Does one love someone, or does one love something about someone? –Derrida (2002).
Narcissism, Love, and Derrida in front of the camera…
I found the experience of watching “Derrida” to be very self-aware and an interesting interaction with the performance of Derridean deconstruction. As opposed to a straightforward documentary, offering biographical information and interviews, it engages in a dialogue with Derrida himself, and forms a relationship with him.
One of the main points I’d highlight would be the role of the camera in the film. Derrida himself makes several mentions to the camera, and to the fact that his self-representation is extremely different in that given setting. If the camera wasn’t there, he’d be home alone all day in his pajamas. If the camera wasn’t there, there would be nothing for the audience to see. This is the reiterability of the filming of the documentary. The camera both facilitates and disrupts the hospitality that Derrida is extending, as a biographical subject, for getting to know him. It is unclear whether or not he was camera-shy. That’s a question I’d love to ask the filmmaking team.
The theme of narcissism was interesting and played along with the presence of the camera. Derrida speaks about the narcissism in self-love, the alterity of the “I” to the same self, and the idea that only the other can see and experience the “I” as a distinct agent. This comes with his reflection on the hands, parts of the body which he says receive extreme emphasis in our thinking.
The final strand I’d like to highlight is that of love. Several times Derrida’s interviewers ask a question about love, which he promptly avoids. With regards to philosophy and love, he says he has nothing to say, then he offers a few reflections on love and its difficulties as a shared intersubjective phenomenon. Hence the quote above, “Does one love someone, or does one love something about someone?” This is the difficulty of coming to know another person and understanding what or why it is that they are so special. However, he makes the unforgettable statement, that he’d want to know the love lives of the philosophers (such as Kant, Hegel, etc.) Derrida is certainly leaving us a hint that there is something ironic, a deeper comment on love, something beyond the membranous surface of the answer.
In summary, I have to say that I enjoyed watching the movie inasmuch as it both told a biographical story and mounted performances of Derrida’s own philosophizing, both within the choices of the film makers and also by giving Derrida himself moments to speak.
I googled “girls weightlifting championship” and this was one of the first images. People complaining about the casting for the Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo, but I think in the drama Lee Sung-Kyung passes as a weightlifter who is at the beginning of her career. She does not look like Jang Mi-Ran, the real-life weightlifter whose life was the inspiration of this drama, but it is not a biographical documentary, the actress does not have to look like her. Besides, we do not know how she looked back when she was 19-20 years old (she is in her mid 30’s now). The drama handles the body-image issues of the athletes, also the young people in general very well so far. I am also liking the “friends to lovers” progress, the OTP is so cute.