Four films at the Mediatheque in Villebois Lavalette
13/11/2012 § 1 Comment
I am very pleased to be screening Ban an Farraigne (Woman of the Sea) for the first time here in France from 13th – 27th November 2012.
Lyotard prophesized the end of the grand narrative: No more looking through the Cartesian perspective and believing in overarching theories and philosophies about linear progression through history; and no more certainty about finding the answers through science or religion. Postmodernism made us alert to difference and diversity, to the incompatibility of our aspirations and beliefs. It hailed the end of the humanist tradition and man’s control over being.
Thus reading films as texts gave us the opportunity to see the abundance of narratives within. Every image, every word, every colour, has a reference to another. There is a never-ending potential of narratives as these images and signs themselves generate new processes and meanings.
The notion of the Absurd counters the most basic philosophical question, is there any meaning in our existence at all.
Beckett understood and played with the Absurd idea that there is no meaning to be found in the world beyond what meaning we give to it.
He challenges our natural desire to make sense of things and our reliance on questions being answered by science and religion. To view your surroundings with the absence of sense is irrational and a conflict arises between you and the estranged world you live in.
Ban An Farraige is such a world and by watching this film you enter the Absurd, you accept the fact that this is theatre and before you is a performance. I have manipulated the shots. Nothing is real. There is no coherent vision of truth, there is no accepted reflection of society and no expressions of cultural values, and it does not communicate any general views of human life. It is not concerned with conveying information or presenting the problems or destinies relating to her character. What I am doing is using the concept of the Absurd to reveal the workings of the mind to show that we create our own reality and there is no meaning to this reality other than what we give to it. I am exploring an intimate vision of the human situation, the meaning of existence itself.
I want to show that her existence and by extension our existence, is not determined by anything external lying outside of ourselves, e.g. our surroundings, history, God’s order, etc.; but lies within ourselves and is the result of our own decisions and behavior.
By keeping her character static sucking the stones she becomes recognizable to us through the picture of the world that she places before us. The seaside scene is an expression of her own psychological reality. The fleeting images and sounds are the outward projection of the thoughts in her head. By opening up the world of the Absurd we can view the workings of her mind. “It presents a truer picture of reality itself, reality as apprehended by an individual”.41 Ladislav Major, Mysleni o divadle, vol. 1 (Praha [Prague]: Herrmann, 1993) 161.
My other films showing will be:
La Vie Par La Mort. 2010. 2 minutes.
Lemons and Tacks. 2011. 5 minutes.
What Do We See. 2009. 5 minutes.