Lana and Lilly Wachowski (Contemporary Film Directors)

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9780252083839: Lana and Lilly Wachowski (Contemporary Film Directors)
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Lana and Lilly Wachowski have redefined the technically and topically possible while joyfully defying audience expectations. Visionary films like The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas have made them the world's most influential transgender media producers, and their coming out retroactively put trans* aesthetics at the very center of popular American culture. Cel M. Keegan views the Wachowskis films as an approach to trans* experience that maps a transgender journey and the promise we might learn "to sense beyond the limits of the given world." Keegan reveals how the filmmakers take up the relationship between identity and coding (be it computers or genes), inheritance and belonging, and how transgender becoming connects to a utopian vision of a post-racial order. Along the way, he theorizes a trans* aesthetic that explores the plasticity of cinema to create new social worlds, new temporalities, and new sensory inputs and outputs. Film comes to disrupt, rearrange, and evolve the cinematic exchange with the senses in the same manner that trans* disrupts, rearranges, and evolves discrete genders and sexes.

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"This captivating book does more than argue persuasively for the centrality of the Wachowskis oeuvre in the recent history of cinema: it demonstrates how their embodied transgender experience is a central component of their aesthetic vision, and how transgender experience has become paradigmatic of visual semiotic practices in the increasingly ubiquitous digital media environment. Keegan offers lucid close readings of the entire Wachowski filmography, while also mapping generative points of overlap and intersection between cinema studies and trans studies. It makes a significant contribution to both fields."--Susan Stryker, founding coeditor, Transgender Studies Quarterly

From the Author:

Cel M. Keegan is an assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies and liberal studies at Grand Valley State University.

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