By J. P. Telotte
Technological know-how fiction movies have a good time and critique the impression of a burgeoning expertise at the world's cultural, political, and social milieu.
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Additional resources for A Distant Technology: Science Fiction Film and the Machine Age
On the other, it suggests that such a status and the conditions that make it possible is something else from which he needs to escape, something from which we shall all eventually need "la liberté" In numerous films on World War I, that testing ground for "mechanized" warfare, the machine whether airplane, dirigible, machine gun, or tank becomes the key image of both human power and human destruction. Thus such works as Hell's Angels (1930), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The Dawn Patrol (1930, 1938), and La Grande Illusion (1937), among many others, use exciting aerial and combat sequences in large part to set the stage for antiwar and at times antimachine messages.
1928) concludes with Willie Canfield maneuvering his father's steamboat through a cyclone- and storm-swollen river to rescue his father, his girl, her father, and a drifting preacher who, we assume, will perform the expected marriage. And in Sherlock, Jr. (1924) we see another sort Page 11 4. Keaton fascinated by the mechanical reproduction of the movies in Sherlock, Jr. of rescue, as Keaton, a film projectionist, turns to the movie he is then showing for help when his girl suddenly shows up and suggests marriage.
Certainly in the Machine Age, with its pervasive machine culture, we might expect a genre whose very focus is the technological to be prominent in this "mythic" work of constructing a friendly image of technology and a comforting narrative of its place in our world. Western culture at every turn confronted signs of this new industrial civilization: new processes of production (Fordism, Taylorism), the prominence of the automobile, high-speed air travel, widespread electrification, the introduction of various labor-saving household appliances, an architectural emphasis on the setback skyscraper, literature in which, as Cecelia Tichi observes, machine metaphors were becoming pervasive, even a music that, Richard Guy Wilson reminds us, increasingly incorporated "nontraditional sounds that reflected the machine" (34).
A Distant Technology: Science Fiction Film and the Machine Age by J. P. Telotte