CINEMA AND PASSING
The first part of the paper supports the argument that the intrinsic nature of the cinema is passing: according to Kracauer, a camera seems to record past events, to restore them to life, although the cinema as medium is more fragile than precedent media. A film, its technologies and formats (plastic strip, disk or digital files) are not as durable as stone or paper (M. Scorsese illustrates it in Hugo, 2011)! Projected movie cannot be stopped: otherwise it becomes a simple still picture.
The second section identifies main tendencies and themes in the cinema: passing of individuals and fear of dying are subject of numerous films by K. Kieślowski (e.g. The Decalogue, 1988), K. Zanussi or M. Majidi, who offers a religious interpretation (the death opens a new life). Protagonists of movies are aware that their life will finish, they try to prepare themselves (Wide Awake, dir. M.N. Shyamalan, 1998; Oscar et la Dame Rose, dir. E.-E. Schmitt, 2009). People and relationships terminate, the whole universe can disappear not only in catastrophic movies (Melancholia, dir. L. von Trier, 2011) but also in a recent nihilistic vision of B. Tarr (The Turin Horse, 2011). Sometimes the passing is impossible — in the movies playing with the philosophy of time, where the time is circular or inverted instead of linear (Mr. Nobody, dir. J. van Dormael, 2009), or for the protagonist of A.I. (dir. S. Spielberg, 2001), witness of the world’s dissolution. The contemporary cinema offers both pessimistic and optimistic perspectives, but its optimism is often an illusion.