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Drift Space

It makes a certain sense that reviews critical of Pacific Rim are disappointed with its politics. The global disaster films of the last decade have primed us to judge them by their treatment of themes of globalization – and Pacific Rim’s is decidedly oblique. The contemporaneous transnational ‘mosaic film’, as Patricia Pisters has called it, invites a similar response. Though the latter genre is less spectacular and more narratively complex than the former, both promote a conception of the world as a single, claustrophobic, interconnected space; because ‘everything is connected’ – culturally and politically no less than environmentally and spatially – the fates of the ‘structurally unequal’ are rendered equally precarious. Local events have immediate global repercussions, the mass media mediates, space and time feel dramatically tight and measured – by flight paths and time zones, longitudes and elevations. Pacific Rim is not this kind of film, however – though it is careful to make the gestures necessary to thwart and mock these expectations. Read more