Post Cinematic Affect
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Post-Cinematic Affect is about what it feels like to live in the affluent West in the early 21st century. Specifically, it explores the structure of feeling that is emerging today in tandem with new digital technologies, together with economic globalization and the financialization of more and more human activities. The 20th century was the age of film and television; these dominant media shaped and reflected our cultural sensibilities. In the 21st century, new digital media help to shape and reflect new forms of sensibility. Movies (moving image and sound works) continue to be made, but they have adopted new formal strategies, they are viewed under massively changed conditions, and they address their spectators in different ways than was the case in the 20th century. The book traces these changes, focusing on four recent moving-image works: Nick Hooker's music video for Grace Jones' song Corporate Cannibal; Olivier Assayas' movie Boarding Gate, starring Asia Argento; Richard Kelly's movie Southland Tales, featuring Justin Timberlake, Dwayne Johnson, and other pop culture celebrities; and Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's Gamer.
artists, Dion (Wood Harris) and Dream (Amy Poehler). He is black, and she is white. They are a couple in real life, and collaborators in all their performances. They disguise themselves with facial prosthetics so that they will not be recognized. In this disguise, they pretend to be a viciously arguing newlywed couple. Their plan is to simulate a scenario in which they are murdered by a racist cop. Another collaborator, pretending to be the cop, will break in on them, as if responding to a
vitality and spontaneity of the organic (Bergson 1914, 18). In this way, the movie never lets us forget that the avatars are just proxies for their players. But Gamer also shows the relationship of player to avatar more directly, by cutting back and forth between Angie (Amber Valletta), who works as a sexbot in Society, and her controller Gorge (Ramsey Moore). Angie is ridiculously dressed in a white fur wrap, blue hot pants, pink platform boots, and an orange wig; if the camera isn’t close up in
perspective, and sequences of destruction lovingly presented in slow motion. Much of the action is filmed from over Kable’s shoulder, just like in a video game, as he runs through the battered landscape, or as he turns abruptly in place, searching for hidden enemies. Most of the time we do not see the action directly on the movie screen, but experience it at second remove, filtered as a video feed. Sometimes there is even an overlaid heads-up display, as in actual computer games. From time to
into the game; it is not a bug, so much as a necessary feature of the very mechanisms of interactivity and control.80 But in addition to the ping, there is always the broader possibility of network breakdown and failure. This is what allows the Humanz to make their subversive interventions. In order to spread their message, they interrupt news broadcasts, commandeer the screens on which Slayer is playing, and even cause Society to crash and go offline. The most important thing about the Humanz is
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