Thursday, 28 January 2010

Eruptions of God. Roberto Rossellini. Stromboli

presentation by Corry Shores
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[The following is quotation. My commentary is in brackets.]

Eruptions of God
Roberto Rossellini

Gilles Deleuze

Cinema 2: The Time Image
Cinéma 2: L'image-temps

Preface to the English Edition

Hence Rossellini's great trilogy, Europe 51, Stromboli, Germany Year 0: a child in the destroyed city, a foreign woman on the island, a bourgeois woman who starts to 'see' what is around her. [Deleuze Cinema 2, 1989: xi]

Ch. 1
Beyond the Movement Image
Au-delà de l'image mouvement

Optical and sound situations, in contrast to sensory-motor situations: Rossellini, De Sica
Les situations optiques et sonores, par opposition aux situations sensori-motrices : Rossellini, De Sica

Stromboli presents a foreign woman whose revelation of the island will be all the more profound because she cannot react in a way that softens or compensates for the violence of what she sees, the intensity and the enormity of the tunny-fishing ('It was awful . . .'), the panic-inducing power of the eruption ('I am finished, I am afraid, what mystery, what beauty, my God . . .') [Deleuze Cinema 2, 1989: 2c]

Stromboli » met en scène une étrangère qui va avoir une révélation de l'île d'autant plus profonde qu'elle ne dispose d'aucune réaction pour atténuer ou compenser la violence de ce qu'elle voit, l'intensité et l'énormité de la pêche au thon («c'était horrible...»), la puissance panique de eruption («je suis finie, j'ai peur, quel mystére, quelle beauté, mon Dieu...»).
[Deleuze Cinéma 2, 1985: 8d]

The Intolerable and Clairvoyance
L'intolérable et la voyance

[A purely optical and sound situation ...] is a matter of something too powerful, or too unjust, but sometimes also too beautiful, and which henceforth outstrips our sensory-motor capacities. Stromboli: a beauty which is too great for us, like too strong a pain. It can be a limit-situation, the eruption of the volcano, but also the most banal, a plain factory, a wasteland. [Deleuze Cinema 2, 1989: 17d]

[Une situation purement optique et sonore ...] s'agit de quelque chose de trop puissant, ou de trop injuste, mais parfois aussi de trop beau, et qui dès lors excède nos capacités sensori-motrices. «
Stromboli » : une beauté trop grand pour nous, comme une douleur trop forte. Ce peut être une situation-limite, l'éruption du volcan, mais aussi le plus banal, une simple usine, un terrain vague. [Deleuze Cinéma 1, 1985: 29b]

From Recollection to Dreams: Third Commentary on Bergson
Du souvenir aux rêves (troisième commentaire de Bergson)

Rossellini's Characters
Personnages de Rossellini

in Rossellini, the island of
Stromboli passes through ever deeper descriptions, the approaches, the fising, the storm, the eruption, at the same time as the foreign woman climbs higher and higher on the island, until description is engulfed in depth and the spirit is shattered by a tension which is too strong. From the slopes of the unleased volcano, the village is seen far below, sparkling above the black waves, while the spirit whispers: 'I am finished, I am afraid, what mystery, what beauty, my God . . .'. [Deleuze Cinema 2, 1989: 45a]

chez Rossellini, l'île de « Stromboli » passe par des descriptions de plus en plus profondes, les abords, la pêche, l'orage, l'éruption, en même temps que l'étrangère s'élève de plus en plus haut dans l'île, jusqu'à ce que la description s'abîme en profondeur et que l'esprit se brise sous une trop forte tension. Des pentes du volcan déchaîné, le village est vu tout en bas, brillant sur le flot noir, tandis que l'esprit murmure : « je suis fini, j'ai peur, quel mystère, quelle beauté, mon Dieu...». [Deleuze Cinéma 2, 1985: 65-66]

[In the clip below, we see the Italian man propose marriage to the foreign woman. They marry, and the man takes her to
his home on Stromboli island .]

[We see how desolate, lonely and inhospitable the island is. The foreign woman suffers.]

[And she is horrified by the gruesomeness of Tuna fishing. Note its interesting ritual nature. See the next two clips.]

[At the end of this clip is the part where she says, 'it was horrible.']

[Below we watch the volcano eruption.]

[After the eruption, the foreign woman can no longer tolerate life on the island. She is pregnant, and she does not want to raise her child there. So she declares her determination to leave Stromboli. To keep her there, her husband bars her into their home. From the window, she sees a male friend whom she is fond-of. He rescues her. To him, she confesses her plan to cross the island over the volcano, and she begins her journey.]

[She struggles through the smoke and fumes as she ascends the volcano. She is apparently uncertain that she can succeed.]

[She reaches the mouth of the volcano. She despairs and says, '
Enough. I am finished, I am finished, I haven't the courage. I am afraid.' She sleeps to what looks like a starry night sky, but might perhaps be lights from the city; as Deleuze writes, the "village is seen far below, sparkling above the black waves." She awakes upon dawn.]

[Awaking to the volcano, she says, "What mystery, what beauty." She is resolved to carry herself and her unborn child onward. Then she finds God.]

Deleuze, Gilles. Cinema 2: The Time Image. Transl. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta. London & New York: 1989.

Deleuze, Gilles. Cinéma 2: L'image-temps. Paris: Les éditions de minuit, 1985.

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