With the support of the Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship, Professor Dragan Kujundzic spent the summer of 2010 preparing and filming a documentary on J. Hillis Miller. Miller, as a leading American literary critic and scholar, was a founder of “deconstruction” philosophy and theory in the U.S. As the son of the first post-WWII President of the University of Florida, Miller also has close ties with this university and has come here several times to give talks.
While movies about leading theorists such as Jacques Derrida and Slavoj Žižek have garnered enormous attention in the past few years, no such film exists yet about J. Hillis Miller. Prof. Kujundzic has long believed that a film documenting the work of J. Hillis Miller would be of great interest and educational value to the public, and it would be particularly relevant for the University of Florida. He had been on faculty together with Miller at UC Irvine, and was able to draw on his friendship with Miller to get permission to put together a film. Kujundzic teamed up with Georg Koszulinsky, a UF graduate student in film and media studies, to create a documentary detailing the life, work, and outlook of J. Hillis Miller. Having already filmed Miller during one of his visits to Gainesville in March 2010, Kujundzic and his team traveled to Miller’s personal residence on Deer Isle, Maine in the summer of 2010. Here, they had the opportunity to sit down with Miller and capture a number of conversations with him on film, as well as filming him as he engaged in his favorite pursuits, such as sailing. Much of the conversation consists of Miller reflecting on his time teaching, his work writing world-renown books and articles on critical theory, and his close friendship with Jacques Derrida. Their time and experiences with Miller in Maine will make up a significant portion of the movie.
After compiling over thirty hours of footage, the team also began the lengthy process of editing this down to under two hours. In addition, Kujundzic intends to use the aggregate of the material he collected to produce a companion book. Professor Kujundzic’s current film and book projects are both currently in advanced stages of production.
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