“My usual sense of impermanence was made worse by the fact that Tamas and I were mixing with people not our own, people we had nothing in common with, and by the same old feeling that nothing mattered. But then I wasn’t the only one with this sense of impermanence. The whole city had it, it was in the air. People had a lot of money and they knew that it made no difference: it might vanish from one day to the next. The sense of impending disaster hung over the garden like a chandelier.”
–from Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb
“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death–however mutable man may be able to make them–our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
In this scene from Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light, the pastor Tomas (Gunnar Björnstrand) is speaking to Jonas (Max von Sydow), who came to see the pastor because he was having suicidal thoughts.
“Over the past few decades, endless rounds of privatization and austerity, not to mention widespread environmental degradation, have already deprived us of a future. The world of our hopes and dreams has in fact already ended: our day-to-day existence just needs to catch up with this fact. And so our only chance for release from the continuing soft disaster of our lives is for this disaster to become truly universal. If the world ends, then at least we will be freed from the rapacity of financial institutions, and from our ever-increasing burdens of debt. The cinematic spectacle of disaster is in itself intensely gratifying, as well: we see destroyed, before our very eyes, that “immense collection of commodities” after which we have always striven, upon which we have focused all our desires, and which has always ended up disappointing us.” (Steven Shaviro)