De – rrida – construction

    VISIONS du REEL: This year’s festival featured the 2002 film Derrida as a part of the oeuvre of Kirsten Johnson, who worked as cinematographer. The film follows French philosopher Jacques Derrida. But is it possible to film-philosophy?

    Where do the true meanings of words and concepts lie? How can such ideas be captured on screen? The film Derrida portrays French philosopher Jacques Derrida through footage of his lectures, public speeches, and also personal conversations at home. However, the main focus here is not Derrida’s life but rather the ideas that shaped it – specifically those on which he built his own philosophy.

    It’s as if Derrida were the author of the film and not its subject. He says openly in front of the camera that he will not be speaking about his own life, and the camera almost never catches him at a moment that he wouldn’t plan himself. During the filming, he offers advice regarding what to cut and what to go back to, and we get the feeling that he is playing a game with the filmmakers, seeing who’s in charge, testing their patience, and carefully considering every word before he utters it.

    Derrida, a film by Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering
    Derrida, a film by Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering

    Derrida tries to give the film a form based on his idea of himself through his own ontology. And the filmmakers let him do it.
    We feel doubt behind Derrida’s . . .

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