Graven Images

Movies borrow the emotionally situating power of music, add that to the identity-shaping power of narrative, and mold them both onto a visual representation that appeals to our criterion of truthfulness.

– that’s almost certainly a convenient simplification, but something along these lines is happening.

The danger (is it a danger? or am I just a reactionary?)…
The sadness with which I watch Movies flows from the way in which this powerful medium also partakes in the weakness of all representation: immediacy.

Alexander_MovieMaybe it’s wrong to call this a weakness. After all, it’s also the strength and substance of representation. A representation is something available when the original is gone.
(I don’t think that this is all a representation does)
But what about when the original is really gone, irrevocably, irretrievably? What about when the ‘goneness’ is an essential part of the original.
There are things which can never be represented because their originality and uniqueness are part of what they are.
– a copy or representation cannot, by definition, capture these things.

Actually, everything is like this. Everything is gone, every spark from the Heraclitean fire, burns, glows, mottles to black, and is no more. And at every instant it is different to what it was an instant before. Every moment in history is unrepeatable, the ‘goneness’ of what was here a moment ago is essential to what it now is, and to what everything now is.

On a completely trivial level, Movies always fail to tell us the most important thing about the past. It is gone. We live more and more in an eternal present, all the Ages that have ever been are available to us Now. (maybe this isn’t so trivial)

If you’ll believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Graven Images

  1. Well, that would put you in a tricky situation, Phd and all…
    To answer your question though:
    no I don't. I was just trying to sound provocative by putting a largely unrelated quote at the end.
    Worshipping a representation is idolatry.

    Like

Comments are closed.