minoritarian + cinema


minoritarian + cinema
  ---- by Constantine Verevis
  In Cinema 2: The time-image, Deleuze invokes his writing (with Guattari) on Franz Kafka and minor literatures to describe a 'minor cinema' founded in the Third World and its minorities - that connects immediately to the question of politics. Such a (modern) political cinema is characterised (and opposed to classical cinema) in three ways. First, a minor cinema does not represent (or address) an oppressed and subjected people, but rather anticipates a people yet to be created, a consciousness to be brought into existence. Second, a minor cinema does not maintain a boundary between the private and the public, but rather crosses borders, merging the personal with the social to make it immediately political. And third, recognising that the people exist only in the condition of a minority, political cinema does not identify a new union (a singularity), but rather creates (and recreates) a multiplicity of conditions. Deleuze describes this minor cinema as one that sets out, not to represent the conditions of an oppressed minority, but rather to invent new values and facilitate the creation of a people who have hitherto been missing. Like Kafka's minor literature, a minor cinema is interested neither in representation or interpretation, but in experimentation: it is a creative act of becoming. Deleuze relates his account of minoritarian cinema to the work of Third World filmmakers (Lino Brocka, Glauber Rocha, Chahine Nasserism) and in doing so implicitly recalls the notion of 'Third Cinema', advanced by Latin American filmmakers in the late 1960s. In their founding manifesto - Towards a Third Cinema - Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino called for a cinema that was militant in its politics and experimental in its approach. The manifesto described 'First Cinema' - the so-called imperial cinema of big capital - as an objective and representational cinema. 'Second Cinema' - the authorial cinema of the petty bourgeoisie - was described as a subjective and symbolic cinema. By contrast, 'Third Cinema' - a political or minoritarian cinema - was an attitude, one concerned neither with representation (a being-whole) nor subjectification (a being-one), but with life-experimentation - the creation and exhibition of local difference. In later writing, Solanas explained that Third Cinema, though initially adapted to conditions prevailing in Latin America, could not be limited to that continent, nor even to the Third World, nor even to a particular category of cultural objects, but rather constituted a kind of virtual geography and conditional objecthood. For Solanas, Third Cinema (as opposed to Third World cinema) was broadly concerned with the expression of new cultures and of social change: Third Cinema is 'an open category, unfinished, and incomplete'.
  Third Cinema - minor cinema - is a research category, one that recognises the contingency and multiplicity - the hybridity - of all cultural objects. Paul Willemen, in 'The Third Cinema Question', explains that practitioners of Third Cinema refused to oppose essentialist notions of 'national identity and cultural authenticity' to the values of imperial powers, but rather recognised the multiplicity or 'many-layeredness of their own cultural-historical formations'. That is, a minor cinema (a national cinema) is not singular, but shaped by complex and multiple connections established between local and international forces and conditions. A film such as Tran Anh Hung's Cyclo (France-Vietnam, 1995) understands this type of approach. On the one hand, the local (or intranational) multi-layeredness of Cyclo is evident in its use of various regional dialects: for instance, the cyclo-driver of the film's title and his sister speak in the vernacular of the North and of the South of Vietnam. On the other hand, the hybridisation of global (or international) forces is evident in the film's use of music (Tranh Lam, Radiohead, Rollins Band) and its expressive vocabulary, one that draws upon influences as diverse as The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica, 1948), Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976), and Himatsuri (Mitsuo Yanagimatchi, 1985).
  As in the minor use of language, minoritarian cinema ceases to be representational and moves instead towards its limits. This is evident in Cyclo, where the beginning of the film, situated in the streets of neorealism, and in the daily toil and routine of a cyclo driver, soon takes the viewer through its wayward and itinerant movements - in unpredictable and even dangerous directions. The focus of this movement is on becoming, on relations, on what happens between: between actions, between affections, between perceptions. For Deleuze, a minor cinema is situated in a logic and an aesthetics of the 'and'. It is a creative stammering (and . . . and . . . and), a minoritarian use of language that the French- Vietnamese Tran would share with Deleuze's favoured examples (Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Jean-Luc Godard). Cyclo can be approached as a kind of living reality, a type of creative understanding between colours, between people, between cinemas - between the red (of the poet) and the blue (of the cyclo) and the yellow (of the fish-boy); between the First, and the Second, and the Third.

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • minoritarian + cinema —    by Constantine Verevis   In Cinema 2: The time image, Deleuze invokes his writing (with Guattari) on Franz Kafka and minor literatures to describe a minor cinema founded in the Third World and its minorities that connects immediately to the… …   The Deleuze dictionary

  • Minority (philosophy) — Minority redirects here. For other uses, see Minority (disambiguation). Minority, and the related concept of becoming minor, is a philosophical concept developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in their books Kafka: Towards a Minor… …   Wikipedia

  • Beckett, Samuel — (1906 89)   refer to the entries on art , minoritarian + cinema and space …   The Deleuze dictionary

  • Beckett, Samuel — (1906 89)   refer to the entries on art , minoritarian + cinema and space …   The Deleuze dictionary


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