Ainda não começámos a pensar
                                               We have yet to start thinking
 Cinema e pensamento | On cinema and thought                                                                              @ André Dias

Inadequacy of the concept of form (Birth of electronic space #4)

A first important theoretical moment concerns the heritage of formalist and neo-formalist critical traditions and its theoretical developments. The grounding fact for the need of this research is the suspicion of inadequacy of the concept of “form” to describe the major exploits of this cinema and, specially, to account for the immanence of cinema to itself, to the world and to thought. Perhaps it is time to try to surmount this aristotelic hylomorphic scheme – the one that postulates the binary opposition between matter and form — that we take for granted as pure common sense. What I’m concerned with is the possibility of a certain “formalism”, one that privileges cinema’s materials of expression — a formalism without form, nevertheless — and that acknowledges the potentiality of cinema also as thought, namely of very concrete things of our worldly experience, like politics.
To work without the middle instance of ideology and its prodigal sons is then the objective. And one can find, beyond the ideological radicalization and the Brechtian distantiation dominant in late modern cinema, two major “formalist” dimensions which regard the expressiveness of materials themselves, i.e., in which films seem to interrogate their own material condition, and that are somehow connected. These two dimensions can be recognized through the extraction of quite different events in several films, and we can call them: the exhaustion of space, and the emancipation of time.

[to be continued]

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