Strange Days

October 2019

This essay is about Kathryn Bigelow's 1995 film. I “argue against [Steven] Shaviro’s point [in “Straight from the Cerebral Cortex: Vision and Affect in Strange Days"] that the SQUID scene of Iris’ rape and murder is the heart of the film. I admit that it reaches the crescendo of a lot of what Bigelow has to say about spectatorship and the gaze, but the political positioning of the film relies far more on the other core SQUID scene: Iris’ capture of Jeriko One’s police execution." (and how important it is that Mace is the one to see that SQUID scene.) I talk about Shaviro's “affect without subject", Damon Young's “JKJK" (here's the link to Young's article), and how the film makes an interesting parallel to the ways that our current consumption of media affects our subjective position/possibility. I also speak to the stifled depictions of institutional white supremacy and police brutality, and how disappointing the resolution of the film is.

Written for Johanna Gosse's New Media.

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