Cinema of the Psychic Realm

A Critical Survey


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About the Book

Cinema is ideally suited to the world of psychic phenomena. A technique as simple as a voice-over can simulate mental telepathy, while unusual lighting, set design, or creative digital manipulation can conjure clairvoyant visions, precognition, or even psychokinesis. This book analyzes the depiction of paranormal powers in film, examining how movies like Star Wars, Independence Day, The Green Mile, and dozens of others both reflect and influence the way modern society thinks about psychic abilities. The theme is explored in nearly 100 films from a variety of genres including drama, comedy, horror, science fiction, crime melodrama, and children’s films, providing a concise review of the history and concepts of mainstream cinematic parapsychology.

About the Author(s)

Paul Meehan is the author of several books on science fiction, film noir and horror films, and a contributor to the Noir City Sentinel, the journal of the Film Noir Foundation and to The Palgrave Handbook of the Vampire. He lives in San Francisco.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Meehan

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 238
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3966-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5474-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. A Brief History of the Paranormal in Fact and Fiction      9
2. Early Paranormal Films      26
3. ESP in Drama, Comedy and Children’s Films      37
4. Paranormal Crime and Melodrama      59
5. The Dark Side of ESP: Horror and Fantasy      75
6. Alien ESP      106
7. Psi-Fi: Psychic Science Fiction Blockbusters      141
8. Remote Viewing, Black Psi-Ops and Paranoia      177

Conclusion      206
Filmography      211
Chapter Notes      219
Bibliography      221
Index      223

Book Reviews & Awards

“Recommend without reservation”—John Kenneth Muir’s Reflections on Film/TV