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Sobchack, Vivian

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Critic.

(1940-    ) US author of academic film criticism, notably The Limits of Infinity: The American Science Fiction Film 1950-1975 (1980), expanded as Screening Space: The American Science Fiction Film (1987), retaining the unaltered text of the earlier book but adding a long final chapter, "Postfuturism", which gives a reading of sf Cinema developed from the critical theories of Fredric Jameson (see Postmodernism and SF). The original text is among the most sophisticated analyses of sf film yet published; the added chapter is clotted, but important in its placing of recent sf films in a Postmodernist context where, for example, computer imagery and outer space in film are registered as flat imitations of one another, or where we read schizophrenic narrative structures as zany comedies. Sobchack's Feminism informs her work, particularly the essay "The Virginity of Astronauts: Sex and the Science Fiction Film" in Shadows of the Magic Lamp: Fantasy and Science Fiction in Film (anth 1985) edited by George E Slusser and Eric S Rabkin. [PN]

Vivian Carol Sobchack

born New York: 16 August 1940

works (selected)



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