Master of Arts (MA)
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This thesis analyzes the symbolic mechanisms of guilt-redemption as developed by Kenneth Burke within two climate fiction (cli-fi) films: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), and Interstellar (2014). In doing so, this thesis offers an account of: (1) each film’s role in providing their audience temporary assuagement of climate change related guilt, and (2) each film’s role in transmitting values and “attitudes” to build and strengthen communities. Because cli-fi films begin from a dystopic vision of a possible future, it fulfills the "blame" function of epideictic discourse to provoke and inspire the "ecological imagination." Through this provocation, the audience is provided the possibility of hope and redemption through the adoption of the film's values or “equipment.” As each film’s imagination of climate change plays out, their political attitudes are excavated to demonstrate how the texts perform and portray these values. Specifically, I argue that The Day the Earth Stood Still demonstrates an eco-Marxist orientation, while Interstellar maintains a neoliberal environmental orientation.
Cli-Fi; Climate Change; Climate Fiction Film; Dystopia; Epideictic; "Equipment for Living"
Environmental Sciences | Film and Media Studies | Rhetoric
Powell, Chloe Louise, "Cli-Fi Cinema: An Epideictic Rhetoric of Blame" (2017). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 3026.