book cover of The Primal Screen

The Primal Screen

A history of science fiction film
A non fiction book by

In a highly entertaining personal survey, film critic and science fiction writer John Brosnan has written a unique history of the cinema of science fiction. Sometimes acerbic, often very funny, "The Primal Screen" tells the history of sf movies from the silent classics such as "Metropolis" and "The Lost World" to "Things to Come," the thirties blockbuster whose commercial failure put an end to big budget sf movie-making for thirty years; from the classic space adventures of the fifties -- "Forbidden Planet" and "This Island Earth" -- to the more horror-based sf of "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers"; from the massive success of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Star Wars," through the sf boom of the late seventies and eighties, bang up-to-date with blockbusters such as "Aliens 3." With his customary wit, Brosnan celebrates the genre's great achievements -- but is never afraid to dissect its failures. His book is also packed with comments from the filmmakers themselves, as well as those of the special effects wizards and the science fiction writers. For anyone interested in science fiction, sf films or the cinema itself, "The Primal Screen" is an engrossing read.

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