Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Derrida (2002)

Fascinating documentary that follows famed philosopher Jacques Derrida as he gives lectures, sits for interviews and generally goes about his life. Derrida, the father of deconstructionism, is a strange and slippery subject who seems to enjoy messing with interviewers. Early in the film, he starts an interview by deconstructing the very idea of an interview, that anything can be found out objectively. Later, there's a great part when journalist asks him about "Seinfeld" as a deconstructionist object, and all he can do is stare at her and say he's never seen the show. The real value in this film, though, is the portrait of Derrida the guy as opposed to Derrida the thinker. When reading philosophy, it's tough to get a mental picture of these amazing thinkers, say, buttering their toast in the morning. Derrida wrestles with the man's philosophy, but in the end it's as much about showing that Derrida, despite his complex way of viewing the world, is human like the rest of us.

Grade: B+


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