The Thoughts That Once We Had

Renowned California Institute of the Arts film professor Thom Andersen—whose previous essay films include the acclaimed LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF and RED HOLLYWOOD—turns his attention to cinema’s portrayal of history, filtered through twin lenses: his own “personal” history of cinema and the film writings of notoriously knotty French philosopher and academic Gilles Deleuze. Through wildly varied clips ranging from D.W. Griffith to Jean-Luc Godard, which are smartly juxtaposed amongst themselves and interleaved with quotations from Deleuze’s two books “The Movement-Image” and “The Time-Image”, Andersen deftly weaves an argument for cinema’s renewal (far beyond the multiplex) in the lives of ordinary citizens by looking back to film history for resonance with today’s complex social and political landscapes. “I didn’t want to make this film for people who are (just) familiar with Deleuze’s texts. Also, as a general rule, films should have humor in them.”—Thom Andersen.

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Documentary