A Distant Technology: Science Fiction Film and the Machine by J. P. Telotte

By J. P. Telotte

Technological know-how fiction motion pictures have a good time and critique the influence of a burgeoning expertise at the world's cultural, political, and social milieu.

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Additional resources for A Distant Technology: Science Fiction Film and the Machine Age

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Thus, while it attempts to ground its speculations in the history and attitudes of the Machine Age, to draw as much as possible on the era's own ideas, it also hopes to suggest an element of continuity, one in which the Machine Age appears as an early development of patterns we would now identify as postmodern. To better identify this continuity, the study also adopts certain postmodern critical assumptions. Most important, it assumes Baudrillard's notion of seduction to suggest the subtle way in which the technological has always wielded its power.

Still, nothing came easily to the Lloyd persona. The modern world, as his movies depict it, is clearly marked by a sense of distance the great heights his character must climb or cope with, the distances he must cover in various mad dashes to the rescue, the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that separate him from the success he both desires and deserves. But no distance or obstacle ever defeats this figure, in great part because Lloyd is so much a part of that Machine Age world, so driven by its spirit, as if he were himself a machine or at least a construct of the times.

Could be built as readily as the machine" (23). Certainly, films, as the key aesthetic product of what Walter Benjamin has termed "the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," were engaged in all of these tasks. " In effect, these films seem to have been involved in another kind of distancing project that was also a key part of Machine Age culture: detaching audiences from the familiar or traditional world, as well as from its associated values. Yet as we shall see, that project was problematic, since the machine technology that was proving so pervasive came with its own problems.

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