From David Lynch to Francis Bacon: Jalal Toufic’s Favourite Works

Some have mattered more to the living Jalal, others to the dead one indulging in jouissance

Amy Shiels, Twin Peaks: The Return, 2017, film still. Photograph: Suzanne Tenner; Courtesy: SHOWTIME

As an esoteric form of the end of the world, one that co-exists with the continuance of the world, the labyrinth unconsciously dissuades mortals from an exoteric destruction of the world. Those awaiting the messiah should be aware that his coming, and the consequent aliyah of all humans from the labyrinth in which, as mortals – and therefore as dead even while still physically alive and having a world – they were lost, would make it more likely that there would be an exoteric, actual destruction of the world. Here are some films, artworks and novels (made after 1991) that have mattered to me, a mortal. Some have mattered more to the living Jalal, others to the dead one indulging in jouissance: Aleksandr Sokurov’s Faust (2011), Father and Son (2003), Russian Ark (2002), Mother and Son (1997) and Whispering Pages (1994); David Lynch’s episode 8 of Twin Peaks (2017), Inland Empire (2006), Rabbits (2002), Mulholland Drive (2001) and Lost Highway (1997); Doug Rice’s Blood of Mugwump (1996); Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man (2009); Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy (2013); Quay Brothers’ The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005); Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant (2015); Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain (2006); Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012); Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (1992); George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (2015); Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster (2013); Samir Khaddaj’s Self-Portrait with the Clarinet and the Two Silent Witnesses (2015); Alain Robbe-Grillet’s La Reprise (2001); Francis Bacon; some works by Toshio Saeki; and Valerio Adami.

Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. His most recent book, What Was I Thinking? (2017), was published by e-flux journal / Sternberg Press.

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