Thematic interpretation, however -- the search for the "meaning" of the work -- is not the only conceivable hermeneutic operation to which texts, including this one, can be subjected, and I want to describe two other interpretive options before concluding. The first returns us to the question of the referent in an unexpected fashion, by way of that other set of component materials to which we have so far paid less attention than to the quoted inscribed and recorded spools of canned cultural junk which are here interwoven: those (characterized as "natural" materials) were the segments of directly shot footage, which, above and beyond the lakeshore sequence, essentially fell into three groups. The urban street crossing, to begin with, is a kind of degraded space, which -- distant, poor cousin in that to the astonishing concluding sequence of Antonioni Eclipse -- begins faintly to project the abstraction of an empty stage, a place of the Event, a bounded space in which something may happen and before which one waits in formal expectation. In Eclipse, of course, when the event fails to materialize and neither of the lovers appears at the rendezvous, place -- now forgotten -- slowly finds itself degraded back into space again, the reified space of the modern city, quantified and measurable, in which land and earth are parceled out into so many commodities and lots for sale. Here also nothing happens; only the very sense of the possibility of something happening and of the faint emergence of the very category of the Event itself is unusual in this particular tape (the menaced events and anxieties of the science fiction clips are merely "images" of events or, if you prefer, spectacle events without any temporality of their own). The second sequence is that of the perforated milk carton, a sequence which perpetuates and confirms the peculiar logic of the first one, since here we have in some sense the pure event itself, about which there's no point crying, the irrevocable. The finger must give up stopping the breach, the milk must pour out across the table and over the edge, with all the visual fascination of this starkly white substance.

File type: video
Info: L'Eclisse - Michelangelo Antonioni - 1962
Original Url: https://vimeo.com/193396917
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If this quite wonderful image seems to me to revert even distantly to a more properly filmic status, my own aberrant and strictly personal association of it with a famous scene in The Manchurian Candidate is no doubt also partially responsible.

File type: video Original Url: https://youtu.be/IS3LqiZPWN0
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