Alain Cavalier, un cinéma de la sensibilité



Alain Cavalier is one of the most important French moviemakers. He began his career with committed movies (Le Combat dans l’île, L’Insoumis) in accordance with the rules of the “image-mouvement” as Deleuze analyzed them. He then changed his way in the ’70s and his cinema became one of sensitivity. The present article aims at following this evolution. First, we will study how the characters, at best, consider the world to be an objective reality impervious to sensitivity and, at worst, make it an organic matter. Secondly, we will see how Cavalier alters the relation to the real. To do so, he uses a double withdrawal. He first has his characters get out of their environment so that they act like “flying fish” (Bernard Stiegler), which is the only way to let things happen as phenomena. Then he presses the characters out of themselves – Emmanuel Coccia speaks of an “ex-tase” – and has them reach a sensitive life. With this double movement, in which the film director partakes, the senses are given more and more consideration. Although sight remains the main sense through which reality is apprehended, it is nonetheless challenged by “hearingcontact” and by touch. Whispers convey a connection with the audience of an almost physical nature while the hand, getting into the screen, experiences the consistency of things.

Keywords: Emanuele Coccia, Giorgio Agamben, Bernard Stiegler, bulimia, sensitive, sensibility, withdrawal, hearing-contact, touch