Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WATCH: Žižek on feminine sexuality in Bergman's "Persona" (1963)

...more film analysis from the eminent (and fuzzy, furry, coked-up) philosopher and culture critic from Slovenia. 

In this clip he uses that famous scene in Persona, where Alma (Bibi Anderson) describes an orgy on the beach to Elisabeth (Liv Ullmann), to illustrate female sexuality in Lacanian terms, as a biological and narrative experience (with one before the other). 

I of course am severely limited in my experience so I cannot make a call (other than ideological) on what he is saying, but I asked some girlfriends and it made for interesting conversation...


The Scrybe said...

Interesting, and Persona is a true masterpiece.
Also interesting is what is to be found beyond the scene. I always thought that the scene represented a confession to god; to a god who takes an almost voyeuristic pleasure in listening to the confession. Alma (spanish for soul), confesses her 'sin' to a silent god (Elisabeth Vogler), and later feels humiliated at having done so.
Thanks for posting this.

fucoid said...

hi scrybe, interesting interp. of the scene. in the light of bergman's preoccupations, it makes poetic sense.

i have always thought of persona as his signature new wave film, so honestly concerned with the medium that he literally melts through it, rather than simply playing games with genre and allusion.

The Scrybe said...

Indeed, and Persona gets better the more it is watched. I particularly enjoy the beginning.

Cries and Whispers is supposed to be good aswe;;. I've had it on order for a month now and am still waiting for it. I hope I'm not disappointed.

The Scrybe said...

Ha.. typing in the dark!
aswe;; = aswell!

fucoid said...

it is beautiful.

bergman inside out... have you watched Virgin of the Spring next to wes craven's Last House on the Left?

The Scrybe said...

I've seen The Virgin Spring, great film, although that can be said about most of his films. Hour of the Wolf, The Silence, Wild Strawberries, the list goes on.

I haven't seen Last House on the Left, but will look into purchasing a copy asap.

101101 said...

Well this was weird! I can definitely relate to the way he describes masculine sexuality but as far as the narrative aspect of feminine sexuality -- it makes no sense to me. I mean, his theory does make sense but I can't say that sex has been or is anything like that to me. I guess my question here would be what does he consider to be feminine and where does he put the line between feminine and masculine sexuality.

fucoid said...

i was talking with my friend about how fundamental a narrative is to love... it is essentially a very particular story one tells themselves about another person.

and i thought i could sort of understand this need to tell yourself a story about sex but then there is the problem of gender and love vs. sex and it doesn't make sense to me either.