Redefining family values on film

Ideology in Hollywood? You don’t have to look for it, because it always finds you. In The King’s Speech the cause of the king-to-be’s stuttering is precisely his inability to assume his symbolic function and identify with his title. He displays little common sense, seriously accepting that one is a king by divine will; and the task of the Australian coach is to render him stupid enough to accept his sovereignty as natural property. In[ …]

Hegel on Marriage

Far from providing the natural foundation of human lives, sexuality is the very terrain where humans detach themselves from nature: the idea of sexual perversion or of a deadly sexual passion is totally foreign to the animal universe. Here, Hegel fails with regard to his own standards. He only considers how, in the process of culture, the natural substance of sexuality is cultivated, sublated, mediated—we humans no longer just make love for procreation, we get[ …]

A Soft Focus on War

When Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker won all the big Oscars over James Cameron’s Avatar, the victory was perceived as a good sign of the state of things in Hollywood: A modest production meant for independent festivals clearly overran a superproduction whose technical brilliance cannot cover up the flat simplicity of its story. Did this mean that Hollywood is not just a blockbuster machine, but still knows how to appreciate marginal creative efforts? Maybe–but that’s a[ …]

Zizek at Occupy Wall Street (Q&A)

[A brief Q&A after the Occupy Wall Street rally on October 9th, 2011. For video and transcript of the talk, see this post.] Do you have any suggestions how this movement can go forward after this? Such a difficult question that I almost want to take the fifth ammendment. I refuse to answer it because the answer might incriminate me. All I’m saying is, and I’m sorry this will hurt some of you, that this[ …]