Venue: Nat Taylor Cinema @ York U
Cinema of the Anthropocene
Sometimes cinema has a way of expressing a structure of feeling obliquely. Perhaps some recent cinema has found ways of being honest about how audiences actually feel about the Anthropocene. By ‘Anthropocene’ I mean this period of time, perhaps of a deep time, in which the consequences of collective human labor’s impact on its natural conditions of existence are such as to undermine those very conditions. Perhaps certain films have had a way of expressing the anxiety and loss such the Anthropocene necessarily implies. It is as if we are all exiles now, with no homeland, even if of course some experience this exile in a far more catastrophic form than others. The three films I want to look at are the Tom Cruise / Emily Blunt star vehicle Edge of Tomorrow, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive.
McKenzie Wark is Professor of Culture and Media in Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research. His research interests are media theory, new media, critical theory, cinema, music, and visual art. He is the author of A Hacker Manifesto, The Spectacle of Disintegration, Telesthesia: Communication, Culture & Class, The Beach Beneath the Street, among others.