Science Fiction Film & Television

When more is less: CGI, spectacle and the capitalist sublime

Science Fiction Film & Television (2008), 1, (2), 249–273.

Abstract

This article explores the dialectical relationship between perceptual spectacle and conceptual experience produced by sf cinema's special effects. It suggests that although the consumption of such spectacle appeals to the unquantifiable notion of the 'sublime', it fails to produce sublime experience due to a focus on quantity. This failed sublime, rather than being detrimental to such films' popularity or success, reveals and articulates aspects of their commodity status. This dynamic therefore opens up the possibility of analysing the relationship between the spectacle/sublime dialectic and the commodity form in general.

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Tuck, Greg