The Thoughts that Once We Had

The Thoughts that Once We Had
Director: Thom Andersen

USA, 2015, documentary, 108 minutes, english with lithuanian and english subtitles, N-13

Thoughts that Once We Had is a personal history of cinema, inspired by Gilles Deleuze’s The Movement-Image and The Time-Image and classic Hollywood musical comedy. This history is a rich and digressive journey through cinema compiled entirely from found-footage – unidentifiable yet recognisable film clips – and concise intertitles written by Thomas Andersen, the director of the film, a master of the essay-film genre. Anderson moves associatively from D.W. Griffith, the controversial cinema pioneer, to the innovations of Jean-Luc Godard, from Dziga Vertov to Michael Snow, connecting a variety of film movements in a solid, dynamic and turbulent cinema axis. The Thoughts that Once We Had takes its inspiration from the film philosophy of Deleuze, one of the key thinkers of the 20th century and sees Andersen embodying its rich ambiguity and nuance rather than explaining it.

About the director:

American film critic, teacher and director Thom Andersen was born in 1943, in Chicago, USA. His studies began at UC Berkeley in the 1960s, however, he then moved to Los Angeles to attend the USC School of Cinematic Arts and UCLA. These years saw him debut in the field of experimental documentary with films such as Olivia‘s Place (1966) and Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975). During the 1980s, his films were often screened at the LA Vanguard Theatre and the Pacific Film Archive of Berkeley. Andersen‘s feature Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) was selected as the Best Documentary by the National Film Board at the Vancouver International Film Festival. In 2012, he participated in the Whitney biennial. Andersen is currently teaching Film Theory and History at the California Institute of the Arts. The Thoughts that Once We Had is his newest feature.

Section: Wide Angle