Thoughts That Once We Had

Thoughts That Once We Had

USA / 2015 / 108 minutes / Not Rated

Described in an opening text as a “personal history of cinema, partially inspired by Gilles Deleuze,” The Thoughts That Once We Had from master cinematic essayist Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself) is a richly digressive journey through cinema. A found-footage film composed entirely of unidentified, yet often recognizable film clips and concise intertitles written by Andersen, Thoughts leaps associatively across a vast territory spanning from Griffith to Godard, using dynamically cinematic images and sequences not to explain, but to embody Deleuzian ideas in all their rich ambiguity and nuance.



  • Director

    Thom Andersen

  • "A deeply personal, cheekily digressive dance through most of movie history." Critics Pick.

    — The New York Times
  • "A don’t-miss-it cine-essay beguilement."

    — Village Voice
  • “One of the most important cinematic essayists of our time… [Thoughts] finds a filmmaker best known for his skepticism toward Hollywood product here openly in thrall to the power of the screen’s seduction.”

    — Artforum
  • “A wordless, associative, haunted journey – sometimes rueful and sobering, sometimes very funny – not just through the history of cinematic innovation, but through the 20th century itself."

    — The Guardian
  • "[Reminiscent] of some of Godard's more personal late-period works… As in Andersen's prior films, there’s a joy to be had in simply watching the clips unfold and comment on each other.”

    — Notebook
  • "[A] bursting collection of cinematic moments."

    — Slant Magazine