Re: Foucauldians

No, you're raising a fair question. What I mean is there are moments,
even if they are introduced and legitimated relative to some romantic
notion of freedom, in movies like "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest,"
"Coming Home," Emile Zola's "Germinal" in movie form might glancingly
discuss the way capable and reliable workers are created. Are there any
movies out there that take seriously what people go through in Boot Camp?
There are some places where conditioning of human beings is
well-understood and pursued with enthusiasm.

I think the earliest anti-disciplinarian movies were things like the one
where Haley Mills plays twins who make life miserable for their discrete
parents so the two can fall in love -- called "the Love Trap"?

Of course we have to mention Planet of the Apes. Talk about the Sudden

Is it too cute of a story or would Gregory Peck in "Mockingbird" show
something about distinctly formed subjectivities coming up against each
other in power field that is disproportionately controled by one of the

On a lighter note, "The Dirty Dozen" shows Lee Marvin struggling mightily
to reshape a bunch of soon-to-be-hung low-lifes so that they'll
participate in a murderous raid on a German officer compound. Lee wins,
but not without a lot of growling. So, there's some transformation there.
The soldiers go through changes.

But all of these suggestions are on the margin and could easily be
off-target. Have you tried looking at actual training films? John Cleese,
apparently, did a lot of these training films and made a lot of money
inbetween Monty Python appearances. Maybe some of those films would talk
more plainly about some of these topoics.

--John Ransom

On Sat, 17 Jan 1998 stevends@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> Just a detail-- do you mean Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale" John? There the
> positive sense always given to birthing becomes the sinister product in a
> totalitarian regime for which the women are mere 'vessels'. Brings to mind
> the fascist girlfriend in "Europa Europa" who wants to get herself pregnant
> for Hitler.
> >On Sat, 17 Jan 1998, IR. Douglas wrote:
> >
> >> I'm running a seminar series on biopower in general and one of these
> >> sessions is concerned with Foucault's investigations of
> >> 'politzeiwissenchaft' (the 'Wohlfahrt' state:
> >> wealth-tranquility-happiness)
> >> Along with each theme I want to show an appropriate film. I have films
> >> for the sessions on madness, delinquency, medicine, militarism etc., but I
> >> cannot think of one which would best represent the type of state that
> >> Foucault had in mind when he talked about the rise of biopower: the type
> >> of state that attempts not to limit or suppress life, but facilitate it.
> >>
> >> Orwell's 1984 is a good example of the former (the boot stamping on a
> >> human face forever), but I'm at a loss to think of a film that represents
> >> the state specifically in its 'positive' role.
> >>
> >>
> >> any help would be much appreciated!!
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Ian R. Douglas
> >> Visiting Scholar,
> >> Brown University
> >>
> >> Ian_Robert_Douglas@xxxxxxxxx
> >>
> >
> >
> >Sounds like a great course! Wish I were there. I want to think more about
> >movie titles, but I am unable to think of something immediately either.
> >One point you might make to your students is that this is one of
> >Foucault's best insights, one that had not at the time and has not still
> >made it into creative arts.
> >
> >Perhaps one way to do it is to ask students to look for the more hidden
> >positive moves of power in films that wear the repression-angle on their
> >sleeves. For instance, "A Maiden's Tale" has a lot of repressive stuff in
> >it, but in order for this to work a number of positive embodiments of
> >power have to go on.
> >
> >"The Last Detail" doesn't show us power producing subjectivity, but does
> >show us some fairly stunted results of that production.
> >
> >A good place where "biopower" can be seen breaking down is "Diary of a Mad
> >Housewife." So too "Coming Home." But (a) I'm sure you've thought of these
> >and (b) they don't really fit the bill, do they?
> >
> >
> >
> ><<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>><
> >< John S. Ransom 717-2 <
> >< Political Science 4 <
> >^ Dickinson College 5 ^
> >^ Carlisle, PA 17013 - ^
> >> ransom@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 1 <
> >< Denny 107 7 >
> >< 1 >
> >> 6 ^
> >><^<>^^<>^<>^<>^^>><<>^<^^<`

< John S. Ransom 717-2 <
< Political Science 4 <
^ Dickinson College 5 ^
^ Carlisle, PA 17013 - ^
> ransom@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 1 <
< Denny 107 7 >
< 1 >
> 6 ^

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