Reluctant Heroes and Itchy Capes: The Ineluctable Desire to Be the Savior

Journal of Aesthetic Education 53 (4):71-85 (2019)
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In "The Imagination of Disaster," written at or close to the height of the Cold War, Sontag ruminates on what America's interest in, if not preoccupation with, science fiction films tell us about ourselves.1 Their popularity cannot be explained in terms of their entertainment value alone; or if it can, then why audiences found such films entertaining is something that itself needs explanation. Almost all films in the hero genre are also science fiction and are concerned with disasters of one kind or another. What Sontag has to say about disaster in the 1950s can easily be applied to the seemingly insatiable desire for hero films today. Her account is useful in explaining both what our attractions...



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Laura D'Olimpio
University of Birmingham
Michael P. Levine
University of Western Australia

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