Meillassoux and film: correlation, unreason and hyperchaos in French contemporary cinema

Brayard, Frédéric (2019) Meillassoux and film: correlation, unreason and hyperchaos in French contemporary cinema. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis explores how some recent French films engage with the problem of correlation in their post-cinematic context. Drawing on the philosophy of Quentin Meillassoux, I argue that film reflects and reflects on the way it correlates both with the world, and with the Other of correlation, i.e. the humans involved at the various levels of the cinematographic experience. In order to theorize and analyse the affects emerging from the possible assemblages of these two distinct correlating correlates at work in the making of the post-cinematic real, I focus on a selection of contemporary French digital cinema (2009-2014). I analyse how these films reflect on their relation to consciousness, time, space and causality, and on their ability to produce novelty.

I first discuss Enter the Void (Gaspard Noé, France/Germany/Italy/Canada/Japan, 2009) and Vous n’Avez Encore Rien Vu/You Ain’t Seen Nothin’Yet (Alain Resnais, France/Germany, 2012) as two films that assume that consciousness is necessary and explore the impossibility for cinematic thought to think what is out of thought. I analyse how these films suggest that the world is unthinkable if not experienced by a consciousness with which it correlates, and that novelty is necessarily relative and develops in a closed system as the eternal return of affects. Chapter 2 focuses on films that suggest that this correlation is, however, not an absolute and that the way human consciousness processes the real could be radically other. The chapter focuses on Les Garçons et Guillaume, à Table/Me, Myself and Mum, (Guillaume Galienne, France/Belgium, 2013) and Ne Te Retourne Pas/Don’t Look Back (Marina de Van, France/Luxemburg/Italy/Belgium, 2009), two films that play with the facticity of correlates, i.e. the fact that the laws according to which the real (time, space, bodies, affects) emerge can vary, and novelty can be produced.

Chapters 3 and 4 radicalize facticity further by exploring the possibility of the facticity of becoming, i.e. a time without becoming, and engaging with filmic times that resonate with Meillassoux’s concept of Hyperchaos. Chapter 3 discusses Rubber (Quentin Dupieux, France/Angola/USA, 2010) and Bird People (Pascale Ferrand, France, 2014) and develops the principle of unreason – i.e. Meillassoux’s concept according to which only contingency is necessary – and its ethics. Finally, Chapter 4 explores Hyperchaos further, as a time without becoming that develops as a non-whole, by drawing on scenes from Holy Motors (Léos Carax, France/Germany, 2012) and Réalité/Reality (Quentin Dupieux, France/Belgium/USA, 2014).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Film-philosophy, speculative realism, Quentin Meillassoux, Hyperchaos, film ethics, French cinema.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Martin-Jones, Professor David
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr frederic brayard
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41146
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2019 12:26
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2022 14:00
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.41146

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