The pulp critical

The pulp critical is a minor analytic mode in which genre tokens are interpreted as arguments or ontological operations in their own right. Hence, it’s important to refuse the conventional terms of any standardized hermeneutics. The emphasis on “pulp” echoes the use of the term in literary history, where it refers primarily to popular fiction… Continue Reading The pulp critical

Annihilation failed

Imagine the following plot. There’s a married straight couple, and the woman cheats on her husband with a colleague. She feels guilty, but refuses to acknowledge it. He knows or suspects, but refuses to confront her. Instead, he decides to start volunteering for some dangerous work in the city. Their relationship is breaking down due… Continue Reading Annihilation failed

Astronoetic pessimism and the posthuman: Prometheus and Alien: Covenant as philosophy

Introduction Refer to part one (“Introducing astronoetic cinema”) for the necessary context in which I discuss these two films. In preface, I will note that the critical and popular reception of both films isn’t particularly positive. In part, this is because both suffer from some issues of casting and pacing. However, both films also speak… Continue Reading Astronoetic pessimism and the posthuman: Prometheus and Alien: Covenant as philosophy

Introducing astronoetic cinema

Astronautics and astronoetics Philosopher Hans Blumenberg’s posthumously published Die Vollzähligkeit der Sterne (1997, The Fullness of the Stars) introduces a novel distinction. On the one hand, there is “astronautics,” referring both to the pursuit of knowledge of the human by extending its purview to the extraterrestrial and to technical applications of that knowledge in the… Continue Reading Introducing astronoetic cinema

RoboCop is Amelia Bedelia

RoboCop (1987) is the Good Soldier Švejk – or, better yet, as a colleague suggested to me, he’s Amelia Bedelia. Both Amelia and Švejk misunderstand the instructions they receive from authorities in such a way that they’ve understood too much – ostensibly without understanding anything at all. In other words, both Amelia and Švejk hear… Continue Reading RoboCop is Amelia Bedelia