AnOther / Same, same, but different / No.88, November, 2015

AnOther – Same, same, but different

 

Alterity presupposes alienation, difference, marginalization. Philosopher Gilles Deleuze developed the concept of “difference in itself”, meaning a difference that does not compare the subject to an ideal form, to something else, but one which perceives the change within the subject itself over time. Thus, the subject, as well the notion of difference, is freed from a negative comparison that would always act in relation to an ideal form, one that is conceived by others. When an Other does come into contact with a subject it produces changes within the latter, changes whose features are underscored by the films of our November programme.

The Argentinian XXY, directed by Lucia Puenzo, raises questions about sexual identity and the way in which it influences the socialization of the individual. Alex is an intersex character, born within both genders. Having isolated themselves in a village in order to avoid gossip, Alex’s family urges Alex to become a girl, yet he / she is not fully convinced that one ought to make a choice.

In the original ALIEN, Ridley Scott not just gave life to a creature that was different from anything seen in cinema before, but also brought a whole new vision of the gothic. Film critics have written much about Scott’s alien as a symbol of the human subconscious, of the fear of human bodies, birth and sexuality.

An adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Double”, Bernardo Bertolucci’s PARTNER confronts its protagonist with his doppleganger, a version of himself that is more radical and social, as well as more successful in everything he strives for. The doppleganger reflects dilemmas and issues that the protagonist is struggling with, but which he refuses to admit to. It’s interesting that Bertolucci’s film has been compared to Jean- Luc Godard’s post- Nouvelle Vague work, the director himself thus becoming AnOther with this film.

Our final film is Pier Paolo Pasolini’s THEOREM, in which he expounds his ideas about spirituality and the Other that can change us for the better. Staying away from religion as an institution and from canonical teachings, Pasolini introduces the mysterious character of The Visitor, who makes his way into the bosom of a bourgeois Milanese family. His presence ‘heals’ its members of their neuroticisms and frustrations, thus catalyzing a radical change in their behaviour, the kind of change that the bourgeoisie of the time rejected.