Chair: Dr BARRY MONAHAN (University College Cork)

Room: Boole 1, UCC

“Cinema: Morbid Symptoms”

Professor Rod Stoneman (Huston School of Film and Digital Media, National University of Ireland, Galway)

To what extent does the pattern of paradigm change and our unconscious desire for closure underpin declarations of ‘the Death of Cinema’? The parameters of a generation and its mortality may well be at work alongside the process of social and cultural change.

Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du Cinéma (France / Switzerland, 1988-98) proposed a specific lifespan for (what we have known as) cinema. As his work indicates, art offers new forms of thought, organisations of knowledge which disturb identity, system, order. It does not respect borders, established positions or the linear division of time. The specificity of radical work in film and digital media and its ‘long march through the institutions’ should be a starting point for the examination of the trajectory of film and its finitude.

The complex over-determinations of technology and social formation have led to a great variety of morbid symptoms at the present time, an interregnum when “the old is dying and the new cannot be born” – these warning signs arguably mark the crises of both cinema and history.