January 16, 2003

Ha'aretz: Disaster movies as the last remnants of Utopia (an interview with Slavoj Zizek)

Apparently it's so hard for us to imagine a new global utopian project based on work and cooperation, that the only way we can entertain the thought is to pay a mental price of extreme catastrophe. What fascinates me about disaster films is how circumstances of vast catastrophe suddenly bring about social cooperation. Even racial tensions vanish. It's important at the end of Independence Day that everyone pulls together - Jews, Arabs, blacks. Disaster films might be the only optimistic social genre that remains today, and that's a sad reflection of our desperate state. The only way to imagine a Utopia of social cooperation is to conjure a situation of absolute catastrophe. Disaster films might be all that's left of the utopian genre.
I think that in Communist regimes, things which aren't manifest in liberal democracies have become evident. I believe that liberal democracies are paradoxical in the sense that they contain a fundamental blindness about the ideological mechanisms which operate within them. Take, for instance, the liberal principle of free choice. Choices made by people in democratic states are not necessarily less compulsory, and yet they experience these choices as though they are free.
(via nettime)

posted by dru in good_articles