To become imperceptible oneself, to have dismantled love in order to become capable of loving. To have dismantled one’s self in order finally to be alone and meet the true double at the other end of the line. A clandestine passenger on a motionless voyage. To become like everybody else; but this, precisely, is a becoming only for one who knows how to be nobody, to no longer be anybody. To paint oneself gray on gray.
— Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (via heteroglossia)
Deleuze’s understanding of thought in the Cinema books is guided by Spinoza’s notion of a ‘spiritual automaton,’ a notion which, for cinema, was expressed quite perfectly by Georges Duhamel’s exclamation that ‘I can no longer think what I want to think. My thoughts have been replaced by moving images.’ For Deleuze, not being able to determine what I want to think is precisely where thinking begins from and one of the great tasks of cinema was to demonstrate to us that we are not masters of our own thoughts. Rather, thoughts have their own life, their own spirit - they are spiritual automata, machines of the spirit which are capable of generation and creation. Cinema is itself a machine of thought.
Cinematic affect is unique to cinema, so we should not treat film as a secondary form of literature. The person who complains that the film is ‘nothing like the book’ ought to read the book. (Similarly, the scientist who complained about a philosophy being ‘inaccurate’ or a philosopher who complained about a novel being ‘illogical’ would merely be imposing their own dogmatic image of thought on thought’s other possibilities.)
On the other hand, if the category of truth is ignored, if we never confront anything but the polyvalence of meaning, then philosophy will never assume the challenge that is put out to it by a world subordinated to the merchandising of money and information. This world is an anarchy of more or less regulated, more or less coded fluxes, wherein money, products and images are exchanged. If philosophy is to sustain its desire in such a world, it must propose a principle of interruption. It must be able to propose to thought something that can interrupt this endless regime of circulation.
1. Your early view of the potential abuse of the Internet as a political medium seemed to convey a wait and see attitude. How has your view evolved and where do you think the balance of power is headed? 2:43
2. What is the most interesting insight the science of Linguistics has revealed but that the public at large seems not to know about or appreciate? 13:00
3. In “Hopes and Prospects” you mention your colleague Kenneth Hale and his work with Native Americans. In your opinion, how important is the problem of language extinction? That is, how important is it - for humanity to preserve the current level of linguistic diversity? 18:03
4. Can you comment on the contribution of research in statistical natural language processing to linguistics? 30:00
5. What, in your opinion, are the most effective strategies for building a more just and peaceful world? And in your view, what are the most significant takeaways from Occupy, the Arab Spring, and the Ukrainian “Euromaidan” uprising? 35:11
6. In “Hopes and Prospects” you compare Obama with Bush2. It’s 4 years later now. What would you say today? 41:39
I usually take a walk after breakfast, write for three hours, have lunch and read in the afternoon. Demons don’t like fresh air - they prefer it if you stay in bed with cold feet; for a person who is as chaotic as me, who struggles to be in control, it is an absolute necessity to follow these rules and routines. If I let myself go, nothing will get done.
When you feel perpetually unmotivated, you start questioning your existence in an unhealthy way; everything becomes a pseudo intellectual question you have no interest in responding whatsoever. This whole process becomes your very skin and it does not merely affect you; it actually defines you. So, you see yourself as a shadowy figure unworthy of developing interest, unworthy of wondering about the world - profoundly unworthy in every sense and deeply absent in your very presence.
Today the individual has become the highest form, and the greatest bane, of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other’s eyes and yet deny each other’s existence. We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal.
I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being - not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don’t have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn’t play any parts or make wrong gestures. Or so you thought. But reality is diabolical. Your hiding place isn’t watertight. Life trickles in from the outside, and you’re forced to react. No one asks if it is true or false, if you’re genuine or just a sham. Such things matter only in the theatre, and hardly there either. I understand why you don’t speak, why you don’t move, why you’ve created a part for yourself out of apathy. I understand. I admire. You should go on with this part until it is played out, until it loses interest for you. Then you can leave it, just as you’ve left your other parts one by one.
This is Nostalghia.com, an Andrei Tarkovsky information site
My discovery of Tarkovsky’s first film was like a miracle.
Suddenly, I found myself standing at the door of a room the keys of which had, until then, never been given to me. It was a room I had always wanted to enter and where he was moving freely and fully at ease.
I felt encouraged and stimulated: someone was expressing what I had always wanted to say without knowing how.
Tarkovsky is for me the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.
When film is not a document, it is dream. That is why Tarkovsky is the greatest of them all. He moves with such naturalness in the room of dreams. He doesn’t explain. What should he explain anyhow? He is a spectator, capable of staging his visions in the most unwieldy but, in a way, the most willing of media. All my life I have hammered on the doors of the rooms in which he moves so naturally. Only a few times have I managed to creep inside. Most of my conscious efforts have ended in embarrassing failure - THE SERPENT’S EGG, THE TOUCH, FACE TO FACE and so on.
Fellini, Kurosawa and Bunuel move in the same fields as Tarkovsky.
On Orson Welles: For me he’s just a hoax. It’s empty. It’s not interesting. It’s dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of, is all the critics’ darling, always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it’s a total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie’s got is absolutely unbelievable…I’ve never liked Welles as an actor, because he’s not really an actor. In Hollywood you have two categories, you talk about actors and personalities. Welles was an enormous personality, but when he plays Othello, everything goes down the drain, you see, that’s when he croaks. In my eyes he’s an infinitely overrated filmmaker.
On Jean-Luc Godard: I’ve never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a fucking bore. He’s made his films for the critics. One of the movies, Masculin Fémenin, was shot here in Sweden. It was mind-numbingly boring.
On Michelangelo Antonioni: He’s done two masterpieces, you don’t have to bother with the rest. One is Blow-Up, which I’ve seen many times, and the other is La Notte, also a wonderful film, although that’s mostly because of the young Jeanne Moreau. In my collection I have a copy of Il Grido and damn what a boring movie it is. So devilishly sad, I mean. You know, Antonioni never really learned the trade. He concentrated on single images, never realizing that film is a rhythmic flow of images, a movement. Sure, there are brilliant moments in his films. But I don’t feel anything for L’Avventura, for example. Only indifference. I never understood why Antonioni was so incredibly applauded. And I thought his muse Monica Vitti was a terrible actress…Fellini, Kurosawa, and Bunuel move in the same field as Tarkovsky. Antonioni was on his way, but expired, suffocated by his own tediousness.
"Even though I’m world-famous and widely written about, and people are immensely nice to me, the only thing that meant anything to me when I was working was the work. The work had to be meaningful to those who were carrying it out, and it had to be alive. That’s the only thing I was afraid of—God…