Film-Philosophy Conference, Film-Philosophy Conference 2012

Manifesting Nostalgia

Jessica Doyle


The notion of a sentimental nostalgia has been manipulated by cinema in order to nurture a sense of mindless comfort. If we are aware of these modes of recalling, we can use the power of nostalgia to move forward toward an ethical way of living. To address this issue, I will show these ideas threefold: First, I will discuss the intentionality to respond to an already superficial nostalgia in regards to Gilles Deleuze and the cinematic idea. Second, I will explain this nostalgic re-creation of that which is known though it is not known that it is known in regards to Slavoj Žižek. Third, I will discuss the notion of nostalgia in regards to simulation and simulacrum through Jean Baudrillard. These ideas will relate around Christian Marclay’s film, The Clock, Paul Slocum’s You’re Not My Father, and Andrei Tarkovsky’s film, Nostalghia, in which each artist plays differently with these nostalgic concepts. These simulated viewings take the viewer on a journey, though there is no map, no plan, and no ethicality required for the trip. The viewer simply goes where taken and brings the repressed memories with them into their futures, which obviously will shape their lives and ways of being. However, we are in control of our past memories and the shaping of our future experiences. Once the oppression of sentimental nostalgia becomes evident, it can invoke an ethical stance that perpetuates an authentic mode of living.

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About the Presenter

Jessica Doyle
Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts
United States