Empire Of Dreams

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Empire of Dreams is the first definitive look at all of the science fiction (SF), fantasy, and horror films directed by Steven Spielberg, one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the world today. In the 1970s and 1980s, along with George Lucas, Spielberg helped spark the renaissance of American SF and fantasy film, and he has remained highly productive and prominent in these genres ever since. SF, fantasy, and horror films form the bulk of his work for over thirty years; of the twenty-six theatrical features he directed from 1971 to 2005, sixteen are of these genres, a coherent and impressive body of work. His films have become part of a global consciousness and his cinematic style part of the visual vocabulary of world media.

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Editorial Reviews

Eminently readable and including good photographs, references after each chapter, and a detailed index, this book should have a broad readership....Recommended. All readers, all levels.
— April 2008, Vol. 45 No. 08
The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
Offers the most comprehensive review of the critical receptions and readings of Spielberg's sf, fantasy, and horror films….His chapters can be easily excerpted for film students….Gordon's book is both intelligent and fun to read….It is worth a read.
Joe Haldeman
Andrew Gordon has produced an exhaustive investigation of this major part of Spielberg's oeuvre—appreciative but also critical, finding the complexities inside films that superficial critics have dismissed as childish or manipulative. It's very rewarding to mentally rewind and watch them again with Professor Gordon's insights playing along.
Brian Aldiss
This is a highly desirable book on a highly necessary topic. Such a major cultural force requires a major study. Well, here it is...
CHOICE - April 2008
Eminently readable and including good photographs, references after each chapter, and a detailed index, this book should have a broad readership....Recommended. All readers, all levels.
Marleen S. Barr
It was a pleasure to have a 'close encounter' with this take on Spielberg's science fiction and fantasy oeuvre. I simply could not put it down! Gordon's adroit use of insightful research coupled with an engaging, accessible writing style and solid organization makes this book useful to readers who range from the general public to the academic expert to students. In short, Gordon boldly goes where no critic has gone before in relation to Spielberg.
November 2008 Science Fiction Film and Television
Gordon's book is...engagingly written....Gordon seems able effortlessly to transform any Spielberg film into an example of the logic of any particular psychological or psychoanalytical framework he finds at hand—a number of passages would...provide undergraduates with a clear sense of how mutually to understand a theoretical structure and a film narrative.
CHOICE, April 2008, Vol. 45 No. 08 - .
Eminently readable and including good photographs, references after each chapter, and a detailed index, this book should have a broad readership....Recommended. All readers, all levels.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742555778
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 0.69 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew M. Gordon is associate professor of English at the University of Florida and director of the Institute for the Psychological Study of the Arts. He is the author of An American Dreamer: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Fiction of Norman Mailer, co-editor (with Peter Rudnytsky) of Psychoanalyses/Feminisms, and co-author (with Hernán Vera) of Screen Saviors: Hollywood Fictions of Whiteness, and has many articles and reviews on contemporary American fiction and film, particularly science-fiction film.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: "I dream for a living" Chapter 2 1: Duel (1971): Paranoid Style Chapter 3 2: Jaws (1975): Hydrophobia Chapter 4 3: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977; rev. 1980): Unidentified Flying Object Relations Chapter 5 4: E.T. (1982) as Fairy Tale Chapter 6 5: Poltergeist (1982): Divorce American Style Chapter 7 6: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): Totem and Taboo Chapter 8 7: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984): Bad Medicine Chapter 9 8: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989): Raiders of the Lost Father Chapter 10 9: Always (1989) and the Eternal Triangle Chapter 11 10: Short Films: "Kick the Can" (1983) and "The Mission" (1986) Chapter 12 11: Hook (1991): The Peter Pan Syndrome Chapter 13 12: Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997): Jaws on Land Chapter 14 13: A.I. (2001): Separation Anxiety Chapter 15 14: Minority Report (2002): Oedipus Redux Chapter 16 15: War of the Worlds (2005) and Trauma Culture Chapter 17 Conclusion: Moving Toward the Light

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