By Patrick McGee (auth.)
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Extra resources for Bad History and the Logics of Blockbuster Cinema: Titanic, Gangs of New York, Australia, Inglourious Basterds
This is a postmodern love affair in which every reality is virtual and many possible futures can be substituted for one another through the slightest adjustment of the present. The B-movie texture of this Terminator foregrounds the constructed nature of the characters and of the terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as the embodiment of the human drive (see Žižek, Looking Awry 22). This drive is not evil in itself but becomes evil through its subordination to instrumental reason that has come to substitute the means for the goal of human rationality.
Unlike most mass-culture movies that entice us with the promise of critique and then hand us over to the dream world of capital (movies like Jerry Maguire  or even a classic like Preston Sturges’s Sullivan’s Travels ), Titanic becomes the object of its own critique (though not necessarily of the director’s critique), an image of the real that discloses its own technology as a piece of the real it imagines. ’” Ironically, this could be the world of American television sitcoms. To such optimism, he opposes the “communist answer” of surrealism: “And that means pessimism all along the line .
Most of the first-class passengers who meet Jack find him amusing and perhaps even enjoy the way he mirrors their own lifestyles. He shows that the image of wealth can be transformed into a commodity and then appropriated by someone who is not wealthy but who desires the freedom that wealth appears to make possible. Jack anticipates men like Henry Miller and, from a more socially marginalized location, Langston Hughes, who represent the survival of the flâneur in the first half of the twentieth century, men and sometimes women who could move between America and Europe and beyond, without sufficient funds or resources, and work as little as possible while enjoying an unprecedented freedom.