Pierson suggests new ways of understanding special effects and the popular science-fiction that features them in an analysis ranging from popular science and magic in the late nineteenth century to Hollywood science fiction cinema in the late twentieth century. She examines the role popular publications -science, genre, and computer magazines -have played in the development of connoisseurship; and critiques how film and cultural studies scholarship on special effects has dealt with theorizing their reception. The book touches on landmark films that have shaped the place of special effects in contemporary cinema, including "Star Wars," "Terminator 2," "Jurassic Park," "Independence Day," "Men in Black," and "The Matrix."
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