Derrida

Overview

Jacques Derrida is a French author and philosopher who is regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of deconstructionism, a school of thought which argues (among many other things) that "truth" is not an absolute, and must be viewed within the context of the mindset of the person expressing it and the frameworks within which the idea has been related. Appropriately enough, Derrida, a documentary about the man's life and work, offers its subject many opportunities to present his ideas directly to the ...
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Overview

Jacques Derrida is a French author and philosopher who is regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of deconstructionism, a school of thought which argues (among many other things) that "truth" is not an absolute, and must be viewed within the context of the mindset of the person expressing it and the frameworks within which the idea has been related. Appropriately enough, Derrida, a documentary about the man's life and work, offers its subject many opportunities to present his ideas directly to the camera, and even allows him to deconstruct himself as he offers commentary while watching one of his interviews on a video monitor -- and later, analyzes his own deconstructive analysis. Derrida was directed by Kirby Dick, who previously won acclaim for a film about another highly individual thinker, "supermasochist" Bob Flanagan in Sick.
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Special Features

Audio commentary by the filmmakers; Almost one hour of never-before-seen interviews with Jacques Derrida; Deleted scenes, with filmmaker commentary; Derrida on DERRIDA: Q&A with Jacques Derrida and the filmmakers at the New York premiere; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Joslyn Layne
This biography is something of a missed opportunity; the makers had such open access to the life of this brilliant philosopher and yet asked such poor questions. Even Derrida himself chides director Amy Ziering Kofman at one point for a question being too generalized, explaining she can't just ask him to "talk about love -- ready, go." Peppered throughout the biography are voice-over segments of passages from Derrida's works, translated into English, read by Ziering Kofman. The chosen passages effectively offer viewers a glimpse into his output's variety, scope, and sheer amount (as does the visit to a university's archive), and may inspire viewers to go read more by Derrida. The narrator, however, delivers them in an unnecessarily melodramatic tone more appropriate for inspirational poems than for Derrida's writing; the selections already have meaning and feeling and don't need dramatizing for emphasis. Despite these weaknesses, it's wonderful to see what Jacques Derrida is like, experience his sense of humor, meet his family, see the twinkle in his eye, and watch him in action teaching a class, being at home, and visiting with friends. His strong personality comes through clearly in this film. And, with so many of his thoughts and ideas readily available in print, isn't what he's like as a person what we're actually looking for here, anyway? While flawed, Derrida is still of great interest to anyone curious about this brilliant man or about modern philosophy in general.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/20/2004
  • UPC: 795975104739
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Zeitgeist Films
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Language: English, Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 54,948

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jacques Derrida Himself
Technical Credits
Kirby Dick Director, Editor
Amy Ziering Kofman Director, Producer
Matthew Clarke Editor
Kirsten Johnson Cinematographer
Ryuichi Sakamoto Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Future/L'Avenir [1:51]
2. Keys? [3:08]
3. The Anecdote [8:05]
4. Deconstruction [4:48]
5. You Call This Verite? [2:37]
6. Narcissim [6:16]
7. Jacques & Marguerite [9:15]
8. Love [10:07]
9. South Africa & Forgiveness [11:36]
10. Seinfeld [2:44]
11. Echo & Narcissus [4:20]
12. Genealogy [6:44]
13. Archive [3:17]
14. The Sex Lives of Philosophers [5:03]
15. Without Even an Ash [2:50]
16. End Credits [3:14]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Audio Options
      Play Film With Director's Commentary
      Commentary Off
      Play Film With English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
      SDH Off
   Special Features
      Derrida Interviews
         Fear of Writing
         Film Will Survive Me
         Eureka
         No Photos
         Kindergarten
         On Being
         Animals
         Childhood Games
         Very American
      Deleted Scenes
         Alternate Opening
         It Can Go
         Mourning
         Friendship
         Representation
         Melancholy
         Zerox
         The Trace
         Play All With Commentary
      Derrida on Derrida: Q&A With Jacques Derrida and Directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman at the New York Premiere at Film Forum
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