MALAKI HARROD ponders ‘Oblivion’ and absence and Lacan
I am not the first to notice that there has been a worrying number of “where did everybody go?” films recently (look only to Will Smith vehicle After Earth coming down the pipe in a little while). Wandering about wondering where the all the chaps have gone is a lot of fun. It’s a variation on the invisible man trope. What do you do? Do you steal cars and go hunting in New York (as in I Am Legend)? Do you wander about trying to work out what happened (28 Days Later)? Or, as here, do you patrol the planet for mysterious “scavs”, and pretend to play baseball in destroyed stadia (Oblivion) and wander about the astonishingly well preserved New York Public Library (both Logan’s Run and Oblivion). Slavoj Zizek, talking about Alan Weisman’s bizarre book The World Without Us notes “this is the fundamental subjective position of fantasy: to be reduced to the gaze which observes the world in the condition of the subject’s non-existence – like the fantasy of witnessing the act of one’s own conception”.