Lecture “The Vital Shot”, by Roger Koza

Still of the film «Lluvia de jaulas», directed by César González (2018)


Lecturer: Roger Koza

Friday, 27/11/2020
El Almacén

Book ticket

Adorno’s famous affirmation “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric” has been reiterated time and again. The grounds for his reasoning are unquestionable, and any given scene in Night and Fog would suffice to confirm the philosopher’s dictum: the bones scattered on the ground, the piles of hair, the severed heads in bowls are reason enough to resign from the world of the living. Yet the institutionalised cruelty and the perverse pleasure of the wicked is of a completely different symbolic order to the devastation and sense of defeat brought about by the blind terror nature is capable of wrecking, with tsunamis, viruses and volcanos afflicting everyone indiscriminately. A life or whole culture snuffed out by a river of molten lava, an entire city buried for ever. Disaster and annihilation ruthlessly lay bare the contingency of the self and the finitude of all things.

Cinema has given us a whole plethora of depictions of either historical or imaginary events that put collective desire to the test. What drives a man or a woman to keep going? Nothing is more unfathomable than the human will. Sometimes the mystery is adumbrated or outlined in a film. What this encounter intends to do is propose an inventory of gestures, actions and shots that may help us to pinpoint that exact vital moment when we cast aside misfortune and choose affirmation.