Cinema of the Psychic Realm: A Critical Survey by Paul Meehan

By Paul Meehan

Cinema is splendid to the area of psychic phenomena. a strategy so simple as a voice-over can simulate psychological telepathy, whereas strange lighting fixtures, set layout, or inventive electronic manipulation can conjure clairvoyant visions, precognition, or maybe psychokinesis. This e-book analyzes the depiction of paranormal powers in movie, studying how videos like Star Wars, Independence Day, the golf green Mile, and dozens of others either replicate and impact the best way glossy society thinks approximately psychic talents. The subject matter is explored in approximately a hundred movies from a number of genres together with drama, comedy, horror, technology fiction, crime melodrama, and kid's motion pictures, supplying a concise evaluate of the historical past and ideas of mainstream cinematic parapsychology.

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The emphasis on telepathy over other forms of ESP reflects the gadget-oriented emphasis of this early phase of “hard” science fiction, in which the idea of thought exchange was viewed as a type of “mental radio” existing in the physical realm of electromagnetic phenomena. Fortunately or unfortunately, the sci-fi notion of psionics, or the large-scale practical application of psi in society at large, has never been realized. While the scientists assembled their stat tables and the science fiction writers spun their tales of the paranormal, psi remained in the limbo of fringe scientific publications and sci-fi pulp magazines.

In order to accomplish this, Reich makes use of an insipid pop song that centers on the meaningless phrase, “tenser, said the tensor,” which will flummox all attempts to meld with his mind. Going on the lam after committing the homicide, Reich successfully uses the rhyme to deflect Esper telepathy, and uses his vast resources to stay one step ahead of the law. He is pursued by the peeper Prefect of Police Lincoln Powell, and despite the Esper’s telepathic edge, Reich’s wits and money frustrate the police as they One • A Brief History of the Paranormal in Fact and Fiction 25 relentlessly pursue him around the Solar System.

With his victims in awe of his apparently paranormal powers, Stanton bilks them out of a fortune while assuming a false piety that makes them believe he is a godly man. When he enlists Molly to impersonate the ghost of an industrialist’s dead sweetheart, she rebels and deliberately spoils the illusion. Two • Early Paranormal Films 33 Bogus psychic “The Great Stanton” (Tyrone Power, center) wows Chicago society with his phony ESP in Nightmare Alley (1947). Discredited by this debacle and cheated out of his money by the wily Lilith, Stanton separates from his wife and descends into the carny life once more.

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