Advertisement

GeoJournal

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 165–180 | Cite as

Landscape of the unknown: mobilizing three understandings of landscape to interpret American and Indian cinematic outer space

  • Thomas Stieve
Article
  • 484 Downloads

Abstract

Many landscapes are available to only some groups and cultures. For example, oceans, deserts, mountains, etc. cannot be fully understood and experienced by all people in the world. However, there is one landscape that is likely available to all cultures—outer space. By investigating this panorama that is accessible all over the globe, geography can gain insight into landscape interpretation. Film is an ideal medium for this endeavor. Unlike most film landscape interpretation that concentrates on landscape as a text or a way of seeing, I argue that three understandings of landscape, landscape as mediated by technology, landscape as a way of seeing, and landscape as engagement, all interact with one another to create cinematic outer space. I use this landscape as portrayed in the United States and India as case studies.

Keywords

Landscape Outer space Way of seeing Engagement Technology United States India 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Dr. Chris Lukinbeal, Dr. Alexander Levitsky, Dr. Arvind Singhal, Dr. Ashutosh Varshney, Sarah Bordac, Shashi Mishra, IDEX: Indian Network for Development Exchange and the Sood Family for their help in making this research possible.

References

  1. Aitken, S. (2006). Leading men to violence and creating spaces for their emotions. Gender, Place and CultureA Journal of Feminist Geography, 13(5), 491–507(17).Google Scholar
  2. Aitken, S., & Zonn, L. (1994). Re-presenting the place pastiche. In S. Aitken & L. Zonn (Eds.), Place, power, situation and spectacle: A geography of film. Totowa, NJ.: Rowan & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  3. Amis, K. (1960). The new maps of hell. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, B. (2009). Non-representational theory. In D. Gregory, R. Johston, G. Pratt, M. Watts, & S. Whatmore (Eds.), The dictionary of human geography. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Battersby, S. (2009). Going round in circles. New Scientist, 203(2718), 44–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boucher, G. (2009). James Cameron: Yes, ‘Avatar’ is ‘Dances with Wolves’ in Space…Sorta. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 August 2010. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2009/08/james-cameron-the-new-trek-rocks-but-transformers-is-gimcrackery.html.
  7. Box Office Mojo. (2010). Avatar. Retrieved 15 October 2010. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=avatar.htm.
  8. Cambell, N. (2000). The cultures of the American New West. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Carter, S., & McCormack, D. P. (2006). Film, geopolitics, and the affective logics of intervention. Political Geography, 25(2), 228–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Champagne, D. (2007). Social change and cultural continuity among native nations. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  11. Cosgrove, D. (1984). Social formation and symbolic landscape. Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble Books.Google Scholar
  12. Cosgrove, D. (1985). Prospect, perspective, and the evolution of the landscape idea. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series 10(1), 45–62.Google Scholar
  13. Cosgrove, D. (1994). Contested global visions: One-world, whole-earth, and the apollo space photographs. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 84(2), 270–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cosgrove, D. (2003). Landscape and the European sense of sight—eyeing nature. In K. Anderson, M. Domosh, S. Pile, & N. Thrift (Eds.), Handbook of cultural geography. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Cosgrove, D., & Daniels, S. (1988). Introduction: Iconography and landscape. In D. Cosgrove & S. Daniels (Eds.), The iconography of landscape: Essays on the symbolic representation, design, and use of past environments. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Courtenay, R. (2008). Definitions of beauty. In B. Spruce & T. Thrasher (Eds.), The land has memory. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  17. Daniels, S. (1985). Arguments for a humanistic geography. In R. Johnston (Ed.), The future of geography. London: Metheun.Google Scholar
  18. Daniels, S. (1989). Marxism, culture and the duplicity of landscape. In R. Peet & N. Thrift (Eds.), New models in geography (Vol. II). London: Unwin Hyman.Google Scholar
  19. Dewsbury, J., Harrison, P., Rose, M., & Wylie, J. (2002). Enacting geographies. Geoforum, 33(4), 437–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dixon, D. P., & Grimes, J. (2004). On capitalism, masculinity and whiteness in a dialectical landscape: The case of Tarzan and the Tycoon. GeoJournal, 59(4), 265–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Doel, M. (2008). From animated photography to film. In C. Lukinbeal & S. Zimmermann (Eds.), The geography of cinema—a cinematic world. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.Google Scholar
  22. Doel, M. A., & Clarke, D. B. (2002). An invention without a future, a solution without a problem: Motor pirates, time machines and drunkenness on the screen. In R. M. Kitchin & J. Kneale (Eds.), Lost in space: Geographies of science fiction. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  23. Duncan, J. (1990). The city as text: The politics of landscape interpretation in the Kandyan Kingdom. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Duncan, J. (2009). Textuality. In D. Gregory, R. Johston, G. Pratt, M. Watts, & S. Whatmore (Eds.), The dictionary of human geography. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Duncan, J., & Duncan, N. (1988). (Re)reading the landscape. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 6(2), 117–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dwyer, R. (2006). Filming the gods. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Escher, A., & Zimmerman, S. (2001). Geography meets Hollywood: Die Rolle der Landschaft im Spielfilm. Geographische, 89(4), 227–236.Google Scholar
  28. Fix, J. D. (2001). Astronomy: The journey to the cosmic frontier (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  29. Ganti, T. (2004). Bollwood: A guidebook to popular Hindi cinema. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Gokulsing, K., & Dissanayake, W. (1998). Indian popular cinema: A narrative of cultural change. Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books, Ltd.Google Scholar
  31. Gold, J. R. (1985). From ‘Metropolis’ to ‘The City’: Film visions of the futuristic city, 1919–1939. In J. Burgess & J. R. Gold (Eds.), Geography, the media and popular culture. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  32. Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, cyborgs and women: The reinvention of nature. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Harvey, F. (2003). Knowledge and geography’s technology—politics, ontologies, representations in the changing ways we know. In D. Cosgrove & S. Daniels (Eds.), The iconography of landscape: Essays on the symbolic representation, design, and use of past environments. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Hemphill, L. (2009). The bollywood mythological. Koeln: Lambert Academic Printing.Google Scholar
  35. Holmes, G., Zonn, L., & Cravey, A. J. (2004). Placing man in the New West: Masculinities of The Last Picture Show. GeoJournal, 59(4), 277–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hosagrahar, J. (2005). Indigenous modernities. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. IMDB.com. (2010). Koi…Mil Gaya. Retrieved 15 November 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0254481/business.
  38. Indianetzone. (2009). Koi…Mil Gaya. Retrieved 17 September 2010. http://www.indianetzone.com/18/indian_movie_koi_mil_gaya.htm.
  39. Ingold, T. (1993). The temporality of the landscape. World Archaeology, 25(2), 24–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ingold, T. (2006). Rethinking the animate, re-animating thought. Ethnos, 71(1), 9–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ingold, T. (2008). Binding against boundaries: Entanglements of life in an open world. Environment and Planning A, 40(8), 1796–1810.Google Scholar
  42. Johnson, M. (2007). Hunger for the wild. Lawrence, KA: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  43. Kawlra, A. (2005). Kanchipuram Sari: Design for Auspiciousness. Design Issues, 21(4), 54–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Keller, A. (2006). James Cameron. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Kelley, D., & Milone, E. (2011). Exploring ancient skies (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kennedy, J. F. (1962). Address at Rice University on the Nation’s Space Effort. Retrieved 24 May 2010. http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03SpacSpaceEf09121962.htm.
  47. Kennedy, C. B. (1994). The myth of heroism: Man and desert in Lawrence of Arabia. In S. Aitken & L. Zonn (Eds.), Place, power, situation and spectacle: A geography of film. Totowa, NJ: Rowan & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  48. Kennedy, C., & Lukinbeal, C. (1997). Towards a holistic approach to geographic research on film. Progress in Human Geography, 21(1), 33–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Keyes, C., & Daniel, E. V. (1983). Karma: An anthropological inquiry. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  50. Kneale, J., & Kitchen, J. (2002). Lost in space. In J. Kneale & J. Kitchen (Eds.), Lost in space. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  51. Kwan, M.-P. (2000). Human extensibility and individual hybrid-accessibility in space-time: A multi-scale representation using GIS. In D. Janelle & D. Hodge (Eds.), Information, place, and cyberspace: Issues in accessibility (pp. 241–256). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  52. Lak, D. (2008). India Express. Toronto: Viking Canada.Google Scholar
  53. Laungani, P. (2007). Cross-cultural issues in gynecology and obstetrics. In J. Cockburn & M. Pawson (Eds.), Psychological challenges in obstetrics and gynecology. Part 1. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  54. Ley, D. (1987). Styles of the times: Liberal and neo-conservative landscape in inner Vancouver, 1968–1986. Journal of Historical Geography, 13(1), 40–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lorimer, H. (2005). Cultural geography: The busyness of being ‘more-than-representational’. Progress in Human Geography, 29(1), 83–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lukinbeal, C. (2005). Cinematic landscape. Journal of Cultural Landscape, 23(1), 3–22.Google Scholar
  57. Mains, S. (2004). Imaging the border and southern spaces: Cinematic explorations of race and gender. GeoJournal, 59(4), 253–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Mangus, S. L. (1999). Conestoga wagons to the Moon: The frontier, the American space program and national identity. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc%5Fnum=osu1225477446.
  59. Martinez, D. (2004). Along the horizon a world appears. In A. Waters (Ed.), American Indian thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  60. McArthur, C. (1997). Chinese boxes and Russian dolls: Tracking the elusive cinematic city. In D. B. Clarke (Ed.), The cinematic city. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Mitchell, D. (1993). Public housing in single-industry towns: Changing landscapes of paternalism. In J. Duncan & D. Ley (Eds.), Place/Culture/Representation. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  62. Mogen, D. (1993). Wilderness visions. In D. E. Mallett (Ed.). (2nd ed). San Bernadino, CA: The Borgo Press.Google Scholar
  63. Natter, W. (1994). The city as cinematic space: Modernism and place in Berlin, Symphony of a City. In S. Aitken & L. Zonn (Eds.), Place, power, situation and spectacle: A geography of film. Totowa, NJ: Rowan & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  64. Netting, N. (2010). Marital Ideoscopes in 21st-century India. Journal of Family Issues, 31(6), 707–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Nolan, K. (2008). Mars: A cosmic stepping stone. New York: Copernicus Books.Google Scholar
  66. O’Brien, S. R. (1993). Housekeeping: New West novel, old West film. In B. H. Meldrum (Ed.), Old West–New West. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press.Google Scholar
  67. Page, D., & Crawley, W. (2001). Satellites over South Asia. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  68. Paterson, M. (2006). Feel the presence: The technologies of touch. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 24(5), 691–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pendakur, M. (2003). Indian popular cinema: Industry, ideology and consciousness. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  70. Rajadhyaksha, A., & Willemen, P. (1999). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema (New rev. ed). London: British Film Institute.Google Scholar
  71. Reeves, R. (1994). The superpower space race. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  72. Rohrbough, M. (2004). Mining and the Nineteenth-Century American West. In W. Deverell (Ed.), A Companion to the American West. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  73. Rose, G. (1993). Feminism and geography. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  74. Rothenberg, T. (1995). ‘And she told two friends’: Lesbians creating urban social space. In D. Bell & G. Valentine (Eds.), Mapping desire: geographies of sexualities. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  75. SarDesai, D. R. (2008). India: The definitive history. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  76. Scheifinger, H. (2008). Hinduism and cyberspace. Religion, 38(3), 233–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Singhal, A., & Rogers, E. (2001). India’s communication revolution. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  78. Staddon, C., Taylor, P., Beard, P., Kendall, R., Dunn, N., Curtis, C., et al. (2002). Using film as a tool in critical pedagogy: Reflections on the experience of students and lecturers. In T. Cresswell & D. Dixon (Eds.), Engaging film: Geographies of mobilities and identity. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  79. Stegner, P. (2002). Winning the Wild West. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  80. Sukumaran, S. (2003). Koi Mil Gaya. Screen. (August 29). Retrieve 15 November 2010. http://www.screenindia.com/old/archive/archive_fullstory.php?content_id=5737.
  81. Thrift, N. (1996). Spatial formations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  82. Thrift, N. (2008). Non-representational theory: Space, place, affect. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  83. Tilley, C. (2004). The materiality of stone: Explorations in landscape phenomenology. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  84. Times Internet Unlimited. (2010). Awards 2003. Retrieved 15 October 2010. http://filmfareawards.indiatimes.com/articleshow/512087.cms.
  85. Tuan, Y. (1974). Topophilia. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  86. Turner, F. J. (1963). The significance of the frontier in American history. In H. P. Simpson, (Ed.), New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  87. United States Senate. (1959). Project Mercury: Main-in-Space Program of NASA, Report of the Committee on Aeronautical Sciences.Google Scholar
  88. Vaish, V. (2008). Biliteracy and globalization. Buffalo, NY: Multilingual Matters, Ltd.Google Scholar
  89. Vasudev, A., & Lenglet, P. (1983). New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House.Google Scholar
  90. Westfahl, G. (2000). Introduction: Frontiers old and new. In G. Westfahl (Ed.), Space and beyond. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  91. Williamson, R. A. (1987). Outer space as frontier: Lessons for today. Western Folklore, 46(4), 255–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wright, N. S. (2009). "Tom Cruise? Tarantino? E.T.? ...Indian!": Innovation through Imitation in the Cross-Cultural Bollywood Remake. Retrieved from http://www.scope.nottingham.ac.uk/proof/Wright.htm
  93. Wylie, J. W. (2002). An essay on ascending Glastonbury Tor. Geoforum, 33(4), 441–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Wylie, J. W. (2007). Landscape. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  95. Zimmermann, S. (2008). Landscapes of Heimat in post-war German cinema. In C. Lukinbeal & S. Zimmermann (Eds.), The geography of cinema—a cinematic world. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.Google Scholar

Filmography: USA

  1. 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)Google Scholar
  2. Avatar (2009)Google Scholar
  3. Armageddon (1998)Google Scholar
  4. The Right Stuff (1983)Google Scholar
  5. Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)Google Scholar
  6. The Ship that Was Sent Off to Mars (1921)Google Scholar
  7. Solaris (2002)Google Scholar
  8. Star Wars (1977)Google Scholar

Filmography: India

  1. Dhruva Charitra (1921)Google Scholar
  2. Koi…Mil Gaya (2003)Google Scholar
  3. Kush and Lav (1967)Google Scholar
  4. Maha Sati Savitri (1973)Google Scholar
  5. Mahabali Hanuman (1981)Google Scholar
  6. Raja Harishchandra (1913)Google Scholar
  7. Shree Ganesh (1960)Google Scholar
  8. Shree Krishna (1970)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tufts UniversityMedfordUSA

Personalised recommendations