Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier (Paperback)
  • Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier (Paperback)
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Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier (Paperback)

(editor), (editor)
£28.49
Paperback 464 Pages / Published: 17/11/2016
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Lars von Trier's intense, disturbing, and sometimes funny films have led many to condemn him as misogynist or misanthropic. The same films inspire this collection's reflections on how our fears and desires regarding gender, power, race, finitude, family, and fate often thwart - and sometimes feed - our best democratic aspirations. The essays in this volume attend to von Trier's role as provocateur, as well as to his films' techniques, topics, and storytelling. Where others accuse von Trier of being cliched, the editors argue that he intensifies the "cliches of our times" in ways that direct our political energies towards apprehending and repairing a shattered world. The book is certainly for von Trier lovers and haters but, at the same time, political, critical, and feminist theorists entirely unfamiliar with von Trier's films will find this volume's essays of interest. Most of the contributors tarry with von Trier to develop new readings of major thinkers and writers, including Agamben, Bataille, Beauvoir, Benjamin, Deleuze, Euripides, Freud, Kierkegaard, Ranciere, Nietzsche, Winnicott, and many more. Von Trier is both central and irrelevant to much of this work. Writing from the fields of classics, literature, gender studies, philosophy, film and political theory, the authors stage an interdisciplinary intervention in film studies.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190600174
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 834 g
Dimensions: 255 x 180 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Who's afraid of controversial arguments? Certainly not the authors of this collection of essays. Without ever looking for the easy way out, they face all the challenges of one of the most provocative contemporary filmmakers. In one word: in front of his films, they think."
--Peter Szendy, author of Apocalypse-Cinema


"This remarkable and surprising volume claims Lars von Trier for feminist philosophy and a reparative world practice by turning his exasperating provocations into useful invitations for serious (as well as seriously comic) political thought. Pushing beyond the reflexive, liberal-humanist outrage that too often stunts engagements with von Trier's oeuvre, the authors put him in conversation with such figures as Simone de Beauvoir, Georges Bataille, Julia Kristeva, Giorgio Agamben, Davie Bowie, and Soren Kierkegaard and in the context of tragic and queer theory. Politics, Theory, and Film finds in his brutal narratives, aesthetic cliches, and seemingly barbarous scenarios the possibility for emancipatory politics. From this volume we learn not only a great deal about von Trier; we also learn how to think about freedom more radically through his compelling example."
--Jennifer Fay, author of Theaters of Occupation: Hollywood and the Reeducation of Postwar Germany


"Lars von Trier is one of the world's most provocative and divisive film-makers around. This book of essays faces squarely the challenge-violent misogyny or searing critique of patriarchy? Pornography and violence or exposure of the cliches of power and desire?-and provides a range of brilliant and poised discussions of these extraordinary and dangerous movies."
--Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge


"This exciting collection is fundamentally a gamble. Instead of repudiating Lars von Trier's use of cliche and provocation, the contributors double down on the most controversial, problematic, and seemingly intractable figures in his corpus: the Woman, the Sacrifice, the Earth, Evil. Wresting his films from tired evaluations and defensive posture, the essays here approach these tropes and things with due seriousness to show how their intensification in von Trier's works constitutes a mode of speculative potential, one that situates the cliche at the ground of cinematic experiment, the cinematic at the heart of political thinking, and-most boldly-von Trier at the center of feminist theory."
--Eugenie Brinkema, author of The Forms of the Affects


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