[SydPhil] Sydney Seminar: On von Trier’s Melancholia (Sept 28)
D.Vardoulakis at uws.edu.au
Fri Sep 14 11:15:26 AEST 2012
Sydney Seminar for the Arts and Philosophy 20:
Melancholia Non Grata: Lars von Trier and the Infinite Sadness
Friday, September 28, 2012, 5:00–9:30 pm
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street.
Cost: Admission Free
Please RSVP to: philosophy at uws.edu.au<mailto:philosophy at uws.edu.au>
Lars von Trier’s most recent film Melancholia (2011) has provoked no end of debate: simultaneously hailed as a ‘masterpiece’ and ‘tiresome’, von Trier himself half-dismissed the work as ‘too polished’ and ‘a woman’s film’ at its premiere at Cannes (where he was infamously declared ‘persona non grata’ after noting that he had come to ‘understand Hitler’). This seminar seeks to cut through the controversy in order address some of its major themes and contexts.
Drawing from Jacques Derrida’s contention that the death of the other spawns a melancholia that amounts to the annihilation of the entire world, Christopher Peterson’s “The ‘Magic Cave’ of Allegory” argues that von Trier’s film visually stages a planetary clash whose literality is never fully dissociable from, yet never entirely collapsible onto, the allegorical content of Justine’s psychological depression.
In “Between Saturation and Exhaustion: Lars von Trier and the Melancholy Death of Cinema”, Alex Ling argues that Melancholia – and von Trier’s cinema more broadly – offers a profound meditation on the current state of cinema as simultaneously saturated and exhausted. Taking as given cinema’s imminent demise, the film asks the question: did cinema live up to its potential?
Robert Sinnerbrink‘s “Anatomy of Melancholia” analyzes the various aesthetic and philosophical strands of von Trier’s film, arguing that it performs a complex ethical critique of rationalist optimism in the guise of a neo-romantic allegory of world-destruction.
Taking the starting point in the controversies raised by von Trier’s depictions of female protagonists in his cinematic oeuvre as either “sacrificial love” or “virtuous excess,” Magdalena Zolkos’s “Turbulence and Urgency: Von Trier’s Melancholic Femininities at the End of Times” offers a reading of the female figuration of Melancholia (impersonated in the protagonist Justine) from the perspective of the Romanticist aesthetics and undertones of the film.
Chair Lorraine Sim
5:00 to 5:30 Chris Peterson (University of Western Sydney) The ‘Magic Cave’ of Allegory
5:30 to 6:00 Alex Ling (University of Western Sydney) Between Saturation and Exhaustion: Lars von Trier and the Melancholy Death of Cinema
6:00 to 6:15 Break
6:15 to 6:45 Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University) Anatomy of Melancholia
6:45 to 7:15 Magdalena Zolkos (University of Western Sydney) Turbulence and Urgency: Von Trier’s Melancholic Femininities at the End of Times
7:15 – 8:15 Question and Answer
8:15 to 9:30 Drinks and canapés
Dr. Christopher Peterson is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.
Dr. Alex Ling is Research Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.
Dr. Robert Sinnerbrink is Lecturer in Philosophy at Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University.
Dr. Magdalena Zolkos is Senior Research Fellow in Political Theory in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.
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University of Western Sydney
School of Humanities and Communication Arts
Bankstown Campus, 7.G.11
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751
tel: +61 2 9772 6808
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