Alphaville —insurgent poetry. A portrait of modern nihilism

Authors

  • Alfredo Gómez Muller University of Tours

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ef.n62a08

Keywords:

criticism of modernity, dystopia, utopia, nihilism, capitalism, cinematography, poetics

Abstract

Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (1965) puts forward a cultural critique of modern capitalism in a poetic form. The film subverts the standard classification of cinematographic “genres” and of cinematographic languages, without separating the content of the criticism from its form of expression. Thus, it uses an original language that integrates both philosophical and poetic referents (Nietzsche, Bergson, Éluard, Borges), putting together elements from the dystopic imagination, the science fiction, the romantic film, and other cinematographic “genres”. Unlike Orwell and Huxley’s dystopias, Alphaville depicts a deeper, insidious, invisible and more efficacious form of totalitarianism that invades the so-called “democratic” societies. This type of totalitarianism is dominated by instrumental rationality and techno-science, which expel art and imagery, the poetic and the possible, emotion, feelings and everything that is free. This paper analyzes the construction of this original form and interprets its critical content from the perspective of Godard’s thought. It is an exercise of looking and knowing how to look.

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Author Biography

Alfredo Gómez Muller, University of Tours

Emeritus Professor of the University of Tours. Doctorate in Qualification to Conduct Research (HDR) from the Strasbourg University of Human Sciences; PhD in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Paris (Institut Catholique de Paris); Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) from the University of Paris-III in "Studies of Latin American Societies". Member of the interdisciplinary research groups Interactions Culturelles et Discursives (ICD, University of Tours) and Contemporary Political Theory (TEOPOCO, National University of Colombia). Main publications in Spanish: Nihilism and Capitalism (2016), Sartre, from nausea to commitment (2008), The Reconstruction of Colombia (2008), Ethics, coexistence and sense (2003), Alterity and ethics from the discovery of America (1997) ), Anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism in Latin America (1980). Co-founder of Concordia, an international journal of philosophy. Member of the Political Science Editorial Committee (Faculty of Law, National University of Colombia) and of the collection: Reinventing Critical Theory - Rowman and Littlefield International (United States).

References

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Published

2020-07-20

How to Cite

Gómez Muller, A. (2020). Alphaville —insurgent poetry. A portrait of modern nihilism. Estudios De Filosofía, (62), 143–163. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ef.n62a08

Issue

Section

Original or Research articles