The Magical Neoliberalism of Network Films
Transnational network narrative films attempt a cognitive mapping of global systems through a narrative form interconnecting disparate or seemingly unrelated characters, plotlines, and geographies. These films demonstrate networks on three levels: a network narrative form, themes of networked social relations, and networked industrial production. While they emphasize realism in their aesthetics, these films rely on risk and randomness to map a fantastic network of interrelations, resulting in the magical meeting of multiple and divergent characters and storylines, spectacularizing the reality of social relations, and giving a negative valence to human connection. Over the last 20 years, the network narrative has become a prominent means of representing and containing social relations under neoliberalism.