… Their involvement is less like drama and more like a game, a series of open possibilities where the rules are made up in the exchanges between them …
… this mediated way of seeing is not of the order of revelation. Its effect is not to disclose the secret qualities of things but, on the contrary, to spin a web of correspondences, to show us all of the connections and likenesses and differences of things. This is not a film disclosing something ‘about’ photography or its ontology, but a photo-roman that shows us photography through the frame of cinema. In so doing, we are exposed to qualities of movement and stillness that in belonging to each, belong differently.
… The potency of La Jetée is in the movement between these terms, of an embodied suffering pitched against a disembodied knowledge, a gestural cinematic language against a cinema of words. Statues remind us of the sanctity of the body but also realize its petrification, the vulnerability of the body to suffering and the ravages of time, forces that come to waste us all.
[line break added] Bodies can only be out of time when they are cast in stone, or they are embalmed. And so, a line runs from statues and fragments of worship in the museum where the living walk amongst the dead, and brings together the forms of the body’s afterlife.
… As a room full of gestures, the museum seems to offer the possibility of correspondence, to lay bare the means of communication across or within species. The animals and the humans communicate something to another, any other, not with a purpose but as an act of communicability through bodies.
… The cinema shows us the art of communication as support. It is a disinterested gesture that is not simply for itself but directed toward the other.
… Their involvement is less like drama and more like a game, a series of open possibilities where the rules are made up in the exchanges between them: ‘nothing is being produced or acted, but rather something is being endured and supported.’ [G. Agamben]
… Images, or more precisely photographs, are both random and purposeful, a proliferate flurry of non-meaning and a precise register of effects. In this sense, Marker’s film delivers a prolonged hesitation between the image and its meaning.
My most recent previous post from Harbord’s book is here.