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Dieselpunk is an art style based on the aesthetics popular between World War I and the end of World War II. The style combines the artistic and genre influences of the period (including pulp magazines, serial films, film noir, art deco, and wartime pin-ups) with postmodern technology and sensibilities.

First coined in 2001 as a marketing term by game designer Lewis Pollak to describe his role-playing game Children of the Sun, dieselpunk has grown to describe a distinct style of visual art, music, motion pictures, fiction, and engineering.

Dieselpunk collides with Steampunk, which focuses on the Victorian Era, and Atompunk, focusing on the Atomic era. Theoretically, any historical era may become a primary source for aestethics and still be recognizable as a *punk movement and the dynamic nature of such movements makes it difficult if not impossible to point what can be legitimately considered a -punk movement.

Pre-industrial eras fall under the lack of the typical fascination of *punk movements with machinery and any modern reinterpretation of them would probably fall into the “Fantasy” cathegory.

On the other hand, post-cyberpunk eras are still too near to make other than science-fiction material; besides, those years see the rise of the computer age and the affirmation of the service economy relegates the whirling of mechanical contraptions to secondary roles in the imagination of future dreamers.

Film examples include The Legend of Korra, Dark City, Iron Sky, and K-20: Legend of the Mask. Video game examples of Dieselpunk would include BioShock, Gatling Gears, Greed Corp, Crimson Skies, and Skullgirls.


Latest Dieselpunk Topics:

Metropolis - 1927

The Rocketeer - 1991

City of Lost Children - 1995

Dark City - 1998

Sky Captain and the World
of Tomorrow
- 2004

Hellboy & Hellboy 2
- 2004, 2008

The Prestige - 2006

9 (Nine) - 2009

Brief Highlights on other Dieselpunk Sci-Fi

Brazil - 1985

Sam Lowry is a low-level government employee who has frequent daydreams of saving a damsel in distress. One day he is assigned the task of trying to rectify an error caused by a fly getting jammed in a printer, misprinting a file it was copying, resulting in the incarceration and accidental death during interrogation of cobbler Archibald Buttle, instead of the suspected terrorist, freelance heating engineer Archibald Tuttle.

When Sam visits Buttle's widow, he discovers Jill Layton, the upstairs neighbour of the Buttles, and is astonished to see that she has the face of the woman from his recurring dreams. Jill is trying to help Mrs. Buttle find out what happened to her husband, but has become sick of dealing with the bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to her, she is now considered a terrorist accomplice of Tuttle for attempting to report the mistake of Buttle's arrest in Tuttle's place to a corrupt bureaucracy that would rather dispose of all the evidence and witnesses than admit such an error.

When Sam tries to approach her, she is very cautious and avoids giving Sam full details, worried the government will track her down. During this time, Sam comes in contact with the real Tuttle, a renegade air conditioning specialist who once worked for Central Services but left due to his dislike of the tedious and repetitive paperwork. Tuttle helps Sam deal with two Central Services workers, Spoor and Dowser, who later return to demolish Sam's ducts and seize his apartment under the guise of fixing the air conditioning.

Sam discovers that the only way to learn about Jill is to get transferred to Information Retrieval, where he would have access to her classified records. He had previously turned down a promotion engineered by his mother, Ida, vainly obsessed with rejuvenating plastic surgery under the care of cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jaffe. She has connections to high-ranking officers and despairs of Sam's lack of ambition. Sam is able to retract his refusal by speaking directly with Deputy Minister Mr. Helpmann (Peter Vaughan) at a party given by his mother.

He eventually obtains Jill's records and tracks her down before she is arrested, then falsifies her records to make her appear deceased, allowing her to escape the bureaucracy. The two share a romantic night together, but they are quickly apprehended by the government at gunpoint. Charged with treason for abusing his newly acquired position, Sam is restrained to a chair in a large, empty cylindrical room, to be tortured by his old friend, Jack Lint, who is wearing a mask seen earlier in Sam's dreams and had previously distanced himself from Sam.

Sam also learns that Jill had been killed resisting arrest. However, before Jack manages to begin the torture, Tuttle and other members of the resistance break into the Ministry. The resistance shoots Jack, rescues Sam, and blows up the Ministry building as they flee. Sam and Tuttle run off together, but Tuttle disappears amid a mass of scraps of paper from the destroyed Ministry. Sam runs to his mother attending a funeral for a friend who died of excessive cosmetic surgery.

Finding his mother now looking like Jill and fawned over by a flock of juvenile admirers, Sam falls into the open casket, falling through an empty black void. He lands in a world from his daydreams, and attempts escape up a pile of flex-ducts from the police and imaginary monsters. He finds a door at the top of the pile and, passing through it, is surprised to find himself in a trailer driven by Jill.

The two drive away from the city together. However, this "happy ending" is all a product of Sam's delusions: Sam is still strapped to the chair and observed by Jack and Deputy Minister Mr. Helpmann, who is portrayed along the film as a good "friend" of Sam's family. Realising that Sam has descended into blissful insanity, the two declare him a lost cause and exit the room. The film ends with Sam sitting in the chair, smiling and singing "Brazil".

Iron Sky - 2012

In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the Dark Side of the Moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis construct a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. When American astronaut James Washington (Christopher Kirby) puts down his Lunar Lander a bit too close to the secret Nazi base, the Moon Führer (Udo Kier) decides the glorious moment of retaking the Earth has arrived sooner than expected.

Washington claims the mission is just a publicity stunt for the President of the United States (Stephanie Paul), but what else could the man be but a scout for the imminent attack by Earth forces? The Fourth Reich must act! Two Nazi officers, ruthless Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) and idealistic Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), travel to Earth to prepare the invasion. In the end when the Moon Nazi UFO armada darkens the skies, ready to strike at the unprepared Earth, every man, woman and nation alike, must re-evaluate their priorities.

Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com, dieselpunk.wikia.com

Dieselpunk Main


The Rocketeer

City of Lost Children

Dark City

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