Monthly Archive: October 2007

The Truth Is Two Faced: Godard at the Margins of Bad Faith

Our Music (Notre musique). Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Avventura Films, 2004.

Jean-Luc Godard has played martyr and matador throughout most of his career, casting himself ostentatiously in his own films, even when he’s not in them. His self-reflexivity is signal; true to his own dictum, he usually finds some way of putting himself in the picture and his Our Music (Notre musique) from 2004 is no exception. Setting both himself and an array of committed and/or transnational figures (of letters, politics, architecture) in the reconstitutive space of Bosnia, namely Sarajevo and Mostar, Godard plays out his … Read more

Dada East

Tom Sandqvist. Dada East: The Romanians of Cabaret Voltaire. MIT Press, 2006.

Tom Sandqvist’s book, Dada East: the Romanians of Cabaret Voltaire, is an example of the growing Western interest in the Central and Eastern European avant-garde. This interest has at least two precedents worthy of notice: Steven Mansbach’s book, Modern Art in Eastern Europe: From the Baltic to the Balkans ca. 1890-1939Stephen Mansbach, Modern Art in Eastern Europe: From the Baltic to the Balkans ca. 1890-1939, (Cambridge University Press, 1997).  and an important exhibition organized by Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Central European Avant-gardes: 1910-1930Read more

The Russian Internet: Between Kitchen-Table Talks and the Public Sphere

Internet metaphors are drawn from the pool of available cultural forms and, therefore, they reflect cross-cultural differences. Thus, the metaphor of “surfing the Internet,” which was widely used for some time (before search engines made this activity outdated), had distinctly American roots and referred to the widespread sport and entertainment activity virtually unknown to most Russians. In Russia, with its colder climate, different type of coastline, and different cultural habits, the closest analogy for surfing would be “sledging,”Eugene Gorny, “Amphiblestronic Fragments,”, (1999). but this metaphor has never been used. However, other metaphors which reflect the … Read more

The Nonbiodegradable

At the beginning of the The Ister, the camera makes a long take of the setting sun and the riverbed of the Danube. As the ship on which the camera is perched is overtaken by another, faster one, the ship gently sways in the wake of the other, and the gaze, captured by the camera, sways with it.

Thus, the beginning of the film sets up a divided frame of the division within that will carry throughout the filming: the interrupted single take shot, the thematic and rhetoric fluidity of the gaze that is cast on the flow of … Read more

From Scardanelli to Orfée

1. Heidegger explained that his 1942 lectures on Hölderlin’s The Ister were not an analysis or an explication of the poem, but a series of comments that surrounded it. The film called The Ister constructs its project in parallel with this model, as a montage of comments surrounding Heidegger’s lectures. Accordingly, this essay will also proceed as a series of comments or contexts that circulate around the film.

2. Ross and Barrison’s videofilm, The Ister, represents one of the possible futures of cinema, and by synechdoche, the proliferating possibilities of the medium. The DV frontier means that moving images … Read more

Against the Stream: Remarks on the Film “The Ister”

The film The Ister (2004) by David Barison and Daniel Ross defines itself as a “remark” on Martin Heidegger’s lectures on Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem Der Ister (1942). What is the meaning of this remark? What is “a remark”? And how can a documentary film provide a remark on a philosophical text that defines itself as beyond philosophy? What then, is a remark on Heidegger? According to Heidegger’s own understanding, the remark is a supplement. The remark accompanies the original text, it goes along with it. It is a way of writing that calls for moments of attention(Heidegger, Hölderlin’s The Read more

The Danube: Hölderlin, Heidegger, ‘the jews,’ and the Destiny of Europe

The Ister. (Dir. David Barrison and Daniel Ross. Based on Martin Heidegger’s 1942 Hölderlin lectures. 189 minutes. Black Box Sound and Image, 2004, 2005. 

The University of Florida, Gainesville (March 20, 2007), organized by Dragan Kujunfzic).


Dragan Kujundzic (University of Florida, organizer); Galili Shahar (University of Florida); Scott Nygren (University of Florida)


“At the height of World War Two, the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century delivered a series of lectures on a poem about the Danube river, by one of Germany’s greatest poets.

The philosopher was Martin Heidegger, who in 1927 achieved worldwide fame with … Read more