“The cinema has always been the subject of everyday conversations and that reinforces its role as a form of ongoing, informal education” - Alain Badiou
The cinema is for Badiou one that is interested in everybody, one that welcomes regular words as much as unpretentious bits of knowledge. In the event that the reality of the matter is that, as Badiou puts it, ‘philosophy doesn’t have to produce the thinking of the work of art, because art thinks by itself’ , then what is the place of the philosopher in this school for everybody? Is it accurate to say that he is an master or a follower? Does he address or tune in? What space does the talk of reasoning case for itself after entering the school?
Remarking on André Bazin, Badiou figures a vague answer by asserting that there are great and awful explanations behind reasoning's current enthusiasm for film. While both reasons propose to the possibility of the philosopher as teacher,, they don't discount the likelihood of a philosophical apprenticeship through film. The terrible reason focuses to theory's requirement for intercession. Cinema is a piece of a common affair and in this manner offers itself unequivocally as a site of arrangement. At the end of the day, film helps by deciphering the ideas logicians make and work with. Film is consequently instrumental to reasoning. The great one communicates then again, a specific need at the heart of cinema. Rationality intercedes correctly on the grounds that silver screen is presently re-characterizing its own space; film does not have its own inquiries (123). As it were, the thinker either utilizes silver screen as a site for outlines or creates the reasoning that film can't do. In both cases the logician coaches silver screen as to its own particular potential outcomes, as though movies were unknowingly giving responses to inquiries they don't get it.
In the essay ‘Can a film be spoken about?’ Badiou depicts his talk as aphoristic (restricted to the undefined judgment of ordinary discussions, additionally from the diacritical one of the film analyst) which intends to talk about a film qua film, with a specific end goal to sort out one's talk around “cinema’s subtractive (or defective) relation to one or several among the other arts”. In this entry the connection amongst cinema and philosophy appears to experience a reversal: so as to talk about a film, one must comprehend it qua film, one must give the peculiarity of a film a chance to uncover itself, through takes and cuts, with a specific end goal to“maintain the movement of defection, rather than the plenitude of its support”. It is through the mindful examination of silver screen's takes and slices that film's deficient connection to painting, music and theater is uncovered. In this manner from the “discourse of the master” we have moved to the talk of the understudy. The savant's place in this school for everybody appears to be fairly questionable, a development between the instructor's work area and the understudy's seat. This accumulation is an enlightening case of how this development educates the continuous experience amongst cinema and philosophy.
With a specific end goal to comprehend this experience one should along these lines be mindful from one perspective to the course of a group of stars and on the other to a progression of dreams. In the section ‘Cinema as Philosophical Experimentation’, Badiou portrays film as having an advantaged relationship to reasoning. However this relationship experiences from the onset a procedure of duplication and produces two inquiries and two methodologies: “how does philosophy regard cinema?” and “how does cinema transform philosophy?” .
One ought to dependably remember that the scholar poses the question ‘how to regard cinema’ from a particular reasonable star grouping, a profoundly explained outline. This minute – which could be said to identify with Badiou's ‘bad reason’ – can never be totally stifled in light of the fact that the philosophical direction unavoidably demands (a) philosophical personality communicated from inside logic through philosophical vocabulary. At the end of the day, the star grouping must be unmistakably characterized each time rationality goes through silver screen, regardless of whether this heavenly body is confirmed, conceded or tested by film. The heavenly body delimits the parameters of the experience.
In Badiou’s constellation cinema is presented as a ‘defective art’. Cinema therefore can be categorized as one of the four conditions (art, science, love, politics) that Badiou comprehends as creating truths. The philosophical errand – constantly organized around the class of truth – is along these lines that of conveying a development between the movement of contentions and the presentation of points of confinement. This development then seizes truths, logical, political, imaginative and loving ones. . Philosophy, as the realization of this development is in this way, the site of thought at which (non philosophical) truths seize us and are seized as such” and can just arrange an "objectless subject, a subject open just to the truths that travel in its seizing and by which it is seized". As art cinema is accordingly on the double logic's condition and offense, since, as Badiou states, “philosophy is always gnawed at, wounded, indented by the evental and singular character of its conditions”. The misty brightness of art crosses philosophy and seizes it, but art does not become an object for philosophy. With the term inaesthetics Badiou illuminated exactly this thought: the philosopher does not transform art into a question for logic, but rather portrays the intraphilosophical impacts of artist as “the thinking of the thought that it itself is”.
It is from inside the heavenly body externally laid out here then that Badiou can comment that the " relationship between philosophy and cinema is not one of knowledge, but one of transformation”. It stays to be perceived how, from inside Badiou's constellation, cinema transforms philosophy. A to begin with, hurried answer, can be endeavored: : cinema never transforms philosophy, however constantly just a philosophical constellation; the change practiced by film on reasoning must be seen from inside a particular philosophical signal, that is from inside the specificity of a heavenly body. This is for two reasons: it is constantly through the intervention of a specific constellation (or genre, or sequence, or concept) that the experience between the two happens. The constellation is not really an appropriate name, it could rather be characterized as a solitary setup of ideas and their introduction or better as the intervention between these two minutes. This course of action delivers a peculiarity that gives importance on to the experience by deciding the whys and hows of a philosophical look on film. Cinema can therefore transform the singular constellation, the likelihood of a particular method of considering. To state, for example, that film conveys philosophy to an end, would intend to reduce once again cinema to philosophy, as though cinema could be totally consumed by philosopohy; it implies besides that from one perspective cinema satisfies its assignment by conveying philosophy to one more end, while philosophy can then start once more, by and by. The second reason is maybe all the more illuminating: to say that cinema as such transforms philosophy as such, would dependably lessen the dialog to the vitality of both, thus either would be changed into an outright that drops another supreme and its own peculiarity. In other words this would mean from one perspective to request that of cinema distinguish what is fundamental about philosophy and after that change this pith, and then again to request that philosophy recognize what is basic about film and submit itself to the change this substance can create. The question subsequently is to be placed in these terms: what can be opened by and in cinema from inside a solitary star grouping that difficulties this specific game plan? What components and works of cinema, as distinguished by a particular constellation, create onthis constellation a muddling, a deafness, a blind side, the minute where eventually very constellation that has delivered this very understanding can't be straightforwardly watched any longer.
Badiou gives a case by saying that film produces new blends: “if we are able to create philosophical concepts from cinema it is by changing the old philosophical syntheses by bringing them into contact with the new cinematic synthesis” For this situation cinema changes philosophy by caving in the resistance between developed time and unadulterated span, amongst progression and brokenness.Cinema in this manner delivers new worldly combinations. It is along these lines as a philosophical circumstance that cinemacan change philosophy, by grabbing the blends logic has made and acknowledged.
Badiou then advances a second argument. Cinema transforms philosophy since it opens it to a difficulty, it shows this inconceivability by exhibiting it. The inconceivability identifies with the authority of sensible limitlessness. Cinema draws in a battle with the endless and fruitful movies prevail with regards to filtering the unending, by creating effortlessness out of everything there is. Out of this vastness Cinema develops with something new, something which may seize philosophy in a way that philosophy can't yet perceive, something which is both a condition and an offense. As Badiou expresses “while philosophy involves inventing new synthesis, I think that it hasn’t completely understood cinema yet”. Maybe here dwells the reasoning of cinema: an imperviousness to be seen, hence a tutoring and a future; atruth for everybody that philosophy can't yet educate. At any rate this is the thing that Badiou appears to let us know.
From the 'Aliens' space marine to the polygamist patriarch of 'Big Love'
Regardless of whether you knew him as the "Game over, man!" snort from Aliens, the perverted more seasoned sibling of Weird Science, the polygamist patriarch on HBO's Big Love or any of his many convincing cameos or grasp supporting parts, Bill Paxton was dependably a solid nearness – a Texas-conceived utility player who could go from unpleasant to thoughtful, giggling to ethically stable in seconds level. The news of the 61-year-old on-screen character's passing toward the beginning of today filled online networking encourages with fans citing lines and namedropping their own best Paxton minutes (who knew there were such a large number of Hatfields and McCoys advocates out there?); to be honest, coming down a rundown of his most basic motion picture and TV parts to a unimportant 10 is harder than you'd might suspect. We've singled out these past huge turns, nonetheless, as our top picks of the gone-much too early star.
For an era of watchers raised on John Hughes' high schooler comedies, Paxton will dependably be Chet – the group cut–sporting, shotgun-toting more established sibling from hellfire. (The way that his impermanent residency as a discharge coverdd Jabba the Hut-like animal – a definitive comeuppance when you cross Kelly LeBrock, people – appears to be less odious than the kin in his human shape says a considerable measure in regards to this character.) The performing artist as of late told WTF podcast have Marc Maron that a large number of Chet's best lines were taken from Paxton's own particular past misfortunes, including his scandalous offer to cook our saints "a nice, greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray."
Paxton made such an impression as a bombastic marine in James Cameron's touchy Alien continuation that decades later, at whatever point fans discuss that motion picture, the primary thing they quote is quite often his whiny announcement: "Game over, man! Game over!" Part entertainment and part plot-driver, his Private Hudson exemplified the blend of arrogance and frenzy of a savage military compel bulling its way into an unsafe circumstance. (Any likeness to certifiable parallels amid the Reagan Era were, normally, totally incidental.) Along with Weird Science, it's one the most punctual signs that the performing artist was more than willing to put on a show of being an alpha-male jokester if the part requested it. It's likewise an extraordinary Exhibit A for what a precious troupe MVP he was.
Much sooner than she turned into the main female to win the Best Director Oscar, The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow gave activity awfulness fans one of the half breed class' best films – and talented Paxton with one of his most magnificently unhinged parts. As a major aspect of a family of vampires wandering the Southwest looking for casualties, he plays the film's inhabitant batshit bloodsucker, the kind of animal of the night who likes to play with his sustenance before tearing out its jugular. No one alive or undead can tear separated a redneck bar ("I hate it when they ain't shaved") with more hero panache, or pronounce that the Type O he's recently gulped up is "finger-licki' great" with more view biting fervor. Next drink's on us, Bill.
Despite the fact that he exceeded expectations in an assortment of parts all through his profession, Paxton was getting it done at whatever point he was given a role as a not-as-basic as-he-appears to be little towner. In executive Carl Franklin's relaxed, southern-singed wrongdoing picture (co-composed by Tom Epperson an as yet youngster Billy Bob Thornton), the star put a deep turn on the character of an Arkansas police boss who find out about a band of brutal medication traffickers than the LAPD analysts working on it anticipate. His neighborhood lawman – nicknamed "Hurricane" – resembles a rendition of himself: a man whose aptitudes and astuteness are disparaged in light of his thick complement, expansive grin and amiable attitude.
Paxton flexed his comedic side as a supporting part in this Arnold Schwarzenegger activity flick, playing the world's most obscene utilized auto businessperson – a mustachioed crawl who's been alluring spy sequestered from everything Ahnold's significant other, Jamie Lee Curtis. In one of the motion picture's most life-changing scenes, he happily describes how he's tempted a housewife, ignorant that Schwarzenegger is the "exhausting rascal" she's married to and bragging that she has an "ass like a 10-year-old boy." (Don't even ask him why Corvettes are a two-bit Casanova's vehicle of choice.) Although he has a littler part, it prompts to an essential kicker toward the finish of the film.
While Tom Hanks was showing the ethics of quiet reasonability as genuine NASA space explorer Jim Lovell, Paxton's Fred Haise was remaining in for every other person – particularly, those group of onlookers individuals who'd be significantly more bothered in the event that they were stranded in space on a breaking down module. As grouchy as he is fit, the flight's shrewd architect turns into the human face of a mission gone astray, beefing at his collaborators noticeable all around and on the ground. (And keeping in mind that as yet completing his work, in spite of battling a fever.) He's his own sort of saint, without a moment's delay a helpful person and an ornery cuss.
Without a doubt, this cutting edge fiasco motion picture about runaway tornadoes (and the general population who pursue them) is some primo Hollywood cheddar – however in the event that you required verification that Paxton could pull off a lead part and also his typical MVP supporting parts, look no further. As one portion of a storm–hunting couple gunning for some outrageous common calamities – and whose marriage is its own particular sort of shitstorm – the performing artist gives his scenes with costar Helen Hunt a feeling of battered mankind in the midst of the screeching guitar soundtrack and watch-out-for-that-flying-dairy animals set pieces. Paxton is the establishing power in a motion picture that is about grabbing garbage and throwing it through the air. He makes the sound and anger imply something.
Paxton re-cooperated with his One False Move co-star Billy Bob Thornton for director Sam Raimi's astounding, underrated adjustment of Scott B. Smith's acclaimed thriller novel. In spite of the fact that they were playing Minnesotans rather than Southerners, the on-screen characters drew on their normal center American roots to convey life to the parts of two common laborers siblings who bumble onto a dead body – and a huge number of dollars. Paxton's Hank Mitchell is the more intelligent of the two kin, and the one with the more grounded inner voice, making this another impeccable part for him: a discreetly not too bad man of activity whose weaved forehead and insightful gaze uncover each stress and figuring.
More individuals presumably got Paxton's Titanic turn (he's the contemporary fortune seeker who sets up the stretched out flashback to that critical voyage) in a solitary 1997 end of the week than saw his directorial make a big appearance amid the last's whole showy run. Be that as it may, his execution in this nerve-clanking outside the box thriller, about an adoring father who trusts God has charged him to wind up distinctly an avenging blessed messenger, is much more basic – and a practice in noble religious devotion run amuck. This is not your regular serial executioner, but rather a man who believes he's doing the Lord's work by dispatching miscreants, and who believes he's shielding his kids from Satan's grip each time he swings his hatchet. Given the film's multifaceted emotional, you wished he worked behind the camera more than he. Given the savagery with which he played this preposterous character, you wish Paxton's patriarchal insane person didn't frequent your fantasies to such an extent.
One of Paxton's most perplexing parts, the patriarchal polygamist in HBO's distinction show discovered him straddling the holy and the debase – a banned Mormon endeavoring to steerage a business and keep running for open office while keeping his three spouses and dim past a mystery. The on-screen character assumed the part with incapacitating sympathy more than five seasons; he could both pitch you on his dedication to his confidence (and his supersized family) and make you feel frustrated about him as the arrangement heaved toward its heartrending finale.
Bunuel's masterpiece "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" generally is considered a surrealist film - however, it seems that compared to the "Andalusian Dog", on which, as already known Buñuel worked with Dali, "The Discreet Charm" slightly deviates from the "typical "surrealistic forms (although surrealism difficult to attribute any typical and strictly defined form), or from what mainly distinguishes Surrealism. Andre Breton's "Surrealist Manifesto" Surrealism defined, among other things, as a free psychic automatism which aims to express the actual functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of any control of reason, beyond all aesthetic and moral attitudes. " Two important factors are "the omnipotence of dream" and "disinterested play of thought." Although at first glance seems to be "discreet charm" fits in Breton's definition because of the element of dream and absurd situations that appear to be the product of anything else apart from the "disinterested play of thought," can not but let us not make that movie though something more than playing with surrealist sense.
In the foreground of the film are absurd situation that a group of wealthy bourgeois persistently interfere in order to have dinner, starting from the first scenes of the film. For these situations there is simply no adequate explanation - each of the following is more absurd than the last, and no matter how hard you try to find an explanation or meaning in each particular situation, it seems that there is not. They all look like raids, penetrating into finely decorated social groups bourgeois world - and it's dinner as a special form of the ceremony in the high society of the highest expression of this regulation, this well-structured order. They were the two main features of absurd situations - their individual unsubstantiality or inability to find their meaning in themselves, and in a well-decorated intrusiveness order - what an absurd situation constituted as Lacanian Real, as opposed to the Imaginary and the Symbolic, where all three elements of the structure of reality from the perspective of Lacanian psychoanalysis. The text will try to constitutes this situation as real and that they, therefore, to find a place in the "reality" of the film. In addition, the film was a critical and ideological character dinners, taking into account the role of dinners in the life of the privileged class as a moment in which not only displays the grandeur of their privilege, but comes to manifestations of social identity that members of this class of share. However, under that identity, under this social mask, persona in the classical sense, there is another identity that is revealed only when their holders find themselves in absurd situations.
Finally, the theme of dreams is unavoidable here, as well as their role in the life of this group of the bourgeoisie.
So absurd situations such incursions Real, ideological character dinners and meaning of dreams are the three main points.
"What is this supposed to mean?"
The question that Francois Teven sets several times during the film, and the absurd situations - "What is that supposed to mean?" Or more precisely "what is the meaning of this?" - But highlights the city absurd situations in the film. The issue was first raised when a group of bourgeois, led Tevenoom, arrives at the home of Sénéchal at a dinner, but it turns out that the dinner arranged for the next day, although the ambassador Acosta convinced that the call was for tonight - here comes first absurdity, the first conflict between what is Acosta heard and what "is". Already we see that bourgeois act a little confused - they wonder why that is not set, but it has been eight; not sure whether to completely abandon the deal or to go to another place etc.. The unusual situation in which they find themselves violates their established relationships and behaviors, plans and arrangements, the only hint of the basic characteristics of absurd situations. Then they all head to the restaurant, but found that the restaurant owner had died and that his body inside the coffin, is located in the main room restaurant, but, despite that, the restaurant staff is willing to serve them, and the maitre their promises and excellent dinner , regardless of what is dead in the same room, although hidden from the eyes of the bourgeoisie screen. And here are the modes of conduct interfere unexpected inconveniences.
The question is, why this situation is called absurd, inexplicable? In the case of a dead man in a restaurant, dotted with questions: where did it here, why funeral service did not come by his body, why the restaurant is open despite the unfortunate event? This question has no answer because the question itself is absurd, or at least no meaningful response. If we try to find him, it will be impossible and we will wrist in unsolvable contradictions. Similarly with subsequent situations - for example, the shortage of tea, coffee and milk in the cafe or by entering the military battalion in the house of Sénéchal, moment after dinner finally started or else the situation in which Teven finds his wife with Acosta. And there is a lower common questions that point to the absurdity and the inherent inability to sense and, so to speak, the logical answer: how is it that no tea, coffee and milk? How to guests whether all this go away? Or, what kind of military maneuvers taking place in the middle of France? What is the custom to colonel with the whole troop come over for dinner? Or: how to Teven so coolly and calmly react to the fact that his wife was with Acosta and goes to the waiting at the car? How so easily accept the excuse that if what he wants to show her "sursicks", although it does not exist?
Take this inherent impossibility of meaningful, logical answer? What is essentially an attempt to respond to this question, attempts to find meaning in these intrusions? This question is, in contrast, can be answered, but to do that, is going to report on a three-part structure of reality from Lacanian perspective - the division of the imaginary, symbolic and real terms. This division is best illustrated by the example of any board game: the symbolic element of the structure of reality that demands to be rules, but the rules in general, not specific rules x or y (for that level will ensure symbolic, as will be discussed later). In this sense, the symbolic determines form, giving a form that must form the rules, whatever those rules - symbolic meets form content, specific rules x or y - that is, in the case of social games, the symbolic arrangement requires rules. Imaginary here are the names of figures and their physical form, but not only that - if we symbolically designated as an abstract form of rules, Imaginary for the content in all its forms. It is easy to imagine a game where there is regulation of the rules, but all the facilities replaced in relation to the previous content. Finally, the real is contingent here (on this I'll be back a little later) - Intelligence toy or some event that could disrupt the game or that is completely interrupted, therefore, something that does not belong to the symbolic order, but it is not imaginary.
More abstract terms, the symbolic order of the reality which is symbolized, in which "everything has its place" in order and nothing he does not avoid, and where things through the mechanisms of the signifier and the signified caught in symbole network operators which govern your reality. Symbolic is primarily, but not only, linguistic categories, a question of language. The symbolic order consists of rules, and those who are aware of and which have not, and that we have to follow (just like the rules in board games) that we could not communicate with others, and that through this communication constitute as subjects (again, as as the figures in the social games constituted through rules). It is obvious that communication and communication rules represent something that is like a second nature for all of us, something without which we can not - in other words, and we are caught in the symbolic network, as well as all the other things that we accommodate. Ranking the "big Other" - it seems like we are, because we have to obey the rules in order to be recognized as entities subordinate to an agent that controls our actions. In the sense in which we determined that, we - the symbolic order as a great companion, which can be embodied, eg., In a God who sees everything and control everything.
What is the difference between the symbolic and the symbolic, given that these two terms sound similar? Here is an interesting phenomenon first bishop in the film, which comes with Senshel's to become their gardener. Apart from the possible interpretation of subordination of the Church's most powerful, highest class, where it serves only to hoe the garden and take care of the lawn prosperous capitalist property, or capitalist order, not mired in the weeds and thorns, and the "immorality and sin," Bishop Bishop by symbolization, or symbolization, which is different from the symbolic order that we talked about earlier. While symbolic order includes symbols that are associated only with other symbols (requires an abstract form), symbolization of which we are talking, which is symbolic, in connection with the matters. Both bishops constituted his church robes and a cross around his neck - the time in which it appears in gardening overalls, Mr. Senechal roughly ejected from the house, but when he returns to his "law suit", recognizing him as a priest, although it comes a man of the same physical appearance. In this sense, one could say that the priest is not a priest because he has some essential traits that define him as a priest, but because it is so recognized by other entities. Hypothetically, if all operators stopped priestly robes recognized as belonging to the ranks of the Church, the priest is no longer a priest.
In the film clearly "see" all three elements of the structure of reality - Symbolic are the rules by which the bourgeois behavior, their fine manners and etiquette, knowledge of food and drink and the ways in which they are most delicious, "most appropriate" consume, unlike simple consumption (what we see at Akostinog chauffeur); The symbol is also a place occupied in society - Acosta's ambassador, Sénéchal women's - free - Sénéchal women, Teven and Senechal are wealthy businessmen and so on. When not acting according to prescribed rules and not occupied and social functions, would not be what they are. On the other hand, their names, history, physical appearance or tone of voice that are imaginary, and we could imagine that they look completely different and have different names, but to again be a group of the bourgeoisie which has been trying to dinner but she does not succeed. However, Imaginary is not accidental, not arbitrarily, but, structurally speaking, determined Symbolic.
What is the role of the Real in all this? Similar to absurd situations in the film is realistic, so to say, inexplicably, elusive, something that escapes symbolization and placement in the symbolic order - as absurd situation can not explain and elude placement in the "sense", as when Teven asks " what is the meaning of this? "but does not get the answer - but what is traumatic remainder, a surplus that could be symbolized. Lacan calls it Things, with a capital "T", but not in the sense in which it is Kantian thing-in-itself, transcendental, inaccessible to reason, devoid of attributes, non-produced, and on the other side of reality available to us. Realistically not something external symbolic order which is substantial and there is a positive, a tangible thing, but is in the middle of the order - what is his lack, it is also redundant in the sense that eludes symbolization, and lack of, in the sense that it is the result of incoherence , imperfections and shortcomings of the order itself. So real terms at the same time and produces or is produced - not only disturbs the symbolic order of the entries mentioned inconsistencies, irregularities and conflicts in it, but is the product of precisely these irregularities and conflicts, or the inability of symbolization. On this track, Realistically it could be qualified as "ekstimate" - external intimate - in the sense that the outside but it is also there, in a way, either here or there, it just adds explainable and the fleeting nature of the Real. This directly follows from a better perspective on the absurd situations. Although the situation is definitely absurd and have no explanation, do not fall from the sky and do not represent a "miracle" - not, each of these situations is produced by irregularities and cracks in the symbolic order: for example, a military troop that decline in house of Senechal (and while the use of marijuana, which only seems absurd thing) is that due to the maneuver being performed (which can not be represented as a gap in the standings after military exercises in the city are not usually part of the order) and also gets produced from incoherence in the symbolic order. At the same time, they distort reality Symbol subjects and also produced a series of consequences where do their decline (ie, where Realistically exercise its decline) - bourgeois again I can not have dinner because of the military or the mysterious disappearance Sénéchal's makes the brain because they think that the issue of police raids, thereby effectively abyssal yourself a chance for lunch. Thus, the ratio of the Real and Symbolic dialectical relationship - is realistic product Symbolic, because the very system deficiency causes the symbolization of the Real, but also causes symbolic because in turn becomes the cause of the failures.
It should be noted another aspect of the absence of the Real - it does not have to happen, does not have to have it in any way other than as a cause of disorder in order. Like the traumatic event that is identified as traumatic only when the recognize as the cause of symptoms, Realistic retroactively recognized as real terms after distortion or repetition (such as repeated failure Dining) which entered into the symbolic order. So in the film, the situation does not define itself - we recognize them as absurd, and Lacanian Real, only the consequences they have.
If we Realistically constituted at the same time as the deficit and as a surplus, it can not be without being reminded of the objet petit a: the same as real terms does not have to exist that would have consequences that would be effective, and objet petit a no, it is the lack, gaps in the symbolic order, a gap in which the symbolization missed. At the same time, it is a surplus, and this surplus jouissance. If we put an equal sign between the real and the absurd, it becomes clear that only the theory that handles concepts such as Real, objet petit and jousissance, the terms of which both are and are not, which are inherent to the seemingly absurd construction can adequately analyze and deal with absurd situations - but not so that it creates a new absurdity, as in the movie, but one gets a different kind of rationality. This is not a positivist rationality, which handles the formulas A = A and not-A = non-A, but dialectical rationality in which opposites pervade, whose elementary particles can not be reduced to mere identity to themselves and whose terms condition each other in seemingly, and only seemingly absurd circle.
Cooking and ideology
Since we founded explained the functioning of symbolic order, it is obvious that evening (taken in a broad sense, as ritual meals) has a very important place in the standings. It is no coincidence that just the bourgeoisie tries to dinner throughout the film - in the life of the upper classes, dinner is never just dinner. There is something about her which gives it special importance. When the bourgeoisie dinner, the food itself is not important - it's an opportunity to talk about many things more lucrative, business, political events, etc. The food here can also be viewed as a fetish - as a material object which itself is not essential and can take different form, but it is important what is '' behind the building, "a kind of" aura "that fetishized object possesses and that is actually what what is important, what interested fetishists - in this case, the bourgeoisie.
Here it is advisable to refer to Levi-Strauss' semiotic triangle of food, or three ways of preparing food, which indicate the relationship between nature and culture: raw food as what it signifies nature, baked like what signifies culture and civilization, and cooked as a mediator between the two opposites. The whole attitude indicates opposition of nature and culture, nature and civilization, and nature as a non-produced and history as produced, in a certain sense. Since the relationship of nature and history of the subject almost every ideology (especially philosophy as the highest form of ideology, to use the words of Marx), we can conclude that every breakfast, every lunch and every evening a matter of ideology, that this rite, neatly placed in a symbolic order, by no means an ordinary, everyday thing. In this regard, when the bourgeoisie sit at the table to dine, then it enjoys one bourgeois meal that was knee-deep in ideology. The question is: where ideology? If you continue to follow Marx and confirm that the ruling ideas of a society in a period of ideas of its ruling class, it is clear that the dinner to his knees in the ruling ideology. Dinner has its own rules, and in this regard is entirely located within the symbolic order. Do not acquire you that impression directly from the film? When our group of bourgeois sits at the table, it selects with taste, very select field in an appropriate manner; When drinking a martini, drink it mouthful by mouthful, as appropriate. As I mentioned, Akostin chauffeur it works in a different way, and there we can see hints of class differences and class conflict that later justify the words of Ms. Senechal - "he is plain, uneducated man." In other words, in order to properly consume food and drink, it is education or treatment and lifestyle reserved only for the privileged.
This dinner has the character of a ritual with clearly stipulated provisions, almost like a ceremony - for this purpose, it is interesting that the restaurant where the dead man's name "La sabretache", a word denotes a piece of uniform cavalry officer from Napoleon's time, as we can not recall nothing else except the ceremonially, solemnity. We can imagine that the bourgeois meet regularly in an attempt to have dinner and it becomes a kind of tradition, a tradition appears where there is a lack of institutions, the absence of legal regulation. Rituals are an attempt to compensate for the imperfections of this - as in the former Soviet bloc countries, and even here, where after the collapse of the institutions for the sake of the free flow of capital refreshed rituals - religious, secular, personal, etc. Not a movie, not far from that association - corruption Ambassador Acosta and his accomplices in the drug smuggling implies the absence of regulation, as well as military exercises in the middle of town, with the army that uninvited intrusion into the house, pushing free smoking marijuana. To this end, the bourgeoisie are trying to provide our rituals, here specifically ritual dinners, replacing the absence of institutions and defend their orderly lives from the onslaught of deregulation.
As rituals and ideology are concerned, it is interesting to craft that Bunuel says in his film Phantom of Liberty, where guests sit at a table on the toilet seat, water pleasant, friendly conversation, and when they want to eat, ask the host for ''one room". In the same way, and contrary to the food industry is very ideological, which confirms that the symbolic order governs all that is like '' second nature '' entities, and to entities constituted within the system and through the order.
Turning now to fetishism dinner. Fetish rule used to be the lack of compensation, something that is not there - it is a constant search for the true object of desire for objects that will never be able to be sustained. This begs the question is not: if a fetish used to cover a shortage, then he conceals the lack of - what?
When played incursions in Real, when coming to the fore the cracks and incoherence in the symbolic order, and comes to cracks and incoherence in the Symbol in relation to the bourgeoisie - a fine, exemplary subjects of civil society bourgeois become confused, rejected their manners and behave differently than before. Maybe just this hides discreet charm of the bourgeoisie - must charm us with its ability to be indiscreet and inappropriate to pull out of every uncomfortable situation that would then regained her composure and continued business as usual - a discreet and appropriate. And just when we think, in the scene where the house fall into armed terrorists, that the bourgeoisie is over and that this time will not be able to avoid a dangerous encounter with the Real, it turns out that it was Akost's dream, after which everything returns to normal.
Here we try to apply the concept of persona in the ancient sense. In ancient times, the term described the social role that the individual took on themselves; Eventually the term began to mean personality, personality, uniqueness and singularity of each of us, that is. person, how to read a literal translation. From the identification of social roles, the term began to mean a particular kind of individuality that came to the fore during the rise of the bourgeoisie of the city's ruling class. However, if we revive the notion of persona in the classic sense, we can say that during the intrusion of the Real in the symbolic order, the bourgeoisie is one of the mask of social roles and below it to see their "true essence" - hypocrisy, selfishness, greed (for example, when trying to Acosta grab a piece of meat off the table during the incursion of armed men) and so on. However, this is a false trail, because under the mask reveals positive existence, it is revealed that there is something which is in direct contradiction with the position that the bourgeois are trying to have dinner because dinner fetish that hides lack, because here reveals that there is no shortage.
What's this about? As bourgeois as individuals are concerned, their change of behavior does not reveal anything to the incoherence in the symbolic order. However, a shortage remains. Fetish serves to mask the lack of - fetish is always a substitute for the original object of desire that is lost and that can not be undone, but despite this, the desire is not slowing down, and the search for the object of desire continues, as stated above. Therefore, bourgeois and persistently trying to have dinner, because they stimulate the desire for (unreachable) object of desire. However, dinner was impossible - the very cracks in the symbolic order creating the Real incursions and therefore, hypothetically, if the bourgeois attempt to dinner a hundred times, it'll be a hundred absurd situations. This can only mean one thing - that the lack of a fetish conceals a lack in the symbolic order, the lack of inherent order and that we fetish try to "forget" that the symbolic lack flawed. This dinner becomes a vicious circle - it is impossible, but it does not prevent the bourgeoisie to try to have dinner. In other words, a fetish is T or signifier missing in the Other, the signifier is not in the symbolic order, ie. the Huge Other. He is also a signifier of objet petit a, the lack, gaps in the symbolic order. It is this lack of what products Real, it produces absurd; at the same time, real production shortfall, absurd produces its own inability to "de-absurdisation'' - more precisely, absurdity itself prevents the elimination of over symbolic order. The absurdity is necessary - the bourgeoisie can not be without it. In this way, it seems that the persistence with which the bourgeoisie try to have dinner in conjunction with its charming art of escape from every unpleasant situations - if the absurd is necessary, then it is necessary and this indiscreet charm of the draw from the situation; paradoxically, that would occur each subsequent absurdity, it is necessary that the bourgeoisie be able to return to the old, and they are able to do thanks to the indestructible Real that again and again penetrates the symbolic order.
Symbolism of dreams
Finally, it should take up the theme of dreams prevailing in, tentatively speaking, the second part of the film. The theme of dreams is not rare in surrealism and Buñuel her here dedicated due attention. Although it seems that dreams are meaningless as absurd situation, if there then the current line of thinking, we will see that the film has here a lot to tell us.
The most interesting is the dream of Mr. Sénéchal, which is really a "dream within a dream" who dreaming Teven. The first thing we can observe is that Sénéchal's dream expresses fear of the bourgeoisie to be uncovered - even the food, the fetish, false because the butler on the floor turns out artificial chicken - in his final intentions and scams perpetrated over their "friends". When you raise a theater curtain and terminate them (again) in the evening, the most impressive moment is that when whisper tells them text to excuses. Prompter just plays the role of the big Other, symbolic order, which subjects what to say and what to do; On the other hand, the audience at the same time plays the role of the big Other - it is like a criteria before which we have to prove or experience the shame. Is not Sénéchal reaction - sweating, and confusion or fear of power at a deeper level - exactly what would happen to us tomorrow if we suddenly forgotten the language we speak and were disabled to communicate with others within the system? When individual bourgeois begin to leave and refuse to fulfill the assigned role, the public disapproves and rejects them - that are possible given a role in the symbolic order, we would have been rejected. If that were to happen, we ceased to be subjects - in other words, we ceased to be human. However, the embodiment of the second points to another feature of symbolic order - his vulnerability. The moment Other stops working through symbols, through words and control words and communication, but takes physical form, reminiscent of the spirit that takes the body - then the spirit bar can attack, if not destroyed. A good example of this is the recent revolution in Egypt - the moment when the government ceased to manage symbols and when she reached for individuals or for weapons and physical force, repression, gave a clear signal that it is in crisis. On the other hand, when the order of the hotel, can serve as a right-wing Jew fetishization (or Arab, black person, etc.) Who pulls all the strings and managed entities, because right-wingers of all backgrounds can not see the structure, they see relationships and connections, but the body they can point a finger. However, with regard to Surrealism and psychoanalysis, wants to talk about what is not allowed to talk, he wants to talk about the reasons due to which someone does not want to talk about the forbidden and that, in the indicated terms, Bunuel's film carries a subversive message, legitimate the right to write off this attempt fetishization. The right-wingers, in the case of forbidden speech, they do not want to talk about it, because it is important to maintain order, not to enter the confusion - in a sense, not create absurd, and we have already said that psychoanalytic theory only can analyze absurd, given that itself handled the seemingly absurd notions.
After Senechal wakes, they goes to the gathering at the Colonel. It is immediately clear that the ambassador Acosta does not fit the environment, to the extent that the provocation Colonel responds by firing a pistol, killing the colonel. Soon after, it is revealed that Teven all dreamed of, even Senechal dream. What does this tell us? First, to Teven care that Acosta violently react and compromise himself, Senechal and the Teven and threaten drug trafficking which involves, what would they ruin everything. On the other hand, we can once again get back to the symbolic order and Real. If the army is understood as a reality, which is in accordance with absurd situations that we saw before the break, as something that is done intrusion in the symbolic order of the bourgeoisie, which is rich in rituals and traditions, we can say that the colonel as the embodiment of the military poses a threat to this order, which is why Acosta ventured the murder. The ratio of the Real and symbolic order remains the same as before - the internal contradictions of bourgeois society, and class antagonisms, themselves born army and militarism in general. Historically, the army was not afraid of coups and rebellions-translated from the language of Marxism to psychoanalysis, the contradictions of bourgeois society are cracks symbolic order that are born army that is Real and, from time to time, perform intrusion in order. On the other hand, the army maintains bourgeois society, and thus its contradictions, so again drawing the vicious circle of the Real and Symbolic.
Source: Filmske radosti | Filmovi koji nas gledaju
Author: Vuk Vukovic
Translated by Dejan
I already am eating from the trashcan all the time. The name of this trashcan is ideology. The material force of ideology makes me not see what I am effectively eating. It’s not only our reality which enslaves us. The tragedy of our predicament when we are within ideology is that when we think that we escape it into our dreams, at that point we are within ideology.
They Live from 1988 is definitely one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood left. It tells the story of John Nada. Nada, of course, in Spanish means nothing. A pure subject, deprived of all substantial content. A homeless worker in L.A. who, drifting around one day enters into an abandoned Church and finds there a strange box full of sunglasses. And when he put one of them on walking along the L.A. Streets he discovers something weird; that these glasses function like critique of ideology glasses. They allow you to see the real message beneath all the propaganda, publicity, posters and so on. You see a large publicity board telling you have a holiday of a lifetime and when you put the glasses on you see just on the white background; a grey inscription.
We live, so we are told, in a post-ideological society. We are interpolated, that is to say, addressed by social authority not as subjects who should do their duty, sacrifice themselves, but subjects of pleasures. ‘Realise your true potential. Be yourself. Lead a satisfying life.’
When you put the glasses on you see dictatorship in democracy. It’s the invisible order, which sustains your apparent freedom. The explanation for the existence of these strange ideology glasses is the stand-up story of the invasion of the body snatchers. Humanity is already under the control of aliens.
" Hey buddy, you gonna pay for that or what? Look Buddy, I don’t want no hassle today; you either pay for it or put it back."
According to our common sense, we think that ideology is something blurring, confusing our straight view. Ideology should be glasses, which distort our view, and the critique of ideology should be the opposite like you take off the glasses so that you can finally see the way things really are. This precisely and here, the pessimism of the film, of They Live, is well justified, this precisely is the ultimate illusion: ideology is not simply imposed on ourselves. Ideology is our spontaneous relation to our social world, how we perceive each meaning and so on and so on. We, in a way, enjoy our ideology.
To step out of ideology, it hurts. It’s a painful experience. You must force yourself to do it. This is rendered in a wonderful way with a further scene in the film where John Nada tried to force his best friend John Armitage to also put the glasses on.
I don’t wanna fight ya.
I don’t wanna fight ya.
It’s the weirdest scene in the film. The fight is eight, nine minutes…
"Put on the glasses."
…It may appear irrational cause why does this guy reject so violently to put the glasses on? It is as if he is well aware that spontaneously he lives in a lie that the glasses will make him see the truth but that this truth can be painful. It can shatter many of your illusions.
This is a paradox we have to accept.
Put the glasses on! Put em on!
The extreme violence of liberation. You must be forced to be free. If you trust simply your spontaneous sense of well being for whatever you will never get free.
THE PERVERT’SGUIDE TO CINEMA PRESENTED BY PHILOSOPHER AND PSYCHOANALYSTS -Slavoj Zizek
The problem for us is not, Are our desires satisfied or not? The problem is, How do we know what we desire? There is nothing spontaneous, nothing natural, about human desires. Our desires are artificial. We have to be taught to desire. Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn’t give you what you desire, it tells you how to desire.
Oh, I do like you, but it just isn’t good enough.
Oh, I forgot. Your mother asked me up for supper.
Okay. Bring some ice cream with you, will you?
What kind do you want,chocolate or vanilla?
What we get in this wonderful clip from Possessed is commentary on the magic art of cinema within a movie. We have an ordinary working-class girl, living in a drab, small provincial town. All of a sudden she finds herself in a situation where reality itself reproduces the magic cinematic experience. She approaches the rail, the train is passing, and it is as if what in reality is just a person standing near a slowly passing train turns into a viewer observing the magic of the screen.
Have a drink?
Oh, don’t go away.
Get in and look out.
We get a very real, ordinary scene onto which the heroine’s inner space, as it were, her fantasy space is projected, so that, although all reality is simply there, the train, the girl,part of reality in her perception and in our viewer’s perceptionis, as it were, elevated to the magic level, becomes the screen of her dreams. This is cinematic art at its purest.
This is your last chance.
After this there is no turning back.
You take the blue pill, the story ends.
You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
But the choice between the blue and the red pill is not really a choice between illusion and reality. Of course, the matrix is a machine for fictions, but these are fictions which already structure our reality. If you take away from our reality the symbolic fictions that regulate it, you lose reality itself.
I want a third pill. So what is the third pill? Definitely not some kind of transcendental pill which enables a fake, fast-food religious experience, but a pill that would enable me to perceive not the reality behind the illusion but the reality in illusion itself.
If something gets too traumatic, too violent, even too filled with enjoyment, it shatters the coordinates of our reality. We have to fictionalise it. The first key to horror films is to say, “Let’s imagine the same story but without the horror element.” This gives us, I think, the background.
We’re in the middle of Bodega Bay, where the action of Hitchcock’s Birds takes place. Birds is a film about a young, rich, socialite girl from San Francisco who falls in love with a guy, goes after him to Bodega Bay,where she discovers that he lives with his mother.
Of course, it’s none of my business, but when you bring a girl like that… I think I can handle Melanie Daniels by myself. Well, as long as you know what you want, Mitch. I know exactly what I want. And then, there is the standard oedipal imbroglio of incestuous tension between mother and son, the son split between his possessive mother and the intrusive girl. What’s the matter with them? What’s the matter with all the birds?
Hurry up with yours, Mitch.
I’m sure Miss Daniels wants to be on her way.
I think you ought to stay the night, Melanie.
We have an extra room upstairs and everything.
The big question about The Birds, of course, is the stupid, obvious one, Why do the birds attack?
Mitch…It is not enough to say that the birds are part of the natural set-up of reality. It is rather as if a foreign dimension intrudes that literally tears apart reality. We humans are not naturally born into reality. In order for us to act as normal people who interact with other people who live in the space of social reality, many things should happen. Like, we should be properly installed within the symbolic order and so on. When this, our proper dwelling within a symbolic space, is disturbed, reality disintegrates.
So, to propose the psychoanalytic formula, the violent attacks of the birds are obviously explosive outbursts of maternal superego, of the maternal figure preventing, trying to prevent sexual relationship. So the birds are raw, incestuous energy. What am I doing? I’m sorry, now I got it.My God, I’m thinking like Melanie. You know what I’m thinking now? I want to fuck Mitch. That’s what she was thinking. No. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I meant that I got this spontaneous confusion of directions.
Mrs Bates. We are in the cellar of the mother’s house from Psycho. What’s so interesting is that the very disposition of mother’s house… Events took place in it at three levels, first floor, ground floor, basement. It is as if they reproduce the three levelsof human subjectivity. Ground floor is ego. Norman behaves there as a normal son, whatever remains of his normal ego taking over.Up there, it’s the superego.Maternal superego, because the dead mother is basically a figure of superego.
I’m gonna bring something up. I am sorry, boy, but you do manage to look ludicrous
No, I will not hide in the fruit cellar.
You think I’m fruity, huh?
And down in the cellar, it’s the id, the reservoir of these illicit drives. So we can then interpret the event in the middle of the film, when Norman carries the mother or, as we learn at the end, mother’s mummy, corpse, skeleton, from the first floor to the cellar.
You won’t do it again.
Not ever again.
Now get out.
I’ll carry you, Mother.
It’s as if he is transposing her in his own mindas the psychic agency from superego to id.
Put me down. Put me down.
I can walk on my own…
Of course, the lesson of it is the old lessone laborated already by Freud, that superego and id are deeply connected.The mother complains first, as a figure of authority, mother immediately turns into obscenity, Do you think I’m fruity? Superego is not an ethical agency. Superego is an obscene agency, bombarding us with impossible orders, laughing at us, when, of course, we cannot ever fulfil its demand. The more we obey it, the more it makes us guilty. There is always some aspect of an obscene madman in the agency of the superego.
We often find references to psychoanalysis embodied in the very relations between persons. For example, the three Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo. It’s clear that Groucho, the most popular one, with his nervous hyper-activity, is superego.
Well, that covers a lot of ground.
Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You better beat it.
I hear they’re gonna tear you down and put up an office building where you’re standing.
You can leave in a taxi. If you can’t geta taxi, you can leave in a huff.
If that’s too soon, you can leave in a minute and a half. You know you haven’t stopped talking since I came here?
Chico, the rational guy, egotistic, calculating all the time, is ego.
Chicolini, you’re charged with high treason,and if found guilty, you’ll be shot.
I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
And, the weirdest of them all, Harpo, the mute guy, he doesn’t talk. Freud said that drives are silent. He doesn’t talk. He, of course, is id. Who are you guys?
What are you doing in my room?
That’s my partner. But he no speak.
He’s dumb and deaf.
The id in all its radical ambiguity. Namely, what is so weird about the Harpo character is that he’s childishly innocent, just striving for pleasure, likes children, plays with children and so on. But, at the same time, possessed by some kind of primordial evil, aggressive all the time. And this unique combination of utter corruption and innocenceis what the id is about.
Get off there.
Get off that table.
What do you think this is here, anyway?
Put that down.
Lunatic! Stop that, here!
Here, let it alone.
Yes, I’m Dr Klein. This is Dr Taney.
I’m Sharon. Things have gotten worsesince I phoned you.I think you better come upstairs.
Yeah, but they’ve gotten violent.
Did you give her the medication?Voice is not an organic part of a human body.
It’s coming from somewherein between your body.
Mother, please! -Please, Mother, make it stop!
What is it? What’s happening?
It’s burning! It’s burning!
Do something, Doctor.
Please, help her!
Whenever we talk to another person, there is always this minimum of ventriloquist effect, as if some foreign power took possession. Let the enemy have no power over her. And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm her.
You mother sucks cocks in hell, Karras, you faithless swine!
Remember that at the beginning of the film, this was a beautiful young girl.H ow did she become a monster that we see? By being possessed, but who possessed her? A voice. A voice in its obscene dimensions. See the cross of the Lord.
Begone, you hostile powers.
The first big filmabout this traumatic dimension of the voice, the voice which freely floats aroundand is a traumatic presence, feared, the ultimate moment or object of anxiety which distorts reality, was in ’31 , in Germany, Fritz Lang’s The Testament of Dr Mabuse.
You and the woman will not leave this room alive.
Monster! Stop, please!
We do not see Mabuse till the end of the film. He is just a voice.
You will not leave this room alive.
And to redeem through your son, who lives and reigns with youin the unity of the Holy Spirit,God, forever and ever. So, the problem is, which is whywe have the two priests at her side, how to get rid of this intruder, of this alien intruder. It is as if we are expecting the famous scene from Ridley Scott’s Alien to repeat itself. As if we just wait for some terrifying, alien,evil-looking, small animal to jump out.There is a fundamental imbalance, gap, between our psychic energy, called by Freud “libido”, this endless undeadenergy which persists beyond life and death, and the poor, finite, mortal reality of our bodies.
This is not just the pathology of being possessed by ghosts. The lesson that we should learn and that the movies try to avoid is that we ourselves are the aliens. Our ego, our psychic agency, is an alien force, distorting, controlling our body. Nobody was as fully aware of the properly traumatic dimension of the human voice, the human voice not as the sublime, ethereal medium for expressing the depth of human subjectivity, but the human voice as a foreign intruder. Nobody was more aware of this than Charlie Chaplin.
Chaplin himself plays in the film two persons, the good, small, Jewish barber and his evil double, Hynkel, dictator. Hitler, of course.
He bit my finger. The Jewish barber, the tramp figure, is of course the figure of silent cinema. Silent figures are basically like figures in the cartoon. They don’t know death. They don’t know sexuality even. They don’t know suffering. They just go on in their oral, egotistic striving, like cats and mice in a cartoon. You cut them into pieces, they’re reconstituted. There is no finitude, no mortality here. There is evil, but a kind of naive, good evil. You’re just egotistic, you want to eat, you want to hit the other, but there is no guilt proper. What we get with sound is interiority, depth, guilt,culpability,in other words, the complex oedipal universe.Here you are.Get a Hynkel button. Get a Hynkel button. A fine sculpture with a hooey on each and every button.
The problem of the filmis not only the political problem, how to get rid of totalitarianism, of its terrible seductive power, but it’s also this more formal problem, how to get rid of this terrifying dimension of the voice. Or, since we can not simply get rid of it, how to domesticate it, how to transform this voice nonetheless into the means of expressing humanity, love and so on.
German police grabs the poor tramp thinking this is Hitler and he has to address a large gathering.
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor.
That’s not my business.
I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone.
I should like to help everyone, if possible.
Jew, gentile, black man, white,we all want to help one another.
Human beings are like that.
There, of course, he delivers his big speech about the need for love, understanding between people. But there is a catch, even a double catch.
Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
People applaud exactly in the same way as they were applauding Hitler. The music that accompanies this great humanist finale, the overture to Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin,is the same music as the one we hear when Hitler is daydreaming about conquering the entire world and where he has a balloon in the shape of the globe. The music is the same.
This can be read as the ultimate redemption of music, that the same music which served evil purposescan be redeemed to serve the good. Or it can be read, and I think it should be read,in a much more ambiguous way, that with music, we can not ever be sure. In so far as it externalises our inner passion, music is potentially always a threat.
There is a short scene in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, which takes place in the theatre where we are now, where behind the microphone a woman is singing, then out of exhaustion or whatever, she drops down. Surprisingly, the singing goes on. Immediately afterwards, it is explained. It was a playback. But for that couple of seconds when we are confused, we confront this nightmarish dimension of an autonomous partial object. Like in the well-known adventureof Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, where the cat disappears, the smile remains.
You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself. And the mome raths outgrabe. The fascinating thing about partial objects, in the sense of organs without bodies, is that they embody what Freud called “death drive”. Here, we have to be very careful. Death drive is not kind of a Buddhist striving for annihilation. I want to find eternal peace. I want… No. Death drive is almost the opposite. Death drive is the dimension of what in the Stephen King-like horror fiction is called the dimension of the undead, of living dead, of something which remains alive even after it is dead. And it’s, in a way, immortal in its deadness itself. It goes on, insists. You can not destroy it. The more you cut it, the more it insists, it goes on. This dimension, of a kind of diabolical undeadness, is what partial objects are about.
The nicest example here for me, I think, is Michael Powell’s Red Shoes, about a ballerina. Her passion for dancing is materialised in her shoes taking over. The shoes are literally the undead object. Perhaps the ultimate bodily part which fits this role of the autonomous partial objectis the fist, or rather, the hand. This hand, raising up, that’s the whole point of the film. It’s not simply something foreign to him. It’s the very core of his personality out there.
Security? I am Jack’s smirking revenge.
What the hell are you doing?
Far from standing for some kind of perverted masochismor reactionary fantasy of violence, this scene is deeply liberating. I am here, as it were, on the side of the fist. I think this is what liberation means. In order to attack the enemy, you first have to beat the shit out of yourself. To get rid, in yourself, of that whichin yourself attaches you to the leader, to the conditions of slavery, and so on and so on.
No, please stop! What are you doing?
Oh, God, no, please! No!
For some reason, I thought of my first fight, with Tyler.
There is always this conflict between me and my double. Motherfucker!
Well, Jesus. I’m sorry. No, that was perfect.
It is as if the double embodies myself,but without the castrated dimension of myself. There is an episode in the wonderful British horror classic, Dead of Night…
I knew you wouldn’t leave me, Hugo.
I knew you’d come back….
in which Michael Redgrave plays a ventriloquist who gets jealous of his puppet.
Now don’t get excited, I was only joking.You know me.
Take your hands off me!-Stop playing!-Maxwell!
Here, you fool! Officer, quickly, open this door.
In an outburst of violence, he destroys the puppet, breaks down, then in the very last scene of the film we see him in the hospital, slowly regaining consciousness, coming back to himself. First his voice is stuck in the throat. Then, with great difficulty, finally, he is able to talk,but he talks with the distorted voice of the dummy. Why,
hello, Sylvester. I’ve been waiting for you.
And the lesson is clear. The only way for me to get rid of this autonomous partial objectis to become this object.
Okay, I’m ready. Wait a minute. So that I don’t confuse them… Where is my key? My key is here. This one is here. Okay, any… You shout when. I’m standing on the very balcony where the murder, the traumatic murder scene, occurs in Conversation. The murder of the husband, observed through the stained glass in front of me by the private detective, Gene Hackman. The detective is in the nearby room. Significantly, just before he sees the murder, he observes the balcony through a crack in the glass wall.
Whenever we have this famous, proverbial peeping Tom scene of somebody observing traumatic events through a crack, it’s never as if we are dealing with two parts on both sides of the wall of the same reality. Before seeing anythingor imagining to see something, he tries to listen. He behaves as an eavesdropper,with all his private detective gadgets.What does this make him?Potentially, at least,it makes him into a fantasised, imagined entity.
I can’t stand it.I can’t stand it anymore.
You’re going to make me cry.
I know, honey. I know. Me, too.
I have no idea what you’re talking about.
He doesn’t fantasise the scene of the murder.He fantasises himself as a witness to the murder.
I love you.
What he sees on that blurred window glass, which effectively functionsas a kind of elementary screen, cinematic screen even, that should be perceivedas a desperate attempt to visualise,hallucinate even, the bodily, material support of what he hears.
Shut up! It’s “Daddy”, you shithead!
Where’s my bourbon?
Dorothy’s apartmentis one of those hellish places which abound in David Lynch’s films. A places where all moral or social inhibitions seem to be suspended, where everything is possible. The lowest, masochistic sex, obscenities, the deepest level of our desires that we are not even ready to admit to ourselves, we are confronted with them in such places.
Spread your legs.
Now show it to me.
Don’t you fucking look at me.
From what perspective should we observe this scene? Imagine the scene as that of a small child, hidden in a closet or behind a door…
witnessing the parental intercourse. He doesn’t yet know what sexuality is, how we do it.All he knows is what he hears, this strange deep breathing sound, and then he tries to imagine what goes on.
At the very beginning of Blue Velvet, we see Jeffrey’s father having a heart attack, falling down. We have the eclipse of the normal, paternal authority.
Baby wants to fuck!
It is as if Jeffrey fantasises this wild parental couple of Dorothy and Frankas kind of a fantasmatic supplement to the lack of the real paternal authority.
Get ready to fuck, you fucker’s fucker!
Don’t you fucking look at me!
Frank, not only obviously acts, but even overacts. It is as if his ridiculously excessive gesticulating, shouting and so on, are here to cover up something. The point is, of course, the elementary one, to convince the invisible observer that father is potent, to cover up father’s impotence. So the second way to read the scene would have been as a spectacle, a ridiculously violent spectacle, set up by the father to convince the son of his power, of his over-potency. The third way would have been to focus on Dorothy herself.
Many feminists, of course, emphasise the brutality against women in this scene, the abuse, how the Dorothy character is abused. There is obviously this dimension in it. But I think one should risk a more shocking and obverse interpretation.
What if the central, as it were, problem, of this entire scene is Dorothy’s passivity?Don’t you fucking look at me!So what if what Frank is doing is a kind of a desperate, ridiculous, but nonetheless effective attempt of trying to help Dorothy, to awaken her out of her lethargy, to bring her into life? So if Frank is anybody’s fantasy, maybe he is Dorothy’s fantasy. There is kind of a strange, mutual interlocking of fantasies. You stay alive, baby. It’s not only ambiguity, but oscillation between three focal points.This, I think, is what accounts for the strange reverberations of this scene.
This brings us to our third and maybe crucial example, what is for me the most beautiful shot in the entire Vertigo. The shot in which we see Scottie in a position of a peeping Tom, observing through a crack. It is as if Madeleine is really there in common reality, while Scottie is peeping at her from some mysterious inter-space, from some obscure netherworld. This is the location of the imagined, fantasised gaze. Gaze is that obscure point, the blind spot, from which the object looked upon returns the gaze.
After suspecting that a murder is taking place in the nearby hotel room, Gene Hackman, playing the private detective, enters this room and inspects the toilet. The moment he approaches the toilet in the bathroom,it is clear that we are in Hitchcock territory. It is clear that some kind of intense, implicit dialogue with Psycho is going on.
In a very violent gesture, as if adopting the role of Norman Bates’mother, the murderer in Psycho, he opens up the curtain, inspects it in detail, looking for traces of blood there, even inspecting the gap, the hole,at the bottom of the sink. Which is precisely another of these focal objects, because in Psycho, the hole, through fade-out, the hole is morphed into the eye, returning the gaze.
We say the eye is the window of the soul. But what if there is no soul behind the eye? What if the eye is a crack through which we can perceive just the abyss of a netherworld? When we look through these cracks, we see the dark, other side, where hidden forces run the show. It is as if Gene Hackman establishes, of fascination, the toilet bowl. “He flushes it,and then the terrible thing happens. In our most elementary experience, when we flush the toilet, excrements simply disappear out of our reality into another space, which we phenomeno logically perceiveas a kind of a netherworld, another reality, a chaotic, primordial reality. And the ultimate horror, of course, is if the flushing doesn’t work, if objects return, if remainders, excremental remainders, return from that dimension.The bathroom. Hitchcock is all the time playing with this threshold.
Well, they’ve cleaned all this up now.
Big difference. You should’ve seen the blood.
The whole place was… Well, it’s too horrible to describe. Dreadful!
The most effective for me and even the most touching scene of the entire Psycho, is after the shower murder, when Norman Bates tries to clean the bathroom. I remember clearly when in my adolescence I first saw the film, how deeply I was impressed not only by the length of the scene, it goes on almost for 10 minutes, details of cleansing and so on and so on, but also by the care, meticulousness, how it is done,and also by our spectator’s identification with it.
I think that this tells us a lot about the satisfaction of work, of a job well done. Which is not so much to construct something new, but maybe human work at its most elementary, work, as it were, at the zero level, is the work of cleaning the traces of a stain. The work of erasing the stains, keeping at bay this chaotic netherworld, which threatens to explode at any time and engulf us.I think this is the fine sentiment that Hitchcock’s films evoke. It’s not simply that something horrible happens in reality. Something worse can happen which undermines the very fabric of what we experience as reality.
I think it’s very important how the first attack of the birds occurs in the film. Precisely when Melanie crosses this bay. At first, we even don’t perceive it as a bird. As if some stain appeared within the frame. When a fantasy object, something imagined, an object from inner space, enters our ordinary realty, the texture of reality is twisted, distorted. This is how desire inscribes itself into reality,by distorting it. Desire is a wound of reality. The art of cinema consists in arousing desire, to play with desire. But, at the same time, keeping it at a safe distance, domesticating it, rendering it palpable. When we spectators are sitting in a movie theatre, looking at the screen…
You remember, at the very beginning, before the picture is on, it’s a black, dark screen, and then light thrown on. Are we basically not staring into a toilet bowland waiting for things to reappear out of the toilet? And is the entire magic of a spectacle shown on the screen not a kind of a deceptive lure, trying to conceal the fact that we are basically watching shit, as it were?
There was a young lady of Ongar Who had an affair with a conger They said, “How does it feel To sleep with an eel?” Well, she said, “just like a man, only longer” Usually, people read the lesson of Freudian psychoanalysis as if the secret meaning of everything is sexuality. But this is not what Freud wants to say. I think Freud wants to say the exact opposite. It’s not that everythingis a metaphor for sexuality, that whatever we are doing, we are always thinking about that. The Freudian question is, but what are we thinking when we are doing that? If I may be a little bit impertinent and relate to an unfortunate experience, probably known to most of us, how it happens that while one is engaged in sexual activity, all of a sudden one feels stupid. One loses contact with it. As if, “My God, what am I doing here, doing these stupid repetitive movements?” And so on and so on. Nothing changes in reality, in these strange moments where I, as it were, disconnect. It’s just that I lose the fantasmatic support. In sexuality, it’s never only me and my partner, or more partners, whatever you are doing. It’s always… There has to be always some fantasmatic element. There has to be some third imagined element which enables me, to engage in sexuality.
There is an irresistible power of fascination, at least for me, in this terrifying scene when Neo awakens from his sleep within the matrix and becomes aware of what he really is in that foetal container,floating in liquid, connected to virtual reality, where you are reduced to a totally passive object with your energy being sucked out of you. So why does the Matrix need our energy? I think the proper way to ask this questionis to turn it around. Not why does the matrix need the energy, but why does the energy need the matrix? That is to say, since I think that the energy we are talking about is libido, is our pleasure, why does our libido need the virtual universe of fantasies? Why can’t we simply enjoy it directly,a sexual partner and so on?
That’s the fundamental question. Why do we need this virtual supplement? Our libido needs an illusion in order to sustain itself. One of the most interesting motifs in science fiction is that of the id machine, an object which has the magic capacity of directly materialising, realising in front of us, our innermost dreams, desires, even guilt feelings. There is a long tradition of this in science fiction films, but of course the film about id machine is Andrei Tarkovsky’s, Solaris.
Solaris is the story of Kelvin, a psychologist, who is sent by a rocket to a spaceship circulating around Solaris, a newly discovered planet. Strange things are reported from the spaceship. All the scientists there are going crazy, and then Kelvin discovers what is going on there. This planet has the magic ability to directly realise your deepest traumas, dreams, fears, desires. The innermost of your inner space. The hero of the film finds one morning his deceased wife, who made suicide years ago. So he realises not so much his desire, as his guilt feeling. When the hero is confronted with the spectral clone, as it were, of his deceased wife, although he appears to be deeply sympathetic, spiritual, reflecting and so on, his basic problem is how to get rid of her. What makes Solaris so touching is that, at least potentially, it confronts us with this tragic subjective position of the woman, his wife, who is aware that she has no consistency, no full being of her own.
I don’t even know my own self.
Who am I?
As soon as I close my eyes I can’t recall what my face is like.
For example, she has gaps in her memory because she knows only what he knows that she knows.
Do you know who you are?
All humans do.
She is just his dream realised. And her true love for him is expressed in her desperate attempts to erase herself, to swallow poison or whatever, just to clear the space, because she guesses that he wants this. It’s horrifying, isn’t it? I’ll never get used to these constant resurrections! It’s relatively easy to get rid of a real person. You can abandon him or her, kill him or her, whatever. But a ghost, a spectral presence, is much more difficult to get rid of. It sticks to you as a kind of a shadowy presence.
Stop it! I must be looking disgusting!
What we get here is the lowest male mythology. This idea that woman doesn’t exist on her own. That a woman is merely a man’s dream realised or even, as radical, anti-feminists claim, the man’s guilt realised. Women exist because male desire got impure. If man cleanses his desire,gets rid of dirty material, fantasies, woman ceases to exist. At the end of the film, we get a kind of a Holy Communion, a reconciliation of him not with his wife, but with his father.
Did you see Hitchcock’s Vertigo?
Sorry, I don’t understand.
Hitchcock’s Vertigo, the film.
I think it happened here, you know.
Oh, you don’t know the scene, okay.
Often things begin as a fake, inauthentic, artificial, but you get caught into your own game. And that is the true tragedy of Vertigo. It’s a story about two people who, each in his or her own way, get caught into their own game of appearances. For both of them, for Madeleine and for Scottie, appearances win over reality. What is the story of Vertigo? It’s a story about a retired policeman who has a pathological fear of heights because of an incident in his career, and then an old friend hires him to follow his beautiful wife, played by Kim Novak.
The wife mysteriously possessed by the ghost of a past deceased Spanish beauty, Carlotta Valdes. The two fall in love. The wife kills herself. The first part of Vertigo, with Madeleine’s suicide, is not as shattering as it could have been, because it’s really a terrifying loss, but in this very loss, the ideal survives. The idea of the fatal woman possesses you totally. What, ultimately, this image, fascinating image of the fatal woman stands for is death. The fascination of beauty is always the veil which covers up a nightmare. Like the idea of a fascinating creature, but if you come too close to her, you see shit, decay, you see worms crawling everywhere.
The ultimate abyss is not a physical abyss, but the abyss of the depth of another person. It’s what philosophers describe as the night of the world. Like when you see another person, into his or her eyes, you see the abyss. That’s the true spiral which is drawing us in.
Scottie alone, broken down, cannot forget her, wanders around the city looking for a woman, a similar woman, something like the deceased woman, discovers an ordinary, rather vulgar, common girl. The douement of the story, of course,is along the lines of the Marx Brothers’ joke, This man is an idiot. “The newly found woman looks like Madeleine, acts like Madeleine, the fatal beauty. We discover she is Madeleine. What we learn is that Scottie’s friend, who hired Scottie, also hired this woman, Judy, to impersonate Madeleine in a devilish plot to kill the real Madeleine, his wife, and get her fortune.
We could just see a lot of each other.
Cause I remind you of her? It’s not very complimentary.
The profile shot in Vertigo is perhaps the key shot of the entire film. We have there Madeleine’s, or rather Judy’s, identity in all its tragic tension. It provides the dark background for the fascinating other profile of Madeleine in Ernie’s restaurant. Scottie is too ashamed, afraid to look at her directly. It is as if what he sees is the stuff of his dreams, more real in a way for him than the reality of the woman behind his back.
That’s not very complimentary, either.
I just want to be with you as much as I can, Judy.
When we see a face, it’s basically always the half of it. A subject is a partial something, a face, something we see. Behind it, there is a void, a nothingness. And of course, we spontaneously tend to fill in that nothingness with our fantasies about the wealth of human personality, and so on. To see what is lacking in reality, to see it as that, there you see subjectivity. To confront subjectivity meansto confront femininity. Woman is the subject. Masculinity is a fake. Masculinity is an escape from the most radical, nightmarish dimension of subjectivity.
I’m trying to buy you a suit.
But I love the second one she wore.
And this one, it’s beautiful.
No, no. They’re none of them right.
I think I know the suit you mean.
We had it some time ago.
Let me go and see.
We may still have that model. Thank you.
You’re looking for the suit that she wore, for me.
I know the kind of suitthat would look well on you.
No, I won’t do it!
Judy.It can’t make that much differenceto you.
I just want to see what…
No, I don’t want any clothes.I don’t want anything.
Here we are.-Yes, that’s it. When Judy, refashioned as Madeleine, steps out of the door, it’s like fantasy realised. And, of course, we have a perfect name for fantasy realised. It’s called “nightmare”. Fantasy realised. What does this mean? Of course, it is always sustained by an extreme violence. The violence in this case of Scottie’s brutal refashioning of Judy, a real, common girl, into Madeleine. It’s truly a process of mortification, which also is the mortification of woman’s desire.
It is as if in order to have her, to desire her, to have sexual intercourse with her, with the woman, Scottie has to mortify her, to change her into a dead woman. It’s as if, again, for the male libidinal economy, to paraphrase a well-known old saying, the only good woman is a dead woman. Scottie is not really fascinated by her, but by the entire scene, the staging. He is looking around, checking up, are the fantasmatic co-ordinates really here? At that point when the reality fully fits fantasy, Scottie is finally able to realise the long-postponed sexual intercourse. So the result of this violence is a perfect co-ordination between fantasy and reality. A kind of direct short-circuit.
In Lynch’s films, darkness is really dark. Light is really unbearable, blinding light. Fire really hurts, it’s so hot. At those moments of sensual over-intensity, it is as if events on screen itself, threatens to overflow the screen and to grab us into it, to reach towards us. It’s again as if the fantasy-space, the fictional, narrative space, gets too intenseand reaches out towards us spectators so that we lose our safe distance. This is the proper tension of the Lynchian universe. The beauty of Lynch, if you look closely, it’s never clear. Is it really the brutal real out there which disturbs us, or is it our fantasy?
At the very beginning of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, we see an idyllic, American small town. What can be more normal than father of the family, in front of a white clean house, watering the lawn? But all of a sudden, father has a heart seizure, falls down to the grass. And then, instead of showing the family confused, calling for an ambulance, whatever, Lynch does something typically Lynchian. The camera moves extremely close to the grass, even penetrates the grass, and we see what is the real of this idyllic green lawn.
We should not forget this, how this happens precisely when father has a seizure. That is to say when, symbolically, the paternal authority breaks down.
I’ll send you straight to hell, fucker!
In dreams, I walk with you.
In dreams, I talk to you.
The logic here is strictly Freudian, that is to say we escape into dream to avoid a deadlock in our real life. But then, what we encounter in the dream is even more horrible, so that at the end, we literally escape from the dream, back into reality. It starts with, dreams are for those who can not endure, who are not strong enough for reality. It ends with, reality is for those who are not strong enough to endure, to confront their dreams.
Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive are two versions of the same film. What makes both films, especially Lost Highway, so interesting is how they posit the two dimensions, reality and fantasy, side by side, horizontally, as it were.
It must be from a real estate agent.
What we get in Lost Highway is the drab, grey,upper-middle-class suburban reality. Hero, married to Patricia Arquette, obviously terrorised by the enigma of his wife, who doesn’t respond properly to his advances. When they have sexual intercourse, he miserably fails. What he gets from her is a kind of a patronising pat on the shoulder. It’s okay. It’s okay. Total humiliation.It’s okay. After killing her in an act of frustration, the hero enters his fantasy-space, where he, as it were, reinvents not only himself, but his entire social environs. Captain, this is some spooky shit we got here. In what? In a kind of a universe which we usually found in film noir.
The hero’s wife, who is a brunette, becomes a blonde. In reality, she’s restrained. Here, she praises the hero within the fantasy-space all the time for his sexual capacities and so on. So it seems as if the dream is the realisation of what he was looking for. In reality, the obstacle was inherent. Their sexual liaison simply didn’t function. Within the fantasy-space, the obstacle is externalised. It’s a beautiful day. Mr Eddy is the master of Patricia Arquette within the fantasy-space. He is the obstacle to sexual intercourse.
If I ever found out somebody was making out with her, I’d take this and I’d shove it so far up his ass, it would come out his mouth.
The properly uncanny moments are those when the second shift occurs, when the fantasy-space, the dreamscape, as it were, is already disintegrating, but we are not yet back into reality. This intermediate space, neither fantasy-space nor reality, this space of a kind of primordial violence, dispersion, onto logical confusion… This is the most subversive moment, the true horror of these films. Towards the end of this fantasy episode, when we get the sexual act, there the woman also avoids the hero.
You’ll never have me. Whispering, “You will never have me.”
And at that traumatic point, we are drawn back to reality, when the hero encounters exactly the same deadlock. What the film truly is about, its focal point, it’s not the hero, it’s of course the enigma of feminine desire.
You’re a mystery.
I like you very much.
The enigma of feminine subjectivity in David Lynch’s films, it’s a gap between cause and effect. You do something to a woman, but you never know what the reaction will be.
Jeffrey, don’t, please.
My relationship towards tulips is inherently Lynchian. I think they are disgusting. Just imagine. Aren’t these some kind of, how do you call it, vagina dentata, dental vaginas threatening to swallow you? I think that flowers are something inherently disgusting. I mean, are people aware what a horrible thing these flowers are? I mean, basically it’s an open invitationto all the insects and bees, Come and screw me, you know? I think that flowers should be forbidden to children.
Suddenly I saw two figures jumping about on the rocks above us.
They hid and peeped out occasionally.
There are two boys looking at us, I said to her.
Her name was Katarina.
Well, let them look, she said,and turned on her back.
It was such a strange feeling.
I wanted to run out and put onmy costume, but I just lay still…
On my belly with my bum in the air, totally unembarrassed, totally calm.
We men, at least in our standard phallogocentric mode of sexuality, even when we are doing it with the real woman, we are effectively doing it with our fantasy. Woman is reduced to a masturbatory prop. Woman arouses us in so far as she enters our fantasy frame. With women, it’s different. The true enjoyment is not in doing it but in telling about it afterwards. Of course, women do enjoy sex immediately, but I hope I’m permitted as a man to propose a daring hypothesis, that maybe, while they are doing it, they already enact or incorporate this minimal narrative distance, so that they are already observing themselves and narrativising it.
There is in Ingmar Bergman’s Personaa wonderful scene where Bibi Andersson tells to mute Liv Ullmann, a story about small orgy on a beach which took place years ago. This scene is so erotic precisely because Bergman successfully resisted the temptation of a flashback. No flashback. Just words. Probably one of the most erotic scenesin the entire history of cinema.
Katarina unbuttoned his trousers and started playing with him. When he came she took him in her mouth.
He bent down and started kissing her on the back
She turned around, took his head in both hands and gave him her breast.
The other boy got so excited, so he and I started again. It was as nice as the first time.
Then we swam and parted.
When Icame back, Karl-Henrik had returned.
We had dinner together and drank the red wine he had with him.
Then we slept together.
It’s never been as good, before or since.
Can you understand that?
Although sexuality seems to be about bodies,it’s not really about bodies. It is how bodily activity is reported in words.
Well… I first saw him that morning in the lobby. He was… He was checking into the hotel and he was following the bellboy with his luggage to the elevator. He…He glanced at me as he walked past. Just a glance. Nothing more. But I could hardly move.
Eyes Wide Shut is a film which has an incredibly precise lesson about fantasy. She tells him, not about herself effectively cheating him, but about fantasising about cheating him with some naval officer they met in a hotel and so on and so on. The entire film is his desperate attempt to catch up with her fantasy, which ends in a failure. Many people don’t like, in that mysterious rich people’s castle where they meet for their orgies, the big orgy. They complain, this orgy is aseptic, totally non-attractive, without erotic tension. But I think that’s the point. This utter impotence of male fantasising.
The film is the story of how the male fantasy can not catch up with the feminine fantasy, of how there is too much of desire in feminine fantasy and how this is the threat to male identity. Isn’t it that in Vertigo, on the contrary, all of the activity is on the side of Scottie? But I think that precisely because of this, his activity is extremely brutal, mortifying. He has totally to erase the woman as a desiring entity. That’s for him the condition to desire.
The other solution is, of course, the masochist solution, which is, of my inferiority.
But I do love you. And you know there is something very important that we need to do as soon as possible.
It’s as if our inner psychic space is too wild and sometimes we have to make love, not to get the real thing but to escape from the real, from the excessive real that we encounter in our fantasising. The point is the fragile balance between reality and fantasy dimension in our sexual activity.
Michael Haneke’s Piano Teacher is the story of an impossible love affair between a middle-aged, deeply traumatised woman and her young student. She’s in a way a person who is not yet sexually subjectivised. She lacks the fantasmatic co-ordinates of her desire. This accounts for a couple of very strange scenes in the film, like when she goes to a pornographic store and then watches in a closed, small rooma scene from a hardcore film.The way she watches it, it’s not to get aroused,but she watches it as a pupil in a school. She simply watches it to get the co-ordinates of desiring, to learn how to do it, how to get excited.
The notion of fantasy in psychoanalysisis very ambiguous. On the one hand,we have the pacifying aspect of fantasy. Piano Teacher plays with the opposite aspect of fantasy. Fantasy as the explosion of wild, unbearable desires. What we found in the middle of the film is probably, arguably, the most depressive sexual act in the entire history of cinema. As if to punish her for disclosing the fantasy in her letter to him, he literally enacts her fantasy in the way he makes love to her, which of course means that fantasy is lost for her. When fantasy disintegrates, you don’t get reality, you get some nightmarish real too traumatic to be experienced as ordinary reality. That would be another definition of nightmare. Hell is here. Paradise, at least this perverse paradise, is hell. Stop, please. One cannot here just throw out the dirty water, all these excessive, perverse fantasies and so on, and just keep the healthy, clean baby, normal, straight or even homosexual, whatever, but some kind of normal, politically correct sex. You cannot do that. What if we throw out the baby and keep just the dirty water? And put it as a problem: how to deal with dirty water. And put some order in the dirty water of fantasies. This is I think precisely what happens for example in Kieslowski’s Blue. During the …
were you conscious?
I’m sorry to have inform you…
Do you know?
Your husband…died in the accident.
You must have been unconscious.
Yes, your daughter, too.
You can organise, people do it, your life in mourning the lost object. Julie, in Blue, discovers that her husband wasn’t what she thought he was. That he was cheating her, that he had a mistress who is pregnant. This is the most terrifying loss, where all the co-ordinates of your reality disintegrate. The problem is how to reconstitute yourself. In a wonderful short scene, the heroine of Blue, after returning home, finds there on the floora group of newly-born mice, crawling around their mother. This scene terrifies her. She is too excessively exposed to life in its brutal meaninglessness. What she is able to do at the end is to acquire a proper distance towards reality. This is what happens in the famous circular shot where we pass from Julie’s face, while she is making love. This magical suspension of temporal and spatial limitations, this free floating in a fantasy-space, far from distancing us from reality… If I have not love… enables us to approach reality. I am nothing She is putting together the co-ordinates which enable her to experience her reality as meaningful again. As if the lesson is, not only for men but also for women, that you can sustain sexual intercourse, sexual relationship, only through the support of fantasy. The problem of course is, is this fantasy reconstituted? Is this the ultimate horizon of our experience? The function of music here is precisely that of a fetish, of some fascinating presence whose function it is to conceal the abyss of anxiety.
Music is here what, according to Marx, religion is, a kind of opium for the people. Opium which should put us asleep, put us into a kind of a false beatitude, which allows us to avoid the abyss of unbearable anxiety. We see Julie crying, but through a glass. This glass stands for, I think, fantasy reconstituted. These are, I’m tempted to say, the tears of happiness.”I can mourn now because it no longer immediately affects me.” Blue proposes this mystical communion, reconstituted fantasy, as sustaining our relation to the world. But the price we pay is that some radically authentic moment of accepting the anxiety at the very foundation of human condition is lost there. If anything, anxiety at the vocal level is silence. It’s silence. It’s a silent scream.
In Hitchcock’s The Birds, when the mother, of course who but the mother, finds the neighbour dead, his eyes picked out by the birds, she shouts, but the shout literally remains stuck in her throat. To return from cinema to so-called real life, the ultimate lesson of psychoanalysisis that exactly the same goes for our real life experience, that emotions as such are deceiving. There are no specifically fake emotions because, as Freud puts it literally, the only emotion which doesn’t deceive is anxiety. All other emotions are fake.
So, of course, the problem here is, are we able to encounter in cinema the emotion of anxiety, or is cinema as such a fake? Cinema, as the art of appearances, tells us something about reality itself. It tells us something about how reality constitutes itself.
Ripley. Ripley, come on.
Ripley, we’ve got no time for sightseeing here.
There is an old Gnostic theory that our world was not perfectly created, that the god who created our world was an idiot who bungled the job,so that our world is a half-finished creation. There are voids, openings, gaps. It’s not fully real, fully constituted. In the wonderful scenein the last instalment of the Alien saga, Alien Resurrection, when Ripley, the cloned Ripley, enters a mysterious room, she encounters the previous failed version of herself, of cloning herself. Just a horrified creature, a small foetus-like entity, then more developed forms. Finally, a creature which almost looks like her, but her limbs are like that of the monster.
This means that all the time our previous alternate embodiments, what we might have been but are not,that these alternate versions of ourselves are haunting us. That’s the ontological view of reality that we get here, as if it’s an unfinished universe. This is, I think, a very modern feeling. It is through such ontology of unfinished reality that cinema became a truly modern art.
All modern films are ultimately films about the possibility or impossibility to make a film. Dogville was in the Rocky Mountains in the US of A, up here where the road came to its definitive end near the entrance to the old, abandoned silver mine. The residents of Dogville were good, honest folks and they liked their township.
With von Trier, it’s not only the problem of belief in the sense of, do people generally still believe today the place of religion today, and so on. It’s also reflectively or allegorically the question of believing in cinema itself. How to make today people still believe in the magic of cinema? In Dogville, all of it is staged on a set. Okay, this is often the case in cinema, but here the set is seen as the set. The action takes place in Dogville, a small town, but there are no houses. There are just lines on the floor, signalling that this is the house, this is the street. The mysterious thing is that this does not prevent our identification. If anything, it makes us even more thrown into the tensions of the inner life.
Have you seen Grace?
She’s at my place.
It’s not that naive belief is undermined, deconstructed through irony. Von Trier wants to be serious with the magic. Irony is put into service to make us believe. Yet again, Grace had made a miraculous escape from her pursuers with the aid of the people of Dogville. Everyone had covered up for her, including Chuck, who had to admit that it was probably Tom’s hat he’d mistakenly considered so suspicious. The mystery is that even if we know that it’s only staged, that it’s a fiction, it still fascinates us. That’s the fundamental magic of it. You witness a certain seductive scene, then you are shown that it’s just a fake, stage machinery behind, but you are still fascinated by it. Illusion persists. There is something real in the illusion, more real than in the reality behind it.
Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz!
I said come back tomorrow!
If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises.
Do you presume to criticise the great Oz?
You ungrateful creatures!
Think yourselves lucky that I’m giving you audience tomorrow instead of 20 years from now!
The great Oz has spoken. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
The great and… Oz has spoken.
I am the great and powerful Wizard of Oz.
What we can learn from a film like Wizard of Oz is how the logic of de-mystificationis not enough. It’s not enough to say, “Okay, it’s justa big show spectacle to impress the people. What is behind is just a modest old guy, and so on and so on. It is that rather, in a way, there is more truth in this appearance. Appearance has an effectivity, a truth of its own.
What about the heart that you promised Tin Man?
Well…And the couragethat you promised Cowardly Lion?
-And Scarecrow’s brain?-
And Scarecrow’s brain?
Why, anybody can have a brain.
That’s a very mediocre commodity.Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got. A diploma! Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitatus Committeeatume plurbis unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of Th.D. -That’s Doctor of Thinkology. The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.
Oh, joy, rapture! I’ve got a brain!
And that’s the paradox of cinema, the paradox of belief. We don’t simply believe or do not believe. We always believe in a kind of a conditional mode. I know very well it’s a fake but, nonetheless, I let myself be emotionally affected. This strange status of belief accounts for the efficiency of one of the most interesting characters, not only in cinema, but also in theatre, in staging as such,the character of prologue.
How do you do? Mr Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning. We are about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science, who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God.
Somebody tells usyou have to experience horror, we do it. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to…
Well, we’ve warned you.Ladies and gentlemen, young and old, this may seem an unusual procedure, speaking to you before the picture begins. But we have an unusual subject.
Behind, not red, this is Hollywood, but black curtain, Cecil DeMille himself appears,giving us a lesson of how the story of Ten Commandments and Moses has great relevance today where we are fighting Communist, totalitarian dangerand so on, giving us all the clues.
Are men the property of the state? Or are they free souls under God?
This same battle continues throughout the world today.
This hidden master who controls the events can also be defined as ideology embodied, in the sense of the space which organises our desires. And your name? What the fuck is your name? In David Lynch’s Lost Highway, we have the Mystery Man, who stands for the very cinematographer, even director. Imagine somebody who has a direct access to your inner life, to your innermost fantasies, to what even you don’t want to know about yourself.
We’ve met before, haven’t we?
I don’t think so.
Where was it that you think we met?
At your house, don’t you remember?
The best way to imagine what Mystery Man is, is to imagine somebody who doesn’t want anything from us.
What do you mean?
You’re where right now?
At your house.
That’s fucking crazy, man.
That’s the true horror of this Mystery Man. Not any evil, demoniac intentions and so on. Just the fact that when he is in front of you, he, as it were, sees through you.
I told you I was here.
How’d you do that? Ask me.-
How’d you get inside my house?
It is not my custom to go where I’m not wanted.
It’s like the court in Kafka’s novels, where the court, or the Law, only comes when you ask for it. Oh! Now, why would he do that? Most peculiar. What on Earth? Hitchcock was obsessed with this topic of manipulating emotions. His dream was even that once in the future, we would no longer have to shoot narratives, our brains will be directly connectedto some machine and the director would only have to press different buttons there and the appropriate emotions will be awakened in our mind.
They’re coming. They’re coming!
What do directors like Hitchcock,Tarkovsky, Kieslowski, Lynch have in common? A certain autonomy of cinematic form. Form is not here simply to express, articulate content. It has a message of its own. In Hitchcock, we have the motif of a person hanging from an abyss by the hand of another person. The first example, Saboteur. Rear Window. Then we have in To Catch a Thief. You’ve got a full house down there. Begin the performance. Then in North by Northwest. Then, of course, in Vertigo.So we see here the same visual motif repeating itself. I think it’s wrong to look for a common, deeper meaning. Some French theorists claimed that what we are dealing here with is the motif of fall and redemption. I think this is already saying too much. I think that what we are dealing with is with a kind of a cinematic materialism, that beneath the level of meaning, spiritual meaning but also simple narrative meaning, we get a more elementary level of forms themselves, communicating with each other, interacting, reverberating, echoing, morphing, transforming one into the other. And it is this background, this background of proto-reality, a real which is more dense, more fundamental than the narrative reality, the story that we observe. It is this that provides the proper density of the cinematic experience. It’s the gigantic tree where, in Vertigo, Madeleine and Scottie get together, almost embrace, where their erotic tension becomes unbearable. What is this tree? I think it’s another in the series of “Hitchcockian Big Things”, like the Mount Rushmore statues, or take another example, like Moby Dick. This tree is not simply a natural object. It is, within our mental space, what in psychoanalysis is called “the Thing”. It’s effectively as if this tree, in its very extra-large distortion, embodies something that comes out of our inner space, libido, the excessive energy of our mind.
So here I think we can see how films and philosophy are coming together. How great cinematographers really enable us to think in visual terms. After the birds attack the city, there is a fire which breaks out at a gasoline station, where a guy throws a match on the gasoline.
Hey, you! Look out!
Don’t drop that match!Look out!
Get out of there!-Mister, run!
The first part of this short scene is the standard one. We get the standard exchange of shots of the fire and shots of the person, Melanie in this case, who looks at it. Then something strange happens. We cut to way above the city. We see the entire town. We automatically take this shot as a standard establishing shot. Like after details which perplex you, which prevent you from getting a clear orientation, you need a shot which enables you some kind of a cognitive mapping, that you know what’s going on. But then, precisely following that logic of the Thing from inner space which emerges from within you, first we hear these ominous sounds, which are sounds of the birds, then one bird enters, another bird enters… The shot which was taken as a neutral,God’s view shot,all of a sudden changes into an evil gaze. The gaze of the very birds attacking. And we are thrown into that position. And again, we can use here The Birds as the final instalment and read backwards other classical Hitchcock scenes in the same way.
Isn’t exactly the same thing happening in what I consider the ultimate scene in Psycho, the second murder,the murder of the detective Arbogast? Hitchcock manipulates here in a very refined way the logic of so-called fetishist disavowal. The logic of, “I know very well, but…” We know very well some things, but we don’t really believe in them, so although we know they will happen, we are no less surprised when they happen. In this case, everything points towards the murder and, nonetheless, when it happens, the surprise is, if anything, stronger. It begins in a standard Hitchcockian way. He looks up the stairs. This exchange creates the Hitchcockian tension between the subject’s look and the stairs themselves, or rather the void on the top of the stairs returning the gaze, emanating some kind of a weird unfathomable threat.
The camera then provides a kind of a geometrically clear God’s point of view shot image of the entire scene. It is as if here we pass from God as neutral creator, to God in his unbearable divine rage. This murderer is for us an unfathomable monster. We don’t know who he is, but because we are forced to assume the murderer’s position, in a way we don’t know who we are. As if we discover a terrifying dimension in ourselves. As if we are forced to act as a doll, as a tool of another evil divinity’s will. It’s not as classical metaphysics thinks, The truly horrible thing is to be immortal. Immortality is the true nightmare, not death.
Lord Vader,can you hear me?
We should remember the exact moment when the normal, everyday person, okay not quite everyday, but ordinary person of Anakin Skywalker changes into Darth Vader. This scene when the Emperor’s doctors are reconstituting him after heavy wounds into Darth Vader, that these scenes are inter-cut with the scenes of Princess Padm? Anakin’s wife, giving birth. Luke. So it is as if we are witnessing the transformation of Anakin into father. But what kind of father? A monster of a father who doesn’t want to be dead. His deep breathing is the sound of the father, the Freudian, primordial father, this obscene over-potent father,the father who doesn’t want to die.
This, I think, is for all of us the most obscene threat that we witness. We don’t want our fathers alive. We want them dead. The ultimate object of anxiety is a living father. This brings us to what we should really be attentive about in David Lynch’s film. Namely, what is to be taken seriously and not seriously in his films.
-Here’s to Ben.-Here’s to Ben.Here’s to Ben.-Here’s to Ben.
-Be polite!Here’s to Ben.
Frank is one of these terrifying, ridiculously obscene paternal figures. Apart from Frank in Blue Velvet, we have Baron Harkonnen in Dune, we have William Dafoe in Wild at Heart, we have Mr Eddy in Lost Highway.
Don’t you ever fucking tailgate! Ever!-Tell him you won’t tailgate.-Ever!I won’t ever tailgate…
Do you know how many fucking car length sit takes to stop a car at 35 miles an hour?
Six fucking car lengths!
That’s 1 06 fucking feet, mister!
If I had to stop suddenly, you would have hit me! I want you to get a fucking driver’s manual and I want you to study that motherfucker!
I want to spit once on your head.
Just some spittle in your face.
What a luxury. But I think that this very appearance of ridiculously violent comedy is deceiving. I think that these ridiculous paternal figures are the ethical focus, the topic of practically all David Lynch’s films.
Let’s fuck! I’ll fuck anything that moves!
A normal, paternal authority is an ordinary man who, as it were, wears phallus as an insignia. He has something which provides his symbolic authority. This is, in psychoanalytic theory, phallus. You are not phallus. You possess phallus. Phallus is something attached to you, like the King’s crown is his phallus. Something you put on and this gives you authority. So that when you talk it’s not simply you as a common person who is talking, it’s symbolic authority itself,the Law, the state, talking through you. So these excessively ridiculous paternal figures, it’s not simply that they possess phallus, that they have phallus as the insignia of their authority, in a way, they immediately are phallus. This is for, if they still exist, a normal male subject…
This is the most terrorising experience you can imagine, to directly being the thing itself, to assume that I am a phallus. And the provocative greatness of these Lynchian, obscene, paternal figures, is that not only they don’t have any anxiety,not only they are not afraid of it, they fully enjoy being it. They are truly fearless entities beyond life and death, gladly assuming, as it were, their immortality, their non-castrated life energy. Okay.This is indicated in a very nice way in the scene towards the end of Wild at Heart where Bobby Peru is killed.
Stop, you sons of bitches! This is the police!
He accepts the mortal danger he is in with, kind of, exuberant vitality,and it’s truly that when his head explodes, it’s as if we see the head of the penis being torn apart. Oh, for Christ sakes. That poor bastard. And then at the end, these figures are sacrificed.
Oh, Jeffrey.It’s all over, Jeffrey.
Joseph Stalin’s favourite cinematic genre were musicals. Not only Hollywood musicals, but also Soviet musicals. There was a whole series of so-called kolkhoz musicals. Why? We should find this strange, Stalin who personifies communist austerity, terror and musicals.The answer again is the psychoanalytic notion of superego. Superego is not only excessive terror, unconditional injunction, demand of utter sacrifice, but at the same time, obscenity, laughter. And it is Sergei Eisenstein’s genius to guess at this link. In his last film, which is a coded portrait of the Stalin era, Ivan the Terrible: Part 2, which because of all this was immediately prohibited. In the unique scene towards the end of the film, we see the Czar, Ivan, throwing a party, amusing himself, with his so-called Oprichniki, his private guards, who were usedto torture and kill his enemies, his, if you want, KGB, secret police, are seen performing a musical. An obscene musical, which tells precisely the story about killing the rich boyars, Ivan’s main enemies.
Let the axes drop!
So terror itself is staged as a musical. And the gates fell to the ground Now, what has all this to do with the reality of political terror? Isn’t this just art, imagination? No. Not only were the political show trialsin Moscow in the mid- and late-1930s theatrical performances, we should not forget this, they were well staged, rehearsed and so on. Even more, there is, horrible as it may sound, something comical about them. The horror was so ruthless that the victims, those who had to confess and demand death penalty for themselves and so on, were deprived of the minimum of their dignity, so that they behaved as puppets, they engaged in dialogues which really sound likeout of Alice in Wonderland. They behaved as persons from a cartoon.
Public enemy number one. You’re on trial today for the crimes that you’ve committed.
We’re gonna prove you’re guilty.
Just try and get acquitted.
In the mid-’30s,Walt Disney Studios produced an unbelievable cartoon called Pluto’s Judgement Day…Shut up!…in which the dog, well-known Pluto, falls asleep, and in his sleep is persecuted by, haunted by the dream of cats who were all in the past his victims, molested by him, dragging him to the court, where a proper, truly Stalinist political trial is in process against him.
We’ve seen and heard enough.
Jury, do your duty.
Just watch us do our stuff We find the defendant guilty
He’s guilty, he’s guilty Hooray!
The Law is not only severe, ruthless, blind,at the same time, it mocks us. There is an obscene pleasure in practising the Law. Our fundamental delusion today is not to believe in what is only a fiction, to take fictions too seriously. It’s, on the contrary, not to take fictions seriously enough.You think it’s just a game? It’s reality. It’s more real than it appears to you. For example, people who play video games, they adopt a screen persona of a sadist, rapist, whatever. The idea is, in reality I’m a weak person, so in order to supplement my real life weakness, I adopt the false image of a strong, sexually promiscuous person,and so on and so on.
So this would be the naive reading.I want to appear stronger, more active, because in real life, I’m a weak person. But what if we read it in the opposite way? That this strong, brutal rapist, whatever, identity is my true self. In the sense that this is the psychic truth of myself and that in real life, because of social constraints and so on, I’m not able to enact it. So that, precisely because I think it’s only a game, it’s only a persona, a self-image I adopt in virtual space, I can be there much more truthful. I can enact there an identity which is much closer to my true self. We need the excuse of a fiction to stage what we truly are.
Stalker is a film about a zone, a prohibited space where there are debris, remainders of aliens visiting us. And stalkers are people who specialised in smuggling foreigners who want to visit into this space where you get many magical objects. But the main among themis the room in the middle of this space, where it is claimed your desires will be realised.
I know you’re going to get mad. Anyway, I must tell you…We are now…on the threshold…This is the most important moment in your life.You must know that.Your innermost wishes will be made real here.Your most sincere wish. Born of suffering.
The contrast between Solaris and Stalker is clear.In Solaris, we get id-machineas an object which realisesyour nightmares, desires, fears,even before you ask for it, as it were. In Stalker it’s the opposite, a zone where your desires, deepest wishes get realised on condition that you are able to formulate them. Which, of course, you are never able,which is why everybody failsonce you get there in the centre of the zone.
You just make money, using our… anguish! It’s not even the money. You’re enjoying yourself here. You’re like God Almighty here. You, a hypocritical louse, decide who is to live and who is to dieHe deliberates!Now I see why you stalkersnever enter the room yourselves.You revel in all that power,that mystery, your authority!What else is there to wish for?It’s not true! You… you’re mistakenTarkovsky’s solution to this tensionis that of religious obscurantism…. for the great day of His wrath has come,and who is able to stand? But I don’t think this is what makes Tarkovsky interesting. What makes him interestingis the very form of his films.
Tarkovsky uses as this material elementof pre-narrative density, time itself. All of a sudden we are made to feelthis inertia, drabness of time.Time is not just a neutral, light mediumwithin which things happen. We feel the density of time itself. Things that we see are more markers of time. He treats even humans in this way.If we look at the unique face of Stalker himself,it’s a face of somebodyexposed to too much radiationand, as it were, rotting, falling apart alive. It is this disintegrationof the very material texture of realitywhich provides the spiritual depth.Tarkovskian subjects, when they pray,they don’t look up, they look down. They even sometimes, as in Stalker,put their head directly onto the earth.Here, I think, Tarkovsky affects us at a levelwhich is much deeper,much more crucial for our experiencethan all the standard, spiritual motivesof elevating ourselvesabove material reality and so on.There is nothing specific about the zone.It’s purely a place where a certain limit is set. You set a limit, you put a certain zone off-limit,and although things remainexactly the way they were, it’s perceived as another place. Precisely as the place onto which you can project your beliefs, your fears,things from your inner space.In other words, the zone is ultimatelythe very whiteness of the cinematic screen.
“To the people of this city we donatethis monument;’Peace and Prosperity’.”
Chaplin’s City Lights is one of those masterpieces which are really too sophisticated for the sophisticated. It’s a deceptively simple movie. When we are enraptured by it,we tend to missits complexity and extreme finesse. Already, the first scene of the movieprovides the co-ordinates. It’s kind of a microcosm of Chaplin’s entire art. What’s the source of Chaplin’s comic genius? What’s the archetypal comic situation in Chaplin’s films? It’s being mistaken for somebody or functioning as a disturbing spot, as a disturbing stain. He distorts the vision. So he wants to erase himself, to get out of the picture. Or people don’t even note him, take note of him,so he wants to be noted. Or, if they perceive him, he’s misperceived, identified for what he is not.
The tramp is wrongly identified, by a beautiful blind girl who is selling flowers on a street corner,as a millionaire.He accepts the game, helps her,even steals money to pay for her operationto restore her sight,then after he serves the punishmentand returns, he tries to find her.And I think that this is the metaphorof our predicament. All too often, when we love somebody, we don’t accept him or her as what the person effectively is. We accept him or her in so far as this person fits the co-ordinates of our fantasy. We misidentify, wrongly identify him or her, which is why, when we discover that we were wrong, love can quickly turn into violence. There is nothing more dangerous, more lethal for the loved person than to be loved, as it were, for not what he or she is, but for fitting the ideal.
In this case, love is always mortifying love. Here it’s not only the trampas the figure within the film’s narrative exposing himself to his beloved girl, it’s at the same time Chaplin as actor/director exposing himself to us, the public. The true genius of Chaplin resides in the way he was able to stage this psychological moment of recognition at the level of form, music, visual aspect, and at the same time, at the level of acting.
When the two hands meet,the girl finally recognises him for what he is. This moment is always extremely dangerous, pathetic. The beloved falls out of the frame of the idealised co-ordinates,finally there exposed in his psychological nakedness. Here I am as what I really am. And I don’t think we have to read it as a happy ending. We don’t know what will happen. We have the letters, “the end”, the black screen, but the singing goes on. As if the emotion is now too strong, it spills over the very frame.
In order to understand today’s world, we need cinema, literally. It’s only in cinema that we get that crucial dimension which we are not ready to confront in our reality. If you are looking for what is in reality more real than reality itself, look into the cinematic fiction.
On Dec. 14, 1984, David Lynch divulged a divisive 140-minute epic in view of Frank Herbert's science fiction exemplary, Dune, to blended outcomes in theaters. The Hollywood Reporter's unique survey is underneath:
Rise is not the artful culmination its followers have sought after — however nor is it the fiasco its depreciators have asserted. Adjusted from Frank Herbert's science fiction religion exemplary and coordinated by the unusually skilled David Lynch (Eraserhead, The Elephant Man), this grandiose $40 million purposeful anecdote of interplanetary uprising, long thought unfilmable, is without a moment's delay a work of practically visionary magnificence and shockingly routine experience. Fans wouldn't fret the exorbitant length and as well think pacing, and keeping in mind that those components could well render the photo's unending knowledge difficult to reach to certain different groups of onlookers, it is in any case a more sultry property than the mysteriously cool feet of its merchant, Universal, would appear to demonstrate.
The time is A.D. 10191. The important setting is the red planet Arrakis, a parched no man's land underneath whose sands lies an existence supporting zest. Its extraction has constrained the enslavement of the planet's occupants, known as Fremen, into whose asylum comes Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan), the child of a pariah duke. Gradually, the young fellow starts to expect his since quite a while ago forecasted part as the Fremen's savior — a fate that comes full circle in the oust of Arrakis' shrewd rulers and the rebuilding of widespread equity.
The film has such a variety of characters, such a variety of unexplained or inadequate connections, thus many parallel strategies that it's occasionally a hurl up whether we're viewing a story, or only a get together of reflections on topics presented by the books (the movie is like a dream).
Incidentally a striking picture will swim into view: The alien brain floating in brine, for instance, or our first look at the monster sand worms pushing through the leave. On the off chance that the primary look is striking, in any case, the motion picture's enhancements don't confront examination. The leaders of the sand worms start to look increasingly as though they left a similar production line that delivered Kermit the Frog (they have similar mouths). A detestable aristocrat glides through the air on directions very clearly controlled by wires. The spaceships in the movie are so shabby, so ailing in detail or measurement, that they look practically like those understudy movies where plastic models are shot against a tablecloth.
If the movie's goal was to create, like the book, a world that felt totally outsider, then Lynch and his surreal style were the correct decision. With its unusual dream successions, overflowing with pictures of unborn babies and shining energies, and unsettling view like the modern damnation of the Harkonnen homeworld, the film's quite to Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) than Lucas. It tries to put the watcher some place new while indicating at a more prominent, concealed story.
A few scenes appear like mammoth WTFs: the Emperor's meeting with the society pilot (fundamentally a goliath mutant shelled nut gliding in a portable fish tank) and Paul Atreides experience with the jom gabbar, for instance. Yet, those arrangements additionally convey the feeling that something huge is happening just past our vision. Sci-fi is regularly about feeling quite recently the perfect measure of lost.
The film's creation is marvelous in itself, and it synchronizes with the topics of the first storyverse. Set 10,000 years later on, everything looks suitably streamlined. Yet plenty of baroque remain, as though to represent, as Herbert does in his novel, that even as we advance, certain components of our reality will stay steady. Jodorowsky's new-age, splendid and awesome corrosive excursion take appeared to miss this point.
The enhancements were not especially great from a specialized viewpoint, something faultfinders excitedly called attention to. Yet, the smaller than usual sets, made generally by Emilio Ruiz del Río, accomplish a stunning feeling of scale. Watch the scene where the Atreides armada withdraws for Arrakis. Many officially huge boats document into what resembles a lavish keyhole, right away predominating them in the watcher's eye and making a feeling of awkward movement fit for a huge interstellar space create. The novel's notorious sandworms feel likewise huge onscreen as they thunder out of the desolate abandon.
There are outstanding omissions: Lynch coordinates his top pick cast into rather excessively numerous ominous whispers that exaggerate the story's legendary qualities, and his treatment of the huge activity successions is out and out to languid (a flabby score by Toto doesn't help). However, there's a daringly dynamic quality to a lot of Lynch's symbolism, and his distraction with surfaces — here abetted by a portion of the best generation values maker Raffaella De Laurentiis could purchase — sets the procedures into practically material alleviation. You don't just watch this film; you can practically feel it.
Before his death in 1986, Herbert said that he was largely pleased with Lynch’s film's representation of his universe. You can comprehend why. While it's not really a durable affair, singular scenes are enlivened with striking force. Watching Dune today holds an indistinguishable delight from flipping through a showed adaptation of the novel. Considering the thickness and creative energy of Herbert's reality, that ought to consider something of an accomplishment.
“What does it mean to have an idea in cinema? If one makes cinema, or if one wants to make cinema, what is it to have an idea, specifically at the moment that one says ‘I have an idea.'”
French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) was one of the most original and influential thinkers of the latter half of the twentieth century. He was likewise one of the main thinkers to genuinely consider the nature, structures and significance of cinema. In his later years, Deleuze published two books on the theme, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image and Cinema 2: The Time-Image, both of which now remain as focal messages in the Philosophy of Film.
What is the Creative Act?
I would also like to ask a few questions of my own. Ask you a few and ask myself a few. They would be of the type: What do you do exactly, when you do cinema? And what do I do when I do or hope to do philosophy?
I could ask the question a different way. What does it mean to have an idea in cinema? If someone does or wants to do cinema, what does it mean to have an idea? What happens when you say: "Hey, I have an idea?" Because, on the one hand, everyone knows that having an idea is a rare event, it is a kind of celebration, not very common. And then, on the other hand, having an idea is not something general. No one has an idea in general. An idea─like the one who has the idea—is already dedicated to a particular field. Sometimes it is an idea in panting, or an idea in a novel, or an idea in philosophy or an idea in science. And obviously the same person won't have all of those ideas. Ideas have to be treated like potentials already engaged in one mode of expression or another and inseparable from the mode of expression, such that I cannot say that I have an idea in general. Depending on the techniques I am familiar with, I can have an idea in a certain domain, an idea in cinema or an idea in philosophy.
I'll go back to the principle that I do philosophy and you do cinema. Once that is settled, it would be too easy to say that since philosophy is ready to think about anything, why couldn't it think about cinema? A stupid question. Philosophy is not made to think about anything. Treating philosophy as the power to "think about" seems to be giving it a great deal, but it in fact takes everything away from it. No one needs philosophy to think. The only people capable of thinking effectively about cinema are the filmmakers and film critics or those who love cinema. Those people don't need philosophy to think about film. The idea that mathematicians need philosophy to think about mathematics is comical. If philosophy had to be used to think about something, it would have no reason to exist. If philosophy exists, it is because it has its own content.
It's very simple: philosophy is a discipline that is just as inventive, just as creative as any other discipline, and it consists in creating or inventing concepts, Concepts do not exist ready-made in a kind of heaven waiting for some philosopher to come grab them. Concepts have to be produced. Of course, you can't just make them like that. You don't say one day, "Hey, I am going to invent this concept," no more than a painter says "Hey, I'm going to make a painting like this" or a filmmaker, "Hey, I'm going to make this film!" There has to be a necessity, in philosophy and elsewhere; otherwise there is nothing. A creator is not a preacher working for the fun of it. A creator only does what he or she absolutely needs to do. It remains to be said that this necessity─which is a very complex thing, if it exists─means that a philosopher (and here I at least know what they deal with) proposes to invent, to create concepts and not to get involved with thinking, even about cinema.
I say that I do philosophy, that I try to invent concepts. If I ask, those of you who do cinema, what do you do? You do not invent concepts—that is not your concern—but blocks of movement / duration. Someone who makes a block of movement / duration might be doing cinema. This has nothing to do with invoking a story or rejecting it. Everything has a story. Philosophy also tells stories. Stories with concepts. Cinema tells stories with blocks of movement / duration. Painting invents an entirely different type of block. They are not blocks of concepts or blocks of movement / duration, but blocks of lines / colors. Music invents another type of blocks that are just as specific. And alongside all of that, science is no less creative. I do not see much opposition between the sciences and the arts.
Two Regimes of Madness, Texts and Interviews 1975-1995
Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), edited by David Lapoujade, translated by Ames Hodges and Mike Taormina
The critical theorists continues to note that “everyone knows that to have an idea is a rare event, it occurs infrequently. To have an idea is a sort of celebration.”
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