Alien Invaders From Outer Space

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Alien Invaders From Outer Space

Postby Jakob » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:28 pm

"French philosophy" (a term which is meant to include non French thinkers) seems to me to be all about the symbolic order, how it rules us and what it's boundaries are. In film, and espescially Hollywood film, this order becomes very clear, and lends itself to precise analysis. I wanted to post here a little exercise I once did at a film course (in an almost previous life, before any philosophy had gotten through to me).



I remember writing this scene, the night before I had to shoot it, being totally blacked out and then figuring I'd just take a bunch of categories - I now recognize mainly Mafia and Alien, and have the plot change from category to category during the scence. I like to start out this thread with this very simple example of the symbolic order changing within the narrative structure. I am wondering if such a change can only be orchestrated top-down, as in writing a scene or staging a revolution, or whether it can also arise from the ground up.

The reason I am asking this, is that I feel we are lost within our symbolic order, or rather, the symbolic order we are operating inside of is actually too small to contain us. Yet it appears to be excruciatingly difficult to hit a dent in this order from the inside. Wherever you strike, it always bounces back. The order is pretty hermetic, and does not allow for mid-scene change of symbolic vocabulary. Any discourse that is touching on narratives outside of the main one is forced to take place without a coherent order, thereby sabotaging itself with every statement it makes.

Perhaps it is true that only a kind of totalitarian imposition of truth can have any effect on the symbolic order. Film, as the most totalitarian of arts, would be the medium to stage such a coup. So I have two questions I want to answer: Can the present narrative be deconstructed? And: can a new narrative be conceived of? What are the plot-twists that are used to keep our narrative coherent, in the face of crises? Which elements do they use? What would remain of our narrative if we take away the deus-ex-machina elements? Can these elements be replaced with plausible psychology? Can we conceive of our cultural narrative in another style?
"But where does the call of distress for the superman come from? Why does prevailing man no longer suffice? Because Nietzsche recognizes the historical moment in which man prepares to assume dominion over the whole earth. Nietzsche is the first thinker who, in view of a world-history emerging for the first time, asks the decisive question and thinks through its metaphysical implications. The question is: is man, as man in his nature till now, prepared to assume dominion over the whole earth? If not, what must happen to man as he is, so that he may be able to "subject" the earth and thereby fulfill the word of an old testament? Must man as he is then not be brought beyond himself if he is to fulfill this task?" [Heidegger, "Who is Nietzsche's Zarathustra?"]
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Jakob
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