Star Trek Into Darkness
Reviewed by John David Ebert
Star Trek Into Darkness is a perfect specimen of what I have termed “post-classic cinema,” which refers to the characteristic nature of the cinema of the past decade or so, which is a type of cinema with a completely different ontological status from that of the Classic period of the 1970s and 80s. Post-classic cinema eschews all forms of originality, and proceeds by means of Cloning, Grafting, Folding and Hybridizing all previous forms of cinema. Star Trek Into Darkness essentially “folds” Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan into the inside of its narrative topology (in the same way in which Derrida said that he could have “folded” his book Of Grammatology inside Writing and Difference), and then, using that as its basic narrative skeleton, proceeds to Graft and Sew onto its anatomy various scenes and motifs from previous films. The helicopter assassination scene from Godfather Part III, for instance, is “cut” from that film and then “grafted” onto the new Star Trek narrative in a sequence in which the film’s primary antagonist, Khan, attempts to assassinate all the heads of the Federation who are present at a single meeting. The look of the futuristic San Francisco, likewise, has been cut and grafted from the city of Coruscant in The Phantom Menace. (For some reason, these films never take sea level rise into account: by the 23rd century, most of San Francisco is going to be under water).