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This book interrogates the relations between nostalgias of today and past utopias in the context of the space age of the 20th century and its cinematic representations in the USSR and in post-Soviet Russia. Once an enthusiastic projection, then a promising and uncanny present, and eventually an assemblage of nostalgic signifiers, in the history of world cinema, this space age has been linked primarily to the genre of science fiction. Here, aspects of the space age such as humanity's imminent expansion to space, interplanetary travel, contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, and intergalactic governance and economy were both celebrated and critically interrogated as cosmopolitan ideals and nation-branding strategies. This book presents the contemporary relevance of this genre as heritage and legacy, archive and canon, and a nest of forgotten ideals and warnings, as well as nostalgic anchoring points. The author analyzes over 30 Soviet science fiction films, foregrounding their structures of utopia and their evolution over time, in order to trace both their transnational positionalities, transmedial resonance, and impact on post-Soviet Russian films about the space age. Concepts, crucial to the understanding of space futures of the past, such as utopianism, otherness, liminality, and no(w)stalgia are activated to draw out the fictional tenants of the memory of the Soviet space age, and to establish the limits and potentialities of Soviet (exra)terraformative ambitions.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781793609311
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