Derrida - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Derrida Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 13, 2009
To say that Derrida has had a deep-seated, almost insidious impact on my life is no joke. He's always lurking in the back of my mind, a kind of undercover commentator, peeping out of my subconscious from beneath a grayish colored canvas tarp, waiting to pop up and insert a comment or two in any given situation. He's like a general contractor overseeing the construction project of my house-life, with me up on the scaffold, counting on him to steady it while I build to higher heights. I look down suddenly, and wouldn't you know it: Instead of supporting the scaffold, he's lighting his pipe. I notice nothing but the dark bowl of that pipe. Vertigo sets in. The bowl expands before me, a black and bottomless pit. Is this the abyss. The scaffold rumbles and begins to shake apart. Derrida puffs thoughtfully at his pipe. I fall headlong into blackness . . . Nah, just kidding. Jacques Derrida was cutting-edge influential back when I was in school, and he continues to be taught widely in college classes right now. And it's not just philosophy courses, either. Walk into a college bookstore and stroll the aisles. You can see him being taught in English, history, political science, education classes -- and on and on. An amazing man and an interesting portrait. His comments on biography/autobiography will be with me for a while. At times, the personality that comes across in this film reminds me of the personality displayed by Bob Dylan when he was constantly being hounded to "explain" himself, early on in his career. His take on "forgiveness" tied my brain in knots. But that's Derrida. He's one of the great contemporary game players, one of the best tie-your-brain-in-knots thinkers worth the torture of grappling with. Note: If you dig into Derrida, remember that he evolves, just like Dylan. He was no spring chicken, either, when he passed away, so like Bob, he'd been evolving for many years.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2006
[font=Century Gothic]"Derrida" is a documentary about the noted philosopher and deconstructionist, Jacques Derrida. The film follows Derrida in his daily life at home in Paris and at work lecturing, and also to New York City and South Africa to appear on panels. During which, he is constantly commenting on the artificiality of the whole situation of the documentarians trying to capture him looking as natural as possible.(I imagine all documentaries have footage like this but it almost always ends up on the cutting room floor.) This gives some insight into Derrida's thinking, along with readings from some of his works. But it would have been nice to have some talking heads testifying about his influence within his chosen field.[/font]
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2015
If Derrida and postmodern thought interests you, you'll love it. I did.Groen's review nails it: The picture's charm lies in the continuing by-play between the filmmakers and their subject, with each side doing its best to deconstruct the other.
October 6, 2013
I'm not sure you'll leave the movie understanding every nuance of 'deconstruction,' but you'll have a real sense of a sophisticated thinker.
½ January 29, 2009
an amazing portrayal of the philosopher Jacques Derrida. A man of strict philosophy yet lacked a psychological way of looking at things, funny enough his wife was a psychoanalyst. the movie tried very much to bring out who Jacques Derrida is in a personal way opposed to just his thoughts and speculations that lead to the great project of deconstructing philosophy. a man of great intellect yet was clearly lacking a great desire for life. an interesting movie and worthy seeing if you are a fan of movies like
'The Five Obstructions' or just philosophy films in general.
August 7, 2008
I was expecting to encounter a rather formal discourse with textbook information, but it was intimate and open. Of course, it is impossible for a documentary be as such... but, we're made aware of it. Derrida deconstructs it too.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2015
If Derrida and postmodern thought interests you, you'll love it. I did.Groen's review nails it: The picture's charm lies in the continuing by-play between the filmmakers and their subject, with each side doing its best to deconstruct the other.
September 27, 2015
If you are steeped in the theory of deconstruction and just wish to know more about Derrida's hair cuts and choice of clothing articles you might be pleased with this documentary. If, however, you were hoping for a bit of insight into his ideas you are out of luck. Several quotes are read without any attempt of context or explanation. He prides himself on evading any probing questions on how he and his wife met, but later when he is asked what he would like to know about Heidegger or any other philosophers he says " about their sex life" . When he is asked if he would ever consider psychotherapy he answers with a resounding no. This humble viewer thinks it might have done him some good. Another interesting question he could not answer was "which philosopher would you have liked to be your mother? Clearly he was stumped, because women can think, but philosophers are men. Oh dear. What exactly were the producers of this drivel thinking?
September 20, 2015
derrida epitomizes the insufferable french pseudo-intellectual post-modernist snob.
March 11, 2014
Watched this twice, quite an interesting documentary if you want to know more about the life of this philosopher.
October 6, 2013
I'm not sure you'll leave the movie understanding every nuance of 'deconstruction,' but you'll have a real sense of a sophisticated thinker.
½ April 5, 2011
Well done as a documentary but not as educational and captivating as I hoped it to be. They went on the assumption that Derrida's this modern philosophical god without truly showing the genius, or the influence, of deconstruction. The bits of him lecturing in a thick French accent was a bit tedious and some of the information was superfluous.
½ February 3, 2011
Surprisingly more funny than I thought it was going to be, I enjoyed this brief look at the man, even if it didn't entice me to read any of his work.
½ October 9, 2010
I was quite disappointed with this documentary. It left me knowing nothing about either Derrida, his thinking or his life. When he would say something really catching, they would change the frame. Most of the documentary if full of shots of the crew fixing the videos, the reflector, filming, and of him complaining about that, how it disturbs his thinking or even asking which shots are going to be used.
November 7, 2010
Derrida avoids most questions. Read his texts...if you dare
½ September 23, 2010
some lady asking derrida what he thinks of the irony/parody in seinfeld "deconstruction as i understand it doesn't produce any sitcom." hilarious.
½ October 26, 2009
It was very, very interesting, albeit boring (a paradox, I know); and, I thought of a few ideas thanks to watching it.

The only thing I would have liked from Derrida for the man to have been more concise; but then again being being so cryptic he forced others to decipher some confounding parts of his thoughts and thereby perform philosophy themselves.
½ October 9, 2008
I had known very little about Derrida when I saw this film and now he is becoming one of my favorite philosophers.
½ August 13, 2009
Beyond the shitty interview questions...jesus, has some great conceptual documentary moments. Such as in the frequent footage of Derrida denouncing the camera's eye and it's crew and then when he watches himself being interviewed and so on. Following the film, I felt a strong division between the screen of my television and the accuracy of it's images. And I do believe that was one of Derrida's intents, so, bravo.
½ June 2, 2009
i mean like big fucking deal man.
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