Interstices and Impurities in the Cinema: Art and Science
Angela Dalle Vacche
Abstract: Through a close analysis of Alain Resnais’s Mon Oncle d’Amerique (1980), Angela Dalle Vacche argues that the French filmmaker interrogates the “humanity” of humans through art, science, and religion in the light of Andre Bazin’s film theory. On the scientific side, Resnais’s film clarifies Bazin’s modified Darwinian scheme about the history of the cinema. As far as the religious aspect is concerned, for Bazin and Resnais, the cinema is an illusionistic perpetual motion machine that aligns projection with a pseudo-resurrection of those who were in front of the camera. Finally, in contrast to all the arts and media that precede and follow the cinema, the references to interwoven textiles in Mon Oncle d’Amerique validate Bazin’s claim that cinema is not characterised by medium specificity.