Title

Network Temporality and Financialization in Duncan Jones's 'Moon' and 'Source Code'

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Publication Title

Centennial Review: Speculative Finance, Speculative Fiction Issue

Keywords

financialization, economics, science fiction, temporality, cinema

Abstract

Although it is difficult to illustrate how speculative finance and network temporalities affect human life, cinema – especially science fiction films – can create narrative fantasies that illuminate the nature and the pathologies associated with living in the hyper now. In this vein, the instability and volatility of financial temporality can be witnessed in Duncan Jones’s two science fiction films, Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011). In both films, the lead characters are deprived of a clear future or a past, while being forced to live and labor within a perpetually pressured present. Moreover, these volatile characters are also “indebted” men thoroughly inscribed in what in Maurizio Lazzarato argues is the primary social and power relation underlying neoliberalism: the “debtor/creditor relationship” (2011, 7). In neoliberalism’s debt economy, the precariat class contends with precariousness, uncertain futures, and bare life. This essay argues that these films exemplify the ways in which speculative finance commoditizes risk and leverages assets to construct a perpetual present calculated for riskless flows of capital. Despite the main protagonists’ efforts to liberate themselves from the temporal confinement of speculative finance and network capitalism, they nevertheless find themselves trapped within its domain.

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