Pay special attention to the scene near the end, in the Church, which might be compared with the end of The Ring in terms of its theses about jouissance and repetition (the film must be shown to others, i.e., the trauma repeated in order to escape the girl’s jouissance), even though the films share nothing in common (there’s no surprising twist).

A proposal for reading said film through the juxtaposition of the actual and the virtual:



A nice line from Jodi Dean’s Zizek’s Politics:

Enjoyment, for Zizek, is a term of art, a technical, Lacanian concept that denotes an intense, excessive, pleasure-pain. Enjoyment by its very nature is excessive, something that can lure us into a kind of idiotic stupor or ecstatic state. Moreover, as I hope to make clear in this book, our relationship to enjoyment is never easy, never innocent. Enjoyment can be that extra kick on behalf of which we do our duty: “Sorry about that extra twenty dollars I tacked onto your ticket, ma’am, but, well, it’s the law” or “These comments I wrote on your paper may seem cruel, but, well, it’s really for your own good.” (xvi)

A nice remark from Deleuze:

Bacon often explains that it [the isolation of figures] is to avoid the figurative, illustrative, and narrative character the Figure would necessarily have if it were not isolated. Painting has neither model to represent nor a story to narrate. It has thus two possible ways of escaping the figurative: toward pure form, through abstraction; or toward the purely figural, through extraction or isolation. If the painter keeps to the Figure, if he or she opts for the second path, it will be to oppose the “figural” to the figurative… The figurative (representation) implies the relationship of an image to an object that it is supposed to illustrate; but it also implies the relationship of an image to other images in a composite whole which assigns a specific object to each of them. Narration is the correlate of illustration. A story always slips into, or tends to slip into, the space between two figures in order to animate the illustrated whole. Isolation is thus the simplest means, necessary thought not sufficient, to break with representation, to disrupt narration, to escape illustration, to liberate the Figure: to stick to the fact. (Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, 2-3)

Isn’t the figural succinct definition of jouissance as distinguished from the signifier? And aren’t the tendrals of barbwire in the film a graphic figure of how jouissance winds its way throughout the world, perpetually setting social relations awry? That is, jouissance is precisely that which defies or falls outside the narrative function, and thereby functions as the motor of narrative (as narrative perpetually strives to gentrify it). This is one signification of the discourse of the master:


Where objet a is the remainder of jouissance that perpetually escapes signification.

And finally a quote from Lacan on how ideology strives to manage or gentrify this excessive and individuating jouissance:

For what the unconscious does is to show us the gap through which neurosis recreates a harmony with a real– a real that may well not be determined. (Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis, 22)

That is, he said, the unconscious introduces the figurative into the figure.