Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner COVER copy
(Bloomsbury 2017)

Matthew Flisfeder introduces readers to key concepts in postmodern theory and demonstrates how it can be used for a critical interpretation and analysis of Blade Runner, arguably ‘the greatest science fiction film’. By contextualizing the film within the culture of late 20th and early 21st-century capitalism, Flisfeder provides a valuable guide for both students and scholars interested in learning more about one of the most significant, influential, and controversial concepts in film and cultural studies of the past 40 years.

The “Film Theory in Practice” series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory. By marrying the explanation of film theory with interpretation of a film, the volumes provide discrete examples of how film theory can serve as the basis for textual analysis. Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner offers a concise introduction to Postmodernism in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret Ridley Scott’s cult film Blade Runner.


“This book not only offers a thorough and lucid presentation of the multiple features of postmodernist theory today, it dramatizes them in a bravura reading of Blade Runner which sees the film’s seven different versions as so many historically distinct texts, each one constituting a modified reaction to a new and evolving socio-historical situation.  Flisfeder expertly treads that narrowest of paths between description and evaluation, between theory and ideology.”

–  Fredric Jameson, Knut Schmidt Nielsen Professor of Comparative Literature, Duke University, USA

“Between the lines of the different versions or simulacra of Blade Runner, Flisfeder offers a succinct and compelling account of postmodernism and its theoretical underpinnings. This wonderful book is an object lesson in film analysis and critical thinking that finds within the text an explanation for society’s inability to conceive of alternatives to its own dystopian and mediatised present.”

–  Ciara aka Colin Cremin, Senior Lecturer, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

“Matthew Flisfeder’s fast-paced and very readable book offers a knowledgeable and accessible introduction to postmodern theory. His analysis of Blade Runner not only helps unpack and illustrate his key concepts, but also gives fresh new perspectives on a modern film classic. Above all, this book foregrounds the continued relevance of postmodernism by emphasizing its usefulness as a critical and fundamentally political concept.”

–  Dan Hassler-Forest, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner is a valuable addition to the theoretical conversations that matter the most, those that take us past surfaces and restore the multiple meanings that reshape subjectivities, histories and society at large.”

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