Matters of Gravity by Scott Bukatman
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Matters of Gravity
By Scott Bukatman

Matters of Gravity

Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century

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Format: Paperback

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Matters of Gravity by Scott Bukatman

Book Description

The headlong rush, the rapid montage, the soaring superhero, the plunging roller coaster-Matters of Gravity focuses on the experience of technological spectacle in American popular culture over the past century. In these essays, leading media and cultural theorist Scott Bukatman reveals how popular culture tames the threats posed by technology and urban modernity by immersing people in delirious kinetic environments like those traversed by Plastic Man, Superman, and the careening astronauts of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Right Stuff. He argues that as advanced technologies have proliferated, popular culture has turned the attendant fear of instability into the thrill of topsy-turvydom, often by presenting images and experiences of weightless escape from controlled space. Considering theme parks, cyberspace, cinematic special effects, superhero comics, and musical films, Matters of Gravity highlights phenomena that make technology spectacular, permit unfettered flights of fantasy, and free us momentarily from the weight of gravity and history, of past and present. Bukatman delves into the dynamic ways pop culture imagines that apotheosis of modernity: the urban metropolis. He points to two genres, musical films and superhero comics, that turn the city into a unique site of transformative power. Leaping in single bounds from lively descriptions to sharp theoretical insights, Matters of Gravity is a deft, exhilarating celebration of the liberatory effects of popular culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780822331193
ISBN-10: 0822331195
Format: Paperback
(5830mm x 3895mm x 19mm)
Pages: 296
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 21-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Scott Bukatman

Hellboy's World by Scott Bukatman Hellboy's World, Hardback (May 2016)

Hellboy, Mike Mignola's famed comic book demon hunter, wanders through a haunting and horrific world steeped in the history of weird fictions and wide-ranging folklores. This title shows how our engagement with Hellboy's world is a highly aestheticized encounter with comics and their materiality.

Blade Runner by Scott Bukatman Blade Runner, Paperback (July 2012)

Blade Runner has proved to be one of the most enduring and influential films of the 1980s. This new edition of Bukatman's study of Blade Runner is published in the BFI Film Classics 20th anniversary series of special editions, with a new foreword by the author and a stunning new jacket design by Paul Pope.

Poetics of Slumberland by Scott Bukatman Poetics of Slumberland, Paperback (February 2012)

Celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. This book begins with Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" to explore how and why the media of comics and cartoons captured a playful, rebellious energy characterized by hyperbolic emotion, physicality, and imagination.

» View all books by Scott Bukatman


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Author Biography - Scott Bukatman

Scott Bukatman is Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Stanford University. He is the author of Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, published by Duke University Press.

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Recent books by Scott Bukatman close
Hellboy's World by Scott Bukatman
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