Matters of Gravity
Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century
By (author) Scott Bukatman
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Matters of Gravity by Scott Bukatman
Book DescriptionThe 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 DetailsISBN: 9780822331193
(5830mm x 3895mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 21-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author 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, 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, Paperback (February 2012)» View all books by Scott Bukatman
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.
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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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