Science Fiction Film & Television

Precarity, parenthood and play in Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous

Science Fiction Film & Television (2019), 11, (2), 1–25.

Abstract

A distinctly feminist and distinctly Asian-American response to the Blade Runner tradition in sf cinema, Jennifer Phang’s 2015 film Advantageous juxtaposes an ages-old narrative of maternal sacrifice with the futuristic premise of a consciousness-transfer procedure. The film imagines a techno-capitalist dystopia in which early 21st-century forebodings about the acceleration of income inequality, economic precarity among skilled professionals and the potential abolition of human labour have only intensified. Phang invites us to find a quiet but radical hope in both new forms of kinship and non-competitive play, forces that may counter the dehumanisation and, indeed, despair depicted as accompanying the technological supplantation of the human body as both economic engine and autonomous moral agent.

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Works cited

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Nadkarni, Samira. ‘Rev. of Advantageous’. Strange Horizons (27 June 2016). >http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/reviews/advantageous>. Accessed 12 May 2017. Google Scholar

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Caillois, Roger. Man, Play, and Games. 1958. Trans. Meyer Barash. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2001. Google Scholar

Crucchiola, Jordan. ‘Advantageous: A Dystopian Film That’s Packed with Hope’. Wired (26 Jun 2015). >https://www.wired.com/2015/06/sci-fi-film-advantageous>. Accessed 12 May 2017. Google Scholar

Desser, David. ‘The New Eve: The Influence of Paradise Lost and Frankenstein on Blade Runner’. Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Ed. Judith B. Kerman. Bowling Green, OH: Popular, 1991. 53–65. Google Scholar

El-Mohtar, Amal. ‘False Equivalencies Mar This Bold Face’. NPR (15 Aug 2014). >www.npr.org/2014/08/15/339609013/false-equivalencies-mar-this-bold-face>. Accessed 12 May 2017. Google Scholar

Gray, W. Russel. ‘Entropy, Energy, Empathy: Blade Runner and Detective Fiction’. Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Ed. Judith B. Kerman. Bowling Green, OH: Popular, 1991. 66–75. Google Scholar

Haraway, Donna J. ‘Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism for the Late Twentieth Century’. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991. 149–181. Google Scholar

Haraway, Donna J. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke UP, 2016. Google Scholar

Heeney, Alex. ‘Advantageous Director Jennifer Phang Talks Bringing Feminist Sci-fi to the Screen’. Seventh Row (2 May 2015). >https://seventhrow.com/2015/05/02/advantageous-jennifer-phang>. Accessed 12 May 2017. Google Scholar

Kim, Elaine H. ‘Overcoming Barriers to Representation: Lessons from Asian American Women Directors’. The Routledge Companion to Asian American Media. Ed. Lori Kido Lopez and Vincent Pham. New York: Routledge, 2017. 83–95. Google Scholar

Linney, Susan. ‘Beauty: Creating a Camera-Perfect Look with Actress Freya Adams’. Obsessed Magazine (2014). >http://meetsobsession.com/2014/meets-obsession/beauty-creating-a-camera-perfect-look-with-actress-freya-adams>. Accessed 12 May 2017. Google Scholar

Miller, T.S. ‘Rev. of Advantageous’. SFRA Review 315 (2016): 36–38. Google Scholar

Nadkarni, Samira. ‘Rev. of Advantageous’. Strange Horizons (27 June 2016). >http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/reviews/advantageous>. Accessed 12 May 2017. Google Scholar

Roiland, Josh. ‘A Shot in the Arm’. Longreads (Feb 2017). >https://longreads.com/2017/02/09/a-shot-in-the-arm>. Accessed 12 May 2017. Google Scholar

Tiptree, Jr., James [Alice Sheldon]. ‘The Women Men Don’t See’. 1974. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2004. 115–43. Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Miller, T.S.