Enjoying endurance: the neoliberal chronotope and British cinema

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This paper advances an argument concerning a proposed neoliberal chronotope in British cinema. Bakhtin’s concept of the chronotope (time-space) - in which time thickens and space becomes responsive to history – is used to historicise recent British cinema. The emphasis on neoliberalism is here less as a matter of content than as a matter of form. In this I draw upon Fredric Jameson and Steven Shaviro’s projects of historicising form in relation to capitalism’s tendencies towards complex, compulsive and relentless expansion and exploitation. Jameson argues that the "bewildering new world space of late or multinational capital" is unrepresentable but knowable. Shaviro explores the nature of this knowability by examining the intersection of media technologies and neoliberal social relations, seeing films as affective ‘indices of complex social processes’. Shaviro pays attention to those forms that most clearly register the flow and modulation of late capitalist structures of feeling such as music video, accelerationist spectacle, and post-continuity chaos cinema. Does this perspective work as well when applied to contemporary British national cinema? If so, how does British cinema know capital in its current neoliberal manifestation? My example,’71 (Demange 2014) has been chosen because it is clearly not about and does not represent political economy, let alone neoliberalism. However, I’ll argue that it knows neoliberalism as an event of perception. This event consists of mapping neoliberal discourses of precarity and resilience onto the adventure time-space of the action film. The result, I suggest, is a neoliberal chronotope of ruin-space and future-less time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2017
    EventUniversity of Glasgow Theatre, Film and Television Studies & Centre for Cultural Policy Research Postgraduate Symposium 2017: Ecologies, Globalisation and the Post-Human - University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 3 May 20174 May 2017


    ConferenceUniversity of Glasgow Theatre, Film and Television Studies & Centre for Cultural Policy Research Postgraduate Symposium 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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