quinta-feira, 17 de maio de 2012

Science Fiction: Race, Space and Class: The Politics of Cityscapes in Science Fiction Films by David Desser

The imaginative films of Georges Méliès notwithstanding, the first flowering of cinematic science fiction appears in Weimar Germany, that era of films so memorably, if controversially, discussed in Siegfried Kracauer's From Caligari to Hitler. (1) However reductive his analysis may appear to contemporary critics more used to seeing contradiction and ambiguity in filmic texts, there is surely something to be said about the appearance of so many films of fantasy, horror and science fiction during an era of societal confusion and uncertainty.

Many of the films reveal the covert play of ideology and cultural tensions amidst the overt big-budget gloss of commercial filmmaking in the international arena. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Fritz Lang's famed Metropolis.

The influence of Metropolis on the history of screen science fiction is almost incalculable. Douglas Menville and R. Reginald have called it The first great achievement of the science-fiction cinema [whose] atmosphere and visual style ... were to influence the concept of virtually every filmic portrayal of the future for many years to come.' (2)

As one of the towering achievements of the Golden Age of German cinema, Metropolis lent intellectual respectability to screen science fiction and started a series of cycles of big-budget science-fiction films. And although today critics and historians concentrate on the fabulous architectonics of the film and decry its naive, seemingly simplistic, politics, it is the very attempt to politicize the genre that accounts for the film's historical significance.

The film's politics owe much to its historical moment in Weimar Germany's precarious economic and cultural situation. Metropolis reveals strong fears of economic collapse and Communist revolution overlaid with anxieties about modernization and urbanization and barely repressed fears of racialized Others. Alternately, it revels in the modern, with its magnificent vistas of towering cities and wondrous technology. It is contradictory, conflicted and ambiguous, precisely the qualities which make it endlessly fascinating.

Kracauer's reductionism notwithstanding, however, within these tensions and contradictions can be detected the ideological motifs central to Nazism: anti-urbanism, anti-modernism, anti-communism and anti-Semitism. These fears and attractions are structured into the text through an intertwining of visual and thematic elements revolving around race, space, and social class. Repeated shots of the magnificent, towering skyscrapers creating canyons through which aeroplanes travel may be the most memorable of the film's visual motifs, and have proved the most influential in films to follow, but no less memorable and influential are the linked associations between high and low, inside and outside, self and Other.

The cityscape in Metropolis is divided between high and low: the city dwellers who live above the ground are contrasted to, and in conflict with, those who dwell beneath the streets. This dialectic above/below corresponds to a difference in class. The workers labour below; the upper classes who benefit from their labour frolic above. Scenes of upper-class life revolve around pleasure, even debauchery; scenes of the workers reveal mechanized, depressed figures who seem barely human.

Lang envisions the high vs low, upper class vs working class dichotomy as inevitable, but not necessarily inevitably in conflict. He thus imagines a mediator: the labour/capital conflict is allegorized as a necessary union between hand and mind mediated by the heart. The Lord of Metropolis is the mind, the foreman of the workers is the hand, and the mediator is the son of the master of Metropolis. To this mixture of class conflict Lang, however, adds the element of race through the figures of Rotwang, the mad scientist - a combination of technocrat and alchemist - and Maria, the working-class girl who is also the model for the robot.

In the ultra-modern city of Metropolis, Rotwang is an anachronism, a figure out of an earlier time and age. He lives in a house of mediaeval design and dresses and acts like a figure out of earlier Expressionist films. His associations with mediaeval images of the Jew, which would be reinstitutionalized in Nazi propaganda - the scientist, the magician, the alchemist — bring forth associations of racialized conflict, further impacted both by the use of the robot Maria and the Orientalism of the setting in which she first appears.

Maria is Other by virtue of her social class and, of course, by virtue of her gender. The Robot Maria, Rotwang's most fearsome creation, is introduced to an intra-diegetic audience in a nightclub of 'Oriental splendour', the Yoshiwara (the name of the traditional pleasure quarter of Japan's Edo, now Tokyo). This association between an overtly sexualized female and the decadance associated with the Orient also feature in anti-Semitic images of the Jew as 'Oriental'.

These may all very well be unconscious traces of contemporary fears of modernization, urbanization and racial and sexual 'mongrelization'. Lang's attempt to mediate all of this, to turn these fears into a happy ending, are largely unsuccessful, but perhaps well intentioned. The Robot is destroyed, Rotwang is killed, Maria is lifted out of her lower depths, and the workers and the capitalists seem to live happily ever after. But whatever the success (or failure) of Lang's political vision,

he introduced into the cinema what we might call a politicised production design, a way of imagining through physical space the contemporary conflicts surrounding issues of race, class, and gender. In highlighting social concerns and societal tensions, science-fiction films for decades to follow would utilize the binary oppositions high/low, inside/outside, order/ disorder, technology/nature to translate into thematic issues of male/female, middle class/working class, self/Other, and human/non-human.

This chapter will trace the development of a strand of science-fiction cinema which utilizes the contemporary or futuristic cityscape for the purposes of sociopolitical commentary.

While much science-fiction or fantasy literature of the precinematic age was concerned with the creation of Utopias, cinema would carry forward the dystopic tradition inaugurated by Metropolis. This tradition is on view, for example, in Just Imagine (1930), one of the few overtly science-fiction films of Hollywood's classical era. A combination of the newly popular genre of the musical and the still-palpable influence of German Expressionism on Hollywood cinema, Just Imagine uneasily swings between dystopic fiction and standard 'boy gets girl' comedy. Thematically, the film looks forward to George Lucas's early chase thriller, THX-1138 (1970),'with its use of letters and numbers in place of names and the overall dystopic dehumanization of its urban citizenry. John Brosnan notes the source of the film's 'lavish and very expensive' production design:

The huge model set of New York is really the film's most interesting aspect. Obviously inspired by Metropolis but much more elaborate than the city in the German film, it cost a quarter of a million dollars to build and contained miniature skyscrapers supposedly 250 storeys high. (3)

Like Metropolis, too, with its coded images of Jews, Just Imagine links the city of the future with America's newly emergent middle class. Comedian El Brendel stars as a man newly awakened into a marvellous, but also dehumanized, city of the future: New York in 1980. The romance between J21 and LN18 is like many a romance in early musicals: forgettable. So, too, proved Just Imagine.

The politics of race and space also commingle in King Kong (1932). This story of a giant ape on the rampage in New York may be a mythic reworking of the struggle between nature and culture, but it is also, among other things, a thinly veiled allegory on race relations. Although the Freudian imagery is obvious, there is nevertheless something to be said concerning middle-class fears of sexuality manifest in the film. A fear of blacks, of the African, has had a long and unhappy association with fears of sexuality, a motif in cinema history which stretches as far back as D.W Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915).

In Metropolis, sexual licentiousness, at once fearful and attractive, underlies much of the fear of the working class as well as providing motivation for the Orientalist imagery and giving expression to the ever-present fear of the feminine and of feminized sexuality. In King Kong, the fear of racialized sexuality is translated into the figure of a fearsome ape whose attraction to, and pursuit of, the white heroine is an unmistakable projection of middle-class white male fears of black sexuality. Thus the dialectic human/ animal is visually reinforced by the opposition light/dark. Representing blacks by a giant ape renders black sexuality as animal-like and in so doing renders blacks as animals: that is, it dehumanizes them, makes them other than human. (4)

Fear of the Other typically manifests itself in terms of sexuality. Maria is doubly frightening in Metropolis for her gender as well as for her class status: the Robot Maria embodies the further, perhaps deeper, association between sexuality and racialized Others. The figure of King Kong is an overvaluation of the African, the native, the beast with uncontrollable urges, capable of wreaking havoc not only on the body of the white woman but on the body politic as well.
He is let loose in New York, the fearsome city, a place where familial ties are weak, and where the races mingle in the pleasure districts. King Kong is both object of fear, the projection of the freedoms the city has to offer, and object of this city's destruction. Unlike the monsters who would in later years destroy the most modern of urban enclaves (Tokyo, London, New York, by Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and the Giant Behemoth), King Kong is not so alien as to be unalterably Other. And the New York he invades is both dystopia and Utopia. King Kong's destruction provides a foretaste of the genocidal fervour that would pervade both future science-fiction films and future world events.

Things to Come (1936), based on and given intellectual kudos by H.G. Wells's novel, attempted a rare utopie vision. This Utopia, oddly enough, has much in common with the conclusion of Metropolis.

In Wells's future, the human race will be saved by benevolent despots, technocrats all, who have rationally determined humankind's appropriate course of action. The film Things to Come is divided into three parts. The first prescientiy dramatizes the next world war's unleashing of the destructive powers of aerial warfare and the devastation such a war would bring.

The second concerns the rebuilding of civilization amidst the reversion of world culture to warring tribes. The tribal leaders (exemplified in the character of Boss) are forced by the newly emergent technocrats to bring an end to the warfare.

The underlying worldview of Things to Come is a valorization of the idea that the capitalist system is the true, natural order. The technocrats are the natural leaders by dint of their superior technology, and in the society they create, non-productive (i.e. technologically inferior) citizens are denigrated and devalued. In the mythic struggle between technology and art enacted in it, the film aligns itself with the technocrats.
Art represents the emotional, non-rational, side of humanity all but abolished in the film's technocratic Utopia. Rationality, the film asserts, would 'overcome the grubby, emotional and aggressive beast that dwells within'.5 Unlike so many recent films which decry the failure of science and technology to solve human problems, Things to Come looks forward optimistically to future scientific triumphs.

In positing humankind's tendencies towards irrationalism and emotionalism as the cause of war, Things to Come gives expression to the novelist's Victorian roots. Emotionalism - associated with the lower classes, with women, with racialized others - is to be feared, repressed, or literally conquered. Great Britain, its imperial power imperilled by the forces of anti-colonialism and the stirrings of another world war in Europe, thus produces a film which has much in common with Metropolis in its highlighting of underlying discontent with the shape of the modern world and of fears of things to come. More than in Metropolis, and more than in most science-fiction films, technology is imaged as humanity's positive side, a motif taken up in another adaptation of an H.G. Wells story, The Time Machine.

The Time Machine (1960), from producer-director George Pal, puts state-of-the-art science-fiction special effects to dramatic use in highlighting the politicized spatial structuring begun in Metropolis.

This time, however, it is the underground dwellers who control the technology, the means of production, while the surface dwellers are the victims consumed, quite literally, by these futuristic capitalists. Victorian values are again present as the time traveller hero begins his journey from late-Victorian London into the future. After passing through wars and other cataclysms, man-made and natural, he comes upon a seemingly bucolic setting. But he soon discovers that he has entered a world rigidly structured by differences — non-human/human, below/above — and that it is the non-humans who are in command.

The fierce Morlocks live below the Earth's surface, while the gentle, placid Eloi cavort above in childlike fashion. The question of difference is highlighted in the visible distinction between the blonde, slender Eloi and the dark, bestial Morlocks. In this respect, human vs non-human is drawn exactly as in King Kongs deployment of the light/dark opposition. As in Metropolis, too, though here its meaning is reversed: the surface-dwelling Eloi are the labourers consumed by subterranean masters. The Morlocks betray no feelings, no sign of any sort of humanity; the Eloi, by contrast, are all emotion.

Again as in Metropolis, a mediator, someone who combines rationality and technological skill with an emotional life and commitment, must enter the picture. Here, however, no compromise is possible. The Morlocks must be destroyed and the more human-like Eloi set on a proper course. The apelike Morlocks, with their exaggerated facial features, preying on the Aryan Eloi, offer a powerful image of racial difference and of the horrors of war between races.

The film, however, can also be viewed as an allegory of the rapacity of capitalism. The Morlocks, owners and controllers of the means of production below the surface, enslave and devour the Eloi, providing them with just enough sustenance to maintain them in a fit state to work the machines.

The film retreats from the above/below allegory, however, and moves closer to a colonialist ideology.

Under the leadership of the scientist/narrator, a Great White Leader and technocrat, the Eloi defeat the Morlocks and, it is implied, will establish a new society.

Images of urban dystopias and concerns about the future of humanity arise, too, in French cinema of the 1960s. In Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965), Lemmy Caution participates in a science-fiction/film noir adventure in which he is pitted against a supercomputer which, like the Lord of Metropolis, runs a future Paris. The computer suppresses political opposition through mind control and, when that fails, through murder.

It is emotion which brings down the computer, and Lemmy Caution's romantic interlude is very much in keeping with the film's positing of rationalism vs irrationalism, and with its siding with the latter against the repressive force of the former.

Godard's contemporary Francois Truffaut turned to urban dystopic fiction for source material in his 1966 adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Here the future city is a technological marvel: monorails transport its citizens quietly and efficiently to work; while wall-size big-screen interactive televisions dominate domestic space. The city is lifeless, alienating, stultifying. Conformity, forced inclusiveness, and elimination of difference are the codes by which citizens are forced to live.

As in Alphaville, the plot is structured around the struggle between emotionalism and rationalism, life vs lifelessness. Montag, the quiet hero, is at first linked with the forces of totalitarianism, an enforcer of immoral laws, a fireman who burns books. He is redeemed by love, a new-found love of the imagination, of emotionalism, a world of difference brought to him by a woman. Truffaut's film ends differently from Bradbury's novel, with Montag retreating from the dystopic city into a 'green world' where books provide the means of genuine human connection.

The woman, associated with transgression and with fertility, has freed him from the masculinist ideals of technological sameness and sterility.

During the 1960s, US science fiction was boosted by the launch of the television series Star Trek (1966—69), many of whose episodes (such as 'Let that Be Your Last Battlefield' [10 January 1969], in which half-white/half-black humanoids are locked in genocidal conflict) addressed current issues around race and racism, by displacing contemporary concerns onto future locales, while claiming that racism is a thing of the past. (6)

Another episode,  'The Cloud Minders' (28 February 1969), reworks Metropolis's oppositions of high vs low, intellect vs labour, light vs dark. Here, the Enterprise crew must obtain a rare mineral from the planet Ardana, which is currently engaged in a fierce struggle between the cloud minders, the ruling class who live in a magnificent city high above the ground, and the Troglodytes who mine the mineral deep within the bowels of the planet.

As in Metropolis, enmity between rulers and workers is extreme, the rulers insistent that the workers are mentally inferior, incapable of ruling themselves let alone of sharing power with the cloud-dwelling elite. Again, as in Metropolis, a mediator must be found to resolve the divisions. This is a typical move for the Star Trek series, in which mediation, accommodation, synthesis are always preferred solutions. Dystopic urban cinematic science fiction and attendant issues of self/Other, human/non-human, surface in films of the 1970s which deal with issues of overpopulation and ecological awareness.

Two films in particular are worth noting: ZPG (1971) and Soylent Green (1973). Interestingly, both films situate themselves in a desperately overcrowded world, and yet side with a liberal-humanist ideology of freedom of choice, which here includes freedom to reproduce; and both mandate escape from the city, from bureaucracy, from technology, as a means of holding on to one's humanity.

ZPG (the letters stand for Zero Population Growth) is set in a world in which overpopulation has caused severe air pollution. A yellow smog covers the city; people wear face masks to filter out the dirt. In this dystopic future, all births have been banned. One couple disobey this law and both are sentenced to death. They manage to trick the authorities, however, and the film ends with the newly formed family journeying 'by rubber raft: down a huge sewer to freedom'. (7) Again, as in Fahrenheit 451, escape from the dystopic city into a green world brings with it a promise of freedom and more human and humanistic values.

A similar liberal, anti-totalitarian ideology pervades Soylent Green. Set in the New York City of 2022, the film details the hopeless overcrowding of the city and desperate shortage of food and other vital resources, like housing. In this dystopic future, a policeman discovers, with the aid of an old friend, that the primary foodstuff of the culture (soylent green) is made by processing the bodies of the many people encouraged to commit suicide. The film's moral centre rests upon a character named Sol Roth, described by Patricia Erens thus:

Amid all the changes of the new era Sol is an old-fashioned man, a Jewish survivor, although no mention of religion is actually made. It is Sol who discovers that the soylent green distributed by the government is really dead bodies and thus the Jew becomes the bearer of the truth. (8)

More than that, the Jew is living testimony to the destructive power of totalitarianism, the authentic man, the truly human, for having survived the greatest attempt at dehumanization in the Nazi genocide. The figure of the Jew as the real man, the authentic human, emerges more recently in Independence Day (1996), with its imaging of the Jew as the humanistic survivor, the Ur-human whom the aliens would destroy along with the rest of humanity.

If ZPG and Soylent Green are relatively minor works in urban dystopic cinema, A Clockwork Orange (1971) is a major statement on the problem of human free will and the question of genuine humanness.

Situated in the very near future, in a recognizably contemporary urban nightmare, the film poses the problem of the essence of humanity thus: Is it better to be a vicious thug or a mind-controlled, pacific nerd? With a vision of fears of violence leading to totalitarian solutions, A Clockwork Orange challenges the viewer to choose between authentic humanity and technologized automatons.

The cityscapes here are deteriorating to a shocking degree, the streets overrun by armed groups of young rapists in outlandish costumes.

Grownups, the average citizenry, cower behind fenced-in compounds or secure themelves in heavily alarmed highrises. As in many dystopic films, the police are vicious psychopaths or uncaring bureaucrats. The film's anti-hero, Alex, roams the lawless streets, at home in the filth, the grime, and in the grip of uncontrollable rage and lust Humanity is indeed messy, difficult, sometimes violent: but is there a better alternative?

THX-1138 (1970) presents a future society every bit as sterile and as controlled as A Clockwork Orange's is messy and anarchic.

The colourful costumes and wild energy of the young protagonists of Kubrick's film are replaced by a predominantly black-and-white production design which extends to the appearance of the characters. The environment in Lucas's film is completely lifeless and antiseptic. If Kubrick's city requires a little law and order to ensure a greater level of comfort, Lucas's dystopia needs a little disorder to restore some humanity.

The spatial patterning of above/below is here transformed into inside/ outside. The totalitarian computers which seem to run this colourless future culture have decreed that its citizens must live inside a protective shell, outside which there is nothing but desolate waste. This concept of a shell, Iiteralized on the spatial level with its stark white, empty interiors and a total absence of exterior space, is symbolized on the social level.

The citizens are completely cut off from genuine emotions and real connections, isolated by drugs and constant computer monitoring. Names have been replaced by letters and numbers; conformity is ensured by physical resemblance — all the inhabitants have shaven heads and wear stark white uniforms. All differences — of class, race and gender have thus been eliminated. To assert difference is to take the first step towards rebellion.

The dehumanized quality of this dystopia is further highlighted by the presence of robots, who seem at times more lively than the people. Nancy Schwartz notes indeed that

These law enforcers are in many ways more animate than the shaven-headed, white clad body of citizens whose stern but benevolent guides and safeguards they are. The identi¬fiable qualities which are supposed to mark the point where meral diverges from mind and flesh are distorted and invalidated. Man replaced by machine is less frightening than Man dehumanized to a level at which machines seem more lively. (9)

Again, as in much earlier science-fiction cinema, a return to emotions and a rejection of technology are necessary for the re-emergence of humanity. Escape from the sterile environment, by breaking free into the outside, is also, yet again, to return to the green world, free of the dystopic city's controls.

The contemporary city, that melting pot of races, classes and genders, represents a vision of difference gone wild, a fearsome image of loss of certainty and control, where the privilege of the dominant group is ever at risk of being undermined by a host of fearsome Others. But the city may also be a place of extreme conformity, a place where differences are erased. This image is taken up in Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the original, directed by Don Siegel, was made in 1956), in which the conformity of the small town is translated to a vision of urban yuppie trendiness gone wild. The corporate boardrooms, the latest 'in' restaurants and health clubs, the streets of America's premier tourist city, San Francisco, provide the settings for this updated version of the invasion of the pod people. This time, however, the vision is bleaker. Where in the 1956 version, the Kevin McCarthy character seems to escape the conformity of suburban poddom, Donald Sutherland in Kaufman's eerie modern classic has no such luck. The city is the victor.

This history of cinematic urban dystopias culminates with Blade Runner (1982), the finest achievement in the political science-fiction film, and a veritable compendium of the motifs discussed in this chapter. Blade Runner takes something from the ecological disasters featured in ZPG and Soylent Green; costuming motifs are inspired by A Clockwork Orange; policemen who enforce immoral laws are borrowed from Fahrenheit 451. But above all, Blade Runner reworks Metropolis in significant and deliberate ways, especially by highlighting the linked issues of race, space, and class arid by utilizing its production design for symbolic as well as for spectacular purposes.

Race is structured into the film in both the traditional and the science-fictional senses. Blade Runner's futuristic Los Angeles is a densely populated melange of swarming humanity, including many Asians, Latinos and Middle Easterns. To these masses are added midgets, punks, decadent revellers, and other oddly costumed denizens of an anarchic city. The sight of an 'ordinary' white person is rare enough for one of the characters to question why Sebastian, seemingly a normal white male, has not emigrated offworld.

To this urban melting pot is added another layer of race and racism in the form of replicants, artificial life forms bred for slavery in the offworld. (10) Their presence on Earth is illegal and they are held in contempt and fear by the police force, the blade runners, whose job it is to hunt them down and 'retire' (kill) them. It is never explained, either in the film or in its source novel,

Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, just why their presence on Earth is forbidden. It might be surmised that it is a fear of difference — notably, perhaps, the replicants' alleged lack of emotions — which underlies the terror they inspire. (11)

The figuration of racism in Blade Runner translates into the high/low spatial metaphor present in Metropolis and other films. The replicants and the people of colour inhabit the teeming, rain-soaked streets, as police craft hover above (Figure 4); giant television screens similarly occupy the upper levels, beaming down their audiovisual messages to a population which cannot take advantage of the advertisements' promises of a better life offworld.
Deckard, the blade runner assigned to kill a group of replicants, similarly lives high above the crowded streets, protected by ultra-modern security devices and other hightech equipment.
Highest of all, though, resides Eldon Tyrell, technocrat extraordinaire and Master of LA's Metropolis, in a pyramid some seven hundred storeys high.

Social class also figures in this racialized dichotomy. The replicants feel safest among the denizens of the streets, adopting working-class lifestyles. Leon takes a room on the second floor of a run-down hotel while working as nuclear fission loader, a job of marginal, blue-collar skills. (12) Zhora works in a strip joint in Chinatown. Pris becomes a street person, while Roy Batty moves freely about the city streets seeking out employees of the Tyrell Corporation.

Blade Runner also borrows from Metropolis the idea of the robot as doppel-ganger, dark double. If the replicants lack emotion, so too does Deckard the blade runner. If the replicants are at home in the streets, so too the blade runner must know his way around the lower levels. And if Leon and Rachael rely on photographic images to connect them with a past and thus with an identity, so too Deckard surrounds himself with images of a personal past, a past we are not certain is real.

Again, as in so many science-fiction films, the struggle to define real humanity revolves around emotions. In some sense, the alleged lack of emotions on the replicants' part is a projection of the emotional isolation of Eldon Tyrell himself. If Metropolis splits its figures of technocrat and alchemist into the Master of Metropolis and Rotwang, in Blade Runner these figures are combined in Tyrell. Technocrat extraordinaire,

Tyrell surrounds himself with mere objects, creating what he regards as lifeless reproductions. While Sebastian  says he 'makes friends' (offbeat toys with far less genetic complexity than the replicants), Tyrell claims only to be in business to make money.

It is the film's clearest irony that the replicants have far more emotion, feel more genuine connections, than their creator, Tyrell: that it is the replicants Rachael and Roy who show Deckard the way to his true humanity If it is human to feel emotions, then to feel emotions is to be human. In a cityscape of dark complexity, Deckard retrieves something of his humanity.

Blade Runner exists, of course, in many versions. In the original US theatrical release version, Deckard and Rachael escape to the green world à la Fahrenheit 451 or THX-1138 — an unlikely conclusion given the ecological disaster that underlies the film's basic premiss that much animal life has been extinguished and that Earth is nearly uninhabitable,

so that offworld emigration is encouraged for those who qualify racially. The director's cut (1992) ends more ambiguously, with Deckard and Rachael heading towards an unknown future. Still, as in Metropolis, there is a mediation figure: here Deckard is the link between the genetic engineer and the genetically engineered; with Rachael he will negotiate the landscape of this futuristic polyglot, polyracial city.

1. Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947. This chapter is a substantially revised version of an essay which appeared in Judith Kerman, ed., Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Eledric Sheep, Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1991, under the tide 'Race, Space and Class: The Politics of SF Film from Metropolis to Blade Runner.
2. Douglas R. Menville and R. Reginald, Things to Come: An Illustrated History of the Science Fiction Film, New York: Times Books, 1977, pp. 32—3.
3. John Brosnan, Future Tense: The Cinema of Science Fiction, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1978, p. 40.
4. Associations between blacks and apes have been common in racist imagery. Similar racialized dehumanization was reinstantiated in US World War II propaganda which frequently relied on the image of the Japanese as 'monkey men', sometimes as giant apes, sometimes as monkeys swinging through trees. See John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, New York: Pantheon, 1987.
5. Brosnan, Future Tense, p. 57.
6. See Daniel Bernardi, Star Trek and History: Racing Toward a White Future, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998, pp. 26-8.
7. Brosnan, Future Tense, p. 201.
8. Patricia Erens, The few in American Cinema, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984, p. 564.
9. Quoted in Ralph J. Amelio, Hal in the Classroom: Science Fiction Films, Dayton, OH: Pflaum Publishing, 1974, p. 66. 0. Robert Baringer perceptively notes the almost total absence of black people in Ridley Scott's futuristic Los Angeles. In one sense, the replicants, bred to be slaves and discriminated against on Earth, are the new underclass. His subdtle analysis exposes many contradictions within a film which otherwise marks a valiant effort to counter the racism it so dearly describes. See 'Sldnjobs, Humans and Racial Coding', Jump Cut, no. 41, 1997.
10. In Philip K. Dick's original novel, Eldon Tyrell is named Eldon Rosen, Rachael is Rachael Rosen, and JR. Sebastian J.R. Isidore. The change from book to film removes any hint of Jewishness implied in the names Rosen and Isidore. 12. Baringer, 'Skinjobs, Humans and Racial Coding', p. 14.

In: Alien Zone II: The Spaces of Science-Fiction Cinema. Edited by Annete Kuhn. London Verso, 1990, p. 80-96.

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