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Cinematic NihilismEncounters, Confrontations, Overcomings$
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John Marmysz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424561

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424561.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Cultural Change and Nihilism in the Rollerball Films

Cultural Change and Nihilism in the Rollerball Films

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 6 Cultural Change and Nihilism in the Rollerball Films
Source:
Cinematic Nihilism
Author(s):

John Marmysz

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424561.003.0009

This chapter contrasts the original, 1975 version of Rollerball with the 2001 remake. Whereas the original version of the film features a hero who dooms himself to a tragic end by actively, yet nihilistically, rebelling against the forces of corporate control, the remake depicts a hero who engages in a successful revolution against the powers that be. In so doing, he promises the establishment of a counter-order that overcomes nihilism. It is argued that while the original version of Rollerball presents a modernist perspective on nihilism, depicting it as a phenomenon that cannot authentically be overcome, the remake presents a postmodernist perspective on nihilism, depicting it as a transitional stage leading from personal despair to ultimate triumph. The ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus and Jean-Francois Lyotard are drawn upon in order to characterize the differences between modernist and postmodernist renderings of the “problem” of nihilism.

Keywords:   Camus, Albert, Lyotard, Jean-Francois, Modernism, Nietzsche, Friedrich, Nihilism, Postmodernism, Rollerball

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