2020-01Thematic Section
The Images to Come: On Showing the Future without Losing One’s Head

Abstract:

The paper discusses the possibility of a cinematic image which represents future catastrophes, while avoiding ideological entrapments and self-serving fantasies. Taking a Japanese ghost story and a brief note by Walter Benjamin as his dual starting point, the author first attempts to define the possible dangers inherent to the very idea of showing the future, the most important being the danger of the premature, cathartic discharge of the spectator’s anxiety in a sadistic/voyeuristic show. After discussion of the mechanisms of this discharge, the author offers an analysis of a positive example, namely Michael Haneke’s Time of the Wolf. According to the analysis, Haneke manages to avoid the traps by constructing reflective images that make the spectators watch themselves as they are searching in vain for the cathartic images of the catastrophe.

Keywords:

Michael Haneke, image, futurity, Walter Benjamin, psychoanalysis

How to cite:

Lipszyc, Adam. “The Images to Come: On Showing the Future without Losing One’s Head.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 1 (2020): 49-56. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0005.

Author:

Adam Lipszyc
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
72 Nowy Świat Street, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6425-7812
adamlipszyc@gmail.com

References:

Lafcadio, Hearn. Kwaidan: Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2006.

Benjamin, Walter. “One-Way Street.” In Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, 1: 1913-1926. Edited by Marcus Bullock, Michael W. Jennings, and translated by Edmund Jephcott, 482-483. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1996.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. “On the Uses and Disadvantages.” In Untimely Meditations. Edited by Daniel Breazeale, and translated by Reginald J. Hollingdale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Scholem, Gershom. “The Tradition of the Thirty-Six Hidden Just Men.” Translated by Michael A. Meyer. In The Messianic Idea in Judaism and Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality. New York: Schocken Books, 1995.

Didi-Huberman, Georges. Images In Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz. Translated by Shane B. Lillis. Chicago: The Chicago University Press, 2008.

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