RE: foucault and film

>I am curious how do you link that film [Madness of King George]
>to some of the "major themes" of F's work?

Matthew is right; we had something of a discussion of this back in
January last year. I asked the list for suggestions for films appropriate
to a course I teach on the securitization of the human animal. One session
is on the theme of the division of reason and unreason. Someone suggested
_12 Monkeys_; I had _Madness of King George_ in mind. My reply is below.
It explains what links I see to the major themes of Foucault's work.

>What about 12 Monkeys for "Madness and Civilization"?

I did think about that, but the scene in _King George_ where having being
subject to all sorts of coercions George strikes out with "but I am the
King of England", to which his assigned physician replies, "No Sir, you are
the patient" swung it for me. This is a stunning scene; one that perfectly
reflects the deeper and broader shift of the 18thC from sovereign to
biopower. Also in _King George_ madness is made to 'confess'; the King
being made, upon the threat of once more being gagged and strapped to his
chair (the denial of the manic mobility of madness itself), to declare
outloud and intelligibly the truth about his own madness. Then, perhaps
the best scene. Have people checked this out? Where King George upon
recognising his own bad behaviour, walks calmly to his chair and *straps
himself in!* Just amazing. This perfectly prepares the ground for our
later sessions on the government of souls; panopticism, the automatic
functioning of power, where "inmates" are caught up in a system of which
"they are themselves the bearers".

Ian R. Douglas | Watson Institute of International Studies
Brown University, Box 1831, Providence, RI 02912 USA

tel: 401 863-2420 fax: 401 863-2192

"All societies need some means whereby order is
maintained." - The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol XIV

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