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Zizec`s Movies

by Zettel 

Posted: 19 October 2006
Word Count: 147
Summary: This is a 'found' poem. Striking ideas from Slavoj Zizek pschyoanalyst and philosopher subject of 'The Pervert's guide to cinema' (excellent film, silly title). A tour de force of intellectual passion and enthusiasm even if one doesn't accept the psychoanlaytic metaphysics. Zizec's ideas, my structure and organisation.


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Zizekís Movies

Anxiety alone
does not deceive
Subjectivity is to see
what is missing from reality
Libido need fantasy
to sustain itself
before the abyss
of another mind
Fantasy realised is nightmare
but the final nightmare
is immortality not death

Desires are not given
but acquired
and men struggle
with the desire
for their fathers
to be dead
Masculinity is illusion
man is terrified
of his own power
afraid of what he might do
because he can

There is too much
in feminine fantasy
for men to match
so they feel threatened
The paradox of pornography
if all can be shown
without restraint
we must render it unreal
to feel safe
Only willed constraint
empowers us
to explore the truth
so we choose not to show
all that can be seen

Film is not an escape
from reality
but a safe place
to explore
what terrifies us






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Comments by other Members



Jordan789 at 19:34 on 19 October 2006  Report this post
Interesting read. Comes across a bit like class lecture notes, sort of hard to get the feeling of if you don't sit in class and listen to the teacher--or see the movie. except for the last stanza, which resonated with me.

James Graham at 10:52 on 20 October 2006  Report this post
Reading this at 11am - still too early in the day for Zizek! Still some lines leap off the page :

the final nightmare
is immortality not death


man is terrified
of his own power
afraid of what he might do
because he can


I can't argue with either of these - they strike me as true. True for me. The first especially might seem nonsense to someone else.

This is similar to what happened with your Wittgenstein poem. As for Zizek, sometimes something he says pushes a button, but heís not easy to read in big chunks. It probably helps if you already understand Lacan, which is a very big ask. Iíll come back to this (at the Zizek hour!) and pick up on some of the ideas.

James.

James Graham at 14:24 on 22 October 2006  Report this post
Just musing, a bit superficially, on some lines of the poem - i.e. on some of Zizek's ideas. I'm struggling to see a train of thought in the poem, and so just pick on one passage.

Desires are not given
but acquired
and men struggle
with the desire
for their fathers
to be dead


Is this basically the same idea as the 'Oedipus complex'? If so, I'm afraid it's one of those notions I keep coming across but completely fail to understand. If I ever struggled with the desire for my father to be dead, the struggle must have been going on at such a depth I was totally unaware of it. If it's buried so deep, how real can it be?

'The final nightmare/ is immortality not death' still resonates with me more than anything else in the poem. As a child I was dragged along every Sunday to an evangelical church, where preachers went on a great deal about Hell, but occasionally gave descriptions of Heaven. Heaven seemed to me, in its own way, every bit as repellent as Hell. More sophisticated notions of immortality that I've come across since then haven't altered my feeling about it, and so I have to put a tick beside those two lines.

Like Jordan, the closing five lines strike me as true - almost self-evident. My only demur would be that too many movies are places to explore what terrifies Americans.

James.

Zettel at 19:20 on 22 October 2006  Report this post
James

Thanks for the thoughts. This was actually generated by a writing problem -how to review the film. To try to address any of Zizek's ideas in detail in a review would be tedious. Plus, like you, I have serious reservations with some of his interpretations. So the idea of a found poem, was that structurally within a brief review, I could present Zizek's ideas linked through the found poem but which would so to speak be like pebbles of thought that create different ripples in the minds of diferent readers. Very much in fact the experience one has in seeing the film. so the form of the review so to speak reflected the form of the film. Plus I have never seem a film review with poem in before - so that intrigued me.

I am still not quite sure about 'found' poems. (seems like a bit of a cheat) With the Wittgenstein and again with this, the only thing that makes it a poem at all seems to be the linking of ideas that in their original form are not connected/ And then trying to structure the words in such a way that the ideas and words flow with a distinctive rhythm. I'm not sure whether this works here, though parts of it do 'flow' for me. My litmus test nowadays is can it be read aloud. And this sort of can.

As with the Wittgenstein, to achieve the above one has to put in linking words or ideas to try to connect the ideas or help the words flow.

man is terrified
of his own power
afraid of what he might do
because he can


is me, though derived I think from what was implicit in what Z had to say. Of the immortality question I am reminded of a remark of Wittgenstein's where he said that eternity considered as endless duration solves none of the problems for which it is conceived. I think he was gesturing toward an idea rather Bhuddist in nature, that he who lives absolutely in the present, has learned as we might say absolutely to be has achieved a kind of timelessness. 'Eternity' considered not as endless duration which is indeed as Z remarks, a horrific thought, therefore gives way to the for me rather more profound conception of the achievement of a sense of timelessness. If we search our own experience for moments when we might describe our experience as one where as we say, time 'stood still', or more prosaicly, 'I was not conscious of the passage of time' we get a sense i think of how this might be understood. Certainly I think most people reaclling such moments will be recalling paradigmatic moments of feeling and personal experience.

The father remark I included not because I agree with it but because it was so striking. It is very psychoanalytic is tone and as such 'reductionist'. As philosophically I rejct all form of reductionism, scientific or psychoanalytic, I tolo am unsure how to make of it anything with which I can agree, exceot perhaps in the sense that especially sons have to go through a process of aggression and conflict with their fathers in order to assert their separate 'masculine' identity. That is why I linked it in the poem with the other striking Z remark, 'that masuclinity' is an illusion. I am not sure I can make sense of either but they certainly seem linked.

As for Lacan - I think the guy's nuts. And certainly unreadable. But the great thing about Zixek is that he is so eclectic, so passionate in his love of ideas, so enthusiastic and alive that I wonted to encourage people to the film and be taken on an exhilarating intellectual ride accompanied by clips from some of the best films ever made.

Anyway. Thanks for the remarks. Certainly the 'pebbles' set off many ripples in my mind as the xcessive length of this perhaps demonstrates.

regards

Z








<Added>

sorry about the typos etc.


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