FILM AND PHILOSOPHY WORKSHOP
developed in association with
Krakow, Poland. November/December 2008
the theme of the festival was a category
of "dialogue". During the workshop a group of young
filmmakers explored dialogue on screen
and analyzed the connections between concepts and
Three videos were produeced. Each was an interpretation of a short dialogue ("On walking and crying") generously written for the workshop by Mikhail Epstein. For more info about the workshop, its assumptions and the Philosophical Film Festival click here.
MiIKHAIL EPSTEIN. TWO DIALOGUES
No 1. ON WALKING AND CRYING
are the workshop interpretations of the dialogue:
No 2. ON LOVE AND KNOWLEDGE
(This dialogue has not been proouced yet, but is included to further stimulate a discussion.)
feel like I am in love.
(This are excerpts from an ISUD e-mail forum and from others invited to participate. For brevity in most cases I'll post here only the dialogue related parts of the emails, but wanted to thank for your encouragement and kind words. - Pawel)
If you are interested in philosophy
and visual art, you may visit SUNY press
Dr. Edward Demenchonok
Professor of Philosophy
Fort Valley State University,
President of International Society for Universal Dialogue
1. Adam and Eve Expelled from the Paradise.
This may be a dialog of Adam (A.) and Eve (B.) who have been just expelled from the Eden. Then the sentence:
"B. We have this place, and thаt's all"
has the subtext implying the loss of paradise.
"B. (walking) It's easier to laugh when you are walking"
intimates their first erotic impressions (touches, mutual glances).
The last cry, "Oh my goodness, how happy we are!" has the direct and obvious addressee: God.
2. Rodents in a Cage, Running Wheels.
It's possible to produce a popular science film with real hamsters, or mice, or squirrels, their facial expressions slightly modified by the computer.
At first we see only a corner of a cage. There the first part of the dialogue takes place. A. is a male voice, B., a female one.
А. Let's go for a walk.
B. I cannot walk. I want to cry.
B. I cannot walk and cry at the same time. I need to stand still when I am crying.
A. To cry about what?
B. We have nowhere to go. We have this place, and thаt's all.
Then the film camera drives off. From a distance we see two wheels in the cage. A. jumps into the first wheel.
A. Let's walk and cry together. That would be easier to do.
B. jumps into the second wheel.
B. (walking) It's easier to laugh when you are walking
A. starts running, B. follows him.
A. Let's move faster, and then we could laugh.
B. It is funny indeed – to walk so fast. I'm laughing.
A. I'm laughing too. Let's run.
B. (running) Oh my goodness, how happy we are!
The camera moves away further. We understand that the cage is located in a shop window. From behind the glass kids are looking at the running little animals and are shining with joy.
The subtitles are running across the screen from below upwards: "As neuroscientists have found, the physical activity is useful for the mental condition of aging rodents. After five weeks of training the number of new neurons in the brain of rodents of middle and old age doubled. This helps them to keep their brain healthy."
All this could be staged with humor but also with a tint of scientific approach.
FROM JEAN A. CAMPBELL
Pawel--thanks for inviting us to
participate in this. Here are my comments:
I started by responding to some of the
The French thinker and writer Andre Maurois said that the human will is like a ship’s rudder. It can steer the ship only when the ship is moving.
The Movement, will and emotion are close to each other. The first word of the trio I write using the capital M for it describes the common to all living beings principle of directional change. Let us begin with its simplest example as described by the conversation.
I. The physical movement.
The images that come to my mind are connected with sailing of a yacht. First situation (B crying). Lack of directional movement of the boat cause by complete lack of wind.(called in Polish “flauta”). This lack coupled to strong waves is for sailors one of the most deplorable situations. All untied things move with different kinds of noise from starboard to port side and back, the too loosely tied boom swishes dangerously over unheeding heads, its difficult to write, cook or do anything orderly, seasickness takes its toll from the sensitive.
When the wind comes again it brings order and relaxation to the faces. Now a direction- a particular course for the whole yacht and for all the doings inside it-can be reestablished. Faces turned to the wind, lungs full of wonderful clean sea air the magic and beauty of sailing begins.
running with the wind (the “ back wind” course) is sufficiently fast a
wonderful and not so often thing may happen to yachts). The hull
almost completely comes out of water with only the stern and rudder
remaining in it. The whole boat multiplies its speed and if it happens
at a sailing competition she becomes the winner. The crew and the
helmsman are happy.
(A from the dialogue) a friend happens to come .They may decide to
write together or more likely he suggests him the general direction he
should adopt. Perhaps they start “walking” together only over the first
page and A leaves. B’s mind follows and develops the initial momentum.
hands work quicker and quicker, he neither sees nor hears other people
who in the mean time may come to his room. He is in euphoria of
creation. He is happy.
here are the images that
came to my mind when reading the two dialogues:
FROM WERNER KRIEGLSTEIN (2)
About his idea of making the second dialogue between a man and a computer, Werner wrote:
Do you know Franz Xaver Kroetz, Request Concert. It is about a woman who get ready for work, then decides to kill herself, Totally without words. This would be a man in dialogue with a computer - looking at pictures that bring memories of love , then when the computer says lets be silent, he turns of the computer and takes sleeping pills and dies.
And this is Werner's take on an idea to place the first dialogue in bed:
the couple in bed
FROM ELLEN HANSEN
thing I immediately wondered as I read the two dialogues was how gender
plays a part in the images that the dialogue created in my mind. While
reading I put myself in one of the roles, or briefly in both of the
roles, especially in the second dialogue. So this makes me wonder about
how we imagine ourselves in this process, and how that is different
from when we see the film.
FROM ELLEN HANSEN (2)
do think about how film changes the process of imagination. Being a
voracious reader, I am always hesitant to see film adaptations of books
I've enjoyed. We're all familiar with that sense of wrongness when the
person cast in an important role is completely different from the way
we've imagined them. I've also had that sense of wrongness about places
- a house or landscape not being at all how I've imagined it. A
light-hearted example is the difference between the Harry Potter books
and the movies. I don't really like the movies because they're so
different from the books, which I love and to which I have listened in
audio book format rather than reading them on the page. I like
listening to them much better than reading them, in part because the
reader is so good at interpreting the characters, but also because I
like my own mental images, which have been much different from many of
those portrayed in the movies.
One of the aims of the Philosophical Film Festival Workshop was to jump start a discussion. To-date the following responded (in a bottom up order). Click a name to go to the comment:
Jean A. Campbell
Werner Krieglstein (2x)
Ellen Hansen (2x)
PAST FILM CLASSES:
Pawel has been conducting various film directing classes since the early 90ties. Some were independent, others through various academic institutions. Recently, working at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Pawel taught the following classes: "Filmmaking workshop for psychologists.", "Film directing as a tool of socio-psychological diagnosis.", "Screenplay: techniques of creating values and perceptions.", "Film psychology as applied by Ingmar Bergman and Darren Aranofsky.", "How film influences the audience: creating meaning through staging and editing."