What is cli-fi? 什麼是 「氣候變化類影視文學作品」?

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你愛看電影嗎?你喜歡大製作的災難片嗎?如果喜歡,那你可能會對 「氣候變化類虛構作品(climate fiction,簡稱 cli-fi)」 感興趣。這類作品主要圍繞哪個題材進行創作?跟隨本期 「隨身英語」 瞭解這個新興的影視文學流派。

詞彙:apocalyptic fiction 末日題材虛構作品

If you could travel back in time, which period of history would you visit? It’s a great question to ask your friends, and time travel is the subject of many science fiction films. Of course, sci-fi is familiar to most of us, but what is cli-fi? The simple answer is climate fiction – a genre which focuses on the subject of climate change.

Many of the cli-fi examples we watch tend to be disaster films. It could be solar flares, ice ages devastating the planet, extreme flooding swamping the Earth with water, or super-storms that threaten life as we know it. While films and novels of this genre are often subject to the typical tropes of a hero or heroine battling to save the day, what sets it apart from most sci-fi films is that the plots will often draw on plausible outcomes in the present or near future.

Climate change and the potential threats have long been established. Some believe that the issue of climate change has even led to more fans watching films to learn more about what’s happening to the world – seeing it as a form of edutainment. A study conducted by the Yale programme on Climate Change Communication tested the effects that two climate fiction novels can have on its readers and found 「significant positive effects」 in terms of their attitudes and beliefs towards the climate crisis – for example, understanding global warming will harm them and future generations.

Most climate films are not only blockbuster action films, but also prey on our fear of what some see as the impending doom of a climate catastrophe. This sounds bad, but according to a study conducted on 310 adults in the US, watching scary films can help us feel more prepared, resilient and less alone in situations such as the pandemic. So, it looks like cli-fi is here to stay – and there seem to be some benefits. Whether it’s there to educate, entertain or prepare you for a climate crisis, it might have a role to play.

詞彙表

time travel 時間旅行
science fiction film 科幻電影
climate fiction 氣候變化類虛構作品,簡稱 「cli-fi」
genre (藝術)類型
disaster film 災難片
solar flare 太陽耀斑
ice age 冰河時代
devastate 毀滅,摧毀
swamp 淹沒
threaten 威脅到,危及
trope (藝術作品中的)典型形象、主題
hero (男)主角,(男)主人公
heroine 女主角,女主人公
plot 故事情節
plausible 可信的,有道理的
edutainment 寓教於樂,「educational entertainment」 的縮寫
blockbuster (尤指商業)大片
action film 動作片
impending (壞事)迫在眉睫的
catastrophe 災難

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What is cli-fi?

2. What are the typical tropes of climate fiction?

3. True or false? The Yale study found that there was no change in people’s attitudes after reading climate fiction.

4. What are the benefits of watching scary films, according to a study?

5. What are some of the benefits of climate fiction?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The fire has _______ the building.

hero                           genre                           devastate                   devastated

2. I prefer watching indie films to _______.

catastrophe                genre                           blockbusters              devastated

3. He says that climate fiction is his favourite _______ of film.

genre                          devastate                    hero                           plausible

4. The storm is going to _______ all of the wildlife in the area.

hero                            blockbuster                 plausible                    threaten

5. I don’t think it will happen – it doesn’t seem very _______.

plausible                     genre                          catastrophe                hero

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What is cli-fi?
Cli-fi is short for 『climate fiction’ – a genre which focuses on the subject of climate change.

2. What are the typical tropes of climate fiction?
Films and novels of this genre are often subject to the typical tropes of a hero or heroine battling to save the day.

3. True or false? The Yale study found that there was no change in people’s attitudes after reading climate fiction.
False. It found 「significant positive effects」 in terms of their attitudes and beliefs towards the climate crisis.

4. What are the benefits of watching scary films, according to a study?
Watching scary films can help us feel more prepared, resilient and less alone in situations such as the pandemic.

5. What are some of the benefits of climate fiction?
It can educate, entertain or prepare you for a climate crisis.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The fire has devastated the building.

2. I prefer watching indie films to blockbusters.

3. He says that climate fiction is his favourite genre of film.

4. The storm is going to threaten all of the wildlife in the area.

5. I don’t think it will happen – it doesn’t seem very plausible.