New book: Drone Age Cinema: Action Film and Sensory Assault

At a time when technological advances are transforming cultures and supporting new automated military operations, action films engage the senses and, in doing so, allow viewers to embody combat roles. This book argues that through film the viewer adapts to an ecology of fear, one that reflects global panic at the near-constant threat of conflict and violence.

At a time when technological advances are transforming cultures and supporting new automated military operations, action films engage the senses and, in doing so, allow viewers to embody combat roles. This book argues that through film the viewer adapts to an ecology of fear, one that reflects global panic at the near-constant threat of conflict and violence. Often overwhelming in its audiovisual assault, action cinema attempts to overpower our bodies with its own through force and intensity. In this book, Steen Ledet Christiansen identifies five aspects central to how action films produce such physical movements and responses through vectors, droning, kinetics, telesomatics and volatility and in so doing unveils new modes of perception that acclimatise us for warfare. Drawing on theories from film-philosophy and a consideration of the aesthetics and phenomenology of war, this is an innovative study of the evolving action movie and its role in the targeted address of battle. Chapters investigate new modes of cinematic experience through in-depth case studies of Iron Man, Avatar and the Jason Bourne trilogy, through to The Hurt Locker and Mad Max: Fury Road.

“This extraordinary book combines lucid philosophical insight with careful analysis of film technique. Steen Christiansen shows us how recent action films actually work; and he speculates on why we are drawn to such films, and what this tells us about the state of digital culture.”
– Steven Shaviro, Wayne State University, USA; author of Post-Cinematic Affect

Drone Age Cinema compellingly argues – through detailed analyses of blockbusters like Sucker Punch and the Dark Knight trilogy– that the contemporary action genre projects its power through an assault on the senses, situated within a cultural context of fear. A ‘must read’ for anyone interested in action cinema, visual effects, spectatorship, and technologies and global power.”
– Angela Ndalianis, University of Melbourne

I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: International Library of Visual Culture
ISBN: 9781784536404
Number of Pages: 256