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Talk: Antoine de Baecque

Thursday 30 November 18:30-20:00

Ever since its birth, cinema, ‘an invention without a future’, aimed to look at its own inevitable and impending death. Its concept and very basis, however, have been enriched from this end of history, generating aesthetic, historical and theoretical effects. Cinema often dies of its own crises, but is then revived by these very crises.

‘THE END OF CINEMA’ was what Jean-Luc Godard’s famous slogan anticipated, heralding the last moments of his latest successful film from the 1960s, Week-End (1968), a form of cinema devoured by its author as much as by his own self-destructive bulimia. This ‘END’, this death of an art form which is also the end of a world and a break in history, was there since the birth of cinematography, ‘an invention without a future’ according to Louis Lumière.

Since then, some doomsayers – albeit geniuses – have often predicted its disappearance. For some time, technological – video, digital, computer, and 3-D – revolutions have anticipated the end of a world. However, crises have constantly generated such formal changes. One could say that cinema is only alive when considering its own impending death, that it is never more alive than when it contemplates its own death with the fever of a dying man. Its concept and basis have been enriched by this death, generating vital historical, aesthetic and theoretical effects.

Institut Français Écosse 2017