Les États généraux du film documentaire 2012 From Off-camera to the Pursuit

From Off-camera to the Pursuit


Wednesday 22 at 10:15 am, room 5

Dialogue between Marie-José Mondzain (philosopher and director of research at the CNRS) and Jean-Louis Comolli (filmmaker and critic) around their most recent books.

Images (à suivre)
De la poursuite au cinema et ailleurs


Marie-José Mondzain

"Any life is in some way a film, both as an uninterrupted unrolling from birth to death, but also as a fragmented network of chance trajectories."

This book is devoted to the pursuit, indeed to persecution, as much in the obstinacy of thoughts as in the chases or races recounted or filmed; it also questions in this way the economics of suspense and pause. Biography crosses the experience of the film spectator, one and the other opening up to the question of the people. The philosophical and political status of images is an uninterrupted pursuit of suspense against all tyrannies of the continuous.

Corps et cadre
Cinéma, éthique, politique


Jean-Louis Comolli

Cinema frames bodies. And the history of cinema can be narrated as the desire of these bodies to be framed – but also of their resistance to being entirely submitted to the discipline of framing.
For the frame is a pressure that the filmed body desires but also suffers. The edges of the frame which separate the visible from the non-visible are the agents of this struggle of bodies within frames. Entering or leaving the frame, the filmed body affirms the issues of space off-camera.
The problem is to requestion the history of film as a political history as closely as possible to the filmed bodies, their submission or their liberty. From the actor's body to the spectator's: one and the other are invited to the liberty of being off-camera, of not ceding everything to the empire of spectacle.

Jean-Louis Comolli prolongs the requestioning of film history begun in Voir et pouvoir and compiles in Corps et Cadre his critical and theoretical texts published between 2004 and 2010.
The question of off-camera space is the continuing factor through the films studied here, by Louis Lumière, S.M. Eisenstein, Luis Buñuel, Pedro Costa, Raymond Depardon, John Ford, Chris Marker, Abbas Kiarostami, Ginette Lavigne, Jean Renoir, Jean Rouch, Claudio Pazienza, Frederic Wiseman, Jia Zang Khe… In this period of media overexposure the area of shade saved by the cinema of off-camera space has become an issue of major aesthetic - and political - importance.

In the presence of Jean-Louis Comolli and Marie-José Mondzain.