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Fssst – a snapped flare, from my x-ray / bones to whiskers I am stiff objection. / Cut from hard dark you are, bad spirit – / of the humans, but not one of them.

Lives Beyond Us: Poems and Essays on the Film Reality of Animals


edited by Kirsten Irving and Sebastian Manley

Pouncing, playing or mugging for the camera, animals are Hollywood’s unspoken stars. In this genre-bending volume of poetry and essays, Sidekick Books celebrates these non-human actors.

Contributors include: Angela Cleland, Cliff Hammett, Sophie Mayer, Olly Gruner and Nick Murray.

300pp, ISBN 978-1-909560-20-8

15 in stock


In Lives Beyond Us, cinema’s animal actors take top billing in a stampede of poems and essays. The dogs of Hollywood confess all, two owls provide commentary on Night of the Hunter and Jones the space cat finally speaks.

Critical essays meet poetic responses in this beautiful, chunky volume. The essays and poems inside address the varied roles animals have played throughout the history of film. From the first chronophotographic experiments in capturing animal movement to the CGI facsimiles of the modern era, from Hitchcock to Lynch, cartoons to military metaphors, sharks to protozoa, Lives Beyond Us considers an array of cinematic fauna, along with their relationship to humans – as our companions, our subjects, our alter-egos and our guides.


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