Cinematic Architecture

Though I do not have enough time  to elaborate my thoughts on  films by Thai filmmaker and video artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul (the director of “Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives”, film which won  the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival), I believe, it could work very well in connection with Deleuzian film philosophy. Anyway, in relation with the class discussion  on  architectural framing as a creation of virtual spaces for the potential lived experiences, I want to quote Weerasethakul, who, by the way, before entering experimental cinema program in the Art Institute of Chicago had studied architecture in Thailand.

When Weerasethakul was asked how does he think architecture is related to films, he answered in such words: “[…] Architecture has its own stories, it is just another way to tell stories. It is characterized by how a person experiences art by using space and time. It is walking from one point to another, which is very similar to cinema. Lighting, shadow, and space are about the story of emotions and of the mind. Some places do not make the person who enters feel that this place was constructed for so and so purpose, and it is able to take the visitor to the activities in that location, which are all prepared in such a way that we do them naturally. Just like humans—each person has a story. People will have different reactions in a relationship. Going to places will give us different feelings or atmospheres, and we will have different reactions to each space. When I first began, I had to try to understand this media form (film) and know what it could do. I created a new structure, so it stands out in structural terms.” The entire interview can be found here

A still frame from Uncle Boonmee

And, furthermore, in  another interview Weerasethakul states:  “I think that the time element in architecture and film is shared. You decide the angles, the openings, the relationship of time to space, the light.” Interview can be found here.

In short, even though Weerasethakul does not elaborate his thoughts on cinematic architecture (as an establishment of the relationship between time and space, as he nicely  puts), in my opinion, knowing his films, he could definitely be called an artist who is working with actual virtual without making it actual, instead of remaining  in a limited schematic classical storytelling based on constant repetitions of the possible real. From his interviews (and his films, for sure) we can feel that his emphasis on a temporal aspect of cinema let him creatively work on new non-representational forms of cinematic images.

After all, I think that those thoughts by a famous contemporary filmmaker nicely echoe  Bernard Cache’s theory on architecture and could serve as a fine shift-point to Deleuzian film philosophy, we are going to dwell in next week.

See you all!

Lukas

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