Postmodern Allegory: The Global Economy and New Technologies

Gina Marchetti

in Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Infernal Affairs - The Trilogy

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098015
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206601 | DOI:
Postmodern Allegory: The Global Economy and New Technologies

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All the indicators of modern “progress” in Infernal Affairs point in a downward direction. Liberation from colonialism, the promise of modern technology, and the potential pleasures of global consumer capitalism fall from the heights as well. Postmodern texts tend to favor allegory. Infernal Affairs also slips among allegorical associations with religion, morality, nation, as well as with a more general condition of postmodern life. It envisions the movement of the global economy from processed raw materials driving imperialism (e.g. opium) to manufactured goods (e.g. electronics like stereos) at the base of postwar neocolonialism to the postmodern “information society” in which communication becomes commodified, and the economy moves from a base in production (of material things) to one based on reproduction (replication of images and information). In many ways, it provides a portrait of the new economy through its depiction of new technologies in action in the marketplace of information.

Keywords: Infernal Affairs; postmodern allegory; global economy; modern technology; global consumer capitalism; colonialism; information society

Chapter.  5900 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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