Counter-imagination as interpretive practice: Futuristic fantasy and the fifth element

Brian L. Ott, Eric Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This essay concerns the relationship between popular cinematic visions of the future and present day identity politics. We argue that despite its futuristic setting celebrating technological progress and multiculturalism. Luc Besson's 1997 film The Fifth Element constructs sexual and racial difference in a manner that privileges and naturalizes White heterosexual masculinity. The essay offers counter-imagination as an interpretive practice that destabilizes the categories of sexual and racial difference as they are negotiated within appeals to popular imagination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-176
Number of pages28
JournalWomen's Studies in Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


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