Biopolitical Ethics in Global Cinema

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    • Abstract:
      Biopolitical Ethics in Global Cinema takes a new approach to world cinema through critical theory. Whereas world cinema often refers to non-American films deemed artistic or peripheral, Seung-hoon Jong examines its mapping frames: the territorial'national frame,'the deterritorializing'transnational frame,'and the'global frame.'If world cinema studies have mostly displayed national cinemas and their transnational mutations, his global frame highlights two conflicting ethical facets of globalization: the'soft-ethical'inclusion of differences in multicultural, neoliberal systems and their'hard-ethical'symptoms of fundamentalist exclusion and terror. Reflecting both and suggesting their alternatives, global cinema draws attention to new changes in subjectivity and community that Jeong investigates in terms of biopolitical'abjection'and ethical'agency.'In this frame, the book explores a vast net of post-1990 films circulating in both the mainstream market and the festival circuit. Jeong comparatively navigates these films, highlighting less essentialist particularities than compatible localities that perform universal aspects of biopolitical ethics and its alternatives by centering the narrative of'double death': the abject as symbolically dead struggle for lost subjectivity or new agency until physically dying. This narrative pervades global cinema from Hollywood blockbusters and European art films to Middle Eastern dramas and Asian genre films. Ultimately, the book renews critical discourses on global issues?including multiculturalism, catastrophe, sovereignty, abjection, violence, network, nihilism, and atopia?through a core cluster of political, ethical, and psychoanalytic philosophies.
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