Science Fiction Film & Television

Modernity and the masturbator

The non-human economy, excess and non-gendered consciousness in The Cell

Science Fiction Film & Television (2013), 6, (2), 203–217.

Abstract

This article considers Tarsem Singh's serial-killer thriller The Cell within the context of desire and excess, gender distinctions and concerns about abnormality and monstrosity. These critical preoccupations are explored in relation to Foucault's and Latour's notions of modernity and its divisive practices which usefully articulate the creation of non-human categories. I argue that The Cell presents a case study for the problems created by non-human categories and posits what I refer to as the non-human economy. Furthermore, The Cell offers a solution to these problems by presenting a vision of a non-gendered consciousness that gestures toward the collapse of the modern order.

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Foucault, Michel. Abnormal. Trans. Graham Burchell. New York: Verso, 2003. Abnormal Google Scholar

Kassabian, Anahid. ‘Point of Audition in The Cell’. Lowering the Boom. Ed. Jay Beck and Tony Grajeda. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 2008. 299-305. Lowering the Boom 299 305 Google Scholar

Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Trans. Catherine Porter. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1993. We Have Never Been Modern Google Scholar

Martin-Jones, David. ‘Movement-images, Time-images and Hybrid Images in Cinema’. Deleuze Reframed. Ed. Damian Sutton and David Martin-Jones. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd, 2008. 91-106. Deleuze Reframed 91 106 Google Scholar

Tuck, Greg. ‘"It is only because I love you that I can kill you": The Madonna, Mother Love and Infanticide in The Cell (Tarsem Singh: USA, 1998)’. Cinemascope - Independent Film Journal 4 (Jan-Apr 2006): 1-9. ‘"It is only because I love you that I can kill you": The Madonna, Mother Love and Infanticide in The Cell (Tarsem Singh: USA, 1998)’ Cinemascope - Independent Film Journal 4 1 9 Google Scholar

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Schmaltz, Eric