Copyrighted material – 9780230341470

The Symbolic, the Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek’s Theory of Film
Matthew Flisfeder

Copyrighted material – 9780230341470

NY 10010. Basingstoke. Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States. company number 785998. the sublime. 175 Fifth Avenue. p. and Slavoj Žižek’s theory of film / by Matthew Flisfeder. First published in 2012 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN® in the United States—a division of St. Design by Scribe Inc.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 the symbolic. cm. registered in England. paper) 1. Where this book is distributed in the UK. First edition: October 2012 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in the United States of America. Title. I. 2. this is by Palgrave Macmillan. All rights reserved. Hampshire RG21 6XS. the United Kingdom. Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world. of Houndmills. ISBN-13: 978-0-230-34147-0 ISBN: 0-230-34147-0 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Flisfeder. Matthew.4301—dc23 2012016403 A catalogue record of the book is available from the British Library.F565 2012 791. Europe and other countries. Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . Martin’s Press LLC. ISBN 978-0-230-34147-0 (alk. Motion pictures—Philosophy. and slavoj žižek’s theory of film Copyright © Matthew Flisfeder. Žižek. 1980– The symbolic. the sublime. 2012. PN1995. Includes bibliographical references and index. a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. Europe and the rest of the world. New York. Slavoj—Criticism and interpretation.

the cinema has the power to “render visibly uncertain the certainty of the visible. we need cinema. poses the Platonic question. Are we not all in “the matrix” when we are watching films? This is certainly the claim made by Alain Badiou when he compares The Matrix to two other science fiction films: Vincenzo Natali’s Cube (1997) and David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ (1999). poses a Kantian transcendental question about how the subject might react if the totality of its world were subtracted.”2 The three films cited by Badiou make a claim toward the relationship between appearance and reality. and one discovers the real reality. then.”1 Or to put things differently. —Slavoj Žižek Ideology: Between The Matrix and Inception T he Wachowski brothers’ The Matrix (1999) and Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010) each posit a particular thesis on ideology. then.” The matrix is a universe of symbolic fictions. we get the standard conception of ideology as “false consciousness. appears to speak directly to cinematic fictions. It’s only in cinema that we get that crucial dimension we are not ready to confront in our reality. literally. “the visible (appearance) is in reality a particularly aleatory indication of the Real. All three films deal in one way or another with the difference between reality and appearance. The Matrix.” Emancipation is possible once one removes oneself from and leaves this fictional reality. asks about how the subject might react if the surrounding world could not be given any kind of objective consistency. In The Matrix. behind the illusion.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 Introduction In order to understand today’s world. regulating our relation to “reality. Cube. If you are looking for what is in reality more real than reality itself look into the cinematic fiction. in his terms. removed from beneath its feet—that is. The Matrix. according to Badiou. evident in its connection to the allegory of the cave: What is the relationship between the reality of the subject and the formation of subjectivization Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . eXistenZ. for him. if the subject were to be pulled out of its “natural” environment. and they are of interest for Badiou since they present the thesis that. in contrast.

It is more difficult to say whether he is a film theorist or simply a pop culture enthusiast. AND SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK’S THEORY OF FILM under the constraints of appearances? For Badiou. nor is it simply the fantasy that supports our approach to reality. the radical act of the hero. Ideology. is less about the symbolic fictions—the appearances—that regulate external reality. even if we do not yet realize this at a conscious level. It has more to do with the underlying sublime fantasy that regulates our approach to reality. My thesis builds on and draws on the work of the contemporary Slovenian political philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek. One cannot say with certainty whether Žižek is simply a political philosopher or if he is cultural critic. The Matrix and Inception allow us to perceive the very coordinates of ideology today. It has to do with the relationship between the external symbolic order that regulates social reality and the obscene underside of fantasy (an underside that remains unconscious) that attaches us ever more aggressively to external reality. on the other hand. THE SUBLIME. on the one hand. The world with which Žižek engages is one that is. is much harsher. and paradoxically so. here.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 2 THE SYMBOLIC. In many ways. is required not only to maintain a distance between himself and symbolic “reality. however. Neo (Keanu Reeves)—the act that ultimately allows him to break free. Our approach to reality is always supported by our a priori assumptions and perceptions about the world. painfully obscure. In a single sentence. it is the latter that is superior to the other two films since The Matrix is self-reflexive enough to pose questions about the cinema itself. the matrix itself as the technological medium of appearances representing reality. In The Matrix. Yet I would argue against Badiou that The Matrix only speaks to one side of the equation between cinema and appearances. Subjects in the social world never truly approach reality spontaneously. Some might also argue that Žižek creates a field of his own. at a zero level. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). Ideology is to be located in between the symbolic and the sublime. Ideology is not only the set of symbolic fictions that regulate external reality. He must traverse the very fantasy that structures his approach to reality itself. to change the coordinates of his relationship to ideology—involves maintaining a safe distance between himself and the virtual world of symbolic reality. Inception posits a different thesis. this most modernist of thinkers is truly the most postmodern thinker to date. In order to escape from the world of symbolic fictions.3 Taken together. the hero.” He must go even further: he must identify with and risk the inner most kernel of his very being. Inception. Žižek can pass from details in the films of Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch to the most complex Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . vividly familiar and quite representative of the images we confront daily in our consumerist “society of the spectacle” yet is.

Schelling.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 INTRODUCTION 3 conceptualizations of enjoyment. as he has been averaging about two books per year for the last twenty years. as she notes. 2001 (a tragedy). He is the subject of a documentary. Žižek notes.8 In order Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . partially. and texts. afraid—to settle on any one “answer. from his appearance as image.”6 Alain Badiou adds that “the brilliant work of Žižek is something like the creation of a conceptual matrix that has the power to shed new light on a great deal of cultural facts. and the financial meltdown in 2008 (a farce). and England. the most dangerous philosopher writing today. It is often difficult to keep up with Žižek. France. directed by Sophie Fiennes. Commenting on an interview she conducted with Žižek for the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog—which.”7 What mostly attracts readers to Žižek’s work is his ability to engage and expand on some of the most difficult questions facing theorists today. is “well known in the United States for selling clothes by featuring barely clad teenage bodies in highly charged homoerotic photographs”—the political theorist Jodi Dean writes. His appeal stems. without accepting the flimsy postmodernist doxa. since the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11. we can simply resort to managing and administering the world as it is in “reality”—an attitude that has been severely questioned. videos.”5 The British cultural theorist Peter Dews comments that “the work of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek seems to offer an irresistible range of attractions for theorists wishing to engage with contemporary culture. such as how to engage a critical theory of ideology at a time when we are said to be living in a “postideological era. Marx. directed by Astra Taylor. and the writer and host of the film The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006). which is often the only available gloss on it. and Lacan (among others). perhaps.” Such an understanding of ideology is not simply meant to undermine the reigning liberal-democratic doxa (which in different variations can also be conflated with neoliberalism or neoconservatism) à la Francis Fukuyama or Samuel Huntington that with the end of the Cold War we no longer have to be concerned with ideological warfare. and politics in the works of Kant. Žižek! (2005). He is a thinker capable of conceptualizing variations in European ideology simply by making observations about the mundane details of toilets in Germany. for some. ideology.” Žižek is also a figure who reaches beyond the confines of academic elitism.4 He is also at the same time a well-known “joker” and. subjectivity. This is either the product of a prolific genius or the work of an obsessive neurotic. A simple search for Žižek on Google or YouTube also results in an unending stream of images. never ready—or. “That Abercrombie wanted to feature this philosopher (who later supplied text for a particularly beautiful and risqué edition of the catalogue) testifies to his near pop-star status. Hegel.

”13 Johnston is at pains to argue that the cultural studies reading of Žižek is misguided and that Žižek’s constant references to popular culture should not distract readers from his more philosophical goal of elaborating a transcendental materialist theory of subjectivity. Žižek often dismisses his own engagements with popular culture as mere examples used for the purpose of more clearly elaborating his philosophical project. he is quite serious. for instance. to limit Žižek’s work to critical engagements with the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan and works of popular culture is to miss out on some of the central features of Žižek’s “project. ideology has less to do with a false representation of reality and more to do with the “primordial lie” that constitutes reality itself. they serve merely as linchpins for his broader endeavor to elaborate a theory of ideology and subjectivity that draws heavily on German Idealism. In the preface to his book. The chain Kant-Schelling-Hegel. Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . . it is important to distinguish between constituted ideology—“empirical manipulations and distortions at the level of content”—and constitutive ideology—“the ideological form which provides the coordinates of the very space within which the content is located. For Žižek. popular culture as a subservient vehicle for the (re)deployment of late-modern philosophy . “[i]deology really succeeds when even the facts which at first sight contradict it start to function in its favour. the subtitle of Johnston’s book. and are enlivened by constant references to works of fiction.” While both Lacan and popular culture hold important places in Žižek’s writings.”11 Terry Eagleton even goes as far as to refer to Žižek as “Lacan’s representative on earth. This philosophical project is accompanied by a strong commitment to revolutionary politics. . Johnston writes that “[w]hen Žižek declares that he employs. is the underlying skeletal structure holding together the entirety of the Žižekian theoretical edifice. THE SUBLIME. AND SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK’S THEORY OF FILM to engage in the critique of ideology under the conditions of the so-called postideological world. Žižek goes as far as undermining the very (Marxian) notion of ideology as a kind of “false consciousness. Žižek refers to the German Idealist philosophy of Kant and Hegel as well as psychoanalysis in order to understand the operation of ideology when it is no longer a matter of mystification. As he puts it.” As Žižek puts it.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 4 THE SYMBOLIC. classical music and opera.”12 However.”9 In his own thought. Adrian Johnston’s book Žižek’s Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity (2008) is one of the most decisive engagements as of yet with the philosophical underpinnings of Žižek’s theoretical and political tasks.”10 Dews notes that Žižek’s writings are “informed by a vivid and sophisticated grasp of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. cinema. knotted together vis-à-vis Lacan himself as this chain’s privileged point de capiton (quilting point).

Although Žižek’s orientation is philosophical in stature. . if society really is organized along the lines of domination and exploitation. it is not difficult to understand why Žižek has been taken up in film studies. Rather than theorizing film—an endeavor that. The latter requires engaging with two axes of Žižek’s theoretical writings. if capitalism really does divide society into antagonisms between the Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . . Two central objectives occupy the terrain of the present book: (1) to further articulate the contours of a Žižekian theory of ideology and (2) to expand on a strictly Žižekian theory of film. “the subject connects with the ideological fantasy woven in external reality.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 INTRODUCTION 5 Contrary to Johnston’s claim. As Fredric Jameson puts it. In what follows. . and that making sense of this peculiar relation in fact provides us with a number of important insights into his entire orientation. To do this. advocates the convergence of psychoanalysis and film as part of a project for the radical re-politicisation of culture. Instead. The Critique of Ideology A single problematic occupies the field of the Marxian theory of ideology.”15 demonstrating that Žižek “is the only theorist today who . Paul Bowman suggests that “Žižek’s disavowal of cultural studies is deliberate and strategic. as Fabio Vighi puts it. The first and most obvious is Žižek’s constant and recurring references to examples in cinema. . Žižek’s strategic and apparently belligerent relation to cultural studies actually offers something of a ‘royal road’ for appreciating and understanding his work. as I explain later. I argue that Žižek’s film theory involves not theorizing about film as such. its object of analysis is quite sympathetic to Bowman’s and Vighi’s comments regarding Žižek’s critical orientation and his engagement with popular culture and cinema. particularly his constant and continued engagements with film and cinema. I seek to reverse the trajectory of film theory. The second is his overtly Lacanian approach to ideology critique.”16 While the present investigation is developed in solidarity with Johnston’s approach. I begin by providing some context for the relationship between the critique of ideology and film theory. Because of his engagements with both cinema and Lacan. “if the world is as Marxism describes it”—that is.”14 What follows is somewhere in between Johnston’s and Bowman’s assessments and is grounded in the way that Žižek’s analyses of cinema show how. . one cannot help but consider the central place of culture in his analyses of ideology and subjectivity. has become increasingly problematic—film theory must focus on theorizing ideology by way of film criticism. even if controversy remains regarding Žižek’s status as a film theorist.

in order to answer the question as to why its particular “truths” have been encountered with so much resistance. One of the main problems facing Marxian theorists of ideology is that. The limits of bourgeois thought. in various different guises. and so on—“if this particular ‘truth’ about the world has finally been revealed to us in modern times.19 have taken up Gramsci’s conception of hegemony as a way of elaborating on a nondialectical theory of ideology. does not account for the historical development of objects of thought and their relation to the form of consciousness. such as Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. built on the Marxian philosophy of dialectical materialism by examining the antinomies of bourgeois thought from a Hegelian perspective. according to Lukács. THE SUBLIME. The theory (or “Theory”) of ideology suggests that this “truth” alone is not enough to generate a “class consciousness” capable of transforming the existing conditions of existence. Because of its own internal limits. bourgeois thought is incapable of perceiving its excesses as a result of its own system of rationalism.18 Thus no such theory exists in Marx’s later work. Marx abandoned the subject of ideology after 1846. As Lukács puts it. especially by those whose interests it asserts. . for example) as instances of irrationality that trouble established rationality.20 Bourgeois thought perceives excesses (the existence of the proletariat. What is therefore at stake in the Marxian theory of ideology is not simply the “truth” value of that which it reveals about the world but rather the extent to which its revelations have enough force to actively transform the existing conditions of domination and exploitation. sought an answer in his conception of “hegemony. Lukács. on the other hand. by way of various different methods. AND SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK’S THEORY OF FILM class that rules and the class that is exploited. and if all the legal.’”21 The Kantian approach. parallel the limits of Kantian transcendental philosophy.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 6 THE SYMBOLIC. Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . the subject is capable of understanding everything about reality except for the fact of its own existence or the form of its own thought. in other words. and cultural formations in the superstructure really are determined by the relations of domination and exploitation in the mode of production. how is it that people continue to refuse it and insist on seeing the world in quite different terms?”17 The Marxian theory of ideology has developed. these facts were thereby transformed into something merely there and could not be conceived as having been ‘created. In the Kantian paradigm. Marxian scholars such as Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukács returned to the problematic of ideology.” Post-Marxists. Gramsci. In an effort to build an understanding of why the Marxian critique of capitalism was met with so much resistance. social. on the one hand. . “Kant did not go beyond the critical interpretation of ethical facts in the individual consciousness . as Colin MacCabe notes.

is not a difference between two different versions of objective reality. unless it is viewed from the position of the “irrational. This. subjective position from which each engages with objective reality. from a Hegelian perspective. Unlike the Kantian problematic. the dominant form of thought must rid itself of contradiction. the form of the social coincides with the dominant form of thought. the subject must transform the objective conditions of existence in order to develop an equal transformation in itself.” as Lukács puts it. Hegelian dialectics. From the Marxian perspective.” what the ruling ideology cannot understand in its own terms. there are not two universalities/totalities—that of the rational and that of the irrational. that speaks to the (false) universality of the form. For Hegel. split between the particularity of the “rational” and the singularity of the “irrational. Dialectical materialism is best rendered as a move from the Kantian transcendental subject to the historical subject in Hegel and finally to the Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . according to Lukács. From the Marxian perspective. and in order to be operative. There is one universality. however. In other words. Objective reality “in its immediacy. Dialectics allows the subject to understand its own position in a totality.” One cannot understand the fallacies of the ruling ideology. The shift from Hegel to Marx is simply an extension of this logic. It is the irrational. is the history of ideas. in a historical transformation. There is just one reality (or “Real”) that is split internally. unless it is viewed from an external position in a totality—that is. there are not two different versions of objective reality. change in history means a change in the form of thought. is how the Marxian philosophy of dialectical materialism should be understood. not by accounting for the irrational as an excess of the rational. it is that which contradicts the dominant form of thought. At stake in the class struggle is the form or meaning of “reality”—bourgeois or proletariat—that will organize society. The “irrational” represents that which the dominant form of thought cannot explain in its own terms. In other words. or from a perspective that is inaccessible to the dominant form of thought. Put differently. but by understanding the rational from the perspective of the irrational. it is the concept rather than objective reality that is changed. a change in the concept is contingent on a transformation of material reality. the exception.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 INTRODUCTION 7 The difference between bourgeois and proletarian consciousness. according to Lukács. is the same for both the bourgeois and the proletariat. one cannot understand the faults with its “rationalism.” according to Lukács. Hegelian dialectics allows the subject to comprehend its own existence in its historical contingency—that is. in a nutshell.22 What is different is the particular historical. allows the subject to comprehend the limits of thought as an effect of the historical form of thought itself. wherein the subject is capable of understanding all experience except for the contingent fact of its own existence. History.

they all suffer by ignoring the ontological attachment of the subject to authority. THE SUBLIME. change is only possible when there is a coincidence of subject and object. Both the Marxian revolutionary subject and the psychoanalytic cure require an (ethical) act in concordance with the second option. A dialectical materialist critique of ideology is not just epistemological. In other words. to change the objective conditions of one’s existence in order to then reconstitute oneself anew. is mirrored in the transformation of the subject in the psychoanalytic cure. and/or neurotic conceptions of and relationships to power/authority. Subjective destitution represents the ends of analysis. In Hegelian terms. In other words. which destroys the limits imposed on its own subjectivity by transforming the objective conditions of its existence. as a result of its “passionate attachment” to authority. this is the position of subjective destitution—when the subject gains consciousness of the fallacies concerning the Symbolic (as opposed to the objective) conditions of its existence. the point is to change it! Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . the Marxism of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri)—fail to make the ontological connection between the class struggle and ideology. The first is an operation of ideology. Resistance to the “truths” of Marxian criticism. At this point. the furthest that bourgeois thought and all the nondialectical theories of ideology can go is to try to theorize the matrix. psychotic. rather. In ideology. more important. like that of Lukács. ontological.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 8 THE SYMBOLIC. According to each.23 My thesis. I claim. this is the position of Absolute Knowing (as opposed to Absolute Knowledge). in psychoanalytic terms. Nondialectical perspectives—even those that are in solidarity with Marxism (i. The subject. it is. The subject can either reconstitute the fantasy that structures the Symbolic coordinates of its existence. This is a subject that is inherently pathological. is pathological in the sense that the subject of capitalism is too firmly attached to the fantasy that structures the coordinates of its own existence within the Symbolic. is that the subject of capitalist society is still too Kantian. The dialectical method of historical transformation.e. is incapable of seeing beyond the confines of its own form of thought. For both Marxism and psychoanalysis the point is not simply to change the perspective from which one perceives one’s own objective conditions of existence. or the Symbolic coordinates of its existence.. or it can traverse the fantasy and change the objective conditions of its existence. it is. This provides one answer to the Marxian problematic of ideology. These pathological perspectives on power/authority are prevented from perceiving their own subjection as a result of the class struggle. and for me. the subject is still too “passionately attached” to its Symbolic identity. AND SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK’S THEORY OF FILM revolutionary subject in Marx. all the nondialectical theories of ideology and subjectivity are susceptible to perverse. the subject can act in one of two ways. I claim.

they also challenge the basis for his revolutionary politics. This claim does not deny the subjective experiences of workers their own validation. nor does it claim that their own personal experiences are unworthy of consideration. it must have access to a particular kind of knowledge grounded in scientific understanding. ignoring the fact that workers are living human beings. with consciousness. Critics also claim that. the ways in which they confront and deal with authority. However.”24 Furthermore. But does this theory give too little credit to the subject? Is this just another theory of “false consciousness?” It is often claimed that Marx treated workers as objects. seeks to dissolve this ontological deadlock. however. Its goal is not to create certainty about the world but to constantly revise and recreate new conditions of subjectivity. Marx.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 INTRODUCTION 9 From the Critique of Ideology to Cinema The dialectical critique of ideology. the dynamics of family life. also tended to impose “theoretical constructs upon historical realities and so distorted history. in practice. Marx’s claim. is the error in the Kantian perspective. important to understand how workers “cope” with their situation. and economic preferences. the dynamics of workers’ resistance have helped to transform capitalist practice. is “What is it that workers are being forced to cope with?” What types of conflicts and forms Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . and have the ability to articulate ideological. it is claimed. They also have the ability to “wage war” to protect their rights. Unlike other philosophical “systems”—systems that reproduced dogmatism—the dialectic in Marxism and psychoanalysis is better understood as a unity-of-theory-and-practice. subjective experiences and interpretations—this. turning it into a terrain of compromise. and the particular aspirations and senses of morality they promote in their everyday lives—all of which play a role in making the labor process bearable. I argue. They are people who are capable of adapting to different kinds of situations and are able to compromise. It is. political. The question that Marx asks. not only do these criticisms challenge the basic elements of Marx’s theoretical and historical interpretation of capitalism. the kinds of friendships they have. was that the world cannot be understood by way of simple. In order for the working class to realize its “historical mission” and understand its own enslavement. of course. the forms of entertainment they consume. It is necessary to understand something about the activities in which they take part. significantly. the games they play. the ways in which they cooperate with each other.25 These criticisms. the theoretical constructs that Marx applied to historical reality reflected not the actual practice of capitalism but merely capitalist ideology. are not entirely untrue. as Harvey points out. As David Harvey points out. Harvey notes.

Beginning in the 1930s. as in a mirror. such as the Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 .Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 10 THE SYMBOLIC. Althusser’s theory of ideology is often the starting point for contemporary theories of ideology. and exposes the forces that dominate their social existence and their history. It is therefore easy to understand why Marxian theorists turned to psychoanalysis in order to build on the theory of ideology. There is thus a gap between what subjective experience teaches and that which theory seeks to reveal. These thinkers focused primarily on the teachings of Sigmund Freud. The Lacanian influence in Althusser’s work comes across in his most well-known essay. Western Marxists started taking an interest in psychoanalysis. Althusser claims that ideology interpellates individuals as subjects in ideological apparatuses. Althusser’s psychoanalytic Marxism differs significantly from the Freudo-Marxism of the Frankfurt school. He is most famous for arguing that the unconscious is structured like a language. Lacan sought to reinterpret Freudian psychoanalysis by way of structural linguistics. Psychoanalysis proved to be quite influential for several key figures in the Frankfurt school. is not “forged” by some appeal to theory. painful. AND SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK’S THEORY OF FILM of domination are workers dealing with that result in all these various cultural constructs from below? Marxian theory “holds up to workers. Political class consciousness. and Herbert Marcuse. for both the worker and the capitalist.” However. a problematic that has been the single greatest challenge and undertaking for Western Marxists. THE SUBLIME. Walter Benjamin. Harvey asserts. The roots of political class consciousness are formed within the fabric of everyday life and (importantly) within the subjective experiences of ordinary people. From the early 1950s to the mid-1960s. and their work is often dubbed “Freudo-Marxism. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Towards an Investigation). and difficult to absorb—within the terms of its own systematic accounts of power and repression.” for it argues that the realities of exploitation under capitalism are obscured by fetishisms. psychoanalysis also takes into consideration resistances to its teachings—which are often unpleasant. including Theodor Adorno. In contrast to the Freudian influence of the earlier versions of psychoanalytic Marxism. Nevertheless.”26 But the major dilemma of theory is that it does not present itself well to the consciousness of the proletariat. This is both a barrier to and the raison d’être of “the Theory. despite the achievements of theory. What is obscured is the origin of surplus-value in exploitation. one of the most important configurations of psychoanalytic Marxism developed in the work of the French Marxian philosopher Louis Althusser.” Here. Althusser’s work draws its influence from the teachings of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Like Marxism. Marx could not solve the problem of political class consciousness. the objective conditions of their own alienation.

David. 133–34. Jean-Louis. 36–38. 176n. 10–11. 20 Butler. 97 Chion. 107 Allen. Woody Vicky. 115. 73 Badiou. 156. 49–50. Bordwell. 161. 31 class struggle. 179n. 96 Great Dictator. 145 Cahiers du cinema (journal). Michael. 63. 12. 13. 69 Costner. Noam. 52–53. 66 post-Theory. 26. 139. 164. 129–30 Terminator. Roland. 23 Benjamin. 120. 165 Bowman. Gregory. 151–58 Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . 106 Dances with Wolves.. 60. 1–2. 44. 123. 109. 129. Charlie. 24–26. 130 Titanic. 15. 19 “classical cinema. 162. 120. Alain. 55. Star Trek. 24–25. 51 Blow-Up.. 68–71. Jean-Louis. Bay. 3. 82–88. 111. 90 Comolli. 69–70. Kevin. 151. 130 Avatar. 117. The. 83. 163. André. 84. 144–45. Judith. 80. Raymond.. 35–37. Joan. Michael Armageddon. 86. 148 “Grand Theory. 35. 18. 20 Cameron. 151 Casablanca. 51–52 Archand. 92. 120. 124 Althusser. 90. 127 Children of Men.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 Index Abrams. Michel. 7–8. 1 Barthes. 117 Chomsky. 70. 82. 16. 180n. 90–93. 144–45 interpellation. 15. The.” 11. 18. Walter. 10. Pascal. Christina. Barcelona. 125. 31. 88. on Cube. 120. 33. 44. 35–36. 108 Currie. 19–20. 67. 12. 66. Paul. 10–11. 20. 117–19. 163 Bonitzer. 166 Antonioni. Alfonso. 20. 67–71. 67–93. 108. 125–27 cultural theory. 85. 165. J. 15–17. 13. ideological state apparatus. 92. 172n. 11. 31. Edward. 138 Adorno. 79–83. 117. 148 Chaplin. 1 on eXistenZ. James. Airplane!.. Theodor. 37–38 Curtiz. 24–26. 129 Aliens. 162. 24–26. 12. 21–22. Baudry. 20. 169n. 165 cognitivism.. 130. 117. 133.” 23. 129–30. 115. 84. 19. 183n. 172n. 172n. 14. 78. 35–39. 10. 157. 34. 170n. 26. 166 Carroll. 106–7 Cuarón. 35–38. 73–75. 171n. 90. 37. 138 Bazin. 20. 23 Copjec. 173n. 18. 88. Noël. Denys Le decline de l’empire américain. 86. 5 Buscombe. 127 Y tu Mamá También. Louis. 144–47. J. Michaelangelo. 105. 23 Bellour.

74. 3.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 192 INDEX Dahl. 32–33 North by Northwest. 91. 164. 13. Eytan. 4. 174n. 34. 70 “educationism. 30–32. 118–19 Dial M for Murder. 54. 3–4 Doane. 112. 143–47. 106. 42. 116 Dews. 90 historicity. Terry. 26. 112. 112. The. 20. 166 “Absolute Knowledge. David Fight Club. John. 20. 3. 101. 73 Herman. Federico La dolce vita. 155–56 commodity fetishism. 53. 45. 42. 60. 2. 99. 116. 31–32. 103. Sophie. 134. 59. 66. 46. Atom. 118–19. 105. 151. 90. Hitchcock. 163. 147. 12. 64. 15–21. 179n. Victor Gone with the Wind. 96. 4 Grieveson. 38. 115–18 Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . The. 5. 77. 47 MacGuffin. 32–33. 3. 99. Jodi. 79 “gaze. 53–55. 62. 96. Guy. 13. 3. 45 Vertigo. 64. 77. 107–9 Frankfurt School. 34–39 Fincher.. 140 “death drive. 88 Foucault. 108 “biopolitics. 124 Chloe. 64 Dean. The.” 8. 78. 118. 15. Peter Sliding Doors. 158–59. 23. 78–79 disavowal. Hollywood. 80. 54. 50. Birds. 42. 84. 31 Hegel. 30. 59. Roland 2012 (film). Mary Ann. 47–48. 66. 163. Stephen. 110. 118–19 Rear Window. 84. 55. 133. 64 Last Seduction. 10. 162. 65. 12. 87. 166. 124–25 Emmerich. 155. 151–52. 25–27. 97 Fleming. 50. 16. 161. 138. 150 Fiennes. 80. 57 Foreign Correspondent. 10. Alfred. 96 Fromm. 47 Marnie. 46 Deleuze. G. 4. Max. 26 German Idealism. 19 Hardt. 10 Freud. Sigmund. William Exorcist. 83–84. 42. 136. 115. The. 123 fetishism. 100. 49. The. 137. 118–19 Psycho. Harvey. Mladen. 17. David. 26. 47–48. 16 Dolar. 59. 73. 112 hysteria. 19 historicism. 4. 69 Eagleton. 79. 48. 100. 30. 16. 129 film theory. 48–50. 15. The. 127–30. W. 84.” 59.” 16 Fox. 46–48 Man Who Knew Too Much. 46–60.” 20 Egoyan. 17. 162 Horkheimer. 152 Fellini. Erich.” 77. 179n. Michel. 78.” 1. F. The. 150 Society of the Spectacle. 118–19. 138 enjoyment. 63. 17. 61 Debord. 115. 119–26. 32–33 Rope. 9–10 Heath. 161. 42. 17. 98. 81–84. 150–52. 57–60. 20 deconstructionism. Michael. 11. 44. 166 “false consciousness. 45. Peter. Edward. 28. 166 Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. 140 Friedkin. 17. 56. 176n. 3. 115. 13. 58. Lee. 107 Bubble. Gilles. 53. 6–8. 95–103. 19 Howitt. 135–36 Wrong Man. 9. 8.

57. 63. 48–50. 88. Ernesto. 96–98. 96–97. 78. 128. 121. 47–48. The. 60–62. 3–4. 134. 157.” 3. 114. 15. 113 Red. 62. 134. 13. 155–58. 131. 4. 50–51. 150. 78. 64 Kieslowski. 151. 169n. 42. 134. 127 “logics of sexuation. 144. 121. 131. 30. 89 objet petit a. 166 “mirror stage. 33. 117. 147 “surplus-enjoyment. 165. 126–31. 15 “traversing the fantasy. 97–100. 115–17. 58–61. 85. 146–47. Immanuel. 117. 65. 65.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 INDEX 193 Johnston. 56. 141–43. 64. 6. 54–58.” 2. 54.” 62. 161 “Name-of-the-Father. 52. 121. 75–80. 17. 16–17. 122. 158. 101. 161 separation. 92. 36. 26. 139. 161. Krzysztof. 15. 26. 75–76. 154. 53. 152. 117. 60. 2. 48. 115. 125. “subjective destitution. 28. 156–58 Symbolic. 153. 96. 30. 158 Thing. 15–16. 102. 152. 156. 33. 43.” 59. 117–19.” 13. 156–57. 42–48. 131. 114–16. 165 Jouissance/enjoyment. 5. 55. 51–54 Analyst’s discourse. 141–44. 31–33. 143–44. 164 “suture. 51–52 big Other. 113. 52. 26. 16. 34. 29 Real. 145. 96–97. 84 Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . 43–48. 6–8. 26–30. 167. 134. 166 transference. 43–45. 156–58. 50. 13. 149. 136. 152. 140 Kasdan. 33. 81. 126. 165 drive. 34. 68. 54. 102. 95–100. 114–15 Decalogue. 89. 123. 161. 144. 26. 29–31. 51–52. 61. 89–90. 65. 101. 136. 146–58. University discourse. 121. 75–101 aphanisis. 154. 161. 161. 30–31. 29. 112–15 Blue. 158.” 10. 95. 63–65. Stanley Dr. 32. 124. 26–27. 167 jouissance féminine. 15. 147. 95. 106. 142–43. 9. 78. 141. 110. 4–5 Kant. 122–26.” 53. 77–78. 124 Hysteric’s discourse. 56–58. 95 “voice. 125. 16. 134–38. 60–62. 136 Laclau. 75 Imaginary. 111–13. 57. 64 Body Heat. Lawrence. 109–10. 17 Lacan. 169n. Sheila. 147 “unconscious structured like a language. 158. 43. 16. 100. 117. 54. 15. 13. 44. 117–18. 98. 143–46. 87. 150. 16. 123. 43–44. 42.” 13. 28. the (das Ding). 1. 141. fantasy. 114–19. 115 Blind Chance.” 8. 101. 27–30. 61. 32–33 Symptom. 15. 166 “point de capiton” (quilting point). Adrian. 161 “sexual difference. 165 “gaze. 115. 76. 113 Kubrick. 59. 161. 115. 127–28. 136. 42–52. 15. 75–78. 152. 130. 75–78 Master-Signifier. Jacques alienation.” 16. 76. 114. Strangelove. 97 Kunkle. 151–52. 60–62. 26.” 59. 14. 89. 15. 123. 117. 51. 106–10. 141–42. 65. 107–19. 5. 60. 118. 103. 64. 76. 29. 113 Double Life of Veronique. 112. 3. 62 sinthome. 16. 13. 67. 27. 65. 133–36. 101. 16. 93. 172n. 8. 124 Master’s discourse. 154.

96 Testament of Dr. David. 85 surplus-value. 15. 12 postmodernism. Mabuse. Constance. Todd. 12. 123–24 Leder. 162–63 Mannoni. 13. 97. 71. 3–12. 144 popular culture. Fritz. 99. 4–5. 45 Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . 101–3. 142 Dark Knight. 68. 162 Narboni. 73–74 proletariat. 174n. Lukács. 10. 26. 20 Lévi-Strauss. 66. 34–35. 24 McGowan. 161–67. 156–58 “imaginary signifier. 45 Lady in the Lake. 61–64. 154.” 50. 16 Montgomery. 34 Marcuse. 68 Rose. 140 Prince. 14 Elephant Man. 29. 164. 79. 156. new social movements. 152–58 Lyotard. Mimi Deep Impact. Philip. The. 6. 17. Claude. Jean. Jean-Pierre. 72. 165. Christopher. David. 13. 41. 6–7. 100.” 38 Oudart. 61 Wild at Heart. 14. 69. 18–20. 1–2. The. 10. 42. John. 111 “dialectical materialism. 58–59. 46. 20. 16. 12 Night of the Living Dead. Jean-François. 126 Marx. 90. 31–32. 76. 6 Mulvey. 174n. Chantal. 31–33. 115–19. 16 perversion. 21.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 194 INDEX Lang. 79. 17. 52. Laura. 20 Metz. Jacques-Alain. 99 Mulholland Drive. 14. Stephen. 142 oppositional cinema. Christian. 23 Negri. Michael. 99 Dune. 81. 154. 26 revolutionary politics. Juliet. 137 Capitalism: A Love Story. 26. 12. 52. 137. 162–65 MacCabe. 89–93. 148 psychosis. 96 Lean. 101 Mitchell. 156 Riddles of the Sphinx. 125. 84. 82. 74. 29–31.” 20–21 realism. 123 Brief Encounter. 12. 98 Penley. 8. 2. 23. 35. 23.” 26. 38. 26. The. Georg. Wilhelm. 45. 138 Leftist Turn. 33–34. 49–53. 26. 137 Mouffe. 64. 68. 1. 163 McLuhan. 176n. 26. 12. Russell Thief. 109–10 Inception. 103. 152. 15–16. 3. Colin. 148. 74. Marshall. 73 May 1968. 69 Rosen. 6–8. Jacqueline. Karl. 70–74. 144. 61 Lost Highway. 77. 109. Herbert. 12. 97. 87. 13 Nolan. 170n. 14.” 26. 15–16. 45 Moore. 84. Reich. 128 “radical materialism. 49. 24. poststructuralism. 106. 32 “orthodox film theory. 133. 4. 64. Tim Bob Roberts. 26. 77–78. 115. 49–50. 166 Blue Velvet. Antonio. 9 Robins.” 6–7. 37–38. 162 “male gaze. 10. 25 Lynch. 57–58. Octave. The. 14. 23 Rouse. 166 post-Marxism. Robert. 64. 50. “historical materialism. 175n. labor-power. 89. 49–50. 174n. 8. 157 Miller. 12. 26. 61–64. 33–34. 115–18. 161. 27–28 Lewis. 135–36 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. 115–19.

161. 147–48 pornography. 158. 129 War of the Worlds. 16. 69 Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 . Peter. 123–24. 155–58. 165 “primordial lie. 165 Wachowski Brothers. 36–37. 166 “universal singular. 5. 13. 38. 60. 69 Singer. 19. 19–20. Brian Usual Suspects. 13. 86. 44. Lola. 120–22. 122 Sloterdijk. 109–10 “sublime object. 64 subjectivity. 158. 41. Alenka.” 42–43. Haidee. 66 Spielberg. Ridley Alien. Slavoj constituted and constitutive ideology. 50. 107. 146. 64. 108 “inherent transgression. 128 Jurassic Park. 42. 123–24 Twilight. Orson Citizen Kane. 112 universality. 99 Taylor. Fabio. 154–56 “post-ideological. 1. 148. 136–39. 42. 10 Wollen.: The Extra-terrestrial. 3–5. 17. 25. 137–38. 138 Tykwer. 43 Scherfig. 148. 110–12 Verhoeven. 60. 35. 62. 66. 71. Lone. 133.” 58. 1–3. 80–82. 163 parallax. 98–99. Tom Run. 13. 7. 82. 126–27 Silverman. 162 Wyler. 148 Matrix. 21–22. 130–31 Žižek. François Jules et Jim. 96. 154. 88 Zemeckis. T. 38.” 41–42 Zupanˇ ciˇ c. 21–23. William Ben-Hur. 129 Star Wars. Astra Žižek!. 118. 116. Lynn Humpday.” 3–4. 148 Tarkovsky.Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 INDEX 195 Saussure. 45. 161–66 Shelton. 81–82. 42. Kaja. 19 Welles. 12. 23 Western Marxism. 156–58 interpassivity. 166 structuralism. 129. 65. Wasson. Run. 65. 27. The. 29–31.” 4. 148–49. 127. 178n. 139 Screen (journal). 48–51. 107–9 Scott. 107 Education. Robert Back to the Future. 36. The. 13 Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut. 156. 3 Truffault. Ferdinand de. Peter Riddles of the Sphinx. Steven. 28 semiotics. Andrei Solaris. 128–30 E. 25. 21–25. 43. 116. 4. 105. 24. 64 Vighi. An. 33–35. 52. 26 screen theory. 152 interface. 62. Paul Basic Instinct. 12. 100. 42. 163 subject-position. 8–11.

Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 Copyrighted material – 9780230341470 .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful