Dark Light (2014) is an essay-film concerned with themes of philosophy, aesthetics and animal. This genre has a potential for enabling viewers to freely cross between discourse and image, language and light. In a somewhat paradoxical move, the aesthetic strategy for Dark Light aims to initially develop a struggle between language and light, confounding a capacity to negotiate between image and text. Yet, coincident with its concerns for animality—both inside and outside ‘us’ humans—the film slows its encounters of language and image through a carefully orchestrated un-tethering of our desire for mastery. Dark Light thus defies closure or narrative suture. With /horse/ as its key motif, its animal-word, it attests to that strange, most uncanny animality of being-human. Composed through seven discrete poetic episodes—Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Agamben, Derrida, Deleuze & Guattari—each episode inflects to the proper of a masculine tradition in Continental Philosophy, broaching a thinking of memory, nature, aesthetics, ethics and the animal, in the spoken languages of German, French and Italian. Another feminine voice acts as a spacing or interval between these episodes—a voice of sexual difference—responding to, countering and encountering the textual traces of the metaphysics of animal being.
Read Stephen Zepke's response to Dark Light here.
An Essay-film by Maria O’Connor (New Zealand)
Running Time: 74 minutes
In French, German and Italian with English Sub-titles