The pseudo-dominant hype that comes alongside ontological thinking: a kind of extension of postmodernism’s apolitical arabesques, which then moved into the digital. This most likely reflects a lack of political consequence amongst the wider left in the metropolitan centres. Spare time on their hands, fairly comfortable economic circumstances, and no practical occupation, meant speculations and flights of fancy with ‘radical’ inclinations but no connection to expressed political needs or mobilisation. A theoretical dominance that treads water in the flow of cultural politics.
The analysis of trinkets, objects, souvenirs or commodities remains wholly bourgeois if things are not seen as first up, against the grain, the embodiment of social labour power and prevailing relations of production. From there the examination of class struggle and the relations of production as they shift according to distribution of resources, labour, machinery, market and state becomes the necessary context to understand the role trinkets play in crises, conflicts and historical change. Trinkets do not have autonomy, but are contexted by the political, social and historical conditions they nevertheless allow us to describe. Appearance form.
This very good review by Bruce Williams in Film-Philosophy.
Ewa Mazierska and Lars Kristensen (eds.) (2014) Marx at the Movies: Revisiting History, Theory and Practice, London: Palgrave Macmillan. 293 pp.
includes a nice summary of my chapter:
In the realm of the classical cinema, John Hutnyk’s ‘Citizen Marx/Kane’ draws a parallel between Citizen Kane and Marx’s book (218-243). When read together, these two seemingly disparate works symbiotically enrich the viewer’s understanding of both. Through an exploration of such notions as the allegory of property, philosophic biography, and the fetishisation of objects, Hutnyk asserts that a Hollywood classic like Kane can render Capital relevant to the present day. He illustrates that what we see in the film that is not in Marx’s book ‘is the personification of a class system’ (240). For Hutnyk, a Marxist reading of Welles’ film serves to debunk the obscuring of the oppressive regime of capital and the alibis in the name of philanthropy that capitalists deploy ‘for their acquisitive plunder’ (240).
Read the whole review: Bruce Williams in Film-Philosophy.
NDTV have a record on this topic which is, erm, unenviable. For example, they had run a phone in poll to see if their audience wanted Afzal Mohammed Guru hanged, held before the court gave its verdict, on what was a frame-up according to many, and the ‘torturer for the nation’ proudly proclaiming his role in getting Afzal’s confession… So it is deeply troubling that even now Police action cracks down on legitimate dissent. Cultural event! Maybe there is more to it, but it looks dubious to me – what threat was this demonstration to the nation? Kanhiya Kumar zindabad.
Full story here.
The magazine is here: TheInvisibleFinger
Huge excitement building in Hsinchu East…