第7回大会報告 パネル8

パネル8:The Imagination of Disaster 3: Present / Future / Conditional|報告:Yuuki TAKINAMI

July 8, 2012, 16:30-18:30
Collaboration Room 3, Bldg. 18, Komaba Campus, The University of Tokyo

The Imagination of Disaster 3: Present / Future / Conditional

Ozu Yasujirô’s Cinema and the Moving Images as Disaster
Suzanne Beth (University of Montreal)

Spectacles of Mass Destruction: Roland Emmerich and the Disaster-Tourist Gaze
Mike Dillon (University of Southern California)

Muted and Unreal: Making Sense and Sound out of Accidents in Jia Zhangke’s Work
Megan Steffen (Princeton University)

Philosophical Reflections on “the Apocalypse of Cinema through Cinema”: Thoughts after Resnais, Tarkovsky, Imamura, Boganim and Kobayashi
Elise Domenach (Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon)

【Chair】Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto (Waseda University)

The third panel of “The Imagination of Disaster”—titled “Present/ Future/ Conditional”—featured four presentations focusing on films. Treating the image of disaster directly or indirectly, each paper examined above all the manners in which the films represent and treat the traumatic events of disaster as well as, say, the ethics that the films propose us to deal with our present lives pierced by disaster. And yet, it should be noted that each presenter means various matters—from what is usually designated by this term to the more abstract and philosophical one—by “disaster.”

The first two presentations focused on what can be called the issue of image as disaster. Suzanne Beth (University of Montreal) approached the topic of the break-up of the family—the topic to which Ozu Yasujiro’s late films repeat to return—by treating the earlier film I Was Born, But... (1932). A disastrous event, however, this break-up is brought by, argues Beth, the projection of the film in case of I Was Born, But.... Analyzing the film-within-the-film scene as well as quoting Giorgio Agamben, Beth proposes the thesis of moving image as such as disaster that inaugurates a new community. Mike Dillon (University of Southern California) dealt with the recent Hollywood blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow (Roland Emmerich, 2004). The film explicitly treats a disaster—the global warming with extreme weather—as the subject. But what Dillon problematizes is the representation of these catastrophic events: they take place in the famous landscapes worldwide, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Great Wall of China, and do the audiences consume these images with the globalized tourist gaze?

The next two presentations stepped into the realm of the unrepresentable. Megan Steffen (Princeton University) considered Jia Zhangke’s films in terms of sound. Drawing upon the scene in which the young sister was hit by an accident in The World (2004), Steffen argues that the truly real event—thus, an unreal event—is not represented by image in Jia’s films, only heard and inferred. Steffen further extends her argument on the reality and unreality of Jia’s films to the thesis on the existential coincidence (with E.E. Evans-Pritchard) as well as on the moment of socialization (with Jacques Derrida). Elise Domenach (Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon) addressed the issue of skepticism, starting with Fujiwara Toshifumi’s recent documentary No Man’s Zone and referring to Stanley Cavell. According to Domenach, skepticism for Cavell concerns the imagination on the world after the end of time. Linking this issue to the problematics of the nuclear disaster, Dominash analyzed the temporality of Hiroshima, mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959).

The discussion after the presentations was stimulating. Various questions were posed from the audiences as well as the other panelists: for instance, on the issues of long take in Jia’s films, of the authorship of Emmerich, and of the relation between disaster and modernity. And yet, the most critical question was posed by the commenter Yoshimoto Mitsuhiro (Waseda University): he asked particularly to the first three presenters (who are graduate students) what the relation of the text and theory is in their presentations. In other words, where is the initial fascination with the films? Is that experience explained by the theories the presenters quote? Dillon answered that, with the theory, he could self-criticize his own pleasure driven by the imperialistic ideology of the global capitalism.

All the presentations were interesting, and the panel was successful. But personally, I felt like to hear more on the connection of the presentations with the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Fukushima—that are without doubt the first blow to the panel organization. And yet, this question would be left to us all the more because the panel was rich in the hints to consider the issue of the imagination of disaster.

Yuki TAKINAMI (The University of Tokyo)


最初の二つの発表は、災害としてのイメージと称されるだろう問題に焦点を当てた。Suzanne Beth (University of Montreal) は、小津安二郎の後期作品が繰り返し立ち戻った、家族の離散というトピックに、初期作品『生れてはみたけれど』(1932)を扱いながらアプローチをした。悲惨な出来事であるが、この家族の離散は『生れてはみたけれど』の場合、映画の上映によって齎されるとBethは主張する。同作品の映画内映画シーンを分析しながら、あるいはジョルジョ・アガンベンを引きながら、Bethは、新しい共同体を創始する〈それ自体が災害である動くイメージ〉という命題を提示した。Mike Dillon (University of Southern California) は、近年のハリウッド・ブロックバスター『デイ・アフター・トゥモロー』(ローランド・エメリッヒ、2004)を扱った。同作品は明示的に、地球温暖化および、それに付随する極端な気候という災害を主題としている。しかし、Dillonが問題にしたのは、これらの破滅的出来事の表象である。それは地球上の有名な観光地――自由の女神や万里の長城など――を舞台としているが、観客はグローバル化された観光客の視線でそれらを消費しているのではないか?

続く二つの発表は、表象不可能なものの領域へと足を踏み込んだ。Megan Steffen (Princeton University) は、賈樟柯の作品を音の使用という観点から考察した。『世界』(2004)の妹が事故に遭うシーンに引き付けながら、Steffenは、賈作品においては、真にリアルな出来事――それゆえ、非現実的な出来事――は映像によっては表象されず、ただ聴かれ、推測されるのみだと論じる。Steffenはさらに、賈作品の現実性および非現実性に関する彼女の主張を、実存的偶然性(E.E.エヴァンズ=プリチャード)および社会化への契機(ジャック・デリダ)に関する命題へと敷衍した。Elise Domenach (Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon) は、藤原敏史の最近のドキュメンタリー『無人地帯No Man’s Zone』から始め、スタンリー・カヴェルに言及することで、懐疑主義の問題に宛てた。Domenachによれば、カヴェルにとって懐疑主義とは、時間が終焉した後の世界についての想像力に関わっている。この問題を核の災害に結び付け、Domenachは『24時間の情事』(アラン・レネ、1959)の時間性を分析した。

発表後の議論は刺激的であった。聴衆あるいは他のパネリストから、賈作品における長回し、エメリッヒの作家性、災害と近代の関係などに関して、様々な質問が投げかけられた。しかし、もっとも重要な質問は、コメンテーターの吉本光弘(早稲田大学)によるものだろう。彼はとりわけ最初の三人の発表者(彼らは大学院生である)に対して、彼らの発表においてテクストと理論の関係とはどのようなものなのかと尋ねた。言い換えれば、作品に対する最初の魅了はどこに行ってしまったのか? その経験は、引用された理論によって説明されたのか? Dillonは、グローバル資本主義の帝国主義的イデオロギーに駆動された自身の快楽を、理論によって自己批判できると答えた。




Ozu Yasujirô’s Cinema and the Moving Images as Disaster Suzanne Beth (University of Montreal)

In our contemporary world, considering the imagination of disaster chiefly means dealing with images, and especially with moving images. In this regard however their failure to address disasters properly is recurrently stressed. The relationship of moving images to disasters then appears to be paradoxical, bearing both a sense of intimacy and of impotence.

This paper intends to consider this paradoxical situation at the level of an epistemological inquiry of the cinematographic medium, based on the hypothesis that film itself can be understood as bringing disaster into the world – or, in other words, that moving images as such are a kind of disaster. In a manner that might be surprising at first, this epistemological reflection is guided by Ozu Yasujirô's cinematographic practice, and especially by an analysis of I Was Born But... (1932).

This quite early film in Ozu's work is indeed the first one to actually tackle what will become Ozu's major subject, namely destruction in as much as it is set within the family. Very interestingly, the film revolves around a mise-en-abîme scene showing the projection of a movie. The purpose of this paper is then to clarify what this reflection embedded in the media itself can teach us about the moving images' destructive dimension: what does it threaten? This study, backed by Giorgio Agamben's thought, will show that what is at stake here is not so much a look at a past conception of what a family should be but the very possibility of community.

Spectacles of Mass Destruction: Roland Emmerich and the Disaster-Tourist Gaze
Mike Dillon (University of Southern California)

My paper surveys the films of Roland Emmerich, specifically the disaster epics The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and 2012 (2009), which are widely known (and often ridiculed) for their repeated reliance on several familiar genre conventions – notably an America-centric core storyline and the spectacular destruction of famous geographical landmarks worldwide. While adhering to this formula no doubt plays a useful role in each film’s marketing strategies, I argue that the important narrative functions of this globe-trotting convention invites a touristic form of spectatorship among audiences. This, in effect, informs how the films envision, and, more significantly, mass-market such images of global disaster to global audiences.

By “touristic,” I do not merely refer to a colloquial notion of something easily digested or enjoyed in passing; I refer to a mode of spectatorship embedded in power relations and consumptive practices that echo the geopolitical hierarchies of power that have historically shaped modern tourism. Drawing specifically from a subset of tourism studies called “dark tourism” (an area of scholarship recently applied to sites like New York’s Ground Zero and post-Katrina New Orleans), I address the ways in which world-ending destruction – the very threat of annihilation – is made consumable through touristic subjectivities. Using this approach, I consider the films’ representations of worldwide disaster and what they indicate about geopolitical hegemony and the organization of public spaces.

Muted and Unreal: Making Sense and Sound out of Accidents in Jia Zhangke’s Work
Megan Steffen (Princeton University)

This paper examines the way director Jia Zhangke uses sound to represent accidents in his work. Whether in the form of a wall falling on a demolition worker as in Dong (2006), a fatal gas leak as in The World (2004), or a child lost forever in an unforgiving crowd as in 24 City (2008), accidents dominate, drive, and disrupt the filmic lives of Jia’s subjects and characters. Although Jia’s work is often praised for taking a realistic, unflinching look at the PRC in particular, here I argue that the films’ inclusion of unexpected, unintended, and undeserved misfortunes indicates a fixation with the unreal elements of actual life in general. The unrealness of accidents in Jia’s films is best conveyed by the fact that, in each case, the event itself is never seen, only heard or inferred. The first section of this paper uses a close reading to show how sound is used to compensate for these visual omissions. In the second section, I follow anthropologists James Siegel, E. E. Evans-Pritchard, and Marcel Mauss as well as philosopher Jacques Derrida to explore why societies often fail to find an idiom that properly represents accidents and how that failure itself often becomes a revelation. Finally, I argue that the repeated tendency to fail to represent accidents visually and to rely on an excess of sound to convey narrative information in Jia’s work is, in its own way, an idiom working to cover the dangerous gap accidents represent by drowning it out.

Philosophical Reflections on “the Apocalypse of Cinema through Cinema”: Thoughts after Resnais, Tarkovsky, Imamura, Boganim and Kobayashi Elise Domenach (Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon)

Yoshida talks about Tokyo Story of “an apocalypse of cinema through cinema.” The film results in an “absence of the world” and a reversal of perspective between the world and objects and men: the objects and the world watches at us. In this talk, I would like to question the cinematographic forms of apocalypse, through the comparative analysis of excerpts of films that deal with the nuclear catastrophe: Hiroshima mon amour, Black Rain, Stalker, The Land of Oblivion and Women on the Edge. They all use the cinematographic medium to annihilate the human look on the catastrophe, to limitate our vision of it, mirroring the effect of the "pika-don" through the use of intertwined temporalities in Resnais, of silence and noises of the catastrophe that never appears in Tarkovsky, of blindness in Imamura, of a shocking photography of Pripiat and the Tchernobyl zone in Boganim, of still setting and moving figures in Kobayashi. Depending on the time that will be given for this talk I will reduce the number of experts analysed. But my purpose is to put forward a philosophical reading of these films that builds on the concept of apocalypse in the writings of the American philosopher Stanley Cavell, in relation to Nietzsche, in Conditions Handsome and Undhasome as well as in Philosophy the Day after Tomorrow.