Monthly Archives: August 2013

Film and Hyphology

by Seán Hudson

We think too fast, while on our way somewhere, while walking or in the midst of all sorts of business, even when thinking of the most serious things; we need little preparation, not even much silence: it is as if we carried around in our heads an unstoppable machine that keeps working even under the most unfavourable circumstances. Formerly, one could tell just by looking at a person that he wanted to think – it was probably a rare occurrence! – , that he now wanted to become wiser and was preparing himself for a thought: one would set one’s face as for prayer and stop walking; yes, one stood still for hours on the street once the thought ‘arrived’ – on one or two legs. (Nietzsche 2003: 33-34)

Things happen and we put them into boxes – I think that might be an accurate way of describing the general human relation with experience. It’s very practical, of course; we wouldn’t get far in life, that chaotic whirl of sensations, without organising it into categories, like the self, or race, or gender, etc. No one can deny that humans are expert labellers. But then, conversely, we’ve also developed ways of bypassing our filters: of abandoning our boxes and indulging in their contents. Film has the potential to be one of these tools, to short-circuit cognition in the wake of the primacy of affect.

What does that mean, exactly? I like to think that it’s connected to the peculiar experience I had the other day, sitting outside a café, disoriented, sleep-deprived, and hung-over. I looked up and saw two giant red circles, white within the diametre, each bisected by a thick, blue line. Continue reading Film and Hyphology