The module offers you the opportunity to study postmodernism in detail. This will involve looking at a number of different versions of the postmodern. We will begin with Jean Baudrillard’s and Frederick Jameson’s analyses of postmodernism as nihilistic forms of capitalist excess that destroy reality, history and truth, and will discuss their influence/impact on specific films, including The Matrix Reloaded (2003). We will then consider three different affirmative accounts of the postmodern: Linda Hutcheon’s account of the paradoxical nature of postmodern art, Donna Haraway’s famous ‘Manifesto for Cyborgs’ and Judith Butler’s analysis of identity as performance. In addition to working on specific theorists, we will also consider key issues such as the stylistic features of the postmodern film text, and postmodern performance styles.
SUMMARY OF AIMS
• To provide an appreciation of the complexity and multiplicity of postmodernisms.
• To provide the means for you to engage directly with the key primary texts by major philosophers and cultural theorists of the postmodern.
• To provide the opportunity to critically evaluate different theoretical frameworks and models.
• To focus on the ways in which theorists of the postmodern both explicitly address and implicitly rely on the art form of cinema.
• To assess the ways in which concepts of the postmodern are useful for analysing films through the detailed textual analysis of specific film texts.