Marc James Léger presents Žižek-influenced studies of films made by some of the most influential film-makers of our time, including Jean-Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Werner Herzog, Alexander Kluge, William Klein, Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartley, Harmony Korine, and more.
“The long decayed remains of a white wall tyre lay on the disused turnoff road in front, now buried under vegetation, detritus and dust. I wonder if this was a service road or maybe the original 285? It a lovely moment, a kiss through time into the world of then, the experimental archaeology of my journey. I could almost hear the tread of Robert’s shoe in dust, or the cackling laughter of Marylou, wild and lost in the backseat of Kerouac’s Cadillac. Are we ever as free as when we are lost?”
The Secret Life of the Love Song: “It is only successful if the listener is affected and in order to be affected, they must be moved by the rendition of the pain or joy of the writer. The love songs that travel with me are the ones that say something about my particular situation, my particular joy and/or sorrow with a particular love-object.”
“I left no doubt that I would not come up with another film about penguins. My questions about nature were different. Why is it that certain species of ants keep flocks of plant lice as slaves to milk them for droplets of sugar? I asked them why is it that a sophisticated animal like a chimp does not utilize inferior creatures? He could straddle a goat and ride off into the sunset. Despite my odd questions, I found myself landing on the ice runway at McMurdo.” Werner Herzog
From the slums of New York to the champion of the world, the depiction of boxer Jake La Motta, the ‘Bronx Bull’ (played by Robert de Niro) in Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980) is an uncompromising rag to riches story of an ‘animalistic brute’ pursuing the American dream…
As the Stranger attempts to describe the Dude with the phrase ‘sometimes there’s a man …’ but trails off without finishing his thought, so does the masculine cult figure remain incomplete. The Dude himself demonstrates a similar lack of completion when, after he impregnates Maude and spits out his drink, declares, ‘Let me explain something about the Dude …’ but never does…
On a grey day, in a flooded urban space enclosed by a high, spiked metal fence, a bowler-hatted man leaps from the end of a ladder lying in a pool of shallow water and is caught by Cartier-Bresson’s shutter a split second before the man’s descending heel breaks the smooth surface of the water.
National anthems have become an integral part of international sporting spectacles. Even before the players have taken their positions on the field teams are lined up and, with the onlookers standing to attention, the country’s anthem is played over the PA system. These tunes are invariably received with much enthusiasm; this sense of identity unites individuals, evoking an unspoken kinship that in turn invites a collective and hearty chorus of voices, if not the odd teary eye.
This is a curious case of a mass produced piece of media that has become remarkably popular for not only its original form but for all its other manifestations, despite the fact the original purpose of the poster failed to materialise.
Parkour is an art form that does not conform to social expectations. In the eyes of a traceur (a parkour practitioner) stairs, walls and rooftops are not physical boundaries but instead they offer options to the individual – options for an alternative way to travel through an urban landscape.
Before human beings gave importance to sitting still and staring at a fire, it is likely that they found their most meaningful inspirations and links to the unspeakable and unthinkable through spirited movement.