Sergey TOYMENTSEV

Academic Years:
2019/2020
2017/2018

Research Programs:
PoM Returning
PoM Pontica Magna

Affiliation:
Florida State University, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Tallahassee, USA

Position:
Dean’s Postdoctoral Scholar

Country:
Russia

Research project: Tarkovsky and Bergsonism: Time, Memory, Resonance

My research project, designed as a four-chapter monograph, explores Andrei Tarkovsky’s cinematic oeuvre in the light of Henri Bergson’s philosophy of memory and time and argues for the inherent Bergsonism in the director’s visual poetics. By applying a wide range of interdisciplinary methodologies (such as psychoanalysis, art history, narratology, theology, and philosophy), this study aims to demonstrate how Tarkovsky, notorious for being too difficult and obscure for the lay spectator, is nonetheless a highly systematic/rational filmmaker always consistent in pursuing his own logic while engineering his film images. My project starts off with closely examining Tarkovsky’s theoretical writings on film, through which I demonstrate how his statements on intuition, perception, time, memory, and image share an intrinsic affinity with Bergson’s respective notions. On the basis of this affinity I propose a Bergsonian framework of film analysis (partly based on Deleuze’s theory of the crystal image that presupposes the indiscernibility of the actual and the virtual), according to which Tarkovsky’s visual poetics is viewed as that of resonance: that is, all film components are organized in terms of specular reciprocity in order to produce a certain aesthetic effect.

Research project: From Matter to Thought: Towards a Deleuzean Genealogy of Russian Film History (2017-2018)