Jethro Tull was one of the truly innovative rock bands to emerge from the late 1960s. At their peak the idiosyncratic group, fronted by multi-instrumentalist Ian Anderson, resembled a troupe of roving English minstrels.
Crafting a signature progressive rock sound that resisted easy categorization, they were often derided by critics as too British, too eccentric, too theatrical. Over the span of a decade, Tull released a string of sublime albums featuring intricate compositions in a wide range of musical styles, with little regard for the showbiz maxim “give the public what it wants.”
Focusing on the years 1968–1980, this history includes insider accounts based on exclusive interviews with key members and rare photographs from Ian Anderson’s personal collection.
British author and essayist George Orwell shot to fame with two iconic novels: the anti–Stalinist satire Animal Farm and the dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four.
A few years after his death in 1950, the CIA bankrolled screen adaptations of both novels as Cold War propaganda. Orwell’s depiction of a totalitarian police state captivated the media in the 1980s. Today, mounting anxieties about digital surveillance and globalization have made him a hot property in Hollywood.
Drawing on interviews with actors, writers, directors and producers, this book presents the first comprehensive study of Orwell on film and television. Beginning with CBS’s 1953 live production of Nineteen Eighty-Four that mirrored the McCarthy witch hunts, the author covers 20 wide-ranging adaptations, documentaries and biopics, including two lost BBC dramatizations from 1965.
What is known of the legendary King Arthur is mostly derived from folklore and literature. Though today, one is just as likely to have been introduced to King Arthur by a cartoon boy pulling a sword from a stone. You’ll find books covering all disciplines in our new King Arthur catalog.
For film studies, McFarland’s latest catalog includes such titles as Kevin J. Harty’s groundbreaking Cinema Arthuriana and The Reel Middle Ages. For students (and professors) of Arthurian literature, William W. Kibler and R. Barton Palmer have brought us a very useful book for the classroom, Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance. It offers new translations from Latin, Middle English and Old French of texts that exemplify the most important traditions of Arthurian literature in the Middle Ages. In addition to Arthuriana in folklore, literature and film, this new catalog also includes our line of popular works debating the evidence about historic sites and figures, including Hengest, Gwrtheyrn and the Chronology of Post-Roman Britain. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code Arthur25, print editions of all Arthuriana books are 25% off September 15 through September 30.
During the “Must See TV” 1990s, Americans enjoyed such immensely popular sitcoms as Friends, Seinfeld, Home Improvement and The Drew Carey Show. Shows that did not make the ratings cut numbered in the hundreds—the emergence of new networks and cable channels airing original programming resulted in a vast increase in short-lived sitcoms over the previous decade. Some of these “flops” were actually quite good and deserved a better fate.
The author revisits them—along with the “dramedies” of the day—with detailed entries providing production and broadcast information, along with critical analyses, and recollections by cast and crew members. A subsection highlights sitcoms that returned for an abbreviated second season. Dozens of cast and crew photographs are included.
Critics and audiences often judge films, books and other media as “great” —but what does that really mean? This collection of new essays examines the various criteria by which degrees of greatness (or not-so) are constructed—whether by personal, political or social standards—through topics in cinema, literature and adaptation. The contributors recognize how issues of value vary across different cultures, and explore what those differences say about attitudes and beliefs.
From Faust (1926) to The Babadook (2014), books have been featured in horror films as warnings, gateways, prisons and manifestations of the monstrous. Ancient grimoires such as the Necronomicon serve as timeless vessels of knowledge beyond human comprehension, while runes, summoning diaries, and spell books offer their readers access to the powers of the supernatural—but at what cost? This collection of new essays examines nearly a century of genre horror in which on-screen texts drive and shape their narratives, sometimes unnoticed. The contributors explore American films like The Evil Dead (1981), The Prophecy (1995) and It Follows (2014), as well as such international films as Eric Valette’s Malefique (2002), Paco Cabeza’s The Appeared (2007) and Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (1981).
Over the years, board games have evolved to include relatable characters, vivid settings and compelling, intricate plotlines. In turn, players have become more emotionally involved—taking on, in essence, the role of coauthors in an interactive narrative.
Through the lens of game studies and narratology—traditional storytelling concepts applied to the gaming world—this book explores the synergy of board games, designers and players in story-oriented designs. The author provides development guidance for game designers and recommends games to explore for hobby players.
A bold and singular collection of six plays by Arab and Jewish playwrights explores the human toll of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Admission by Motti Lerner, Scenes From 70* Years by Hannah Khalil, Tennis in Nablus by Ismail Khalidi, Urge for Going by Mona Mansour, The Victims by Ken Kaissar, and The Zionists by Zohar Tirosh-Polk.
Rather than striving to achieve balance and moral equivalency between “competing” narratives, the plays investigate themes of identity, justice, occupation, exile, history and homeland with honesty and integrity. The plays do not “take sides” or adhere to ideological orthodoxies but challenge tribalism and narrow definitions of nationalism, while varying widely in thematic content, dramatic structure, and time and place.
Where politicians and diplomats fail, artists and storytellers may yet succeed—not in ratifying a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine, but in building the sort of social and political connectivity that enables resolution.
From the beginning, both Robert Kirkman’s comics and AMC’s series of The Walking Dead have brought controversy in their presentations of race, gender and sexuality. Critics and fans have contended that the show’s identity politics have veered toward the decidedly conservative, offering up traditional understandings of masculinity, femininity, heterosexuality, racial hierarchy and white supremacy.
This collection of new essays explores the complicated nature of relationships among the story’s survivors. In the end, characters demonstrate often-surprising shifts that consistently comment on identity politics. Whether agreeing or disagreeing with critics, these essays offer a rich view of how gender, race, class and sexuality intersect in complex new ways in the TV series and comics.
The first of its kind, this study examines the exemplars of hardcore horror—Fred Vogel’s August Underground trilogy, Shane Ryan’s Amateur Porn Star Killer series and Lucifer Valentine’s “vomit gore” films.
The author begins with a definition and critical overview of this marginalized subgenre before exploring its key aesthetic convention, the pursuit of realist horror. Production practices, exhibition and marketing strategies are discussed in an in-depth interview with filmmaker Shane Ryan. Audience reception is covered with a focus on fan interaction via the Internet.
The Academy Awards—that yearly Hollywood bash that brings together the glamour and glitz of the international film industry—is highly revered yet has been minimally explored beyond the category of Best Picture. Over the last decade, more than 2,000 films have been submitted for the title of Best Foreign Language Film. Of those, 312—including Italy’s 8 ½, Sweden’s Through a Glass Darkly and Mexico’s Pan’s Labyrinth, as well as Denmark’s lesser-known Harry and the Butler, Yugoslavia’s I Even Met Happy Gypsies and Nicaragua’s Alsino and the Condor—have received nominations.
This guide lists each nominee—from the first-honored Shoeshine in 1948 through Iran’s second Oscar winner, The Salesman, in 2017—chronologically and includes synopses, basic facts about personnel and production qualities, and rankings among annual competitors that often differ from those of the Academy.
In November 1977, Warner Bros. secured the rights to release the album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols in America. The following January, the Sex Pistols—already the “scourge” of Britain—were discovered by unsuspecting American audiences in an infamous U.S. tour, accompanied by sensational media coverage and moral panic.
Malcolm McLaren, the band’s manager, eschewed the established rock ‘n’ roll markets of New York and Los Angeles in favor of off-the-radar venues in Memphis, San Antonio and Baton Rouge, sowing the seeds for countercultural clashes in the conservative South. Two weeks later the band split up but punk had invaded mainstream American culture.
Drawing on input from fans, the author chronicles the Pistols’ first and only U.S. tour and separates fact from fallacy in the mythology surrounding those 12 days of mayhem.
Focusing on the decade following 9/11, this critical analysis examines the various portrayals of Muslims in American cinema. Comparison of pre– and post–9/11 films indicates a stereotype shift, influenced by factors other than just politics. The evolving definitions of male, female and child characters and of setting and landscape are described. The rise of the formidable American female character who dominates the weak Muslim male emerges as a common theme.
The theme of death is an essential component of film narrative, particularly in how it affects the hero. Filmmakers from different cultures and backgrounds have developed distinct yet archetypal perspectives on death and the protagonist’s response. Focusing on Western and Japanese period genre films, the author examines the work of John Ford (1894–1973), Akira Kurosawa (1910–1998) and Sergio Leone (1929–1989) and finds similarities regarding death’s impact on the hero’s sense of morality.
While rock groups such as the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean defined the beach music of Southern California during the 1960s, a different, R&B influenced sound could be heard along South Carolina’s Grand Strand. Drawing on extensive research and exclusive interviews, this richly illustrated reference work covers the music, songwriters and performers who contributed to the genre of classic Carolina beach music from 1940 to 1980. Detailed entries tell the stories behind nearly 500 classic recordings, with release dates, label information, chart performance and biographical background on more than 200 artists.
Boxing might not have survived the 1930s if not for Max Baer. A contender for every heavyweight championship 1932–1941, California’s “Glamour Boy” brought back the “million-dollar gate” not seen since the 1920s. His radio voice sold millions of Gillette razor blades; his leading-man appeal made him a heartthrob in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933). The film was banned in Nazi Germany—Baer had worn a Star of David on his trunks when he TKOed German former champ Max Schmeling.
Baer defeated 275-pound Primo Carnera in 1934 for the championship, losing it to Jim Braddock the next year. Contrary to Cinderella Man, (2005), Baer—favored 10 to 1—was not a villain and the fight was more controversial than the film suggested. His battle with Joe Louis three months later drew the highest gate of the decade.
This first comprehensive biography covers Baer’s complete ring record, his early life, his career on radio, film, stage and television, and his World War II army service.
A mainstay of modern life, the global media gives out information about disabilities that is often inaccurate or negative and perpetuates oppressive stigmas and discrimination.
In response to representations that have been incomplete, misguided or unimaginative, this collection of new essays encourages scholars and allies to refashion media so as to disrupt the status quo and move toward more liberatory politics. Images in film, television and social media are assessed through the lenses of disabilities studies, media studies, cultural studies and intersectional studies involving critical race theory and gender.
Critical humorists and religion are steeped in a long-standing cultural antagonism. This book recounts the dramatic skirmishes between religion—its dogma and edicts, political manifestations, and the nature of faith—and the satire, parody, jokes and hyperbole of popular wits. The writings of Twain, Vonnegut, Mencken and Hitchens are included, along with the films of Monty Python, the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo, the animated television series The Simpsons and South Park, the comedy of George Carlin and Bill Maher, the music of Randy Newman and Pussy Riot, the performance monologue of Julia Sweeney and the magic of Penn Jillette.
Now revised and updated, this book tells the story of how the automobile transformed American life and how automotive design and technology have changed over time. It details cars’ inception as a mechanical curiosity and later a plaything for the wealthy; racing and the promotion of the industry; Henry Ford and the advent of mass production; market competition during the 1920s; the development of roads and accompanying highway culture; the effects of the Great Depression and World War II; the automotive Golden Age of the 1950s; oil crises and the turbulent 1970s; the decline and then resurgence of the Big Three; and how American car culture has been represented in film, music and literature. Updated notes and a select bibliography serve as valuable resources to those interested in automotive history.
As a Ziegfeld Follies girl and film actress, Justine Johnstone (1895–1982) was celebrated as “the most beautiful woman in the world.” Her career took an unexpected turn when she abruptly retired from acting at 31. For the remainder of her life, she dedicated herself to medical research and social activism. As a cutting-edge pathologist, she contributed to the pre-penicillin treatment of syphilis at Columbia University, participated in the development of early cancer treatments at Caltech, and assisted Los Angeles physicians in oncology research. As a divorced woman in the 1940s, she adopted and raised two children on her own. She later helped find work for blacklisted Hollywood screenwriters and became a prominent participant in social and political causes.
The first full-length biography of Johnstone chronicles her extraordinary success in two male-dominated fields—show business and medical science—and follows her remarkable journey into a fascinating and fulfilling life.
The cultural fantasy of twins imagines them as physically and behaviorally identical. Media portrayals consistently offer the spectacle of twins who share an insular closeness and perform a supposed alikeness—standing side by side, speaking and acting in unison.
Treating twinship as a cultural phenomenon, this first comprehensive study of twins in American literature and popular culture examines the historical narrative—within the discourses of experimentation, aberrance and eugenics—and how it has shaped their representations in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The best four days in gaming, Gen Con 2018, starts this week in Indianapolis. McFarland will be in the exhibit hall at booth #142. Visit us to peruse our books and to get the buzz about McFarland’s latest offerings. (Also, Lisa Camp will be in the booth representing the editorial team, and welcomes proposals for nonfiction manuscripts.)
For those of us that can’t make it to Gen Con, McFarland’s Games & Hobbies catalog covers books about role-playing games, tabletop games, video games, chess, and more. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code GAME25, print editions of all games & hobbies books are 25% off August 1 through August 15. Happy reading!
In his remarkable 50-year career, D-Day veteran, international film publicist and executive and production associate Charles “Jerry” Juroe met, knew or worked with almost “anyone who was anyone,” from Cecil B. DeMille and Alfred Hitchcock to Mary Pickford, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, Katherine Hepburn, Brando and the Beatles.
He made his name working on the iconic James Bond films, running publicity and advertising for both United Artists and legendary producers Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman’s EON Productions. From Dr. No to GoldenEye, Juroe traveled the globe with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. His entertaining memoir reads like insider history of Hollywood.
Some of you may share a guilty failing of our editors. When they receive proposals and manuscripts, while reading about almost any car–learning how it took shape, its quirks and qualities, how it changed over the production run–desire starts to sprout. Previously ignored vehicles (and even disliked vehicles) show their hidden appeal. On more than one occasion, an editor has looked at ads and undertaken calculations (financial, emotional, marital) for said cars.
If you’re the same, peruse our transportation catalog with caution! In addition to a broad range of books about automobiles, you’ll find offerings about aircraft, locomotives, bicycles, ships, military vehicles and transportation-related topics. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code TRANSPORT25, print editions of all transportation books are 25% off July 16 through July 31. Happy motoring and happy reading!
With the increased popularity of zombies in recent years, scholars have considered why the undead have so captured the public imagination. This book argues that the zombie can be viewed as an object of meditation on death, a memento mori that makes the fact of mortality more approachable from what has been described as America’s “death-denying culture.” The existential crisis in zombie apocalyptic fiction brings to the fore the problem of humanity’s search for meaning in an increasingly global and secular world. Zombies are analyzed in the context of Buddhist thought, in contrast with social and religious critiques from other works.
Renowned composer Jennifer Higdon is best known for her symphonic pieces blue cathedral, Concerto for Orchestra, City Scape, Concerto 4-3 and Violin Concerto (2010 Pulitzer Prize). These compositions illustrate her breadth of style and avant-garde technique. The author examines these works—with commentary by Higdon—as well as the music of her first opera, with a focus on compositional history, musical characteristics, formal analysis and critical reception.
Vampire narratives are generally thought of as adult or young adult fare, yet there is a long history of their appearance in books, film and other media meant for children. They emerge as expressions of anxiety about change and growing up but sometimes turn out to be new best friends who highlight the beauty of difference and individuality.
This collection of new essays examines the history of vampires in 20th and 21st century Western popular media marketed to preteens and explores their significance and symbolism.
Hollywood, the 1970s. Jason Williams, a former college athlete from very conservative Orange County, hopes to become a film actor in a town where everyone’s looking for a break. He jumps at the chance for the lead in a science fiction parody, an X-rated (later R) spoof of Flash Gordon.
Sure, he has to get naked on camera—but so do lots of cute girls. He has no idea the production will be the start of an odyssey that will take him through the highs and lows of Tinseltown, and make him the most known unknown in movies—Flesh Gordon!
Set in politically unstable environments, Shakespeare’s history plays—Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV and Henry V—and HBO’s Western series Deadwood (2004–2006) all stand as critiques of myths of national origin, the sanitized stories we tell ourselves about how power imposes order on chaos. Drawing parallels between the Shakespeare plays and Deadwood, the author explores questions about legitimate political authority, the qualities of an effective leader, gender roles and community, and the reciprocal relationship between past and present in historical narratives.
Hollywood studios were once eager to bring stand-up comedy king Richard Pryor’s dynamic humor to the big screen—so much so that studio executives gave him full access to available resources and creative control to develop his own projects. Unfortunately Pryor’s screen talents were far less acclaimed than his stage ones, and flops such as The Toy and Superman III greatly diminished his reputation. The author examines how this downfall unfolded through comprehensive analyses of each of Pryor’s movies.
Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend has spawned a series of iconic horror and science fiction films, including The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971) and I Am Legend (2007). The compelling narrative of the last man on earth, struggling to survive a pandemic that has transformed the rest of humanity into monsters, has become an American myth. While the core story remains intact, filmmakers have transformed the details over time, reflecting changing attitudes about race and masculinity.
This reexamination of Matheson’s novel situates the tale of one man’s conflicted attitude about killing racialized “others” within its original post–World War II context, engaging the question of post-traumatic stress disorder. The author analyzes the several film adaptations, with a focus on the casting and interpretations of protagonist Robert Neville.
Group Motion—an improvisational dance performance practice—represents fifty years of co-creation by the authors, with the participation of thousands of dancers, musicians, videographers and others around the globe. Informed by Mary Wigman’s expressionist dance and other contemporary dance and theater traditions, Group Motion has brought dance not only to stages worldwide, but also to public parks, prisons and airports.
Part memoir, part guidebook, part philosophy of art treatise, this book provides step-by-step guidance to dozens of improvisational structures or games for dance professionals, theater artists, musicians and other performers who use movement for creative expression.
John McTiernan is one of the most influential action filmmakers of his generation. Educated
at the American Film Institute and influenced by European cinematic style, he made his name with a trio of groundbreaking action films—Predator, Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October.
His later output was a mixture of successes and failures, including Last Action Hero, one of the most colossal misfires in Hollywood history. His career and personal life unravelled when he was indicted and briefly imprisoned for involvement in a wiretapping scandal.
Drawing on extensive research, the author covers McTiernan’s tumultuous life and career, from his early triumphs through his extensive legal battles and his multiple attempts at a comeback.
This collection of 23 new essays focuses on the lives of female screenwriters of Golden Age Hollywood, whose work helped create those unforgettable stories and characters beloved by audiences—but whose names have been left out of most film histories. The contributors trace the careers of such writers as Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Lillian Hellman, Gene Gauntier, Eve Unsell and Ida May Park, and explore themes of their writing in classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ben Hur, and It’s a Wonderful Life.
The apocalypse on the big screen has expanded beyond the familiar end-of-the-world movies. Romantic comedies, teen adventures and even children’s films frequently feature apocalyptic imagery—disintegrating cities, extreme weather events, extinctions, rogue military forces, epidemics, zombie armies and worlds colliding. Using sophisticated CGI effects, filmmakers are depicting the end of the world ever more stunningly.
The authors explore the phenomenon of the cinematic apocalypse and its origins in both our anxieties and our real-world events, and they identify some flashes of hope in the desolate landscape.
Traditional African musical forms have long been accepted as fundamental to the emergence of blues and jazz. Yet there has been little effort at compiling recorded evidence to document their development. This discography brings together hundreds of recordings that trace in detail the evolution of the African American musical experience, from early wax cylinder recordings made in West Africa to voodoo rituals from the Carribean Basin to the songs of former slaves in the American South.
A childhood comic book fan turned comic book retailer, the author soon discovered the prevalence of scams in the world of comics collecting. This book is his tutorial on how to collect wisely and reduce risks. Drawing on skills learned from 20 years with the San Diego Police Department and as a Comic-Con attendee since 1970, he covers in detail the history and culture of collecting comic books and describes the pitfalls, including common deceptions of grading, pricing, as well as theft, and mail and insurance fraud.
The Women of Orphan Black: Faces of the Feminist Spectrum
Valerie Estelle Frankel
“Frankel takes a deep dive into the sci-fi cult hit Orphan Black…explor[es] how the show challenged female stereotypes and the often-limiting categories women are put into on screen by creating female characters who were radically different despite having the same DNA…examines each character in depth…Frankel also illuminates the science at the heart of the show, along with the many literary allusions referenced each season…smart analysis”
Women are now central to many science fiction films—but that has not always been the case. Female characters, from their token presence (or absence) in the silent pictures of the early 20th century to their roles as assistants, pulp princesses and sexy robots, and eventually as scientists, soldiers and academics, have often struggled to be seen and heard in a genre traditionally regarded as of men, by men and for men.
Surveying more than 650 films across 120 years, the author charts the highs and lows of women’s visibility in science fiction’s cinematic history through the effects of two world wars, social and cultural upheavals and advances in film technology.
Who are the most significant gay icons and how did they develop? What influence do they have on gay individuals and communities?
This book focuses on the superstars, femmes fatales and divas of the gay celebrity pantheon—May West, Julie Andrews, Britney Spears, RuPaul, Cher, Divine, Sharon Needles and many others—and their contributions to gay culture and the complications of sexual and gender identity. The author explores their allure along with the mechanisms of iconicity.
Myth pervades heavy metal. With visual elements drawn from medieval and horror cinema, the genre’s themes of chaos, dissidence and alienation transmit an image of Promethean rebellion against the conventional. In dialogue with the modern world, heavy metal draws imaginatively on myth and folklore to construct an aesthetic and worldview embraced by a vast global audience. The author explores the music of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica and many others from a mythological and literary perspective.
In the midst of acne, social anxiety and training bras are the teen idols that make adolescent life a little more bearable. Whether their cutouts are plastered on bedroom walls or hidden behind locker doors, there is no denying the impact of these stars on young women.
This collection of new essays explores with tenderness and humor the teen crushes of the past 50 years—from Elvis to John Lennon to Diana Ross—who have influenced the choices of women, romantically or otherwise, well into adulthood.
Digital role-playing games such as Rift, Diablo III, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning help players develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, digital literacy, and lifelong learning. The author examines both the benefits and the drawbacks of role-playing games and their application to real-world teaching techniques. Readers will learn how to incorporate games-based instruction into their own classes and workplace training, as well as approaches to redesigning curriculum and programs.
Many critics and fans refer to the 1990s as the decade that horror forgot, with few notable entries in the genre. Yet horror went mainstream in the ’90s by speaking to the anxieties of American youth during one of the country’s most prosperous eras.
No longer were films made on low budgets and dependent on devotees for success. Horror found its way onto magazine covers, fashion ads and CD soundtrack covers. “Girl power” feminism and a growing distaste for consumerism defined an audience that both embraced and rejected the commercial appeal of these films.
This in-depth study examines the youth subculture and politics of the era, focusing on such films as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Scream (1996), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Idle Hands(1999) and Cherry Falls (2000).
On December 31, 1939, nationwide radio audiences listened as 17-year-old Josephine Owaissa Cottle, a Texas schoolgirl, won Gateway to Hollywood’s new talent competition. Her prize was a movie contract at RKO and a memorable stage name—“Gale Storm.” One of the United States’ most beloved entertainers, she appeared in 35 films, starred in two hit television series (one was My Little Margie) and earned a gold record for “I Hear You Knockin’.”
Drawing on interviews with family, friends and colleagues, this biography provides many unpublished details of her life and career. An annotated filmography encompasses Storm’s time at Monogram Pictures, her roles in westerns and her appearances in classics such as It Happened on 5th Avenue. Her TV career is covered, including complete production histories and episode guides.
Director, producer and screenwriter Joss Whedon is a creative force in film, television, comic books and a host of other media. This book provides an authoritative survey of all of Whedon’s work, ranging from his earliest scriptwriting on Roseanne, through his many movie and TV undertakings—Toy Story, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly/Serenity, Dr. Horrible, The Cabin in the Woods, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—to his forays into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The book covers both the original texts of the Whedonverse and the many secondary works focusing on Whedon’s projects, including about 2000 books, essays, articles, documentaries and dissertations.
During the 1960s, many models, Playboy centerfolds, beauty queens, and Las Vegas showgirls went on to become “decorative actresses” appearing scantily clad on film and television. This well illustrated homage to 75 of these glamour girls reveals their unique stories through individual biographical profiles, photographs, lists of major credits and, frequently, in-depth personal interviews. Included are Carol Wayne, Edy Williams, Inga Neilsen, Thordis Brandt, Jo Collins, Phyllis Davis, Melodie Johnson, and many equally unforgettable faces of sixties Hollywood.
The history of Italian cinema includes, in addition to the renowned auteurs, a number of peculiar and lesser-known filmmakers. While their artistry was often plagued with production setbacks, their works—influenced by poetry, playwriting, advertising, literature, comics and a nonconformist, sometimes antagonistic attitude—were original and thought provoking.
Drawing from official papers and original scripts, this book includes previously unpublished information on the works and lives of post–World War II filmmakers Pier Carpi, Alberto Cavallone, Riccardo Ghione, Giulio Questi, Brunello Rondi, Paolo Spinola, Augusto Tretti and Nello Vegezzi.
Sir Christopher Lee (1922–2015) was one of the most beloved actors of the past sixty years. He appeared in more than 200 feature films—from Hammer Horror and James Bond thrillers to Star Warsand Lord of the Rings—and more than 100 made-for-televison movies. A versatile performer, he played a menacing figure in Dracula and The Wicker Man, a tragic one in The Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy, and a spiritual hero in The Devil Rides Out. This study explores his legacy as a film actor and his diverse interpretations of the theme of good vs. evil.
FOX’s musical drama Empire has been hailed as the savior of broadcast television, drawing 15 million viewers a week. A “hip-hopera” inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear and 1980s prime-time soap Dynasty, the series is at the forefront of a black popular culture Renaissance—yet has stirred controversy in the black community. Is Empire shifting paradigms or promoting pernicious stereotypes?
Examining the evolution and potency of black images in popular culture, the author explores Empire’s place in a diverse body of literature and media, data and discussions on respectability.
This collection of new essays explores the many ways in which composers have been depicted in film and what audiences have taken away from such depictions. Beginning with some of the earliest silent film examples—including some of the first feature-length “bio-pics” ever produced—these essays range from the 12th century abbess Hildegard of Bingen to the great classical and romantic eras of Verdi, Wagner, Berlioz and Strauss, up to the 20th century’s Elgar, Delius, Gershwin and Blitzstein.
The entertainment world lost many notable talents in 2017, including iconic character actor Harry Dean Stanton, comedians Jerry Lewis and Dick Gregory, country singer Glen Campbell, playwright Sam Shepard and actor-singer Jim Nabors.
Obituaries of actors, filmmakers, musicians, producers, dancers, composers, writers, animals and others associated with the performing arts who died in 2017 are included. Date, place and cause of death are provided for each, along with a career recap and a photograph. Filmographies are given for film and television performers. Books in this annual series are available dating to 1994—a subscription is available for future volumes.
For the better part of three decades romance comics were an American institution. Nearly 6,000 titles were published between 1947 and 1977, and for a time one in five comics sold in the U.S. was a romance comic.
This first full-length study examines the several types of romance comics, their creators and publishing history. The author explores significant periods in the development of the genre, including the origins of Archie Comics and other teen publications, the romance comic “boom and bust” of the 1950s, and their sudden disappearance when fantasy and superhero comics began to dominate in the late 1970s.
Claire Trevor (1910–2000) is best remembered as the alluring blonde femme fatale in such iconic noir films as Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Raw Deal (1948). Yet she was a versatile performer who brought rare emotional depth to her craft. She was effective in a range of diverse roles, from an outcast prostitute in John Ford’s classic Stagecoach (1939) to the ambitious tennis mother in Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951) to the embittered wife of a landowner in William Wellman’s overlooked gem My Man and I (1952). Nominated for four Oscars, she deservedly won Best Supporting Actesss for her portrayal of Gaye Dawn, a gangster’s broken-down moll in Key Largo (1948). The author covers her life and career in detail, recognizing her as one of the finest actresses of her generation.
Summer blockbuster season seems to start earlier each year, but that’s all fine and dandy with the Marvel and Star Wars fans at McFarland! Beginning on Star Wars Day, McFarland is offering a sale for our books about film, television and related pop culture. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code PopCulture25, print editions of all pop culture books are 25% off on Star Wars Day, May 4 through Friday, May 11. May the fourth be with you!
Science fiction movie audiences may sometimes wonder how fictitious the science in a film really is. Yet for many—call them the “Jurassic Park generation”—film and popular media can present a seemingly plausible melding of science and fiction that forms a distorted understanding of scientific facts and concepts. Recognizing that film is both the dominant entertainment medium and an effective tool for teaching, this book—featuring articles originally published in the magazine Scary Monsters—separates biological reality from fantasy in dozens of science fiction films, including The Island of Lost Souls (1933), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), War of the Worlds (1953), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Scanners (1980), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1987) and Outbreak (1995).
The witch as a cultural archetype has existed in some form since the beginning of recorded history. Her nature has changed through technological developments and sociocultural shifts—a transformation most evident in her depictions on screen.
This book traces the figure of the witch through American screen history with an analysis of the entertainment industry’s shifting boundaries concerning expressions of femininity. Focusing on films and television series from The Wizard of Oz to The Craft, the author looks at how the witch reflects alterations of gender roles, religion, the modern practice of witchcraft, and female agency.
Set in the American Southwest, “desert terror” films combine elements from horror, film noir and road movies to tell stories of isolation and violence. For more than half a century, these diverse and troubling films have eluded critical classification and analysis. Highlighting pioneering filmmakers and bizarre production stories, the author traces the genre’s origins and development, from cult exploitation (The Hills Have Eyes, The Hitcher) to crowd-pleasing franchises (Tremors, From Dusk Till Dawn) to quirky auteurist fare (Natural Born Killers, Lost Highway) to more recent releases (Bone Tomahawk, Nocturnal Animals). Rare stills, promotional materials and a filmography are included.
Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany plays a host of the show’s main characters, all clones of an illegal experiment. The mighty heroines save one another and destroy the patriarchy—with the aid of supportive yet bumbling males—while subverting gender expectations and celebrating the many facets of feminism.
Sarah, the punk feminist clashing with her radical feminist foster-mother; Alison, the quintessential post-feminist housewife; Cosima, a herald of second-wave lesbian feminism in Birkenstocks and dreads; Beth, a third-wave feminist bogged down by drug and relationship problems; and M.K. a fourth-wave feminist who tackles the hardships of disability through the Internet. This book explores these portrayals and how they relate to the science and ethics surrounding cloning through an emphasis on the women’s war against corporate power.
Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games—including Deus Ex, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam—this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.
“What audacity!” exclaimed Robert Wagner when he heard about the authors’ adolescent exploits in nabbing interviews with celebrities of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
In 1978, David Fantle and Tom Johnson, St. Paul teenagers fresh out of high school, boarded a plane to meet with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. On a lark, they had written the two stars requesting interviews—to their amazement, both had agreed.
Over the years, more than 250 other stars also agreed—Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, George Burns, Rod Steiger, Milton Berle, Frank Capra and Hoagy Carmichael, to name a few. Published for the first time and with exclusive photos, this selection of 75 interviews chronicles the authors’ 40-year quest for wisdom, insights and anecdotes from iconic artists who defined 20th century American popular culture.
The Duffer Brothers’ award-winning Stranger Things exploded onto the pop culture scene in 2016. The Netflix original series revels in a nostalgic view of 1980s America while darkly portraying the cynical aspects of the period. This collection of 23 new essays explores how the show reduces, reuses and recycles ’80s pop culture—from the films of Spielberg, Carpenter and Hughes to punk and synthwave music to Dungeons & Dragons—and how it shapes our understanding of the decade through distorted memory. Contributors discuss gender and sexual orientation; the politics, psychology and educational policies of the day; and how the ultimate upper-class teen idol of the Reagan era became Stranger Things‘ middle-aged blue-collar heroine.
Women remain woefully underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Negative stereotypes about women in these fields are pervasive, rooted in the debunked claim that women have less aptitude than men in science and math. While some TV series present portrayals that challenge this stereotype, others reinforce troubling biases—sometimes even as writers and producers attempt to champion women in STEM.
This collection of new essays examines numerous popular series, from children’s programs to primetime shows, and discusses the ways in which these narratives inform cultural ideas about women in STEM.
Adventure fiction is one of the easiest narrative forms to recognize but one of the hardest to define because of its overlap with many other genres. This collection of essays attempts to characterize adventure fiction through the exploration of key elements—such as larger-than-life characters and imperialistic ideas—in the genre’s 19th- and 20th-century British and American works like The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy and Captain Blood by Sabatini. The author explores the cultural and literary impact of such works, presenting forgotten classics in a new light.
The Incomparable Hildegarde (1906–2005) lived a life of glamour and excitement. She began her career as a pianist in Milwaukee’s silent movie theaters, which led to the Vaudeville stage. By the 1930s, she was singing in the cabarets of Paris and London, rubbing elbows with royalty, White Russians, and Josephine Baker. Returning to the U.S., she became the darling of the New York City supper club scene. Her name and style became synonymous with high-class entertainment at venues like the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel. She started fashion trends, had her own signature Revlon nail and lip color, and was the first to have hits with many standards of the World War II era.
This first biography of Hildegarde Sill covers her 70–year career, emphasizing her importance in 20th-century American popular culture. The author analyzes her intimate relationship with her manager of two decades, Anna Sosenko.
Jessica Jones barged onto our screens in November 2015, courtesy of Marvel and Netflix, presenting a hard-drinking protagonist who wrestles with her own inner (and outer) demons. Gaining enhanced abilities as a teenager, she eschews the “super costume” and is far more concerned with the problems of daily life. But when Jessica falls under the control of a villain, her life changes forever.
Based on the comic book Alias, the show won a large following and critical acclaim for its unflinching look at subjects like abuse, trauma, PTSD, rape culture, alcoholism, drug addiction, victims’ plight and family conflicts.
This collection of new essays offers insight into the show’s complex themes and story lines.
Detective McNulty applies bite marks to a deceased man’s body with a set of dentures in The Wire, illustrating how officialdom deals in falsehood. Dr. Strangelove lovingly describes the “doomsday machine” as being free from “human meddling,” while it destroys the world, highlighting the absurdity of placing systems above any moral considerations. In Crash, Ballard survives a car accident only to be cared for by a paternal technology that tends only to his physical needs—a life of technical certitude bereft of beauty.
The Cold War, with its promise of imminent and purposeless doom, profoundly shaped the post-modern world in ways that are not yet appreciated. This study examines the Cold War zeitgeist and its aftermath as shown in fiction, film and television.
GB. Grayson and Henry Whitter were two of the most influential artists in the early days of country music. Songs they popularized—“Tom Dooley,” “Little Maggie,” “Handsome Molly,” and “Nine Pound Hammer”—are still staples of traditional music. Although the duo sold tens of thousands of records during the 1920s, the details of their lives remain largely unknown.
Featuring never before published photographs and interviews with friends and relatives, this book chronicles for the first time the romantic intrigues and tragic deaths that marked their lives and explores the Southern Appalachian culture that shaped their music.
The BBC television series Downton Abbey (2010–2016), highly rated in the UK, achieved cult status among American viewers, harking back to the days when serial dramas ruled the airwaves. The show’s finale was one of the most watched in all of television history.
This collection of new essays by British and American contributors explores how a series about life in an early 20th century English manor home resonated with American audiences. Topics include the role of the house in literature and film, the changing roles of women and the servant class, the influence of jazz and fashion, and attitudes regarding education and the class system.
Buster Keaton “can impress a weary world with the vitally important fact that life, after all, is a foolishly inconsequential affair,” wrote critic Robert Sherwood in 1918. A century later Keaton, with his darkly comic “theater of the absurd,” speaks to audiences like no other silent comedian. If you thought you knew Keaton—think again!
Mixed martial arts or MMA is widely regarded as the fastest growing sport. Events fill stadiums around the world and draw vast television audiences, earning strong revenue through pay-per-view at a time when other sports have abandoned it. In 2016, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was bought by the massive talent agency WME-IMG for $4 billion. Despite this success, much of the public remains uneasy with the sport, which critics have denounced as “human cockfighting.”
Through an exploration of violence, class, gender, race and nationalism, the author finds that MMA is both an expression of the positive values of martial arts and a spectacle defined by narcissism, hate and patriarchy. The long-term success of MMA will depend on the ability of promoters and athletes to resist indulging in spectacle at the expense of sport.
When Joss Whedon’s television show Firefly (2002–2003) was cancelled, devoted fans cried foul and demanded more—which led to the 2005 feature film Serenity. Both the series and the film were celebrated for their melding of science fiction and western iconography, dystopian settings, underdog storylines, and clever fast-paced dialogue.
Firefly has garnered a great deal of scholarly attention—less so, Serenity. This collection of new essays, the first focusing exclusively on the film, examines its depictions of race, ableism, social engineering and systems of power, and its status as a crime film, among other topics.
When the BBC’s Sherlock debuted in summer 2010—and appeared in the U.S. on PBS a few months later—no one knew it would become an international phenomenon. The series has since gathered a diverse and enthusiastic fandom.
Like their hero, Sherlock fans scrutinize clues about the show’s deeper meaning, as well as happenings off screen. They postulate theories and readings of the characters and their relationships. They have tweeted with “The Powers That Be,” mobilized to filming locations via #Setlock, and become advocates for LGBTQIA communities.
Sherlock’s digital communities have changed the way that fans and series creators interact in person and online, as each publicly takes “ownership” of beloved television characters who represent far more than entertainment to fans.
Persia had Rostam. Babylonia had Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Egypt had Horus and Isis. Greece had Odysseus and Achilles.
Israel had its heroes, too–Moses, David, Esther and Samson. While Israel’s heroes did not wear capes or spandex, they did meet cultural needs.
In times of crisis, heroes emerge to model virtues that inspire a sense of commitment and worth. Identity concerns were especially acute for a post-exilic Jewish culture. Using modern American superheroes and their stories in a cross-cultural discussion, this book presents the stories of Israelite characters as heroes filling a cultural need.
Presenting some of the best work from the 2017 Comparative Drama Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, this collection highlights the latest research in comparative drama, performance and dramatic textual analysis. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, from the “practical ethnography” of directing foreign language productions to writing for theoretical stages to the “radical deaf theater” of Aaron Sawyer’s The Vineyard. A full transcript of the keynote conversation with American playwright and screenwriter Lisa Loomer is included.
Before his rise to superstardom portraying Detective Steve McGarrett on the long-running police drama Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord was already a dedicated and versatile actor on Broadway, in film and on television.
His range of roles included a Virginia gentleman planter in Colonial Williamsburg (The Story of a Patriot), CIA agent Felix Leiter in the first James Bond movie (Dr. No) and the title character in the cult classic rodeo TV series Stoney Burke. Lord’s career culminated in twelve seasons on Hawaii Five-O, where his creative control of the series left an indelible mark on every aspect of its production.
This book, the first to draw on Lord’s massive personal archive, gives a behind-the-scenes look into the life and work of a TV legend.
Among the top-grossing Hollywood blockbusters of all time, Star Wars launched one of the most successful movie and licensing franchises in history. Yet much of the film’s backstory was set in Britain, where the original trilogy was made and where early efforts at tie-in merchandising were spearheaded.
The author provides a detailed account of the saga’s British connection, including personal recollections of fans in the UK, exclusive interviews with staff members of Palitoy who took on the challenge of producing millions of toys, and the story of how a group of writers from the underground press in London combined with Marvel comics to produce the first Star Wars expanded universe.
Part sport, part performance art, professional wrestling’s appeal crosses national, racial and gender boundaries—in large part by playing to national, racial and gender stereotypes that resonate with audiences. Scholars who study competitive sports tend to dismiss wrestling, with its scripted outcomes, as “fake,” yet fail to recognize a key similarity: both present athletic displays for maximized profit through live events, television viewership and merchandise sales.
This collection of new essays contributes to the literature on pro wrestling with a broad exploration of identity in the sport. Topics include cultural appropriation in the ring, gender non-comformity, national stereotypes, and wrestling as transmission of cultural values.
Over the past half-century Doctor Who has defined science fiction television. The women in the series—from orphans and heroic mothers to seductresses and clever teachers—flourish in their roles yet rarely surmount them. Some companions rescue the Doctor and charm viewers with their technical brilliance, while others only scream for rescue. The villainesses dazzle with their cruelty, from the Rani to Cassandra and Missy. Covering all of the series—classic and new—along with Class, K9, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, novels, comics and Big Finish Audio adventures, this book examines the women archetypes in Doctor Who.
Ajax, the archetypal Greek warrior, has over the years been trivialized as a peripheral character in the classics through Hollywood representations, and by the use of his name on household cleaning products. Examining a broad range of sources—from film, art and literature to advertising and sports—this study of the “Bulwark of the Achaeans” and his mythological image redefines his presence in Western culture, revealing him as the predominant voice in The Iliad and in myriad works across the classical canon.
Some people claim that audiences go to the movies for the genre. Others say they go for the director. But most really go to see their favorite actors and actresses. This book explores the work of many of classic Hollywood’s influential stars, such as James Cagney, Bette Davis, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.
These so-called “pre–Brando” entertainers, often dismissed as old fashioned, were part of an explosion of talent that ran from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. The author analyzes their compelling styles and their ability to capture audiences.
What if one of literature’s greatest poets was actually a zombie, writing in an Elizabethan world teeming with the undead hiding in plain sight? Inviting readers to see the sublime in the looming apocalypse, this book presents all 154 Shakespearean sonnets (with minor alterations transfigured into “zonnets”) in their horrifying glory, highlighting transcendent themes of love, death, beauty and feasting on the flesh of the living. Each sonnet portrays a zombie encounter, with accompanying vignettes revealing the struggles of undead life in early modern England. Original illustrations by Anna Pagnucci bring the nightmare to life. Shakespeare will never be the same.
One of FX’s most successful original productions, Sons of Anarchy roared onto the screen in 2008 and dominated the cable network’s programming for seven seasons. Following an outlaw motorcycle club on its Shakespearean journey, the series took audiences on a wild ride powered by a high-octane brand of masculinity.
This collection of new essays explores the show’s complicated presentation of masculinity and its cultural implications. Series creator and writer Kurt Sutter depicts male characters who act from a highly traditional sense of what it means to be a man. SOA both vaunts and challenges that sense of manhood as the characters face the consequences of their ride-or-die lifestyle.
Launched in 1977 by the Christian Broadcasting Service (originally associated with Pat Robertson), the ABC Family/Freeform network has gone through a number of changes in name and ownership. Over the past decade, the network—now owned by Disney—has redefined “family programming” for its targeted 14- to 34-year-old demographic, addressing topics like lesbian and gay parenting, postfeminism and changing perceptions of women, the issue of race in the U.S., and the status of disability in American culture.
This collection of new essays examines the network from a variety of perspectives, with a focus on inclusive programming that has created a space for underrepresented communities like transgender youth, overweight teens, and the deaf.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe—comprised of films, broadcast television and streaming series and digital shorts—has generated considerable fan engagement with its emphasis on socially relevant characters and plots. Beyond considerable box office achievements, the success of Marvel’s movie studios has opened up dialogue on social, economic and political concerns that challenge established values and beliefs. This collection of new essays examines those controversial themes and the ways they represent, construct and distort American culture.
Historian Johan Huizinga once described game playing as the motor of humanity’s cultural development, predating art and literature. Since the late 20th century, Western society has undergone a “ludification,” as the influence of game-playing has grown ever more prevalent. At the same time, new theories of postmodernism have emphasized the importance of interactive, playful behavior.
Core concepts of postmodernism are evident in pen-and-paper role-playing, such as Dungeons and Dragons. Exploring the interrelationships among narrative, gameplay, players and society, the author raises questions regarding authority, agency and responsibility, and discusses the social potential of RPGs in the 21st century.
Exploring the early westerns of John Wayne—from his first starring role in the The Big Trail (1930) to his breakthrough as the Ringo Kid in John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939)—the authors trace his transformation from Marion Mitchell Morrison, movie studio prop man, into John Wayne, a carefully crafted film persona of his own invention that made him world famous. Wayne’s years of training went well beyond honing his acting skill, as he developed the ability to do his own stunts, perfected his technique as a gun handler and became an expert horseman.
George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has sparked a renewed interest in things medieval. The pseudo-historical world of Westeros delights casual fans while offering a rich new perspective for medievalists and scholars.
This study explores how Martin crafts a chivalric code that intersects with and illuminates well known medieval texts, including both romance and heroic epics.
Through characters such as Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane and Jaime Lannister, Martin variously challenges, upholds and deconstructs chivalry as depicted in the literature of the Middle Ages.
The debut of Saturday Night Live and the 1976 presidential election between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had enduring effects on American culture. With its mix of sketch comedy and music, SNL grabbed huge ratings and several Emmys in its first season. President Ford’s press secretary, Ron Nessen, was the first politician to host SNL. Ford also appeared on the show, via video tape, to offer a comic counterpunch to Chevy Chase’s signature line, “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not.” Since then, it has become a rite of passage for national politicians to appear on SNL, and the show’s treatment of them and their platforms has a continuing impact on political discourse.
Historically, zombies have been portrayed in films and television series as mindless, shuffling monsters. In recent years, this has changed dramatically. The undead are fast and ferocious in 28 Days Later… (2002) and World War Z (2013). In Warm Bodies (2013) and In the Flesh (2013–2015), they are thoughtful, sensitive and capable of empathy. These sometimes radically different depictions of the undead (and the still living) suggest critical inquiries: What does it mean to be human? What makes a monster? Who survives the zombie apocalypse, and why? Focusing on classic and current movies and TV shows, the author reveals how the once-subversive modern zombie, now more popular than ever, has been co-opted by the mainstream culture industry.
This collection of new essays interprets the Wizarding World beyond the books and films through the lens of convergence culture. Contributors explore how online communities tackle Sorting and games like the Quidditch Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, and analyze how Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are changing fandom and the canon alike.
Focusing on portrayals of California in popular culture, this collection of new essays traces a central theme of darkness through literature (Toby Barlow, Angela Carter, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, and Claire Vaye Watkins), video games (L.A. Noire), music (Death Grips, Lana Del Rey, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), TV (True Detective and American Horror Story), and film(Starry Eyes, Southland Tales and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).
Providing insight into the significance of Californian icons, the contributors explore the interplay between positive stereotypes connected to the myth of the Golden State and ambivalent responses to the myth based on social and political power, the consequences of consumerism, transformations of the landscape and the dominance of hyperreality.
Serving as the sequel to Gene Roddenberry’s original television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation pushed the boundaries of the “final frontier.” At the same time, the show continued the franchise’s celebrated exploration of the human experience, reflecting current social and political events. ST:TNG became immensely successful, spawning four feature films and several television spin-offs.
This collection of new essays explores both the series’ characters and its themes. Topics include the Federation’s philosophy concerning technocracy, sexuality and biopolitics; foreign policy shifts in the Prime Directive; key characters including Jean-Luc Picard, Data, Deanna Troi, Tasha Yar; and Klingon martial arts, music, and history.
Much of 20th century science fiction foretold technological and social developments beyond the year 2000. Since then, a key theme has been: what happens when the future no one anticipated arrives faster than anyone expected? Focusing on 21st century independent science fiction films, the author describes a seismic shift in subject matter as society moves into a new technological age. Independent films since the millennium are more daring, incisive and even plausible in their depiction of possible futures than blockbuster films of the same period. Twenty-one chapters break down today’s subgenres, featuring interviews with the filmmakers who created them.
Science fiction, fantasy and horror movies have spawned more sequels and remakes than any other film genre. Following Volume 1, which covered 400 films made 1931–1995, Volume 2 of this comprehensive reference analyzes 334 releases 1996–2017. The traditional cinematic monsters are represented—Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, a new Mummy. A new wave of popular series inspired by comics and video games, as well as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, could never have been credibly produced without advances in special effects technology. Audiences follow the exploits of superheroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor, and such heroines as the vampire Selene, zombie killer Alice, dystopian rebels Katniss Everdeen and Imperator Furiosa, and Soviet spy turned American agent Black Widow. The continuing depredations of Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers are described. Pre–1996 movies that have since been remade are included. Entries features cast and credits, detailed synopsis, critics’ reviews, and original analysis.