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


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.


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.


Adam Lipszyc
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
72 Nowy Świat Street, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland


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