Monday, April 6, 2009

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN

"Together, we can turn this fucking world to rust!"


THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE PRESENTS:

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN (dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989), 67 minutes

Signal/Noise: Information on Film

WHEN: 6pm, Wednesday April 8, 2009
WHERE: Room 741, 41 East 11th Street (between University Place and Broadway)
ALL WELCOME. Refreshments provided.

A penis mutates into a gigantic power drill in the middle of lovemaking. A man cuts open his leg in order to shove a rusting metal pipe into the wound. A car driver finds a hunk of metal growing from his cheek as he tries to shave. Then things start to get tense...

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN is an early document of Japanese cyberpunk that makes David Cronenberg look like Masterpiece Theatre. After being hit by a car on his way home from work, a Japanese businessman undergoes an exquisitely sadomasochistic metamorphosis that turns him into the Gregor Samsa of the automobile age.

To a soundtrack of scratchy noise and throbbing industrial techno, the human form of the businessman is gradually occluded by a metallic exoskeleton and a sprouting array of whirring, buzzing, gnashing appendages. From Marshall McLuhan's 'extensions of man' to Donna Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto, the concepts of the prosthesis and the cyborg have been central to discussions of technological change.

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN, straddling anime and the art world, an audio-visual bodyshock linking HR Giger, JG Ballard and Add N To (X), offers a more intensely physical and affectively deranged version of the posthuman than has hitherto been imagined within the theoretical discourse of the cyborg.

The screening will be presented by Jung-Bong Choi, Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Tisch, and author of Digitalization of Television in Japan: State, Economy, and Discourse (2008), as well as teaching classes on cyborg culture, post-humanity and East Asian media.

Queries: ss162@nyu.edu





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