Numb

By Francesco Cazzin.

It is a haecceity no longer of individuation but of singularization: a life of pure immanence, neutral, beyond good and evil, for it was only the subject that incarnated it in the midst of things that made it good or bad. The life of such individuality fades away in favor of the singular life immanent to a man who no longer has a name, though he can be mistaken for no other. A singular essence, a life… (Gilles Deleuze, Immanence – A life)

There are no words (1) to describe Anders Weberg’s latest movie (Numb, Sweden, 2014, 1’). This is because at the end of the viewing nothing is left, almost as the artwork drained what is human – or merely existing – outside of it and somehow took possession of it.

Hence, a metaphysics view beyond everything, but this everything is merely the void that remains external, and Numb is therefore that silent elegy that shortly becomes sound – or the entire universe sound – from which we are excluded: in Numb nothing but absence is included, an abyss that is at the same time emptiness and fullness. On the other hand it is thanks of this exclusion that an insurmountable limit materializes – which, if on one side excludes us, on the other marks a line of proximity from which we can look out in order to attend this unique suspended vision and consequently feel and experience ourselves to be eternal” (2)- eternally excluded, alive – but of an inauthentic life. Nevertheless, Weberg’s artwork is not to be considered a celebration of death or an easy sophistry that resolves existence in a non-being or in a not-belonging to the world any longer. On the contrary, Numb reveals itself to be for what it is: probably the most touching movie I have ever watched. This is due to the density of a lyricism that makes of it something vibrant and, tragic or not, what vibrates exists: lives – in happiness as well as in sadness. Moreover, as much as life leaves us aphasic in front of given circumstances (death of a son), it fills us with joy managing to look out from the borders and find inside art an image, a gesture or a word that in some way makes meaning circulate, that even though is not open to experience because located in the beyond from which we are excluded is still present – probably the only breath of hope given to us. Waiting for what it will certainly be the definitive movie (3), Ambiancé (Sweden 2020, 43200’), and hence the end of cinema as such, it is magnificent to notice how cinema still manages to virtualize existence making it authentic – indeed, a life. Robert Todd’ masterpiece, Cove (Usa, 2012, 7’) return to mind, as well as Deleuze’s words, that perhaps precisely in cinema (in this cinema) find their most concrete and significant formulation: per citazione finale: «But we shouldn’t enclose life in the single moment when individual life confronts universal death. A life is everywhere, in all the moments that a given living subject goes through and that are measured by given lived objects: an immanent life carrying with it the events or singularities that are merely actualized in subjects and objects. This is indefinite life does not itself have moments, close as they may be one to another, but only between-times, between-moments; it doesn’t just come about or come after but offers the immensity of an empty time where one sees the event yet to come and already happened, in the absolute of an immediate consciousness» (4).

© Francesco Cazzin – Turbulences Vidéo #84

 Notes:

1 – And that’s right, ‘cause it’s cinema.

2 – Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, demonstrated in geometrical order.

3 – I use the word definitive as definitive definition. Furthermore it’s obvious that cinema can’t bear such film as Ambiancé, so to my forewarning, considering the teaser’s materiality images and the overall work duration, more than a vision that will be a life experience (screened in one only occasion, we should  adapt ourselves to cinema rathen than adapt cinema to our lives, our occupations as ofter happen), which logical consequence can only be the distruction of the film itself, its funeral, following that nothing will subsist, as well as no soul subsist to the death of a body: not attending but experiencing Ambiancé and not adjusting it to us but adjusting ourselves to it, there, we will really became cinema (definition) – and then nothing more (definitive).

4 – Gilles Deleuze, Immanence – A life.

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