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Slavoj Žižek’s DVD Picks

PostPosted: January 8th, 2019, 3:13 pm
by toucana

Even with closed captioning turned on, it isn't always easy to follow which films the philosopher Slavoj Žižek is referring to, so here is a list:

Trouble in Paradise - Ernst Lubitsch 1932
Sweet Smell of Success - A. Mackendrick 1957
Picnic At Hanging Rock - Peter Weir 1975
Murmur of the Heart - Louis Malle 1971
The Joke (Kundera) - Jaromil Jireš 1969
The Ice Storm - Ang Lee 1997
Great Expectations - David Lean 1946
The Age of The Medici - Roberto Rossellini 1972
Cartesius - Roberto Rossellini 1974
Blaise Pascal - Roberto Rossellini 1972
City Lights - Charlie Chaplin 1931
Y Tu Mama Tambien - Alfonso Cuáron 2001
Children of Men - Alfonso Cuáron 2008
Antichrist - Lars Von Trier 2009
The Burden of Dreams - Les Blank 1982
Ivan The Terrible - Eisenstein 1944
The Magnificent Ambersons - Orson Welles 1942

Box Sets
Eisenstein: The Sound Years
--> Alexander Nevsky 1938
--> Ivan The Terrible Part 1 1944
--> Ivan The terrible Part 2 1958

Carl Theodor Dreyer (Sound Films)
--> Day of Wrath 1943
--> Ordet 1955
--> Gertrud 1964

Re: Slavoj Žižek’s DVD Picks

PostPosted: January 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm
by PaulN
I confess I never much warmed to Picnic at Hanging Rock. A pretentiously arty surface hinting at nonexistent depths. I had no idea what they were doing there or what the point was.

Re: Slavoj Žižek’s DVD Picks

PostPosted: January 9th, 2019, 2:26 pm
by toucana
I always felt that the original novel of Picnic At Hanging Rock written by Joan Lindsay and published in 1967 was a more artistically satisfying piece of work than Peter Weir’s film adaptation.

The novel was inspired by a dream, and the title was borrowed from that of a painting by William Ford which hung in the office of the author’s husband Daryl Lindsay, who was the curator of fine art at the National Gallery of Victoria at the time.

Slavoj Žižek says he singled the film out partly because it evoked that feeling of an utterly strange and numinous supernatural zone where mysterious and inexplicable things happen. He references the film Stalker (1979) directed by Andrei Tarkovsky which also happens to be derived from a Sci-Fi fantasy novel, one called Roadside Picnic written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky and published in 1972.

In both cases you should probably read the fairly brief novels that inspired these films to get a handle on where the director was starting from, and what he was hoping to achieve.

Re: Slavoj Žižek’s DVD Picks

PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 1:47 pm
by PaulN
I may just do that. Thanks. Re the latter, there is some good Russian sci-fi out there that never got much attention in the US or elsewhere. Like many people, I found a lot of insight reading the novelisation of Clarke's 2001, which opened up some of the more enigmatic scenes in Kubrick's film. Part of me wants to carp about these sorts of films, on the principle that a film should be a complete and self-contained work of art that requires no further support. I settle for a little cognitive dissonance on this...

Re: Slavoj Žižek’s DVD Picks

PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 3:53 pm
by toucana
Do you know the film Solaris (1972) which was likewise directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and also happens to be an adaptation of an earlier Sci-Fi novel of the same name written by Polish author Stanislaw Lem that was originally published in 1961 ?

Once again you have the same sort of striking disconnect between the original novella, and what a film-maker subsequently brought to their cinematic adaptation.

Stanislaw Lem's novel Solaris is set in the future aboard an almost deserted space station in orbit around the planet Solaris where generations of scientists had struggled to understand the strange Welt Tier ("world beast") that is the planet's dominant and only life form. The novel is in part a parable about the limitations of the human capacity for knowledge and understanding.

Andrei Tarkovsky''s film Solaris is recognisably based on the same story, but focuses far more intensely on the emotional dilemma of a scientist confronted with an almost perfect living simulacrum of his deceased wife that has been reconstructed from his personal memories of her.

Re: Slavoj Žižek’s DVD Picks

PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 7:50 am
by -1-
To me, Kubrick's film version of 2001 was a complete and self-contained work of art that required no further support. It took me by force.

I remember Stanislaw Lem's name, from the 1960s. I read much of his work, but remember only one, "The Last Theorem of Dr. Limfater". I may have misspelled "Limphater" or "Limvatter". I was in my pre-teens and teens in the 1960, when I read Lem's work, and I don't remember much of it. I remember a humorous piece, which was copped and made all kinds of versions of it in Western cinema (not Westerns) and literature. Or maybe that piece by Lem was a take on someone else's work as well. (No spoilers here, though I remember the piece quite well.)