I once envisaged this blog containing a series of sub-Žižekian ponderings of various films / books / comics / music; only I haven't seen / read / listened to anything worth commenting on until now.
Thanks to the Institute and IT we've now seen Lars Von Trier's The Boss of it All (2006), which my partner described as "Brecht meets Shakespeare". Now LVT attracts Lacanians like flies to the poverbial, and I have no knowledge of whether he reads Lacan, but this film perfectly illustrates the Lacanian semblant / everything Žižek writes on the symbolic mandate, truth in the structure of fiction, "there is no Other of the Other", etc. The film concerns a company "owner" who has exploited and manipulated his co-workers by inventing a fictional "boss of it all" to take responsibility for any difficult decisions. Unfortunately to complete his final betrayal by selling the company without recompensing his colleagues he needs the "boss of it all" to sign the contract and so signs up an avant-garde actor to play the role.
Commentary is superfluous in one sense because of the brilliance of the film's logical probing of all the consequences of this act (as well as the fact LVT supplies his own commentary on the form of comedy, somewhat like his closing monologues in The Kingdom). Particularly acute is the moment when the actor playing the "boss of it all" invents the "boss of the boss of it all" to displace all the anger he has been receiving and outwit the company "owner". Unlike the melodramatic aspects of other LVT films, which I have often really disliked, the use of comedy makes for something that I find far more effective and troubling than they more overtly disturbing elements of Dogville or Manderlay (both of which I found properly penitential viewing). I wonder whether it will attract the same level of critical attention as those films? Despite all the various assaults and revisions of the canon in Eng. Lit. it is noticeable that comedy is still a rather "minor" part (with the obvious exceptions).
In light of my project critiquing the "affirmationist consensus" the scenes where the actor playing the boss of it all is advised to say yes to everything and has hot office sex because this involves simply consenting to a series of fantasmatic projections is genius.