Film-Philosophy Conference, Film-Philosophy Conference 2015: The Evaluation of Form

Towards a Pneumatic Cinema: The Work of Fernando Eimbcke

Roman Dominguez Jimenez


Against blockbuster Mexican filmmakers like Cuarón, Iñárritu and Del Toro, and even in comparison with acclaimed art-house works of Reygadas, Escalante and Pereda, the films of Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke seem to gravitate in another orbit. It is true indeed that Eimbcke’s filmwork boasts a number of affinities with the latter three authors: an extreme care in the mise en scène as Reygadas, a fondness for silence as Amat Escalante, a proclivity to just let time pass by in front of camera as Nicolás Pereda. But in spite of these well-perceived affinities, it seems that something else happens in Eimbcke’s cinema: a kind of rare joy or even a paradoxical relaxed enthusiasm that definitively does not take place in the work of these other fellow filmmakers. How Eimcbke achieves this sort of airy, ethereal, atmospheric sensation?

We suggest that rather than being interested in storytelling, Eimbcke’s main goal is to show, to express, and even to build an event. In this respect we also suggest that Eimbcke joins already, by the means of cinema, the philosophical concerns of thinkers such as Spinoza (occursus) and Deleuze (événement). But we think that this approach is not enough to understand Eimbcke’s uniqueness concerning the construction of an event. Our hypothesis is that Eimbcke constructs his events in the sole figure of a non-event: in a figure of time that on a first glance could seem to be the one of a dead time. But if we have enough patience this dead-time could be revealed as a full-vivid, almost joyful time. Thus, Eimbcke could be considered as one of the few contemporary filmmakers whom it is possible to say that they live up to the idea of filmmaking of one of his teachers: Yasujiro Ozu.

Thus, the non-event of Eimbcke’s films presents a curious synaesthesia: in Eimbcke’s films, montage breathes.

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About the Presenter

Roman Dominguez Jimenez
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Born in Mexico City, Roman Dominguez Jimenez is an Assistant Professor in the Aesthetics Deparment, Faculty of Philosophy, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he has been a faulty member since 2013.

Mr. Dominguez Completed his Ph. D. and Master degree in Philosophy at Paris 8 University with the thesis "Rhythm, gesture, montage : towards a technologico-politics by the means of cinema" (2012). He completed his undergraduate studies in his homeland at the National Autonomus University of Mexico (UNAM).

During his stay in Paris, he directed, alongside french philosophers Jean-Louis Déotte and Alian Brossat, various seminars on film, politics and philosophy at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Paris Nord.

Mr. Dominguez writes mainly in french and spanish for revues such as "Appareil" (online, in frecnh) and Revista de la Universidad de México (in spanish). At present he works in the publication in french and spanish of his doctoral dissrtetion and in the writing of a book about the british TV series "Black Mirror".

The main philososphical and litterary influences of Mr. Dominguez are Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Borges, Bataille, Nietzsche, Juan Rulfo and Octavio Paz. His most beloved filmmakers are Ozu, Béla Tarr, Godard, Farocki and Fernando de Fuentes.