Fantasies of the end of the world

The politics of repetition in the films of Kurosawa Kiyoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A striking feature of Kurosawa Kiyoshi's film Retribution (Sak ebi, 2007) is the extent to which it is haunted by tropes and images from preceding films in his own body of work, perhaps the most noteworthy of which is its repetition of the apocalyptic finale of Pulse (Kairo, 2001). In this respect, Kurosawa's film could very well be aligned with the broader phenomenon of proliferating apocalyptic fantasies that are symptomatic of a failure to imagine a way out of "end of history" of the present. The author contends in this article that, rather than being merely symptomatic of the contemporary cultural milieu, Kurosawa's film, through its precise foregrounding of such tropes of repetition, attempts to work through this impasse at the end of Japan's so-called long postwar without merely reproducing the compulsion to repeat a disavowal of the past. Instead, the film gestures toward a desire to envision difference out of this repetition, to imagine a way out of the endless everyday of the present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-460
Number of pages32
JournalPositions
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

politics
compulsion
present
Japan
Fantasy
history
Tropes

Cite this

Fantasies of the end of the world : The politics of repetition in the films of Kurosawa Kiyoshi. / Posadas, Baryon Tensor.

In: Positions, Vol. 22, No. 2, 01.01.2014, p. 429-460.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{5c0ebcabfad74c61bb5c8f16a579cb1b,
title = "Fantasies of the end of the world: The politics of repetition in the films of Kurosawa Kiyoshi",
abstract = "A striking feature of Kurosawa Kiyoshi's film Retribution (Sak ebi, 2007) is the extent to which it is haunted by tropes and images from preceding films in his own body of work, perhaps the most noteworthy of which is its repetition of the apocalyptic finale of Pulse (Kairo, 2001). In this respect, Kurosawa's film could very well be aligned with the broader phenomenon of proliferating apocalyptic fantasies that are symptomatic of a failure to imagine a way out of {"}end of history{"} of the present. The author contends in this article that, rather than being merely symptomatic of the contemporary cultural milieu, Kurosawa's film, through its precise foregrounding of such tropes of repetition, attempts to work through this impasse at the end of Japan's so-called long postwar without merely reproducing the compulsion to repeat a disavowal of the past. Instead, the film gestures toward a desire to envision difference out of this repetition, to imagine a way out of the endless everyday of the present.",
author = "Posadas, {Baryon Tensor}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1215/10679847-2413853",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "22",
pages = "429--460",
journal = "Positions",
issn = "1067-9847",
publisher = "Duke University Press",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fantasies of the end of the world

T2 - The politics of repetition in the films of Kurosawa Kiyoshi

AU - Posadas, Baryon Tensor

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - A striking feature of Kurosawa Kiyoshi's film Retribution (Sak ebi, 2007) is the extent to which it is haunted by tropes and images from preceding films in his own body of work, perhaps the most noteworthy of which is its repetition of the apocalyptic finale of Pulse (Kairo, 2001). In this respect, Kurosawa's film could very well be aligned with the broader phenomenon of proliferating apocalyptic fantasies that are symptomatic of a failure to imagine a way out of "end of history" of the present. The author contends in this article that, rather than being merely symptomatic of the contemporary cultural milieu, Kurosawa's film, through its precise foregrounding of such tropes of repetition, attempts to work through this impasse at the end of Japan's so-called long postwar without merely reproducing the compulsion to repeat a disavowal of the past. Instead, the film gestures toward a desire to envision difference out of this repetition, to imagine a way out of the endless everyday of the present.

AB - A striking feature of Kurosawa Kiyoshi's film Retribution (Sak ebi, 2007) is the extent to which it is haunted by tropes and images from preceding films in his own body of work, perhaps the most noteworthy of which is its repetition of the apocalyptic finale of Pulse (Kairo, 2001). In this respect, Kurosawa's film could very well be aligned with the broader phenomenon of proliferating apocalyptic fantasies that are symptomatic of a failure to imagine a way out of "end of history" of the present. The author contends in this article that, rather than being merely symptomatic of the contemporary cultural milieu, Kurosawa's film, through its precise foregrounding of such tropes of repetition, attempts to work through this impasse at the end of Japan's so-called long postwar without merely reproducing the compulsion to repeat a disavowal of the past. Instead, the film gestures toward a desire to envision difference out of this repetition, to imagine a way out of the endless everyday of the present.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84940318330&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84940318330&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1215/10679847-2413853

DO - 10.1215/10679847-2413853

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 429

EP - 460

JO - Positions

JF - Positions

SN - 1067-9847

IS - 2

ER -