When Ulf Wilhelmsson first contacted us about including his "Dialogue on Film and Philosophy" in the M/C 'chat' issue, we were initially taken aback. True, the notion of chat surely must include that of 'dialogue', but Wilhelmsson's idea, as he put it to us, was that of a Socratic dialogue about film. The dialogue "Film och Filosofi" already existed in Swedish, but he had done an initial rough translation of the dialogue on his Website. Since Wilhelmsson put this to us in the very early days of the submission period, we decided to have a look.
Wilhelmsson had omitted to mention the fact that his dialogue was amusing as well as informative. Playing Socrates was ... Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino was not just discussing film, but he was moderating a hefty grab-bag of influential philosphers, film-makers, film-scholars and the odd Beatle (John Lennon). Furthermore, creeping in to many of the utterances in the discussion was Wilhelmsson's take on Tarantino's vernacular -- keep an eye out for "Bada boom bada boom, get it?" and "Oh Sartre. Dude, I would also like to provide a similar example". The philosphers sometimes also get a chance to break out of their linguistic bonds, such as Herakleit, who tells us that "War is the primogenitor of the whole shebang". Occasionally, Wilhelmsson lets his conversants get rowdy (St Thomas of Aquinas and Aristotle yell "Tabula Rasa!" in unison), put on accents (Michel Chion with French accent: "Merci merci. Je vous en pris that you are recognising tse sound"), be "dead sure of themselves" (George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; Noam Chomsky thanks us for our attention) and wander in and out of the dialogue's virtual space (at the end, Immanuel Kant returns to us after his daily walk around town).
Unfortunately, due to its length, the dialogue can not be supplied in regular M/C 'bits', and so we have made it available as a downloadable Rich Text Format file.
Felicity Meakins & E. Sean Rintel -- M/C 'chat' co-editors