Film & Philosophy: The Power of Propaganda
The Power of Propaganda – Paul Verhoeven and the deconstruction of adventure
Every month, the philosophical journal Splijtstof invites young academics to give a philosophical introduction to a film of their choice. This time, we have invited philosophers Arjen Kleinherenbrink and Simon Gusman, authors of the book ‘Avonturen bestaan niet’. They will shed some of their philosophical light on adventure stories, propaganda, and the 1997 science-fiction film Starship Troopers.
“Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs in a satire of modern world politics.” — IMDB
“The film may seem like a chest-thumping celebration of colonialism, a big primary-coloured drum being banged in favour of war’s eternal mastication, but actually it uses the brash tactics of propaganda to show up the ridiculousness of these ideas: ideas that are worryingly appealing to a society driven by ever more fervent tribalism.” – The Guardian
Adventure stories are the most frequently used blueprint for movies. Dutch director Paul Verhoeven is the undisputed master of deconstructing this form of storytelling. Interestingly, his movies do not criticize adventure stories by distancing themselves from adventurous stereotypes, but by over-identifying with them. Movies like Robocop, Showgirls, and Starship Troopers are full-blown adventure stories, but they are told in ways that force viewers to rethink why we want to see (and experience) adventures in the first place. Before watching Starship Troopers, Gusman and Kleinherenbrink present a philosophical analysis of the structure of adventure stories, plus an overview of the techniques Verhoeven uses to deconstruct this structure.
Entrance is free, but bring some money in case you want to buy drinks.
The book ‘Avonturen bestaan niet’ and recent editions of Splijtstof will be for sale at our bookstand.
Waar en wanneer
Datum: zaterdag 24 november
Tijd: van 19.00-23.00 uur
Locatie: C at Radboud University