Perhaps this is how one has to conceive of Macaulay Culkin’s notorious screm:

In the analysis of films, it is therefore crucial to expose homogeneous, continuous, diegetic reality as a product of “secondary elaboration,” i.e., to discern in it the part of (symbolic) reality and the part of fantasy hallucination. Suffice it to recall Home Alone. The entire film hinges on the fact that the boy’s family—his proper intersubjectfve environs, his Other—and the two burglars that threaten him when the family is away never cross paths. The burglars enter the scene when the boy finds himself alone, and when, at the end of the film, the family returns home, all traces of the burglars’ presence almost magically evaporate, although, as a result of their confrontation with the boy, practically the entire house should lie in ruins. The very fact that the burglars’ existence is not acknowledged by the Other, undoubtedly bears witness to the fact that we are dealing with the boy’s fantasy. The moment the two burglars enter the scene, we change terrain and jump from social reality into the fantasy universe in which there is neither death nor guilt; into the universe of silent slapstick pictures and cartoons, in which a heap of iron falls on your head, yet all you feel is a slight bump; in which a gallon of gasoline explodes on your head, yet the only damage you suffer is that some of your hair is burned. Perhaps this is how one has to conceive of Macaulay Culkin’s notorious scream: not as an expression of his fear of the burglars, but rather as an expression of his horror at the prospect of being thrown (again) into his own fantasy universe.

from Slavoj Zizek on David Lynch




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