Thursday, November 04, 2010

Sound of Music? Only the Most Racist Movie Ever

Slavoj Zizek, if you can tolerate his accent is one of the superstars of contemporary philosophy. I have become infatuated with his ideas ever since I read an essay discussing his thought a few weeks ago. One of the ways he works best is finding points of his theories working in film and culture to connect the dots. Here is Slavoj dissecting the racism of Sound of Music (you will never watch the film the same way again):

1 comment:

Ishta said...

Here is a man after my own heart I tell you! Love his smug smile at the end, like "Ha! Take that fools." I watch Sound of Music numerous times anually (because there are times when nothing but singing along with that wayward nun can cheer me up) and I totally see it on that racist level!

But obviously unlike Zizek, I never thought much of it, frankly because I assumed since Rodgers and Hammerstein were Jews, the ironic racism was intentional. Like it was their little joke on the world, and so I laughed along with them without imagining that the whole world wouldn't love their movie even more for this same reason! For who doesn't love the heroics of using the system to fight the system? Like Scoffield in Prison Break, breaking in to break out?

Anyway, it's one of my favourite WW2 movies ever (yes, even trumping The Pianist and Schindler's List) because of this reading, to me it's a movie about non-Jewish-ness as perceived by non-Jews (like me), and I love how it's Jews that produce it, so effectively they're poking fun and yet enlightening the non-Jewish world. Like, here, have your way of understanding otherness, with your pervasive stereotypes, now do you see how ignorant and rudiculous and easily manipulated they make you?