Why not allow television this same supplementary force of creative
preservation? There's nothing in principle to stop it adapting its different
resources to this same end, except that TV'S social functions
(seen in game shows, news) stifle its potential aesthetic function. TV
is, in its present form, the ultimate consensus: it's direct social engineering,
leaving no gap at all between itself and the social sphere, it's
social engineering in its purest form.
For how could professional
training, the professional eye, leave any room for something supplementary
in the way of perceptual exploration? And if I had to choose
I'd pick those where you explain that television's professional eye, the
famous socially engineered eye through which the viewer is himself
invited to look, produces an immediate and complacent perfection
that's instantly controllable and controlled.
For you don't take the
easy path, you don't criticize television for its imperfections, but purely and simply for its perfection.
And you find Bergman agreeing-with con-siderable mirth, and considerable enthusiasm for
To say television has
no soul is to say it has no supplement,
except the one you confer on
look" at this essentially uneven or asymmetric confrontation.
met its first death
at the hands of
an authoritarian power culminating
Taking the battle to the
heart of cinema, making cinema see it as its problem instead of coming
But isn't this, as you suggest, what Coppola has
in his turn attempted to do in cinema, with all his hesitations and
to control or replace it.
You'd already, in La Rampe, characterized
"the background in any image is always another image," and so on
This is the stage where art no longer beautifies or spiritualizes
Nature but competes with it: the world is lost, the world itself "turns
to film,"any film at all,
One might also say that bodies in Nature or people in a landscape
are replaced by brains in a city: the screen's no longer a window
or door (behind which. . . ) nor a frame or surface (in which. . . ) but
a computer screen on which images as "data" slip around. How,
though, can we still talk of art, if the world itself is turning cinematic,
Here we see in outline the new art of City and Brain, of competing
with Nature. And one can already see in this mannerism many different
directions or paths, some blocked, others leading tentatively forward,
offering great hopes. A mannerism of video "previsualization"
in Coppola, where images are already assembled without a camera.
Maybe pop video, up to the point where it lost its dreamlike
quality, might have played some part in the pursuit of "new associations"
proposed by Syberberg, might have traced out the new cerebral
propaganda. . . ).
And maybe space footage might also have played a
part in aesthetic and noetic creation, if it had managed to produce
some last reason for traveling, as Burroughs suggested, if it had managed
to break free from the control of a "regular guy on the Moon
And how can we tell where the experimentation with images,
sounds, and music that's just beginning in the work of Resnais,
Godard, the Straubs, and Duras will lead?
And what new Comedy
will emerge from the mannerism of bodily postures? Your concept of
into a new domain, while the forces of control try to steal this
domain from them, to take it over before they do, and set up a new
__________________________________________for more of Daney
_________ Cours De Cinema Serge Daney Journal
A translation excerpt of
Television and its Shadow
'That is what we say to ourselves as we consume here and there the minor subjects offered by "VIVE LA TELE" (on channel 5). Pre-zapped subjects that we watch with the conspiratorial eye of one who has already seen them in a previous life, who is surprised by his own amnesia (who sang with "Les problemes"? Antoine?) as by his capacity to recall (Ah yes, the painter Fujita, that was his moment of glory, now dead and forgotten.) We identify what we do not recognize and no longer recognize what we know. In this smiling game that we play with ourselves, everything sways towards the déja-vu and the second level. And, since there is no question of allowing these inserts any more weight than the load of their insignificance, the director Gerards Jourd'hui makes it a point to invent the "outdated" (discolored) disguise of what was innocently nude and in vogue twenty or more years ago.
Of course, we realize that, up to the mid sixties, the voices of journalists in the wings were peremptory, nasal tones, with the low humor of the forties or fifties. In black and white the very images that were meant to be pure entertainment assume great dignity (fashion show reports, advance clips of the yé-yé culture, Princess Margaret all smiles, Cocteau, etc.) But these images suddenly swing en bloc into the category (duly filed and classified in the archives of the INA or the Gaumont Cinematheque) of images of the past that are also past images. The recent past remains undecidable as long as it does not definitively fall into the overall phenomenon of belonging to the past.
translator unknown at this time
Cahiers du Cinema
which is described