Visions of Paradise: Images of Eden in the Cinema

By Wheeler Winston Dixon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
The Great Escape

Our world is dominated by images of escape. The pace of modern life is well-nigh insupportable, as we are assaulted from all sides by cell phone calls, telephone solicitations, and advertisements everywhere: television commercials (twenty minutes out of every prime-time hour is now the norm), pop-up ads on the Web, ads in taxis, on buses, on the sides of buildings, in newspapers, magazines, junk mail, and of course, the ubiquitous e-mail spam. We dream of ways of avoiding all this, of leaving the daily onslaught behind, of finding respite in a simulacrum of paradise. Travel magazines promise us carefree escapes on cruise ships, with abundant food, dancing, gambling, and stops in exotic ports of call; for the more adventurous, there are trips to remote parts of the world (usually the tropics) that offer excitement, the lure of the Other, and surcease from the conflicts of daily existence. And certainly the Web excels at presenting tempting opportunities for escape; indeed, making the most of this venue, the British conceptual artist Janice Kerbel, “dreaming of a holiday she could never afford, … designed an elaborate and convincing Website [www .bird-island.com] advertising real estate on a perfect, fictitious, uninhabited island [in the Caribbean] … [with] texts and drawings” (Higgie)—a balm to anyone bored, overworked, and in search of something beyond the realm of their daily lives.

-3-

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Visions of Paradise: Images of Eden in the Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter One - The Great Escape 3
  • Chapter Two - Eternal Summer 43
  • Chapter Three - Paradise Now 86
  • Chapter Four - The Uses of Heaven 128
  • Chapter Five - The Promise of the Future 158
  • Works Cited 195
  • Index 201
  • About the Author 221
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