Film Viewing Log #16: Venom and Eternity (Isidore Isou, 1951) 10/10
I am to understand that Daniel does not entirely represent Isidore Isou even though Isou casts himself as Daniel, that Daniel’s narcissism, misogyny, arrogance, and traditional ideas of women are just merely a part of Isou’s creation, and that they only share the same politics and ideologies about cinema.
The film is only faulty at its misconception that cinema as an art was at its end during that time, and that any upcoming films that do not follow the lettrist movement will not be able to come up with something original and, as Isou puts it, to give a headache to its audience. But we cannot fault someone for not able to foresee the future of cinema, that a lot of great film movements across nations and with whole other ideologies and agendas will soon show up although he does only limit himself to a few of these so-called “masters” of film (Bunuel, Cocteau, Chaplin, Eisenstein, etc.). Isou has failed to realize that the 1950s was still a part of the early stages of cinema. Of course, it is predictable that at the inception of a new art, it will mostly try to imitate the other pre-existent arts. But, other than that, Isou has created a film that, despite its hyperbolic claims that are probably intended for dry and perverse humour, transcends cinema.
But it is funny how I still tried to connect some meaning between image and sound at some points of the film even though the filmmaker attempted to break away any kind of associations between image and sound as much as possible. I guess it’s in human nature to connect things to create a meaning as a whole.