15 avril 2011

A true militant cinema

"Today I think that militant films have the same defect as militant groups - they have the "mania of the All": each film is total, all-inclusive. A true militant cinema would be a cinema which militated as cinema, where one film would make you want to see a hundred others on the same subject.


So the unification always happens on the basis of a kind of amnesia and the desire to nourish this amnesia with beautiful images (the red flags of 1900.) This amnesia is a paradoxical but important phenomenon in the lives of Franco-Italian intellectuals: these cultures imbued with Marxism are cultures where the history of the workers' movement is not well known, because it is the parties who write history.

On the other hand, for people haunted by writing like the CAHIERS, it's clear that writing divides, while images unify (through common fear or recognition.) Today, in France, in cinema, you have to divide. And it can only be done by making contemporary films (and not moving evocations.) For example, it's quite possible to make a Communist trade-unionist a fictional character; it's what Godard does in COMMENT CA VA. It's quite possible to film the suicide of a young person; it's what Bresson does in THE DEVIL, PROBABLY. But these are contemporary films, which do not surrender to the simulacrum of memory."

- Serge Daney

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