Thursday, January 22, 2009

WATCH: Žižek on fantasy and perversion in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet"

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist. He has been characterized by the popular press as "the Elvis of cultural theory" and a "rock star philosopher." Widely known in Europe, he is now receiving attention in the States. Recently Amy Goodman sat down with him on Democracy Now and his analysis of pop culture, particularly David Lynch and Hitchcock, are en vogue with the young literati.

I posted a couple of short clips recently but they didn't generate any conversation. So I thought I would try one more time with a bit from him about Lynch's "Blue Velvet" (1986). I know there are people reading who are really into cinema and culture studies so I thought maybe this would spark more interest. He watches films through the eyes of french psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, but that doesn't really matter. He speaks in plain language and I think anyone with an interest in psychology and culture can get some nuggets from his analysis of films.

The below clip is him breaking down that infamous scene in "Blue Velvet" where small town good boy Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) is trapped in a stranger's closet while investigating a murder and witnesses a psychotoc, nitrous huffing Dennis Hopper (Frank) abuse and rape a shy, passive woman (Dorothy). It is a truly disturbing scene. The outlandishness of it all used to baffled me so I would sort of write it off as Lynch being weird just for the sake of being weird. Nevertheless, the power of scene has always intrigued me and now Žižek makes some sense of it.

See Slovenian rock star philosopher break down Lynchian perversions:

WATCH: Flowers are disgusting whores


101101 said...

Very Lacanian. I definitely agree with him on Dorothy, I always thought she actually enjoyed it in her own way. As far as Jeffrey and the father figure it's a bit far stretched to me but I see his point.

Hilda said...

thank you for the nice words. i'm glad you like the pics. i like yours too. u seriously moved from us to europe? ukraine? i think that's so amazing...i'd like to hear more about ur current life.

fucoid said...

101101, maybe it is a stretch or maybe he deserves some poetic license. i am not sure. there is a more compelling case for the father figure idea when taken into account with similar situations and characters in lynch's films. zizek finds other 'fatherless' heroes who must confront absurd paternal figures like frank. in 'lost highway' and 'wild at heart' the similarities are uncanny and then to lesser extent in dune. there maybe something in "mulholland dr." but i cannot recall.

fucoid said...

thanks hilda :)