Towards a Pneumatic Cinema: The Work of Fernando Eimbcke
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.