February 19, 2011

Notes from the Jacques Rancière / Pedro Costa round-table


[On Friday February 18th I attended the round-table between Jacques Rancière and Pedro Costa which was part of the conference Image in Science and Art. What follows are my notes. Most of the statements are approximations of things said by Pedro Costa, who I found enormously inspiring.]

I need cheap machines.

I want to push the machines into the past.

I can only think about yesterday, today, and I cannot think about tomorrow.

Everyone knows this, with digital machines, with computers, sometimes something happens and nobody knows why.

Digital problems: noise and squares and everything that happens.

Q: You think this image is not healthy enough? A: They [the images] need to be a little bit more alive.


We were talking completely about us and we had stopped talking about the machines.

Appear / disappear.

Work with natural light whenever possible.

I have to take them to the light, which means to the window.

We have a lot of doubts and we're not convinced that we're going to get there.

We have so little that it should be sufficient.

The problem is how to turn the doubt into something positive.

Classic Hollywood movies had a conscience.

There's no place for two at the window so one will be in the dark: a voice, a conscience.

Today there's a big problem.

It's a melange of what's happening today, trying to be a little bit documentary [and also towards something a bit classic like Mizoguchi.]

Images today hate to confront reality, to confront what is happening.

Films today are trying to avoid reality, to escape.

Here, without vanity, we tried to go somewhere and we got there.

Too many images of one kind.

An image that breaks consensus.

It's an effect, it's very effective.

Film is closely related to some kind of justice and even to revenge.

Cinema could be an avenger.

There is a profound social injustice today and there's a profound filmic injustice.

Confronting ourselves with some sort of reality.

I still think images and words can go together.

He was the one who could write the letters for the other workers. A lover letter, a money letter. There is a formula and he improvises a little bit.

He was more or less the prisoner and the guardian of the prison. "I died every night and the only thing keeping me alive was alcohol and writing these letters" [for other workers to send back home.]

When it slips completely out of control.

This letter that was only supposed to be one scene, three or four shots, became the whole film - that was a contradiction in the film.

This character who cannot learn the letter, in the end, just tells it like he knew it all his life.

I am very eager and interested to work with some people and not with other people. And I don't like to put my words in their mouths.

One of the lessons of Godard - everything is there for us to pick up and use when it is useful.

In the past there were films that had sounds that were much more powerful than any of the images.

Sometimes what seems most alien - Desnos, the surrealist poet - is in fact the perfect marriage for me.

It's terrible, sometimes, a documentary. It's terrible what you see and hear in a documentary.



Marta Rema said...

thank you!

supercalli said...

Thanks, very much for this transcription.

craig keller. said...

Powerful. Thank you very much for this.

Her, Suzanne76 said...

fantastic...thank you!