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Anti-humanist narratives: greed and source code

Anti-humanist narratives: greed and source code
Anti-humanist narratives: greed and source code
This essay explores specific, rare, antihumanist narrative possibilities in Hollywood cinema that occur in the early decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, signified by two films: Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1924) and Duncan Jones’s Source Code (2011).1 We contend that these films, separated by almost a century, mark two moments in which the normative humanism of Hollywood has been penetrated: once by Naturalism and once by Code. Both share a narrative logic in which human agency is in question, though the former constitutes a recognizable school while the latter is more a condition under which cinema operates, and which becomes thematic material in a body of films. They share, however, a capacity for a political aesthetics predicated on antihumanist representation, which has not been much explored in Hollywood’s narrative and diegetic lineage. The two specific moments marked by the films examined in this essay reveal the intellectual, technological and cultural conditions of possibility for the salience of such representational interventions in Hollywood narrative cinema.
0036-9543
Bishop, Ryan
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Cubitt, Sean
aad644d3-3b69-4ca8-a999-9b0f809eb729
Bishop, Ryan
a4f07e31-14a0-44c4-a599-5ed96567a2e1
Cubitt, Sean
aad644d3-3b69-4ca8-a999-9b0f809eb729

Bishop, Ryan and Cubitt, Sean (2017) Anti-humanist narratives: greed and source code. Screen. (doi:10.1093/screen/hjx001).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This essay explores specific, rare, antihumanist narrative possibilities in Hollywood cinema that occur in the early decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, signified by two films: Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1924) and Duncan Jones’s Source Code (2011).1 We contend that these films, separated by almost a century, mark two moments in which the normative humanism of Hollywood has been penetrated: once by Naturalism and once by Code. Both share a narrative logic in which human agency is in question, though the former constitutes a recognizable school while the latter is more a condition under which cinema operates, and which becomes thematic material in a body of films. They share, however, a capacity for a political aesthetics predicated on antihumanist representation, which has not been much explored in Hollywood’s narrative and diegetic lineage. The two specific moments marked by the films examined in this essay reveal the intellectual, technological and cultural conditions of possibility for the salience of such representational interventions in Hollywood narrative cinema.

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AntiHumanist Cinema Screen Submission Rev 20154.doc - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 31 October 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 April 2017
Published date: 4 April 2017
Organisations: Winchester School of Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405454
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405454
ISSN: 0036-9543
PURE UUID: 24657438-894e-4ea6-88a8-f98cf547e7ff

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Date deposited: 18 Feb 2017 00:19
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 05:22

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