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Maya Deren’s enigmatic filmic work - prototypical »Meshes of the Afternoon« (1943) - is being considered as a milestone in modern experimental film.
Spectacolor Inc. was an advertising company that pioneered the first color urban screens of changeable messages and programmed by a computer in the late seventies of the last century. This innovation introduced the concept of »selling time« on billboards instead than the common practice of »selling space«, a change that would pave the way for outdoor advertising, becoming into an industry of billions of dollars. Spectacolor installed its first screens in Times Square in the early 80s, and was eventually sold in 2006 to Clear Channel, world leader in outdoor advertising.
The concept of counterfactuals, which has appeared in past decades in science and humanities, has become popular as a genre in fictional time-based and non-linear media and the fine arts. Therefore, I propose expanding the term, which describes retrospective considerations after turning points in life, in order to include the fine arts and encapsulate the research with the term counterfactualism. For future reference, I suggest a detailed categorisation for counterfactual movie narratives.
During ten minutes two young women ride in a cable car from the top of a Nepalese Temple to the valley. No cut interrupts the travel downhill. No words, only dramatic facial expressions, gestures and the rattle of the cable car followed by the rhythmic buzz of the 16mm camera. Only from the second half they start to speak.
In her 1959 essay »The Sublime and the Good«, British moral philosopher Iris Murdoch discusses the role that art can play in the acceptance of one’s consciousness as inherently limited. Murdoch used the term »unselfing« for this process, which for her is the basis of developing moral vision. Her moral realism is founded on a commitment to becoming less egocentric, and this involves effort and attention to others as individuals.
The films of Lars von Trier have often been seen in accord with his performative efforts or been read referring to his own reading manuals (Dogma rules, etc.). This speech will aesthetically explore what I refer to as Trier's production of »diagrams of affect«. In order to theoretically scrutinize his methods, Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy on film and affect as well as his cooperation with Félix Guattari on haptic and striated space, the refrain, the diagram, faceality and microperception will be applied.
Werner Herzog made both documentary and fictional films, but as he remarked in several interviews, his documentaries are completely fictional and his fictional films are documentary. Herzog in both types of his films constructs reality for filming. They are true stories, but here truth is not something to discover. We can say, he transforms the imagination into the reality. Herzog follows his imagination, but making movie out of the imagination means realizing the imagination. The film maker is not a passive sensor before the reality, but he makes the reality.
The starting point of my paper is a concrete ‚event’ at the turning point in the pacific war, namely the raising of the US-American flag on the Japanese island Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. For a discussion of fiction and document(ary) the circumstances of the ‘event’ itself as well as a multiplicity of its visual and multimodal representations are particularly fruitful. The ‘event’ – if one really wants to use the singular – practically happened twice on the same day: the smaller first flag was replaced a few hours later through a second bigger flag.
The villains in Christopher Nolans »Dark Night Trilogy« are not simply criminals they are real terrorists. In his Batman films Nolan examines the threat of terrorism and its philosophical implications. Ever since the end of the Cold War and 9/11 terrorism is the most dangerous threat for worldwide civilizations. Still we have a lack in terms to describe its implications. Nolan seems to be aware of this problem and asks what it means when terror strikes our familiar life.
There is a century old tradition of defining documentary in philosophical terms. Yet, this tradition seems to miss the most intelligible (yet, conspicuously evasive) aspect of documentary praxis: its conceptual entanglement with philosophy itself.
For Walter Benjamin reality was but a dream, or rather: a nightmare, and art was commissioned to make us wake up from it. Especially film was supposed to be capable of doing so by dismembering visual shards of reality in analogy to the extrafilmic world after World War I – whose actually fractioned status, to Benjamin, was not yet properly acknowledged. So for him the technique of montage, or generally speaking: the program of Surrealism was a critical means to disrupt an over-compact reality, as it did not merely reproduce reality but on the contrary: questioned it.
The debate between Jacques Derrida and John R. Searle that took place in the 1970ies in basically three texts (Derrida, 1971, 1977; Searle, 1977) and some further clarifications later on (Derrida, 1988, 1998, 2000; Searle, 1993, 1994) clearly articulated two different conceptions of ontology (Kurthen, 1989; Ferraris, 2009). Searle set forth the idea of „conditions of satisfaction“ in order to get a grip on the ontology of performative identities – from speech acts in particular to social institutions in general (Searle 1969, 1979, 1983, 2010).
Philipp Hartmann’s filmic essay Die Zeit vergeht wie ein brüllender Löwe (2014) is a philosopheme in its own right, insofar as it selects a genuinely philosophical category – time – as a central theme to be explored through cinematic means. A philosophical inquiry into the film should thus not simply raise the question of ›time‹ and dispute it, but rather consider the philosophical functionality of Hartmann’s filmic essay as such. It will be argued that the film maintains a special relationship to the viewer through aesthetic means, in which the ›real‹ is negatively exposed.
Documentary is for our contemporary culture what the novel was for the 19th century: the preferred form of realism. Its history may be described a continual re-evaluation of films potential to transmit factual information about the real world. In contemporary documentary practice, we witness a shift in focus from a modernist pre-occupation with factual, objective reality towards the embracement of more diverse, subjective perspectives on reality.
In the era of the expansion of the moving image literature and film theory explore the (imaginary) potentials of the new medium dreaming of »cinéma total« (Bazin). Cinematic projections emerge as a motive in literature examining the possibilities of cinema to reproduce and create reality. Challenged by its new rival literature highlights transgressions between image and text questioning the contingency of reality and the real.
The immediacy with which film and reality are linked is a relationship founded in virtue of the mechanical lens of cinema. That the camera can accurately reproduce the intricacies of reality provides cinema with a status in regards to reality that sits above painting or the other forms of art. And yet, this account for the realism inherent to cinema underwent an aesthetic revolution in the mid-twentieth century that has yet to be accounted for in the rhetoric of cinematic realism, the introduction of colour cinema.
Given the emergence of more and more Virtual-Reality-Documentaries, many of them even running at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival such as »Waves of Grace« (Chris Milk – Vrse) or »Nomads: Masaai« (Felix&Paul Studios), it appears necessary to think about this new media format and to have a look at how it changes classical categories of filmic documentations and documentaries such as – most important – the reference to (any kind of) reality and thereby aspects of immediacy, indexicality and authenticity.
Aslaug Holm is a Norwegian filmmaker and cinematographer. She has made a number of shorts and documentaries and has founded the production company Fenris Film with her husband Tore Buvarp. She was the director and cinematographer of »Rich Country« (2006) for which she won the FIPRESCI prize, cinematographer and editor of »Cool and Crazy« (2001), which was awarded as best European documentary 2001.
Markus Gabriel born 1980 studied philosophy, ancient philology, German literature and philology in Hagen, Bonn and Heidelberg. In Heidelberg he finished his Ph.D. under the supervision of Jens Halfwassen and wrote a thesis on Schelling’s later philosophy. In 2005 he was a visiting scholar at the university of Lisbon. From 2006-2008 he worked as lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. In 2008 he finished his habilitation with a work on scepticism and idealism in ancient philosophy.
Film is not representational, but, as Stanley Cavell, the American pioneer of philosophy of film claims, presentational. My paper proceeds on Cavell’s puzzling statement that a photographic image (which constitutes the film image) presents us “with the things themselves” and not with any kind of similarity or representation, therefore concluding that we “do not know” how to “place a photograph (…) ontologically” (in: The World Viewed).
In Lacan’s theory of the three registers of human life (Real, Imaginary, Symbolic), Real is quite different from reality. If the reality is the world seen through our faculties of Imaginary (selfawareness) and Symbolic (language), what is behind reality is properly the Real, something elusive and resisting to meaningful formulations. I will argue that such dimension can be thought very close to the Deleuze’s idea of pure immanence. In »What is philosophy?« Deleuze and Guattari write that immanence can be faced not only from philosophy, but from science and art as well.
Following a long series of documentary movies, “Stella Polaris” was Knut Erik Jensen’s first feature film, yet it transcends pre-existing genres. It can probably be best described as a poetic constellation of memory fragments pertaining to life in a northern Norwegian fishing village over a period of 50 years. It provides a new perspective on Norway’s northernmost county, Finnmark, its inhabitants, and recent history, setting it as a liminal location, referring to Homi Bhabha’s notion of third space.
My presentation is based on the proposition that every film, whether documentary or feature film, is based on the mutual relationship between the found and the invented, the material and the fiction, the real and the symbolic. In addition, as opposed to the closed form of the feature film, the open form of the documentary film can make the interplay between the real and the symbolic, the recorded material and the narrative, more visible.