Philosophy on Screen

Alexander Kluge – Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike. Marx – Eisenstein – Das Kapital (2008)

»Der Entschluß steht fest, das KAPITAL nach dem Szenarium von Karl Marx zu verfilmen«, notierte Sergej Eisenstein am 12. Oktober 1927. Eisenstein, der mit Panzerkreuzer Potemkin (1926) die Filmsprache revolutionierte, wollte Marx’ Buch »kinofizieren«. Die Herausforderung, die von einem solchen Werk ausgeht, so glaubte Eisenstein, würde die Filmkunst von Grund auf umrücken. Ihm schwebte die Anwendung völlig neuer, von James Joyce’ Ulysses abgeleiteter Formen vor: »faits divers«, »emotionale Konvolute« und Reihen »dialektischer Bilder«. Read More »

Harun Farocki – Wie man sieht AKA As You See (1986)

My film As You See is an action-filled feature film. It reflects upon girls in porn magazines to whom names are ascribed and about the nameless dead in mass graves, upon machines that are so ugly that coverings have to be used to protect the workers’ eyes, upon engines that are too beautiful to be hidden under the hoods of cars, upon labor techniques that either cling to the notion of the hand and the brain working together or want to do away with it. Read More »

Jason Barker – Marx Reloaded (English Version) [+ Extras] (2011)

A cultural documentary that uses some of the central ideas of 19th century German socialist and philosopher Karl Marx to try to make sense of the global financial crisis of 2008-09. This crisis prompted the U.S. government to spend more than 1 trillion dollars in order to rescue its banking system from financial meltdown. But can the largest financial losses in history really be put down to the natural risks and uncertainties of the free market? Or is there another explanation as to why the crisis happened and what its implications are for the future of our society, our economy, for our whole way of life? Read More »

Chris Marker – Chris Marker-Cornelius Castoriadis : une leçon de démocratie (1989)

This interview with Castoriadis was conducted in 1989 by famed filmmaker Chris Marker for Marker’s own television series L’héritage de la chouette (“The Owl’s Legacy”). Eighty-one minutes long, the raw footage originally recorded in French has been translated into English (via easy-to-read subtitles) and edited anonymously as a public service. Here, Castoriadis lays out and examines the contributions of ancient Greece to questions of contemporary relevance relating to democracy, politics, philosophy, art, poetry, economic and social reorganization, and the creative chaos that underlies all existence. Read More »

Jean-Daniel Pollet – Dieu sait quoi (1994)


Dieu sait quoi can be described as a cinematographic essay managing to convey Francis Ponge’s approach to the world, his special relation between silent objects and speech, defining the space of life and knowledge. Read More »

Fred Zinnemann – A Man for All Seasons (1966)

The story takes place in sixteenth century England. But men like Sir Thomas More, who love life yet have the moral fiber to lay down their lives for their principles, are found in every century. Concentrating on the last seven years of the English Chancellor’s life, the struggle between More and King Henry VIII hinges on Henry’s determination to break with Rome so he can divorce his current wife and wed again, and good Catholic More’s inability to go along with such heresy. More resigns as Chancellor, hoping to be able to live out his life as a private citizen. But Henry will settle for nothing less than that the much respected More give public approval to his headstrong course. Read More »

Jean Cocteau – Jean Cocteau s’adresse… à l’an 2000 (1962)

Dans la salle à manger de la villa Santo Sospir à Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Jean Cocteau s’adresse à la jeunesse de l’an 2000 en philosophant sur la sienne et celle de 1962, comparant les mentalités des différentes époques. La caméra se rapproche, puis Jean Cocteau, filmé en gros plan, évoque ce que représente pour lui la poésie. Il donne sa définition du poète, «un intermédiaire, un médium de cette force mystérieuse qui l’habite», avant d’aborder plus largement le rôle de l’artiste et la notion de «génie». Il commente son besoin de peindre, la nécessité de travailler de ses mains, ce qui permet à sa tête de se reposer et se ressourcer. Read More »