Derrida (2002)

What if you could watch Socrates, on film, rehearsing his Socratic dialogues? What if there was footage of Descartes, Thoreau, or Shakespeare as themselves at work and in their daily life? Might we now look at these figures differently, with perhaps a deeper understanding of their work and lives?

Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman asked themselves these questions, and decided to team up and document one of the most visionary and influential thinkers of the 20th century, a man who single-handedly altered the way many of us look at history, language, art, and, ultimately, ourselves: the brilliant and iconoclastic French philosopher Jacques Derrida.

For over five years, Dick (“Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist”) and Ziering Kofman (Producer, “Taylor’s Campaign”) played Plato to our own modern day Socrates. The filmmaking team shadowed the renowned philosopher, best known for “deconstruction,” and captured intimate footage of the man as he lives and works in his daily life. They filmed Derrida on his first trip to South Africa, where — after visiting President Mandela’s former prison cell — he delivers a lecture on forgiveness to students at the University of the Western Cape. The filmmakers travel with him from his home in Paris to New York City, where he discusses the role of biographers, and the challenges that are faced when one attempts to bridge the abyssal gulf between a historic figure’s work and life. They capture Derrida in private moments, musing reluctantly, about fidelity and marriage, narcissism and celebrity, and the importance of thinking philosophically about love.

Yet DERRIDA is in no way a talking heads movie or conventional biographical portrait. Its bold, visual style, mesmerizing score by Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, and novel editorial approach create a rich, lively cinematic experience, at once provokes, amuses and entertains. In resisting any predictable, formulaic approach, they make Derrida a living, informal demonstration of “deconstruction” — a system of thought which up to now has otherwise eluded cinematic capture. The result is not only thought provoking, but ground-breaking.

Vir: http://www.derridathemovie.com

Conspiracy Rising (2012)

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? What’s really at the root of society’s skepticism of the “official story”? What type of person is it that believes a sinister and secret society is manipulating the government?

Set against the global socio-political landscape, Conspiracy Rising uses the latest science and psychology to investigate the causes of conspiracy theories, why we are wired to believe them, and how as a society it is imperative that we separate the fantasies from the real threats.

Combining remarkable, iconic archival footage, visits to the sites behind the most notorious conspiracy theories and interviews with both leading conspiracy theorists and scientific experts, Conspiracy Rising will introduce the audience to fascinating material, outlandish claims and posed “truths” that have been hidden for decades all the while questioning us on why we choose to believe… or not.

The number of popular conspiracy theories and the speed at which they spread across the globe is a growing cause for concern. Over 1/3 of Americans believe their government did not tell them the truth about 9/11. One third of the British population believes that Princess Diana did not die an accidental death (watch two views of Diana’a death). Belief in conspiracy pervades our modern culture and proliferates in cyberspace with thousands of sites dedicated to theories behind the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana, UFO’s, Area 51, and 9/11. Looking at these events and others, Conspiracy Rising reveals how our society’s distrust in government and other institutions has created a culture of doubt. It examines the ways that fearful people find comfort in the order and explanations that conspiracy theories provide. Conspiracy Rising shows how conspiracy theories frequently discourage honest discourse, incite racism and persecution and, if unchecked, can threaten the most basic foundations of a democratic society.

Featuring outspoken US publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Dr. Michael Shermer, who uses scientific methods to question if there is truth behind the theories with his “Baloney Detection Kit” and British psychologist Patrick Leman who explains the social needs for conspiracy theorists’ beliefs, Conspiracy Rising takes a hard, penetrating look at the psycho-social and philosophical roots of conspiracy theories, examining who tends to believe in them and why.