Illustrating Manuscripts

  • John Mullarkey


Giorgio Agamben and the films of Tony Scott; Emmanuel Levinas and the films of Michael Haneke; Jean-Luc Nancy and Claire Denis; Žižek and Kieslowski; Deleuze and Godard (or Badiou and Godard, Derrida and Godard, Lyotard and Godard …). Linkages come readily to mind for a philosophically inclined viewer (indeed, I will make one myself between Deleuze and Julio Medem’s Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998) later). When Haneke’s Caché, for example, finally reveals who is the blackmailer, who is filming the guilty, with the answer ‘no one’, some cannot help but think of Levinas. His idea of a universal responsibility before the Other that comes with human existence as such seems to chime with Caché’s refusal to apportion the usual roles of good and bad, yet without at the same time denying that a terrible wrong has occurred. To exist before another is to be guilty, to be responsible for that Other’s life. The point-of-view shots in Caché, therefore, operate differently from any subjective camerawork precisely because what we thought was the point of view of the blackmailer was never that. It was a moral imperative, the camera as accusatory — not towards the one it shoots, the Other, but to all of us who live and see. There is no blackmailer, there is no blackmail, there is only responsibility, and all of us are always already responsible before the details of any innocence or blame can be attributed.2


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Copyright information

© John Mullarkey 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Mullarkey
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DundeeScotland

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