Cyborg Cinema and Contemporary Subjectivity by Sue Short

By Sue Short

This booklet breaks new floor in offering an in-depth serious evaluate of cyborg cinema, arguing that it continues to be probably the most fascinating and provocative cycles to have emerged in modern display tradition. Tracing the cinematic cyborg's transition over the past twenty years and comparing the theoretical value attributed to this determine, it asks what relevance the cyborg keeps to have by way of figuring out human id, in addition to our dating to know-how and to 1 another.

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Already its extended lifespan has surpassed the average time Williams has given for any cycle, a fact which is best explained by its ability to change – its themes having mutated into related forms such as the cyberpunk, the virtual being and the clone. More fundamentally however, its longevity is determined, like that of any other product in popular culture, by its ability to keep audiences interested, which is by no means a simple or predictable matter. In fact, the cyborg film has undergone numerous peaks and troughs over its twenty-year history, and although currently enjoying increased popularity it remains to be seen how long this can last.

36 In fact, although the blockbuster would seem to epitomise the trends Schatz notes in terms of a culmination of the ‘baroque’, as well as the ‘recycling’ process that Altman is most preoccupied with, it is curious that neither critic has acknowledged this fact. New publications indicate some belated attention given to the ‘high concept’ movie,37 yet spectacle and commerce tend to be the over-riding features of any discussion, with the very popularity of this new ‘hyper-genre’ seeming to be what has most held it in disregard.

T3 and The Matrix: Revolutions each negates free will in making fatalistic pronouncements about the future, and although collective action is demonstrated the enemy at hand is patently fantastical, in marked contrast to the critique formed in the cycle’s earlier phase. 50 As the following chapters attest, the conflicts indicated within the cyborg film have been as diverse as the theories used to make sense of them, asking a multitude of questions about contemporary existence and the criteria by which identity should be discerned.

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