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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth fades out., 29 Dec 2013
By 
Peter Seibt (Aix-en-Provence) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Man Vanishes (1967) (Masters of Cinema) [DVD] (DVD)
It is well-known that the embedding of meta-language ( statements on statements ) into language obstinately creates logical contradictions ( the "infinite mirror" effect ). Quintilian gives a nice example ( crocodilinae ambiguitates ): A crocodile, having captured a baby, makes the following proposition to the terrified mother: "Tell me the truth about my plans, and you will have your baby back". - "You won't give it back", replies the mother, "and now, since I tell the truth, give it back!" - "Oh no", smiles the crocodile, "if I gave it back, you would be a liar". ( But, finally, the mother will have told the truth ... ).
"A man vanishes", by Shôhei Imamura ( 1967 ), a typical open-structure product of the sixties, treats the same problem, on visual representation: A documentary on ( the making of ) a documentary necessarily will infect "reality" ( or "truth" ) by fiction ( spectators create actors ).
The plot is simple: Imamura's crew joins a young woman ( "the rat" ) searching for her fiancé - who has disappeared. Halfway, the stagnant explorations will be "lifted" to a detective story about "the rat"'s elder sister who seems to have eliminated the "mutual lover". Towards the end of the film, Imamura, placing an "all is fiction" cry, will duly get our absolution. So, any two-layer representation of reality tends to be fiction. Should we agree ?
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A Man Vanishes (1967) (Masters of Cinema) [DVD]
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