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Watch: Philosopher Slavoj Žižek Explains Why Lars Von Trier's 'Melancholia' Is "Profoundly Optimistic"

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 30, 2012 at 5:59PM

If you know someone in a university who is studying for some kind of liberal arts degree, chances are they've mentioned Slavoj Žižek. To call him "popular" wouuld be overstating it, but as far as contemporary philosophers go with name recognition, he's one of the few that actually have it. Entertaining, and yes, thought provoking, Žižek has often viewed/used pop culture and social/political changes to explore deeper meaning, so naturally, he has an opinion about Lars Von Trier's downer "Melancholia"....or is it a downer?
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Melancholia Slavoj Žižek

If you know someone in a university who is studying for some kind of liberal arts degree, chances are they've mentioned Slavoj Žižek. To call him "popular" wouuld be overstating it, but as far as contemporary philosophers go with name recognition, he's one of the few that actually have it. Entertaining, and yes, thought provoking, Žižek has often viewed/used pop culture and social/political changes to explore deeper meaning, so naturally, he has an opinion about Lars Von Trier's downer "Melancholia"....or is it a downer?

Speaking with Big Think, Žižek explains why Justine's acceptance of death in the face of the impending end of the world is a "profoundly optimistic" thing. It's certainly an interesting way to read the film, so check out his thoughts below. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments section and if you like what you hear from Žižek be sure to check out the documentaries "The Pervert's Guide To Cinema" or "Examined Life." [Set Yourself Aflame]

This article is related to: Melancholia


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