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Abstract / Resumen

Cinematic structure remains constitutively collaborative. While critics like André Bazin have described cinema as mixed or impure, this article advances the concept of cinema as collaborative aesthetics. The conventional understanding of collaboration is that it represents aggregation, namely the gradual growth toward a total and completed whole. After all, collaborative practice generally works toward identifiable goals. Conversely, I argue here that The Hour of the Furnaces shows us how cinematic collaboration also operates by subtractions, unresolved dissonances, unfinished instances, and contradictions rather than syntheses or cohesive totality. Despite the filmmakers’ express intentions, I contend that their political documentary film lacks a monolithic structure at the service of a single narrative. Thus my interpretation of films as collaborative art form goes even against Solanas and Getino’s understanding of Third Cinema’s collaborative nature, at least as presented in their manifesto or suggested in the documentary. While advancing an alternate model for reading the three-part film, this article highlights the fragment as the cinematic unit by which a conception of reality can be not so much reproduced or represented, as transformed.