By Patrick McGee (auth.)
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Extra resources for Bad History and the Logics of Blockbuster Cinema: Titanic, Gangs of New York, Australia, Inglourious Basterds
When Cal sees Jack in a borrowed tuxedo and remarks that one could almost mistake him for a gentleman, he says more than he knows. Jack may not have Cal’s social power or pedigree, but he has seized for himself some of the leisure time and the seemingly pointless existence that used to be the exclusive privilege of the aristocratic gentleman. Jack as flâneur parodies the gentleman but at the same time secretly identifies with what the gentleman has—the appearance of freedom. A figure “on the threshold .
The passion between Jack and Rose transforms the Titanic from a commodity, the dream ship as metaphor that articulates the fantasy of a closed class system without contradiction, into the collective body of social desire. Benjamin remarked at the end of his essay on surrealism that “the collective is a body, too,” but he probably did not mean to suggest that such a body can be hailed into existence by propaganda or transformed through the act of dreaming. ” The nature (physis) produced by humans is the technology in which “body and image so interpenetrate that all revolutionary tension becomes bodily collective innervation, and all the bodily innervations of the collective become revolutionary discharge” (Reflections 192).
Stated rather simply, demand arises out of the needs of the body that take the form of the drive in the symbolic realm of language and culture. Like the infant who has learned how to manipulate symbols in order to make the demand for food or comfort but who has not yet mastered the reality principle that requires the acceptance of postponement and partial satisfactions, the subject of demand seeks an absolute and final satisfaction, either through death, which extinguishes all needs, or through the construction of an illusion.
Bad History and the Logics of Blockbuster Cinema: Titanic, Gangs of New York, Australia, Inglourious Basterds by Patrick McGee (auth.)