Soiveillance: Self-Consciousness and the Social Network in Hideaki Anno’s Love & Pop

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Jeeshan Gazi http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7178-8112

Abstract

This article analyses the surveillance aesthetic of Hideaki Anno’s 1998 film Love & Pop. It is proposed that the film communicates the concept of “soiveillance”—a watching (veillance) that is of one’s self (soi). What underpins soiveillance is the paranoia associated with social surveillance (Marwick 2012), specifically the self-consciousness involved in the image sharing that constructs the virtual self of the social media user (Willett 2009). With its theme of enjo kosai—or “paid-dates” between adult males and female teenagers—Love & Pop’s communication of soiveillance further illuminates the impact of one’s gender status within the social network, and the manner in which real-world patriarchy and misogyny pass into the virtual construction of selves. The methodology used to argue these points rests on a reconfigured take on the term “scopophilia” within the study of visual media. Scopophilia, rethought as a love of vision itself, aligns with Murakami’s (2000) theory of the superflat on three key points: the acknowledgment that emerging technologies have created new image-functions and image-structures that require a broadening of our theoretical vocabulary; an atemporal approach to the reading of images, such that a late-nineties film like Anno’s can provide important insights into 21st century concerns; and a recognition of intermedial convergence, which allows us to read the activity of online video sharing as a form of narrative equivalent to the sequencing of shots within a cinematic montage.

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Author Biography

Jeeshan Gazi, Independent scholar.

I received my Ph.D. in Film studies from the University of Essex for an interdisciplinary work that interfaced film studies, literature, and philosophy in order to conceive of a metaphysics of film. I have articles published in journals such as SubStance, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and Film Criticism.

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