, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 165–180 | Cite as

Landscape of the unknown: mobilizing three understandings of landscape to interpret American and Indian cinematic outer space

  • Thomas Stieve


Many landscapes are available to only some groups and cultures. For example, oceans, deserts, mountains, etc. cannot be fully understood and experienced by all people in the world. However, there is one landscape that is likely available to all cultures—outer space. By investigating this panorama that is accessible all over the globe, geography can gain insight into landscape interpretation. Film is an ideal medium for this endeavor. Unlike most film landscape interpretation that concentrates on landscape as a text or a way of seeing, I argue that three understandings of landscape, landscape as mediated by technology, landscape as a way of seeing, and landscape as engagement, all interact with one another to create cinematic outer space. I use this landscape as portrayed in the United States and India as case studies.


Landscape Outer space Way of seeing Engagement Technology United States India 



I would like to thank Dr. Chris Lukinbeal, Dr. Alexander Levitsky, Dr. Arvind Singhal, Dr. Ashutosh Varshney, Sarah Bordac, Shashi Mishra, IDEX: Indian Network for Development Exchange and the Sood Family for their help in making this research possible.


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Filmography: USA

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Filmography: India

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  2. Koi…Mil Gaya (2003)Google Scholar
  3. Kush and Lav (1967)Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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