La ciencia es ficción: a propósito de Jean Painlevé

Vivimos bajo la falsa idea de que las verdades científicas son incuestionables. Sombra positivista que nos asalta, nos condena, y encadena nuestra imaginación.

Documentary: any film that documents real phenomena or their honest and justified reconstruction in order to consciously increase human knowledge through rational or emotional means and to expose problems and offer solutions from an economic, social, or cultural point of view.

¿A qué se refiere Painlevé con “la castración de documental”?

“Today, however, the man of taste who finds himself at a cinematic event feels compelled to applaud the documentary, no matter what it is, for he has finally learned—indeed, we have drummed it into him—that the documentary is cinema at its purest.

En el primer texto, Painlevé nos invita a reflexionar sobre la percepción del documental en sus primeras décadas (principalmente en Francia) y las formas en que público, inversionistas y realizadores se vincularon con esta información.

In all the imitators, one finds a complete lack of sincerity, inventiveness,
and the energy necessary to capture difficult-to-achieve effects. At one time, some of them may have been innovators, but once a filmmaker repeats himself, his work loses its original purity and quickly becomes formulaic. Would it be so awful to try something new and original? After all, cinema is not cooking where warmed-up leftovers often taste better than the first time.
” JP


  1. You will not make documentaries if you do not feel the subject.
  2. You will refuse to direct a film if your convictions are not expressed.
  3. You will not influence the audience by unfair means.
  4. You will seek reality without aestheticism or ideological apparatus.
  5. You will abandon every special effect that is not justified.
  6. Trickery will be of no use unless the audience is your confidant.
  7. You will not use clever editing unless it illustrates your good intentions.
  8. You will not show monotonous sequences without perfect justification.
  9. You will not substitute words for images in any way.
  10. You will not be content with “close enough” unless you want to fail spectacularly.

It would never have occurred to the pioneers of cinema to dissociate research on film from research by means of film. But today, due to the evolution, sheer number, and growing complexity of the technologies involved, there are increasingly sophisticated distinctions between theoreticians, inventors, practitioners, and viewers. Indeed, superspecialized associations are forming, such as the one for endoscopic film (which is the exploration of the body’s interior and organs through natural or surgical openings).” JP

Jean Painlevé y la problematización del cine como medio de investigación.