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“As the World Fell, Each of Us in Our Own Way was Broken”: Infrastructure in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema

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posted on 2022-11-23, 04:07 authored by Reuben Lazarus

This thesis applies infrastructural theory to recent science fiction cinema that explores the post-apocalyptic subgenre. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015), Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, 2013), and Dredd (Pete Travis, 2012) each provide a unique set of apocalyptic circumstances leading to the creation of their new world and the subsequent infrastructures that fill them. By applying infrastructural theories such as the flows of society from Brian Larkin (2013) and the infrastructural inversion from various sources such as Nicole Starosielski (2015), it is seen how these cinematic worlds function and operate. This approach is undertaken by examining the types of infrastructures that are created and maintained within these new worlds and how through their interactions, they enable the flows of goods, people and ideas to circulate within a society. My thesis expands on this infrastructural understanding further by examining how infrastructure, once understood within the context of their cinematic narrative, can create and reinforce social relations and a new ruling-class. This thesis’ perspective will also show the prevalence of dystopias within each narrative world, which, as a result of the infrastructurally created power-relations, enable these films to be reflective of modern circumstances to be critical of their socio-political trends by showing a possible outcome.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Geostorm and Infrastructure: Between Science Fiction and Disaster -- Chapter One: Mad Max: Fury Road: Post-Apocalyptic Castles and the Flows of Society -- Chapter Two: Snowpiercer: Trains and the Myth of the God Engine -- Chapter Three: Dredd: Networks, Skyscrapers, and the Law of the Land -- Conclusion -- Works Cited

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Stefan Solomon


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61 pages

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