Saturday, June 15, 2019
Victor Fan on Fassbinder's In a Year with 13 Moons.
The abattoir scene and the suicide scene, moreover, share a common theme in their discourses. In the abattoir scene, Erwin/Elvira’s disembodied voice invites Red Zora (and us) to witness the joy of the cows giving up their will, thus recalling Schopenhauer’s notion of the power of art, that a piece of art allows the beholder to surrender her/his Will to the World as Presentations of the Will, thus achieving the union of the Self and the Other as a Whole. Again, in the suicide scene, the North African uses the same reason to justify his act of suicide by seeing it as an elimination of the Manifestations (Presentations) by being one with the Will. In these two scenes, however, the mechanic tones of the voices, the detachment or delay between the voice and the image, and the brutality, for us, to be in a viewing position to acknowledge the beauty of these acts of violence, as Elsaesser points out, bring us not to a point of deliverance or transcendence, but to the impossibility of transcendence. Along this line of philosophical thinking, which formed the philosophical foundation of the Third Reich, Erwin/Elvira’s (and by extension, our) passivity in witnessing these acts of violence as pieces of art also suggests a Heideggerian “letting be.” Ironically, in Heidegger’s terms, the final sequence both stages a gathering of all the beings who are supposed to “care for” (in Heideggerian sense, to “take care,” or to “let be”) Erwin/Elvira, though they all turn their backs against each other, thus staging a world in which all beings are supposed to be “being‐with” (Mitsein), but fail to “care for” or form any effective collective.
From A Companion to Rainer Werner Fassbinder, p. 129.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

Appropriation appropriates! Send your appropriations to enowning at gmail.com.

View mobile version