Virtual Immigrants: Transfigured Bodies and Transnational Spaces in Science Fiction Cinema
Everett Hamner
10. Walking Dead in Havana: Juan of the Dead and the Zombie Film Genre
Emily A. Maguire
Part IV. Techno-Capitalism and Techno-Desires: The Gendered Affect of Post-Cyborgs
11. Who Does the Feeling When There’s No Body There?: Critical Feminism Meets Cyborg Affect in Oshii Mamoru’s Innocence
Sharalyn Orbaugh
12. The Invention of Romance: Park Chan-wook’s I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay
Steve Choe
13. A Disenchanted Fantastic: The Pathos of Objects in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Air Doll
Michelle Cho
Part V. National, International, Intergalactic: Socialist and Post-Socialist Science Fiction Cinema
14. Alien Commodities in Soviet Science Fiction Cinema: Aelita, Solaris, and Kin-dza-dza!
Jillian Porter
15. Parodies of Realism at the Margins of Science Fiction: Jang Jun-hwan’s Save the Green Planet and Sin Sang-ok’s Pulgasari
Travis Workman
16. Media and Messages: Blurred Visions of Nation and Science in Death Ray on a Coral Island
Nathaniel Isaacson
Select Filmography
Contributors
Index