Mr. Leader Film Archive


The For the Madman the Neighbor Is Himself film series gives a unique glimpse into the events surrounding the Cephalic Wars. They include contemporary media coverage, a biographical movie and a fascinating analysis of the Games. After a century of neglect following the truce that ended the Cephalic Wars, the legacy of Mr. Leader’s ambition again comes to light. Recent conferences have stimulated reassessments by scholars of Leader’s larger achievement. There has been a surge of criticism of the proposed ideology, which brought to bear psychoanalytic, theological and national- historical interests. Leader’s is the story of a zealous disintegration of the individual subject – a tale of an outcast, at once terrifying, pitiful, and funny. This group of films illustrates this complex struggle in all of its perspectives.

Screening with musical accompaniment by Ben Model, 2012
Sunday Sessions: Modules hosted by Liz Magic Laser, MoMA PS1, New York
Photo credit: Loren Wohl

Mr. Leader: A Patriotic Crook, 2011
16mm film, 5’35’’

MR. LEADER: A PATRIOTIC CROOK was the first biopic documentary on Mr. Leader. It is an introduction to the rise of the head-of-state, his background and career path up to his demise. The success of the series was such that it was followed by two short-films dedicated to the Games and to the ideology prompting the Cephalic Wars. It includes curious facts and anecdotes about Mr. Leader, a long side with some of his most personal struggles
Newscast Special: Mainland Reports, 2011
16mm film, 2’30’’

NEWSCAST SPECIAL: MAINLAND REPORTS is the first media account of the events that led to the Cephalic Wars. It gives us a quick glimpse into the atmosphere of confusion at the time, with reporters trying to understand exactly what were those acts of vandalism and what was the extend of the damages done. In it there are some of the first official statements by the authorities, interviews to common passersby and some of the journalistic speculation on the reasoning of the events.
Nation: The Games, 2011
16mm film, 5’ 03’’

NATION: THE GAMES is the second iteration of
a series of short documentaries dedicated to the Cephalic Wars. It followed the biopic Mr. Leader:
A Patriotic Crook after it’s enormous success in the box-office. As the name indicates, this episode was focused on the workings of the Games and their
role in the Cephalic Wars. It includes some of the initial hypothesis brought forward by the scientific community on the rules and strategies of the Games, as well as the various possible outcomes.

The Cephalic Wars: The Search for an Ever-fleeting Sense, 2011
16mm film, 5’ 51’’

THE CEPHALIC WARS: THE SEARCH FOR AN EVER-FLEETING SENSE is the last of a series of three documentaries dedicated to this period. Despite
the name, this film did not focus on the armed conflict but on the ideology of the wars. To this day it remains one of the most articulate analysis of a Logic that frequently escapes definition. In this short film the viewer is walked through the foundations of the ideology and it’s development into the absolute rejection of Logic and Reason. It shows the process that let to the championing of a Thought system methodologically based on Unreason.

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