Jean-Marie Straub / Danièle Huillet | Hölderlin, That Is Utopia

  Jean-Marie Straub: Hölderlin experienced the birth of the Wilhelmine Age. He was a young poet, full of high-flying plants; he said that himself. He was twenty-eight years old when he wrote The Death of Empedocles. In Germany between 1789 and 1798 all kinds of things had happened. Things had gone well for the ruling class, less well for other people. Büchner had had to flee, and some others as well . . . Hölderlin dreamed of the revolution—let’s call it that, even if the word is no longer in fashion today—a revolution that did not take place. As an…

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem | Tomb for Guy Debord

Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. He was immolated by his own ideology, which he more than anyone (Tzara, Duchamp, Artaud, the Viennese Actionists…) had pushed to its extremes. He covered all of its possibilities, all of its impasses. His extreme attempts were neither successes, nor failures. Today, his path should be evaluated through other methods: the ones left to us in the wake of the avant-garde’s disappearance. To put it as Reiner Schürmann does: truth is a “conflictuality without agreements.” It is within Debord’s insurmountable contradictions, whose political, aesthetic, and existential preoccupations were…

Jean-Luc Godard’s “Militant Filmmaking”; by Irmgard Emmelhainz

Irmgard Emmelhainz | Between Objective Engagement and Engaged Cinema: Jean-Luc Godard’s “Militant Filmmaking” (1967–1974)   It is often argued that between 1967 and 1974 Godard operated under a misguided assessment of the effervescence of the social and political situation and produced the equivalent of “terrorism” in filmmaking. He did this, as the argument goes, by both subverting the formal operations of narrative film and by being biased toward an ideological political engagement.1 Here, I explore the idea that Godard’s films of this period are more than partisan political statements or anti-narrative formal experimentations. The filmmaker’s response to the intense political climate that…

Farocki / Godard: Film as Theory

Farocki / Godard: Film as Theory  PDF  Volker Pantenburg   There is a tension between the requirements of theoretical abstraction and the capacities of the film medium, where everything that we see on screen is concrete: A train arriving at a station, a tree, bodies, faces. Since the complex theories of montage in Soviet cinema, however, there have continuously been attempts to express theoretical issues by combining shots, thus creating a visual form of thinking. This book brings together two major filmmakers-French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard and German avant-gardist Harun Farocki to explore the fundamental tension between theoretical abstraction and…

HERE & ELSEWHERE / HIER UND ANDERSWO

[…] Before she too is slaughtered by the Bourgeois (the mob of order), Rosa Luxemburg writes about Bacchanalia, which the bourgeoisie regularly holds upon its victims. From the perverse happiness of the tormentors: the whispering of the pariahs in secret. Gaps of ghastly proportions. Maintained by continuous police work, by the breeding of greenhouse roses, laws & border installations. The liquidation of the poetic word. Chalk circles one makes around a pair of shoes, a bicycle, a pool of blood [the stigmata of capitalism].

Jacques Rancière | Staging the People

Jacques Rancière | Staging the People The Proletarian and His Double  PDF   These essays from the 1970s mark the inception of the distinctive project that Jacques Rancière has pursued across forty years, with four interwoven themes: the study of working-class identity, of its philosophical interpretation, of “heretical” knowledge and of the relationship between work and leisure. For the short-lived journal Les Révoltes Logiques, Rancière wrote on subjects ranging across a hundred years, from the California Gold Rush to trade-union collaboration with fascism, from early feminism to the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” from the respectability of the Paris Exposition to…

Harun Farocki / Kaja Silverman | Speaking about Godard

Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki Speaking about Godard Full book / PDF   “Probably the most prominent living filmmaker, and one of the foremost directors of the postwar era, Jean Luc-Godard has received astonishingly little critical attention in the United States. With Speaking about Godard, leading film theorist Kaja Silverman and filmmaker Harun Farocki have made one of the most significant contributions to film studies in recent memory: a lively set of conversations about Godard and his major films, from Contempt to Passion. Combining the insights of a feminist film theorist with those of an avant-garde filmmaker, these eight dialogues–each representing…