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Science Fiction Double FeatureThe Science Fiction Film as Cult Text$
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J. P. Telotte and Gerald Duchovnay

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381830

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381830.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Transnational Interactions: District 9, or Apaches in Johannesburg

Transnational Interactions: District 9, or Apaches in Johannesburg

(p.130) 8. Transnational Interactions: District 9, or Apaches in Johannesburg
Science Fiction Double Feature

Takayuki Tatsumi


At first glance, and like many other films with a cult reputation, District 9 (2009), seems very cheaply done, a seemingly slight, even offhand work. However, that simple low-budget appearance masks an incredible narrative complexity and challenging cultural commentary. This chapter explores how that combination of simplicity and complexity has helped to make District 9 a contemporary cult classic. This film about an apparently accidental alien ‘invasion’ capitalizes on our sense of cultural geography by examining the transnational image transactions to be found in Japanese and South African science fiction (sf) films. What this sort of transaction points up is another kind of doubleness, one that reminds us of the cult text's ultimate resistance to a restrictive cult-ural harnessing: that for all of a work's apparent grounding in a very specific cultural embrace, it ultimately belongs to no single culture, and often confounds efforts to identify it with a particular culture.

Keywords:   cult films, cult cinema, cult classic, science fiction films, District 9, alien invasion, cultural geography, Japanese sf, South African sf, culture

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