The Mexican film director Carlos Reygadas did not even make an attempt to indicate a story in the summary for his film project Post Tenebras Lux when he presented it at CineMart 2011. Instead he wrote: “it is a feature film with a loose plot link in its discourse, but really clear in its poetics. It is not united by the plot, but by the harmony in the expression of the feelings.” And later, in his director’s notes: “The film’s objective is not to make sense from a particular story, but to make sense by association of emotions and ideas between the film and the spectator.”
Erlebnis, on the other hand, cannot be communicated, it is more wary of words, it is the experience while it is being made. It is about being in the moment, as an undivided and non– expressable present existence in time. The Erlebnis I have when I put my hand into the fire is subjective and time-bound, it can’t be narrated later through words as easily and precisely as my Erfahrung of that act.
It seems to me that an emphasis on Erlebnis comes close to the interest and fascination of many filmmakers from around the world who want to share with their audience not a
preconceived causal unspooling of story, of experience as knowledge-passed-on, but are searching for ways to touch the emotion of their audience and connect it to their own moment of experience.
‘First: there’s a tree. Ten seconds of silence, and then this sound comes, and then that comes afterwards. And then there’s a cut. And second: there’s a mountain, and blah blah.’ It’s like I am describing a film that I am watching, it’s being projected and I am describing to you what I am watching, as if you were blind. Somehow that’s the idea. You weren’t at the cinema and I would write down for you everything I saw. That’s the way I do it, and probably that’s the way it should be done, so we would make cinema instead of illustrated literature. … It’s not so important to know what happens in the end, because it’s not about telling a story but rather about looking into a moment of life.”