Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Subversive Film Festival Zagreb: Marker vs. Zizek

S

One fine morning, K received this thoughtful note:

dear blind librarian,

between may 18 and 24 there is an interesting cinema event in zagreb, croatia called subversive ff (they don’t have a webpage). i attach the programme, it’s a combination of lectures and films connected to the revolutionary year of 1968, and in it will be screening a number of chris marker films/collaborations.

keep up the great work with your site. it’s a wonderful resource.

with best from a faithful marker devotee,
alexis tioseco

The program pdf sent unfortunately isn’t working once uploaded to the web (locally I can open it), so here’s a screengrab of most of it. [Update: festival web site]. It takes some guesswork & deciphering on the part of non-Croatian literates, but a few things are clearly showing: À bientôt j’espère, the Marker-edited omnibus film Far From Vietnam (Godard, Klein, Lelouch, Marker, Resnais and Varda), Le fond de l’air est rouge, and various Cinétracts, plus a lot of Godard’s and even Kluge’s collaborative work of the era.

Presentations are also scheduled; the star of the show seems to be Slavoj Žižek, the infamous psychonaut +/- hermeneut who to my knowledge shares at least (but probably only) two things with Chris Marker: a repetition-compulsory taste for Hitchcock and a sly wit capable of producing sentences whose associations run in oblong, tangential and lateral directions, laughter mitigating the bruising your brain is taking. Age before beauty – or should we say age and beauty before cleverness. In other words, we’re hoping SZ doesn’t bring his lacanian arsenal to bear on CM, and if he does, we’re rooting for the earlier generation. “Does that mean I can dodge bullets?” asks Neo. Morpheus answers: “No, when the time comes, you won’t have to.”

The line-up shows how important working together in teams and distributing the means of reproduction were in 1968 and thereabouts: collective names such as The Dziga Vertov Group, Les Groupes Medvedkin and S.L.O.N. populate the era as a new form of author or director. It’s always been harder to find this teamwork and active anonymity in the academic setting (hard sciences excluded), where the rule is Jeder für sich, und Gott gegen Alle. One thinks of some exceptional exceptions, though: Socrates & Plato; Marx & Engels; Kluge & Negt; and last but certainly not least, Deleuze & Guattari, who took the collaborative spirit of the souxiant-huitards to a whole new plateau:

The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as farthest away. We have assigned clever pseudonyms to prevent recognition. Why have we kept our own names? Out of habit, purely out of habit. To make ourselves unrecognizable in turn. To render imperceptible, not ourselves, but what makes us act, feel, and think. Also because it’s nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it’s only a manner of speaking. To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I. We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied.– Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism & Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi, Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1987, 3

4 comments

  • “Recently, Žižek wrote text to accompany Bruce Weber photos in a catalog for Abercrombie & Fitch. Questioned as to the seemliness of a major intellectual writing ad copy, Žižek told the Boston Globe: “If I were asked to choose between doing things like this to earn money and becoming fully employed as an American academic, kissing ass to get a tenured post, I would with pleasure choose writing for such journals!” An example from this catalogue: ‘Duds, duds, get ’em while they’re hot. I wouldn’t wear that shirt except for maybe on laundry day. This past week, I went through three more dress shirts than usual; one I spilled coffee on, one got really sweaty in the metro. I hate the metro sometimes, but, hey, you got to get around. The other one got stuck in the back of my dresser drawer. As usual, it’s all about ergonomics. I didn’t much like that shirt anyways, but I should really stop putting them in my dresser. Iron, iron, ion, oiron. Repetitive motion. Getting bloody calluses, and maybe carpal tunnel. My teeth have been hurting lately, too.'”
    Wikipedia: Slavoj Zizek article

Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

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