The highlight of the April issue of Cahiers du Cinéma is an interview with Slavoj Žižek. Following up on a piece he wrote about Avatar, reprinted in the March issue of Cahiers, he confesses to his interviewers that he hasn’t seen the film; as a good Lacanian, the idea is enough, and we must trust theory. Žižek promises that he will see the film and then write a Stalinist ‘self-criticism’.
The good Lacanian goes on to inform the Cahiers editors that he wrote about The Talented Mr Ripley before seeing it, and that although he has seen Psycho and Vertigo (the interviewers sound quite jittery by this point), there’s a long chapter on Rossellini in Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and out and, no, he hadn’t seen the films when he wrote it. Out of respect for Lacan? Not this time: ‘As a good Hegelian, between the idea and the reality, I choose the idea.’
Except in the case of actresses, it seems. Cash-strapped commissioning editors everywhere should take note that Žižek would love to interview Kate Winslet (‘Madame Mendes’ for not much longer) and that he’s offering to pay for the plane ticket to Hollywood (although he might have better luck in New York) himself if you can arrange it.