International Council for Education, Research and Training

The Unorthodox Jukebox of the Picaresque Young Girl Phenomenon: An amelioration of subsumable genres

Kaushik, Mayank Dutt 

Postgraduate Research Scholar, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University


We live in a dodecahedron-structured cybernetic enmeshment of technology running through an extension of media convergence. In this context, the psychic fragmentation of a postmodern aesthetic is radically splintered and spreadeagled. The reflexivity praxis, embedded in a multisensory milieu navigating strange peregrinations (from modernity to postmodernity to post-post modernity), is tearing apart the current fabric, particularly through cinematic endeavors. Therefore, cinema hyphenates the piquant postmodernist aesthetics by orchestrating fragmentation, hyperkinetic synergy, anachronistic mode, pastiche, meta narratives, beats of simulacrum, and the dementia praecox of mutagenicity, to name a few. Films like Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (2022), directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, encapsulate the current vertiginous reality through a metaverse of careening camera movement, frenetic editing, and the pulverization of the fractured self. A new neologism called “transgenre” gets illustrated in the film, wherein multiple genre textures (science fiction, comic book aesthetic, melodrama, comedy, action, and a LGBTQ troupe) are indicated through singular sequences or even images in the film. This film clearly obfuscates the clarity of genre iconicity and exhibits a continuum of energy (flowing), but an interesting embodiment of the young girl concept through the character of Jobu Tupaki provides us with a structure in which postmodernism, transgenre, and the young girl get encapsulated. The nihilistic and sassy daughter of Evelyn Wang has been fractured across realities of the metaverse, which renders her a powerful omniversal being bent on causing chaos and destruction. I shall attempt to outline the major configurations and reconceptualization’s of several cinematic genres while foregrounding the plane of reality in which postmodernist cinema transforms into a trans genre, or rather undergoes a metamorphosis into a trans genre. Additionally, it explores the phenomenon of a young girl functioning as a sublime and spectral obsequiousness amalgamated into the infrastructure of postmodernism, resulting in the atomization of trans-genres showcasing everything, everywhere, all at once. Furthermore, the confluence of these genre aesthetics prepares a bouillabaisse that embodies several configurations of young girls or the becoming of young girls (by all genders and ages) through an apocalyptic dread, permeable brain leaks, and a genre mix.

Keywords: cybernetic enmeshment, postmodern aesthetics, fragmentation, trans genre, young girl embodiment, genre mix.  

Impact Statement

This research paper provides a comprehensive exploration of contemporary cinema’s dynamic and transformative landscape, situated within the complex interplay of technology, media convergence, and postmodern aesthetics. It navigates the dodecahedron-structured cybernetic enmeshment, delving into the plasticity of embodied perceptual reality in our post-post-modern world. By maneuvering through diverse genre fetishes, the paper unveils the emergence of a visceral and peripheralized concept termed “transgenre,” unraveling the intricacies of genre-blurring in various contemporary films as the digital medium expands and dematerializes.

Central to the study is the figure of the young girl, embodying a sublime and spectral essence within the postmodern infrastructure, and reflecting the atomization of trans-genres. Employing Deleuze and Guattari’s blocs of affect and a meticulous analysis of film images, the paper explores the metamorphosis of postmodernist cinema into “transgenre” and presents configurations of Tiqqun’s Young Girl phenomenon, along with its cartographic mapping of the cinematic.

The research makes significant contributions to the film cognoscenti, serving as a panjandrum resource for scholars, filmmakers, and enthusiasts eager to understand the ever-evolving relationship between aesthetics, technology, and cultural shifts in digital cinema.

Author Profile

I am a contemporary theatre playwright and director formally trained in Commedia dell’arte, with an expansive portfolio of staged plays for esteemed institutions such as the Cultural Embassy of Spain in New Delhi, the India Habitat Centre, NCPA Mumbai, Shri Ram Centre and Prithvi Theatre. Currently, I am engaged in postgraduate research within the esteemed School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The seamless synthesis of my academic pursuits and practical experience in collaborative spaces, advertising communications, academic publishing, theatre, and broadcast media has honed my ability to effectively integrate theory into practice. My scholarly endeavors have resulted in numerous internationally recognized publications peer-reviewed by the University Grants Commission (UGC). My research interests encompass an interdisciplinary exploration of cinema studies and performance studies, intertwined with a profound engagement with Commedia dell’arte and the contemporary politicization of aesthetics. Post-cinematic bodies, Media at the end of the world, animism and performative realist cinema are a few of the frameworks that I am currently exploring. 


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