Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Minor Cinema

In Chapter 3, Imprinted Time, Tarkovsky explains how he sees "chonicle as the ultimate cinema; for [him] it is not a way of filming but a way of reconstructing, of recreating life." (p.65) What I wish to draw out here is the emphasis that he places on the "recreation of life." Cinema here is not a reproduction or a retelling of an event but it is in itself the creation of life (a new event). Perhaps though, I am reading too much into this statement and Tarkovsky is not advocating for the construction of new realities through cinema but instead for the creative construction of time passed/passing, of blocks of time (life re-arranged, life re-constructed, new life?).

I think what I would like to incorporate into this line of thinking about cinema is the idea of minor practices, as discussed by Deleuze and Guattari, and more specifically the notion of "becoming stranger." Not only "becoming stranger" in one's own language (as in their literary examples), but I am wondering if cinema, through the "appropriation of time" cannot act as a minor practice and enable a "becoming stranger" in ourselves and throughout our territory? Considering our "immanent becoming," as discussed by Deleuze and Guattari, it seems as though cinema might be an appropriate medium for not simply "capturing" time (because that would attempt to trace it and render it solid), but instead to map, through/with time, and become along with the territory. Like the map, the attempt would be to engage in "an experimentation in contact with the real."

Not knowing really how to conclude these thoughts, I should add that the ideas presented here are part of a larger project of mine that is trying to conceive of documenting (documentary practices) in relation to a constantly moving self/territory. How can a documentary film map instead of trace? How do you work with a shifting terrain? Can this be a minor practice?

Vanessa Meyer

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