Fredric Jameson’s “Postmodernism”

In conjunction with Cinematic Cartographies, a workshop and screening led by visiting filmmaker and theorist Roger Beebe, May’s meeting will be an exploration of the ideas that have informed his practice.

What is film for? What can it do? What should it do? These seem like odd questions to ask of Fredric Jameson, the father of postmodern theory. However, his celebrated “Postmodernism” essay, after providing us a detailed examination of our contemporary world, leads directly to these questions. The aesthetic, for Jameson, provides the key to understanding our connection to the seemingly dematerialized flows of power under global capitalism, a project he names “cognitive mapping.” We will trace the path that Jameson follows through the essay–taking us on a journey through nearly every medium from music [Philip Glass, Terry Riley, punk, New Wave] to fiction and poetry [E.L. Doctorow, Bob Perelman, Rimbaud] to painting [Van Gogh, Munch, Warhol] to architecture [Las Vegas, the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles] and, perhaps most critically, to film [American Graffiti, Body Heat, Chinatown]–and attempt to discover what leads Jameson to his conclusion about the importance of the aesthetic in [re]mapping our world.

reading Fredric Jameson’s “Postmodernism”
Cineworks [1131 Howe, back lane entrance], Vancouver BC
04 May 2009, 18:00

Facilitated by cheyanne turions