Science Fiction Film & Television

Found-footage science fiction: Five films by Craig Baldwin, Jonathan Weiss, Werner Herzog and Patrick Keiller

Science Fiction Film & Television (2008), 1, (2), 193–214.

Abstract

This essay explores a body of films that has emerged relatively recently and can be loosely grouped under the rubric of found-footage sf. They include Craig Baldwin's Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies under America and Spectres of the Spectrum, Jonathan Weiss's The Atrocity Exhibition, Werner Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder: A Science Fiction Fantasy and Patrick Keiller's film that has appeared in various forms, from interactive DVD to multi-screen installation, The City of the Future. These cannot be said to constitute a self-conscious or even coherent sub-genre, since these works derive from diverse political, aesthetic and cinematic traditions. Nevertheless, the emergence of this cluster is striking enough to demand some commentary: it approaches a genuinely new form of sf cinema. This study therefore concurs with Brooks Landon's view that sf cinema broke its bonds in the 1980s and developed diverse, post-traditional forms that now need to be mapped.

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Luckhurst, Roger