Film theory is in crisis. The dominant psychoanalytical paradigm is contested by cognitive models and post-theory. In the background is a wider crisis in cultural studies, particularly as regards the public role of the politically engaged intellectual.
In this major new study Slavoj Zizek challenges both cognitivist-historicist accounts of cinema and conventional film theory. Arguing that the reading of Lacan operative in the '70s and '80s was particularly reductive, Zizek asserts that there is "another Lacan," in reference to whom film theory, cultural studies, and critical thought as such can be transformed and revitalized. He supports and expands this argument with an extensive reading of the work of Kieslowski and, in a substantial appendix, with a discussion of the relationship between Christianity, Gothicism and the "progressive digitalisation of our life-world."