Description - Epidemic Cinema: The Rise of a Genre by Julia Echeverría

This book examines the recent trend in global cinema to feature infectious disease.

As the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic materialised the anxieties and discourses of world risk that had long been portrayed in popular media, the book provides a novel definition of the epidemic film genre and offers a systematic look into the narrative and stylistic conventions that characterise it. Epidemic Cinema traces the evolution of the genre from its early cinematic origins to establish the founding principles of a genre standing at the crossroads between science-fiction and horror. It draws on close textual analysis to show how the pandemic reified one of the central predicaments of epidemic narratives: the constant tension existing between free-floating phenomena and the impulse to control and resist such phenomena, ultimately epitomised by the trope of the border. Showing how infectious diseases offer a rich allegorical frame which cinema uses to articulate timely anxieties of growingly invisible and deterritorialised risks, the author presents the prevalence of contagion in popular culture as a symptom of this growingly viral and virus-ridden context, both in its most literal and metaphorical sense.

This insightful study will interest students and scholars of film studies, global cinema, science-fiction, horror, popular culture and genre theory.

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