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Derrida
     

Derrida

Director: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering Kofman

Cast: Jacques Derrida

 
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.

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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/20/2004
UPC:
0795975104739
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
NR
Source:
Zeitgeist Films
Time:
1:25:00

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

Cast & Crew

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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