Tag Archives: Heidegger

Force Majeure (2014)

Hear: electric toothbrushes drone—cleaning teeth—barely enough to drown out underpinning fears.

See: loose clothing, bare skin—despite the frigid clime basic needs are met.

Taste: the fluoride paste, eager to be spit.


Brushing teeth is a motif in Force Majeure and it is easy to see why. First, the industrial hum evokes a subjective torment cemented in the cinema psyche by the horror genre. Second, the familiarity and comfort of the scene bring to light insulating technologies: heat, light, warm clothes, water. Needing nothing, the family nevertheless appears hollowed in a sense, isolated from one another as well as their surroundings. Third, each character sees his or herself reflected as both one and as a group. Identity is the main concern of this film, particularly the challenge of self-identification in the face of chaos (“force majeure”) and a pastiche of family scripts (patriarchy, feminism, etc.).

More on each of these considerations.

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Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (Beckett, 1951-53)


I want a shirt that reads “I survived Beckett’s trilogy.” Finishing the three books, totaling almost 500 pages of monologue with only a handful of paragraph breaks, is a chore. To me, it was worth it however, and I’d like to share a few reasons why. Afterwards, you might be convinced to read them yourself (especially the first part of Molloy). Or maybe you’ll just take my word for it. Continue reading

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