Activity Report: Doc III workshop - After Languages sidelight

  • 2022-11-30
  • Cindy

 Speaker/Moderator | Prof. Hsin-I, LIN (NYCU, IAA)
 Director | Nguyễn Trinh Thi
 Screening | Everyday’s the Seventies (2018, 15min)、Eleven Men (2016, 28min)
 Written | Ke Zu-Hao (NYCU, IAA)・English translation | Lin Wen-chun (NYCU, IAA)
 Date | 2022/11/3 (Tue.) 14:30-17:30
 Venue | HA Building1, R314, NYCU

The //Soft: Doc III workshop Supercut: After Languages was held on the first of November at NYCU IAA, screening Everyday’s the Seventies(2018) and Eleven Men(2016), both are essay films by Vietnam director Nguyễn Trinh Thi. The following discussion is based on her works as demonstration to widen the course Soft Cinema : Supercut and Database Aesthetics.

In Everyday’s the Seventies, Nguyễn Trinh Thi she arranges essay film by scheduling image database to restructure and forming the grand narrative of the History within personal interview, media and cinema, as manifest Supercut as the other historical voice; In Eleven Men, Nguyễn Trinh Thi adapted Franz Kafka’s Eleven Sons into voice over that give an account of the performance of Vietnam actress Nhu Quynh’s eight movies during 1966 to 2000. In this work, the female voice bridging fictional events over the time by giving the outlining of eleven men, which also gives an opportunity for an anonymous figure to speak for herself.

How could we expand our sense of the problem of moving image through the method of database cinema? viewers might get an initiation from Nguyễn Trinh Thi's works, her way of thinking through image is to try to approach the History. How could Supercut technically restructure the sight of the way of seeing?

About screening, professor LIN Hsin-i settled Micheal Foucault’s statement as a parallel viewing point. She quoted: “In this case, philosophy is not content to simply treat art as an object but is able to pursue its own concerns through art in such a way that both art and philosophy are able to reinvent themselves via various shortcuts and montages, both then setting out again on paths that neither had dreamed of following.” (Maniglier, Patrice and Zabunyan, Dork, 2018: x) From Introduction: Michel Foucault's Cut, Foucault at the movies, that she stated Foucault his idea of cinema of philosophy and art is a kind of parallel gazing, eyes to eyes, rather than organized hierarchy. Therefore, viewers would acquire some kind of sense of the problem at the same time with touch or gaze of moving image and art, not just theorizing it into an object. Moving image usually easily attached with words, language, narrative and other substances. On the other hand, philosophy became fervid vogue by means of cinema (or cinema philosophy became fervid vogue.)

However, those expressions which were produced by the intervention of the philosophical system were to constraint the way of seeing and the thought on cinema, as well as ignoring the display of cinema itself at the same time. Philosophy and cinema should be looked upon as two sides of the path of the sense of the problem, straight it to discover emulation of moving image and philosophy, rather than a competition relationship. This is "thinking otherwise,” offering another way to build up historical writing, rather than obey narratives rule, "thinking otherwise" must involve the uncoded events which are about to be reconstructed. If expressions need granted behooves, that isn’t for expressing a picture about a certain historical section, try to present it in a different way. According to Foucault, cinema is equipping this kind of possibility to capture micro-history.

Professor Lin said she was aware of six movies included in Eleven Men, which obviously have jurisdiction or command of specific ideology. However, these clips had been resequenced and fragmented into adaptations from literary works —— when viewers try to approach these structure doesn’t need to interpreting, just sprawling, they could aware there is an charismatic unknown object without a trace, by supercut, it could sending an object without revealing it in the authorities structure of the expression structure, in case it token muted in History. At the end of the workshop, Professor Lin said: “Supercut: after language, to me, is to let those bodiless history as an actual moving image event. Becoming an event, not history itself, although it eventually might transform into history. Let them access languages, and after all of it, become the other thought that could resize and reformat our identification .” 

Wen-chun had noticed the rewind editing in Eleven Men. The rewind editing of Supercut gave a hint to the audience, moving image was out of speed, it turns out the genre of moving image looks like a document rather than cinema. That path leads the viewers to open various affection to approaching cinematic objects, although this path causes misunderstanding. And the intertextuality in Everyday’s the Seventies is interwoven with archives, fiction films, documentaries, frame and component voice over to experiment construction of possibilities of vision. Wen-chun continued to explain, at the end of another essay film Loin du Viêtnam(1967) gave a statement about impossible backtrack: “In a few minutes, this film will end. You’ll leave this room, and most of you will go back to a peaceful world. It’s also ours, and we know how easy it is to forget certain realities. We are far from Vietnam. The Vietnam of our feelings is sometimes just as far from Vietnam as in difference would be. We live in a society which excels in hiding its own goals, its only virtues, and its own violence. This war isn’t a historical accident. Nor an unresolved colonial problem. It’s here. Around us. Inside us.” When movie end, audience will away from somewhere they ever and never could been, also was impossible to return by same mean. But an adaptation as expression could approach the imagination to sieve through rewind and replay, that is possible to shake metaphors of language of cinema.

Shen Xin-Hao had a reimagination of a scene of production on Eleven Men. He started with the bodies of database cinema, thinking how it could bring different experiences of bodies and the new way of seeing. The constructed image scene is built with working mode interaction of computer and files, we could image any kind of posture to collage image or audio files. This environment of production shows the structural appearance of media. Compare the indexical cinematic reels database timeline with the traditional film's mingle perception, while the sense of sight and the auditory sense of database collaged will open viewer's sensibility about figure and structure again.

Ko Zu-Hao tried gather the sight of watching, which he gave name “cubic image” to face the database cinema: when image had arrangement as data, in macro-image massing, one’s sight perhaps is still and wait for calling; by same mean, nonexistent ideal audience cause a look back of an image in great complex image compile data. The audience would repeatedly anchor their position through looking back to database cinema. As a body in some kind of generation, it couldn’t avoid choosing an image (or to be chosen as an image.) How could one’s possible to know “where” in massive levels of databases? How could one’s encounter be confirmed or not just shattered crystal? As the consciousness of sight, perhaps we could take it as a position in the multitudinous massive levels database to approach and build up a personal catalog. At the moment, there’s a trail in the multitudinous image, which leads one's self.


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