The Thinking Machine 9

The Sea Speaks

Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López reflect on the art of filmmaking in monthly video essays.

In 1927, filmmaker-theorist Jean Epstein (1897-1953) followed an “impulse toward the exterior”, trading the Parisian avant-garde for an encounter with the raw nature and culture of Brittany. Stripping out the plots and male characters, then forming a composite poem (using seven films) from images and sounds of the sea and women, this audiovisual essay echoes James Schneider’s insight: ‘By using cinema to grant perspective to the non-human – to the oceans, the tides, the tempests – humankind gains a vital perspective on itself.’