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World-Horizon Expanded: Astronautics, Earth-ground, and The Space Exploration Science Fiction Film

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World-Horizon Expanded: Astronautics, Earth-ground, and The Space Exploration Science Fiction Film

Hua, Chaorong (2018) World-Horizon Expanded: Astronautics, Earth-ground, and The Space Exploration Science Fiction Film. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the issue of world-horizon, as well as its essential role in the interaction and interfusion of film experience and everyday perception. By examining the images of Earth and Space in the science fiction films belonging to the subgenre of Space exploration and those in non-fictional footage produced in the context of live television broadcast and scientific astronautics, I attempt to show how the perceptual and the imaginary worlds infiltrate and influence each other. I argue that Fritz Lang’s 1929 Frau im Mond (Women in Moon) played a crucial role in the history of this subgenre and in the broader horizon of real astronautics, for it blazed the trail of the embodied tradition that served as an alternative to the speculative methods used in many other science fiction films, expanded the horizon of the general public by treating science and astronautics seriously, and even contributed directly to modern rocketry and Space programs through its sponsorship of research in real rocket and its use of visual codes and syntagmas that later became the standard visual syntax and semantics for live television broadcasts. In turn, live television broadcast later established the standard for the audiovisual experience of real astronautics, whose visual codes and syntagmas then went back into more contemporary Space exploration films, such as Gravity and Interstellar. The latter films made full use of those established audiovisual codes and created a kinaesthetically affective and emotionally immersive world-horizon by pushing further the embodied tradition that had started with Lang’s film. Although I find in this particular subgenre the inherent logic of the world-picture that tends to turn Earth and Space into mere objects, an alternative way can be found through close analyses of these two contemporary Space exploration SF films. These films also reveal a possibility for us to reconnect with the earth as ground instead of Earth as the object.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hua, Chaorong
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:1 August 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lefebvre, Martin
Keywords:Science Fiction; phenomenology; world; horizon; Husserl; Heidegger
ID Code:984086
Deposited By: Chaorong Hua
Deposited On:05 Nov 2018 15:26
Last Modified:05 Nov 2018 15:26
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