Bunuel's masterpiece "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" generally is considered a surrealist film - however, it seems that compared to the "Andalusian Dog", on which, as already known Buñuel worked with Dali, "The Discreet Charm" slightly deviates from the "typical "surrealistic forms (although surrealism difficult to attribute any typical and strictly defined form), or from what mainly distinguishes Surrealism. Andre Breton's "Surrealist Manifesto" Surrealism defined, among other things, as a free psychic automatism which aims to express the actual functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of any control of reason, beyond all aesthetic and moral attitudes. " Two important factors are "the omnipotence of dream" and "disinterested play of thought." Although at first glance seems to be "discreet charm" fits in Breton's definition because of the element of dream and absurd situations that appear to be the product of anything else apart from the "disinterested play of thought," can not but let us not make that movie though something more than playing with surrealist sense.
In the foreground of the film is an absurd situation that a group of wealthy bourgeois persistently interfere in order to have dinner, starting from the first scenes of the film. For these situations there is simply no adequate explanation - each of the following is more absurd than the last, and no matter how hard you try to find an explanation or meaning in each particular situation, it seems that there is not. They all look like raids, penetrating into finely decorated social groups bourgeois world - and it's dinner as a special form of the ceremony in the high society of the highest expression of this regulation, this well-structured order. They were the two main features of absurd situations - their individual unsubstantiality or inability to find their meaning in themselves, and in a well-decorated intrusiveness order - what an absurd situation constituted as Lacanian Real, as opposed to the Imaginary and the Symbolic, where all three elements of the structure of reality from the perspective of Lacanian psychoanalysis. The text will try to constitutes this situation as real and that they, therefore, to find a place in the "reality" of the film. In addition, the film was a critical and ideological character dinners, taking into account the role of dinners in the life of the privileged class as a moment in which not only displays the grandeur of their privilege, but comes to manifestations of social identity that members of this class of share. However, under that identity, under this social mask, persona in the classical sense, there is another identity that is revealed only when their holders find themselves in absurd situations.
Finally, the theme of dreams is unavoidable here, as well as their role in the life of this group of the bourgeoisie.
So absurd situations such incursions Real, ideological character dinners and meaning of dreams are the three main points.
"What is this supposed to mean?"
The question that Francois Teven sets several times during the film, and the absurd situations - "What is that supposed to mean?" Or more precisely "what is the meaning of this?" - But highlights the city absurd situations in the film. The issue was first raised when a group of bourgeois, led Tevenoom, arrives at the home of Sénéchal at a dinner, but it turns out that the dinner arranged for the next day, although the ambassador Acosta convinced that the call was for tonight - here comes first absurdity, the first conflict between what is Acosta heard and what "is". Already we see that bourgeois act a little confused - they wonder why that is not set, but it has been eight; not sure whether to completely abandon the deal or to go to another place etc.. The unusual situation in which they find themselves violates their established relationships and behaviors, plans and arrangements, the only hint of the basic characteristics of absurd situations. Then they all head to the restaurant, but found that the restaurant owner had died and that his body inside the coffin, is located in the main room restaurant, but, despite that, the restaurant staff is willing to serve them, and the maitre their promises and excellent dinner , regardless of what is dead in the same room, although hidden from the eyes of the bourgeoisie screen. And here are the modes of conduct interfere unexpected inconveniences.
The question is, why this situation is called absurd, inexplicable? In the case of a dead man in a restaurant, dotted with questions: where did it here, why funeral service did not come by his body, why the restaurant is open despite the unfortunate event? This question has no answer because the question itself is absurd, or at least no meaningful response. If we try to find him, it will be impossible and we will wrist in unsolvable contradictions. Similarly with subsequent situations - for example, the shortage of tea, coffee and milk in the cafe or by entering the military battalion in the house of Sénéchal, moment after dinner finally started or else the situation in which Teven finds his wife with Acosta. And there is a lower common questions that point to the absurdity and the inherent inability to sense and, so to speak, the logical answer: how is it that no tea, coffee and milk? How to guests whether all this go away? Or, what kind of military maneuvers taking place in the middle of France? What is the custom to colonel with the whole troop come over for dinner? Or: how to Teven so coolly and calmly react to the fact that his wife was with Acosta and goes to the waiting at the car? How so easily accept the excuse that if what he wants to show her "sursicks", although it does not exist?
Take this inherent impossibility of meaningful, logical answer? What is essentially an attempt to respond to this question, attempts to find meaning in these intrusions? This question is, in contrast, can be answered, but to do that, is going to report on a three-part structure of reality from Lacanian perspective - the division of the imaginary, symbolic and real terms. This division is best illustrated by the example of any board game: the symbolic element of the structure of reality that demands to be rules, but the rules in general, not specific rules x or y (for that level will ensure symbolic, as will be discussed later). In this sense, the symbolic determines form, giving a form that must form the rules, whatever those rules - symbolic meets form content, specific rules x or y - that is, in the case of social games, the symbolic arrangement requires rules. Imaginary here are the names of figures and their physical form, but not only that - if we symbolically designated as an abstract form of rules, Imaginary for the content in all its forms. It is easy to imagine a game where there is regulation of the rules, but all the facilities replaced in relation to the previous content. Finally, the real is contingent here (on this I'll be back a little later) - Intelligence toy or some event that could disrupt the game or that is completely interrupted, therefore, something that does not belong to the symbolic order, but it is not imaginary.
More abstract terms, the symbolic order of the reality which is symbolized, in which "everything has its place" in order and nothing he does not avoid, and where things through the mechanisms of the signifier and the signified caught in symbole network operators which govern your reality. Symbolic is primarily, but not only, linguistic categories, a question of language. The symbolic order consists of rules, and those who are aware of and which have not, and that we have to follow (just like the rules in board games) that we could not communicate with others, and that through this communication constitute as subjects (again, as as the figures in the social games constituted through rules). It is obvious that communication and communication rules represent something that is like a second nature for all of us, something without which we can not - in other words, and we are caught in the symbolic network, as well as all the other things that we accommodate. Ranking the "big Other" - it seems like we are, because we have to obey the rules in order to be recognized as entities subordinate to an agent that controls our actions. In the sense in which we determined that, we - the symbolic order as a great companion, which can be embodied, eg., In a God who sees everything and control everything.
What is the difference between the symbolic and the symbolic, given that these two terms sound similar? Here is an interesting phenomenon first bishop in the film, which comes with Senshel's to become their gardener. Apart from the possible interpretation of subordination of the Church's most powerful, highest class, where it serves only to hoe the garden and take care of the lawn prosperous capitalist property, or capitalist order, not mired in the weeds and thorns, and the "immorality and sin," Bishop Bishop by symbolization, or symbolization, which is different from the symbolic order that we talked about earlier. While symbolic order includes symbols that are associated only with other symbols (requires an abstract form), symbolization of which we are talking, which is symbolic, in connection with the matters. Both bishops constituted his church robes and a cross around his neck - the time in which it appears in gardening overalls, Mr. Senechal roughly ejected from the house, but when he returns to his "law suit", recognizing him as a priest, although it comes a man of the same physical appearance. In this sense, one could say that the priest is not a priest because he has some essential traits that define him as a priest, but because it is so recognized by other entities. Hypothetically, if all operators stopped priestly robes recognized as belonging to the ranks of the Church, the priest is no longer a priest.
In the film clearly "see" all three elements of the structure of reality - Symbolic are the rules by which the bourgeois behavior, their fine manners and etiquette, knowledge of food and drink and the ways in which they are most delicious, "most appropriate" consume, unlike simple consumption (what we see at Akostinog chauffeur); The symbol is also a place occupied in society - Acosta's ambassador, Sénéchal women's - free - Sénéchal women, Teven and Senechal are wealthy businessmen and so on. When not acting according to prescribed rules and not occupied and social functions, would not be what they are. On the other hand, their names, history, physical appearance or tone of voice that are imaginary, and we could imagine that they look completely different and have different names, but to again be a group of the bourgeoisie which has been trying to dinner but she does not succeed. However, Imaginary is not accidental, not arbitrarily, but, structurally speaking, determined Symbolic.
What is the role of the Real in all this? Similar to absurd situations in the film is realistic, so to say, inexplicably, elusive, something that escapes symbolization and placement in the symbolic order - as absurd situation can not explain and elude placement in the "sense", as when Teven asks " what is the meaning of this? "but does not get the answer - but what is traumatic remainder, a surplus that could be symbolized. Lacan calls it Things, with a capital "T", but not in the sense in which it is Kantian thing-in-itself, transcendental, inaccessible to reason, devoid of attributes, non-produced, and on the other side of reality available to us. Realistically not something external symbolic order which is substantial and there is a positive, a tangible thing, but is in the middle of the order - what is his lack, it is also redundant in the sense that eludes symbolization, and lack of, in the sense that it is the result of incoherence , imperfections and shortcomings of the order itself. So real terms at the same time and produces or is produced - not only disturbs the symbolic order of the entries mentioned inconsistencies, irregularities and conflicts in it, but is the product of precisely these irregularities and conflicts, or the inability of symbolization. On this track, Realistically it could be qualified as "ekstimate" - external intimate - in the sense that the outside but it is also there, in a way, either here or there, it just adds explainable and the fleeting nature of the Real. This directly follows from a better perspective on the absurd situations. Although the situation is definitely absurd and have no explanation, do not fall from the sky and do not represent a "miracle" - not, each of these situations is produced by irregularities and cracks in the symbolic order: for example, a military troop that decline in house of Senechal (and while the use of marijuana, which only seems absurd thing) is that due to the maneuver being performed (which can not be represented as a gap in the standings after military exercises in the city are not usually part of the order) and also gets produced from incoherence in the symbolic order. At the same time, they distort reality Symbol subjects and also produced a series of consequences where do their decline (ie, where Realistically exercise its decline) - bourgeois again I can not have dinner because of the military or the mysterious disappearance Sénéchal's makes the brain because they think that the issue of police raids, thereby effectively abyssal yourself a chance for lunch. Thus, the ratio of the Real and Symbolic dialectical relationship - is realistic product Symbolic, because the very system deficiency causes the symbolization of the Real, but also causes symbolic because in turn becomes the cause of the failures.
It should be noted another aspect of the absence of the Real - it does not have to happen, does not have to have it in any way other than as a cause of disorder in order. Like the traumatic event that is identified as traumatic only when the recognize as the cause of symptoms, Realistic retroactively recognized as real terms after distortion or repetition (such as repeated failure Dining) which entered into the symbolic order. So in the film, the situation does not define itself - we recognize them as absurd, and Lacanian Real, only the consequences they have.
If we Realistically constituted at the same time as the deficit and as a surplus, it can not be without being reminded of the objet petit a: the same as real terms does not have to exist that would have consequences that would be effective, and objet petit a no, it is the lack, gaps in the symbolic order, a gap in which the symbolization missed. At the same time, it is a surplus, and this surplus jouissance. If we put an equal sign between the real and the absurd, it becomes clear that only the theory that handles concepts such as Real, objet petit and jousissance, the terms of which both are and are not, which are inherent to the seemingly absurd construction can adequately analyze and deal with absurd situations - but not so that it creates a new absurdity, as in the movie, but one gets a different kind of rationality. This is not a positivist rationality, which handles the formulas A = A and not-A = non-A, but dialectical rationality in which opposites pervade, whose elementary particles can not be reduced to mere identity to themselves and whose terms condition each other in seemingly, and only seemingly absurd circle.
Cooking and ideology
Since we founded explained the functioning of symbolic order, it is obvious that evening (taken in a broad sense, as ritual meals) has a very important place in the standings. It is no coincidence that just the bourgeoisie tries to dinner throughout the film - in the life of the upper classes, dinner is never just dinner. There is something about her which gives it special importance. When the bourgeoisie dinner, the food itself is not important - it's an opportunity to talk about many things more lucrative, business, political events, etc. The food here can also be viewed as a fetish - as a material object which itself is not essential and can take different form, but it is important what is '' behind the building, "a kind of" aura "that fetishized object possesses and that is actually what what is important, what interested fetishists - in this case, the bourgeoisie.
Here it is advisable to refer to Levi-Strauss' semiotic triangle of food, or three ways of preparing food, which indicate the relationship between nature and culture: raw food as what it signifies nature, baked like what signifies culture and civilization, and cooked as a mediator between the two opposites. The whole attitude indicates opposition of nature and culture, nature and civilization, and nature as a non-produced and history as produced, in a certain sense. Since the relationship of nature and history of the subject almost every ideology (especially philosophy as the highest form of ideology, to use the words of Marx), we can conclude that every breakfast, every lunch and every evening a matter of ideology, that this rite, neatly placed in a symbolic order, by no means an ordinary, everyday thing. In this regard, when the bourgeoisie sit at the table to dine, then it enjoys one bourgeois meal that was knee-deep in ideology. The question is: where ideology? If you continue to follow Marx and confirm that the ruling ideas of a society in a period of ideas of its ruling class, it is clear that the dinner to his knees in the ruling ideology. Dinner has its own rules, and in this regard is entirely located within the symbolic order. Do not acquire you that impression directly from the film? When our group of bourgeois sits at the table, it selects with taste, very select field in an appropriate manner; When drinking a martini, drink it mouthful by mouthful, as appropriate. As I mentioned, Akostin chauffeur it works in a different way, and there we can see hints of class differences and class conflict that later justify the words of Ms. Senechal - "he is plain, uneducated man." In other words, in order to properly consume food and drink, it is education or treatment and lifestyle reserved only for the privileged.
This dinner has the character of a ritual with clearly stipulated provisions, almost like a ceremony - for this purpose, it is interesting that the restaurant where the dead man's name "La sabretache", a word denotes a piece of uniform cavalry officer from Napoleon's time, as we can not recall nothing else except the ceremonially, solemnity. We can imagine that the bourgeois meet regularly in an attempt to have dinner and it becomes a kind of tradition, a tradition appears where there is a lack of institutions, the absence of legal regulation. Rituals are an attempt to compensate for the imperfections of this - as in the former Soviet bloc countries, and even here, where after the collapse of the institutions for the sake of the free flow of capital refreshed rituals - religious, secular, personal, etc. Not a movie, not far from that association - corruption Ambassador Acosta and his accomplices in the drug smuggling implies the absence of regulation, as well as military exercises in the middle of town, with the army that uninvited intrusion into the house, pushing free smoking marijuana. To this end, the bourgeoisie are trying to provide our rituals, here specifically ritual dinners, replacing the absence of institutions and defend their orderly lives from the onslaught of deregulation.
As rituals and ideology are concerned, it is interesting to craft that Bunuel says in his film Phantom of Liberty, where guests sit at a table on the toilet seat, water pleasant, friendly conversation, and when they want to eat, ask the host for ''one room". In the same way, and contrary to the food industry is very ideological, which confirms that the symbolic order governs all that is like '' second nature '' entities, and to entities constituted within the system and through the order.
Turning now to fetishism dinner. Fetish rule used to be the lack of compensation, something that is not there - it is a constant search for the true object of desire for objects that will never be able to be sustained. This begs the question is not: if a fetish used to cover a shortage, then he conceals the lack of - what?
When played incursions in Real, when coming to the fore the cracks and incoherence in the symbolic order, and comes to cracks and incoherence in the Symbol in relation to the bourgeoisie - a fine, exemplary subjects of civil society bourgeois become confused, rejected their manners and behave differently than before. Maybe just this hides discreet charm of the bourgeoisie - must charm us with its ability to be indiscreet and inappropriate to pull out of every uncomfortable situation that would then regained her composure and continued business as usual - a discreet and appropriate. And just when we think, in the scene where the house fall into armed terrorists, that the bourgeoisie is over and that this time will not be able to avoid a dangerous encounter with the Real, it turns out that it was Akost's dream, after which everything returns to normal.
Here we try to apply the concept of persona in the ancient sense. In ancient times, the term described the social role that the individual took on themselves; Eventually the term began to mean personality, personality, uniqueness and singularity of each of us, that is. person, how to read a literal translation. From the identification of social roles, the term began to mean a particular kind of individuality that came to the fore during the rise of the bourgeoisie of the city's ruling class. However, if we revive the notion of persona in the classic sense, we can say that during the intrusion of the Real in the symbolic order, the bourgeoisie is one of the mask of social roles and below it to see their "true essence" - hypocrisy, selfishness, greed (for example, when trying to Acosta grab a piece of meat off the table during the incursion of armed men) and so on. However, this is a false trail, because under the mask reveals positive existence, it is revealed that there is something which is in direct contradiction with the position that the bourgeois are trying to have dinner because dinner fetish that hides lack, because here reveals that there is no shortage.
What's this about? As bourgeois as individuals are concerned, their change of behavior does not reveal anything to the incoherence in the symbolic order. However, a shortage remains. Fetish serves to mask the lack of - fetish is always a substitute for the original object of desire that is lost and that can not be undone, but despite this, the desire is not slowing down, and the search for the object of desire continues, as stated above. Therefore, bourgeois and persistently trying to have dinner, because they stimulate the desire for (unreachable) object of desire. However, dinner was impossible - the very cracks in the symbolic order creating the Real incursions and therefore, hypothetically, if the bourgeois attempt to dinner a hundred times, it'll be a hundred absurd situations. This can only mean one thing - that the lack of a fetish conceals a lack in the symbolic order, the lack of inherent order and that we fetish try to "forget" that the symbolic lack flawed. This dinner becomes a vicious circle - it is impossible, but it does not prevent the bourgeoisie to try to have dinner. In other words, a fetish is T or signifier missing in the Other, the signifier is not in the symbolic order, ie. the Big Other. He is also a signifier of objet petit a, the lack, gaps in the symbolic order. It is this lack of what products Real, it produces absurd; at the same time, real production shortfall, absurd produces its own inability to "de-absurdisation'' - more precisely, absurdity itself prevents the elimination of over symbolic order. The absurdity is necessary - the bourgeoisie can not be without it. In this way, it seems that the persistence with which the bourgeoisie try to have dinner in conjunction with its charming art of escape from every unpleasant situations - if the absurd is necessary, then it is necessary and this indiscreet charm of the draw from the situation; paradoxically, that would occur each subsequent absurdity, it is necessary that the bourgeoisie be able to return to the old, and they are able to do thanks to the indestructible Real that again and again penetrates the symbolic order.
Symbolism of dreams
Finally, it should take up the theme of dreams prevailing in, tentatively speaking, the second part of the film. The theme of dreams is not rare in surrealism and Buñuel her here dedicated due attention. Although it seems that dreams are meaningless as absurd situation, if there then the current line of thinking, we will see that the film has here a lot to tell us.
The most interesting is the dream of Mr. Sénéchal, which is really a "dream within a dream" who dreaming Teven. The first thing we can observe is that Sénéchal's dream expresses fear of the bourgeoisie to be uncovered - even the food, the fetish, false because the butler on the floor turns out artificial chicken - in his final intentions and scams perpetrated over their "friends". When you raise a theater curtain and terminate them (again) in the evening, the most impressive moment is that when whisper tells them text to excuses. Prompter just plays the role of the big Other, symbolic order, which subjects what to say and what to do; On the other hand, the audience at the same time plays the role of the big Other - it is like a criteria before which we have to prove or experience the shame. Is not Sénéchal reaction - sweating, and confusion or fear of power at a deeper level - exactly what would happen to us tomorrow if we suddenly forgotten the language we speak and were disabled to communicate with others within the system? When individual bourgeois begin to leave and refuse to fulfill the assigned role, the public disapproves and rejects them - that are possible given a role in the symbolic order, we would have been rejected. If that were to happen, we ceased to be subjects - in other words, we ceased to be human. However, the embodiment of the second points to another feature of symbolic order - his vulnerability. The moment Other stops working through symbols, through words and control words and communication, but takes physical form, reminiscent of the spirit that takes the body - then the spirit bar can attack, if not destroyed. A good example of this is the recent revolution in Egypt - the moment when the government ceased to manage symbols and when she reached for individuals or for weapons and physical force, repression, gave a clear signal that it is in crisis. On the other hand, when the order of the hotel, can serve as a right-wing Jew fetishization (or Arab, black person, etc.) Who pulls all the strings and managed entities, because right-wingers of all backgrounds can not see the structure, they see relationships and connections, but the body they can point a finger. However, with regard to Surrealism and psychoanalysis, wants to talk about what is not allowed to talk, he wants to talk about the reasons due to which someone does not want to talk about the forbidden and that, in the indicated terms, Bunuel's film carries a subversive message, legitimate the right to write off this attempt fetishization. The right-wingers, in the case of forbidden speech, they do not want to talk about it, because it is important to maintain order, not to enter the confusion - in a sense, not create absurd, and we have already said that psychoanalytic theory only can analyze absurd, given that itself handled the seemingly absurd notions.
After Senechal wakes, they goes to the gathering at the Colonel. It is immediately clear that the ambassador Acosta does not fit the environment, to the extent that the provocation Colonel responds by firing a pistol, killing the colonel. Soon after, it is revealed that Teven all dreamed of, even Senechal dream. What does this tell us? First, to Teven care that Acosta violently react and compromise himself, Senechal and the Teven and threaten drug trafficking which involves, what would they ruin everything. On the other hand, we can once again get back to the symbolic order and Real. If the army is understood as a reality, which is in accordance with absurd situations that we saw before the break, as something that is done intrusion in the symbolic order of the bourgeoisie, which is rich in rituals and traditions, we can say that the colonel as the embodiment of the military poses a threat to this order, which is why Acosta ventured the murder. The ratio of the Real and symbolic order remains the same as before - the internal contradictions of bourgeois society, and class antagonisms, themselves born army and militarism in general. Historically, the army was not afraid of coups and rebellions-translated from the language of Marxism to psychoanalysis, the contradictions of bourgeois society are cracks symbolic order that are born army that is Real and, from time to time, perform intrusion in order. On the other hand, the army maintains bourgeois society, and thus its contradictions, so again drawing the vicious circle of the Real and Symbolic.
Source: Filmske radosti | Filmovi koji nas gledaju
Author: Vuk Vukovic
Translated by Dejan Stojkovski
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