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On the Boundary between Oneself and the Other: Aliens and Language in the Films 'AVP', 'Dark City', 'The Brother from Another Planet', and 'Possible Worlds'

Mark Bould
The Yearbook of English Studies
Vol. 37, No. 2, Science Fiction (2007), pp. 234-254
DOI: 10.2307/20479312
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20479312
Page Count: 21
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On the Boundary between Oneself and the Other: Aliens and Language in the Films 'AVP', 'Dark City', 'The Brother from Another Planet', and 'Possible Worlds'
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Abstract

This essay explores a key SF scenario -- the encounter with the alien -- in four 'postfuturist' SF films, "AVP: Alien vs. Predator", "Dark City", "The Brother from Another Planet", and "Possible Worlds", through a perspective informed by the materialist critique of idealist linguistics found in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, David McNally, and Alan N. Shapiro. It argues that the critical theory derived from Saussurean linguistics strips language of its materiality in a manner homologous to capital's abstraction of social products from the labouring bodies that produce them, and traces the active and permeable borderline between Self and Other in these films' alien encounters.

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