Claude Faraldo’s 1973 film Themroc is a masterwork of anarchistic nihilism, a rejection of the routine of gainful employment and a celebration of a life driven by pure impulse. The house painter Themroc designs his own apparently stone-age cave, reverses evolution, and becomes an animal: Away from regulating civilization, away from the authorities, to a life without rules and taboos. No word is spoken in the whole film. All that can be heard is sounds – animalistic howling and barking and a fantasy language that is vaguely reminiscent of French. BS Johnson’s experimental 1969 film Paradigm also uses a language beyond the logic of meaning. Essentially more conceptual than Themroc, in Paradigm it is a question of the gradual muting of the protagonist, who visibly ages during the nine-minute film. The language he speaks is an elaborate one, invented by the director himself, which gradually turns into shrill whistling and finally nullifies all meaning.
BS Johnson, Paradigm, 1969, Film, 9 Min, courtesy of British Film Institute, London.
Claude Faraldo, Themroc, 1973, Film, 110 Min.
Maria Fusco (*1972) is a writer, editor and curator. She lives and works in Glasgow. She is Chancellor‘s Fellow at the Edinburgh College of Art, and from 2007- 2013 she founded and led the MFA Art Writing program at Goldsmiths in London. Fusco is editorial director of the journal The Happy Hypocrite, and has published the book The Mechanical Copula.